If anchor motifs, breton stripes and sailor's rope are the only things that come to mind when you envision beach house decor, think again! Believe it or not, a nautical theme is not a requirement for your oceanside retreat — in fact, a contemporary approach to the usual sailor style can be equal parts classic and glamorous.
When redesigning a Hamptons home owned by a young New York couple, interior designer knew that full-on nautical was not the way to go. The stylish pair wanted their second home to be just as modern and sophisticated as their Manhattan apartment.
She was able to simplify the spacious waterside home by working with a neutral color scheme and adding dramatic ocean-inspired elements throughout. Tour the house and find out how to recreate this truly chic minimalist shore style.
1. Invite Nature In
The best way to balance out sleek lines and contemporary furniture is by adding unique natural elements. "I don't like to look around a house and not see touches from the outdoors," Magel says.
In the living room, she brought in a custom soapstone fireplace and situated horsehair sconces on either side of it. Instead of exclusively working with stone, she added on Venetian plaster above the fireplace.
Wood stumps and shearling chairs emphasize the outdoorsy vibe that every beach house longs for.
2. Don't Be Afraid Of Color
Minimalism doesn't always mean white. According to Magel, using blue on the den walls gives the contemporary getaway a warm, seaside vibe. Another way to cozy up an otherwise stark space is by adding furniture and decor in shades of brown. Here, she used a leather ottoman, throws and pillows from .
3. Use Wood And Steel As A Complimentary Combo
While your kitchen might not always be this clean, white cabinets and stainless steel appliances are a good way to maintain the home's minimalist design. The pendants above the island match perfectly with the appliances, as do the stylish bar stools.
It's the exposed beams and wood floors that ground this space and give it some earthy context.
5. Opt For A Few Beachy Statement Pieces
Whether it's ocean-inspired artwork, or a rope-like lighting fixture, adding a little drama to an understated room is the best way to decorate for luxury beach life.
The blue and white contemporary paintings add to the home's coastal feel without overwhelming the space. "Beach artwork makes it casual but refined, and maybe even a little glamorous," says Magel.
Theis a subtle nod to the nautical theme, while still providing a very chic place to dine.
6. Add Texture...And Lots Of It
The beach has an array of textures, from sand to water to driftwood — and your oceanside home should follow suit. Don't be afraid to play with pairings that you wouldn't normally gravitate toward, like wood and knitwear.
"Textures are one way to be interesting without being jarring," she says.
Mix it up with a few larger pieces (like the Elizabeth Dow stump or the pom-pom light fixture on the ceiling), and then incorporate some smaller details (like Ochre horn handles on the custom white oak side tables).