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Whether you are embarking on a total beach house renovation or hoping to refresh your vacation home, small changes, such as soothing paint color and nautical accessories, can make a big impact. Read on for some simple tips for refreshing your beach house décor without losing your personal sense of style or creating clutter.

Introduce an Ocean-Inspired Palette

You have an enormous amount of leeway when choosing a color scheme for your beach house, but one of the must enduring styles incorporates clean, white walls. You can go for a rustic vibe by adding white shiplap or simply roll on the paint. It’s an airy, breezy and crisp look. From there, you can add pops of color like turquoise, seafoam green and a range of blues throughout your accessories.

Want to add more color on a larger scale? Coastal Living suggests you “pick a statement area to go bold with color.” This can mean anything from accent walls in light aqua to a vibrant front door. Picture the pink sand colors of Miami or the gentle greens of Hawaii. Once you’ve decided on your signature color, add accent pieces that either reference it directly or complement it.

Consider Theme Wallpaper or Murals

When choosing the décor for your kids’ rooms, feel free to lean in on the ocean themes. Small sailboats, anchors or mini beach scenes can stay fun even as the kids age, whereas cartoons may only appeal to younger children. Seascape wallpaper can bring the delights of the ocean into master bedrooms or guest rooms and are particularly popular in spaces without views.

Grasscloth wallpaper is among this year’s biggest trends. It is made of natural fibers, brings an outside element to your beach house décor and adds appealing texture to your walls. If you are hoping for something more personal on a bedroom or living room wall, you may want to commission a local artist to create a mural for you.

Open the Windows

When you think of beach house, you may be focusing solely on the home’s interior. And yet, one of the most important features of your beach house may be the windows. Whether you are right on the water or set back, the windows can reveal some spectacular sunrises, sunsets and glowing afternoons. You want as much of that inspiring sea-side light to find its way into your home, so start by removing heavy drapes or blinds. Coastal Living recommends sheer curtains because they “provide some privacy, yet still keep that airy, light-filled quality.”

Incorporate Flooring

Selecting the right flooring for your beach house can be critical. Certain rooms, like sun porches and living rooms, will be exposed to sand, wet bathing suits and a lot of happy summer visitors. Ornamental rugs or carpet can show wear and tear. Hardwood or laminate flooring tends to have a longer life in beach houses. If you want to veer from the traditional, consider adding a painted floor to your décor. Martha Stewart Living recommends painting floors of select rooms in a “soothing sand color” that will look great when freshly painted or after some distress. Can you picture your sun porch floor painted in a sea blue or green? Even stenciled patterns can play well if they are complemented by your accessories.

If you do want to add area rugs to your décor, weather-resistant options are key. Use natural fiber rugs like sisal or sea grass. Coastal Living likes the durability of both, and you’ll love the casual, yet “pulled together” atmosphere it brings.

Build Open Kitchen Shelving

If you are incorporating a kitchen make-over into your decorating plans, think about swapping out your closed cabinets for open shelving. Beach house décor tends toward the light and airy, and that can be difficult to achieve with the heavier cabinets, even if they are white. Open shelves feel brighter and more welcoming. They also allow you to show off colorful or sea-inspired tableware or serving pieces. You may also be surprised to find that it gives you more flexible storage options.

Add Strategic Seating

Beach houses often lend themselves to impromptu entertaining. Be prepared for drop-ins and extra guests by adding seating in strategic areas like the front room and sun porches. Double-duty furniture like fabric covered ottomans can easily be moved into place when needed. Versatile outdoor seating with slim frames can be drafted into your party décor.

Your couches are also likely to see increased usage. To keep them looking fresh throughout the season, Coastal Living suggests dressing “indoor furniture with outdoor fabric.” The modern fabrics have a soft, comfortable feel while still being waterproof and stain resistant – red wine spills and suntan lotion can be removed with ease.

Bring the Outdoors Inside

Connect your beach house décor with the outdoors. Well-chosen, ocean inspired accents can make a big impact, and you don’t need to add dozens of pieces to achieve your new look. Driftwood artwork or chandeliers can make a statement. Select pieces of coral or large shells enliven a bookcase, while Martha Stewart Living suggests that “[a] collection of shells and rocks, displayed on an antique ship carpenter’s trunk sets a sea-worthy scene.”

Accessorize with Nautical Elements

You can’t go wrong by adding nautical-inspired touches to your beach house décor. As with the outdoor elements, you don’t need to add them to every shelf or wall in order to achieve a striking visual. Instead, select pieces in bright colors that will pop against your neutral, sea-like palette. A sailboat model with a bright red hull or a string of signal flags as wall art in kids’ bedrooms or on the sun porch are easy changes. Antique lanterns, porthole wall hangings, vintage wood oars and accents made from sailboat lines are also popular options.

Visit Distinctive Collection by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® when you begin your journey to buy or sell your unique home.