10 Beach Cottage Decorating Ideas

Whether you're hours away from a coastline or steps away from golden sand, bring the beach inside your home through rustic, sea-inspired decor. Browse through these graceful shabby chic retreats for ideas and inspiration.

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November 25, 2014

Photo By: Courtesy of Somerset Bay Home

Photo By: Somerset Bay

Shabby Minimalism

This simple dining room is light, airy and tranquil without being washed out from the completely neutral palette. Hints of color can be found in the diverse shell display and through the soft blues of the vintage bottles. Image courtesy of Somerset Bay
Get the Look: If you're trying to pull in relaxing ocean vibes, keep your dining room design simple. Crisp white slipcovers, a shabby white dining table and natural accessories can make a bold statement without appearing overly rustic.

Toes in the Sand

HGTV fan dgabriele used neutral hues and subtle seashell decor to create a chic, sea-inspired living space. An eclectic mix of distressed furniture and crisp white accents showcase the casual elegance of a refined yet shabby space.
Get the Look: To create a casual, beachy feel in your space, mix various furniture styles (rustic, cottage or contemporary) and materials (rattan, polyester, cotton or linen).

Elegantly Shabby

White is a classic tone often used in shabby chic designs. HGTV fan rnhey wanted to create a light, airy dining room ideal for casual year-round entertaining, so she used this fresh hue as the base for her entire design. The upholstered cane-backed chairs, freshly painted table and vintage marine life prints are reminiscent of relaxed summers and shabby seaside homes. White beadboard walls allow the sand-colored curtains and accessories to act as complementary accents rather than simply appearing in the background.
Get the Look: For an elegantly shabby look, combine your rustic pieces with more contemporary counterparts. The white table and rattan chairs feel ultra casual, while the symmetrical prints, pleated draperies and dark wood serving tray deliver a perfect hint of refinement.

Classic Turquoise

Soft neutral hues, found objects and distressed white furnishings bring in a contemporary nautical take on shabby chic living. While primarily incorporating sandy hues to mirror the beach, HGTV fan rkm1213 also snuck in hints of turquoise around the space to add a vibrant color that immediately draws your eyes to every part of the room.
Get the Look: Break up a neutral palette by adding unexpected bits of color. Eyes will be drawn around the room with each vibrant accessory, ensuring guests don't miss a single stunning detail.

Ocean Views

The inspiration for this cozy sunroom was drawn from its surroundings and tranquil views. Staying with neutral shabby chic hues, HGTV fan pattiny1 mixed white, cream, blue and peach to create a comfy space fit for sea dwellers. Stunning seashells, driftwood and starfish make perfect decor for a seaside retreat like this — just make sure you're up early enough to snag the prettiest ones from the shoreline.
Get the Look: If you have an amazing waterfront view, let the scenery become your artwork. Rather than arranging furniture around a TV or fireplace, arrange your room to face the ocean.

Dressed Up Decor

Sea-inspired decor and beach finds don't have to be ultra-casual or nautical. HGTV fan LuluD proves seashells and coral can be dressed up to fit right into an elegant shabby chic vignette.
Get the Look: Even if you don't want a full beach-inspired decorating scheme, you can still coordinate subtle hints of marine life and seashells into your decor. Coral can make a stunning accent piece in a hallway vignette.

Desert Vacation

Even though she's located right in the middle of the Las Vegas desert, HGTV fan homemom knows how to turn her home into a beach getaway. Repurposed furnishings, natural bamboo materials and a white color scheme deliver a shabby chic feel with a crisp, polished look.
Get the Look: Don't feel like you have to be on the beach to incorporate a shabby coastal feel in your home. If vacations don't come often enough, let your sea-inspired decor become your getaway.

Starfish Settings

Nothing evokes a summer feel quite like starfish and seashells. HGTV fan single_mom_on_a_budget dressed up her shabby chic dining room with her favorite beach elements in mind. She incorporated seashells into her year-round china display and then turned the dining table into a dreamy setup for four.
Get the Look: Celebrate summer by creating a seasonal table setup of seashells, starfish, candles and small driftwood pieces. Invite people over for seafood favorites, like grilled fish, pan roasted scallops and coconut shrimp, to go with the warm-weather theme.

Chic Appeal

This urban beach-accented living room is perfect for those that like to dress up sea accessories without appearing too theme-oriented or formal. The casual shabby-white sofas and linen draperies help to keep things laid-back for everyday comfort.
Get the Look: One of the best places to display your sea finds is the mantel. Even if the setup is only around during the summer months, it can still bring that casual warm-weather feel into your home. And for a more formal piece that looks like it belongs all year long, try a stunning light fixture, like this white coral chandelier.

Guest-Ready Oasis

HGTV fan Beachyone wanted guests to be surrounded by the soothing feel of the ocean both indoors and out. The guest bedroom at this beachfront home was turned into a vacation oasis with a pastel color scheme of green, peach and white, and accessorized with wicker baskets, marine life prints and dark Roman shades to keep out the sun for afternoon naps.
Get the Look: To make your guests feel comfortable and welcome, keep the amenities and feel of a hotel in mind. Maintain a soothing color scheme, plenty of pillows, storage space and bathroom essentials. And of course, mirror the home's surroundings. The weathered oars, sand-filled table lamps and natural accessories will constantly remind them that they're on vacation.

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