Check out our East Beach Idea House in Norfolk, Virginia. It's packed with fantastic decorating ideas—all yours to steal!
Writer: Steele Thomas Marcoux
1 of 20Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck
Beauty at the Beach
You’re not the only one who dreams big—we have grand plans, too. This year, we went to Norfolk, Virginia, and invited some of our favorite design stars to build a seaside retreat from the ground up. The result is a shingle-style home chock-full of pretty decorating ideas and smart design finds. Keep clicking for a room-by-room tour!
2 of 20Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck
Inside-Out Palette: Aqua walls and navy shutters not only reference the house’s waterside surroundings but also offer a preview of the cool shades inside.
Cement Siding: Planks and shingles made of reinforced concrete have the charm of traditional wood siding but will stand up to the coastal environment longer with less maintenance.
HOT TIN ROOF: With the same appeal of historic metal roofs, this steel version deflects as much as 90 percent of the sun’s heat, thereby keeping the house cooler.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Double-decker porches framed by bright white columns create a welcoming facade and encourage interaction with neighbors in Norfolk’s East Beach community, where houses are clustered along pedestrian-friendly streets.
3 of 20Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck
The Living Room
Nautical Palette: Crisp blues, whites, and yellows are a nod to Norfolk, with its active boating community and history as a Navy town.
Statement Piece: With its dark background and large scale, this simple, powerful photo of an albatross is the perfect dramatic art for the otherwise airy space.
Top Brass Lamp Shades: This seaworthy metal is more practical (read: easier to keep clean!) in a beach house than fabric shades. Bonus: A pair of floor lamps frees up space on the end tables.
All Washed Up: The ceiling’s gray-white wash (paint thinned with water) resembles driftwood that’s floated ashore.
Attention to Detail: Extra touches, such as the square blocks added to window casings and trim layered in a wainscot pattern, create the look of custom paneling without the high price tag.
4 of 20Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck
The Dining Room
Booth-like Benches: The banquettes, which comfortably fit two people, are a casual and streamlined way to seat a crowd without the busy look of so many chairs.
Mirror Image: Fanned-out paddles are a sculptural, cheeky take on the classic round mirror.
Custom Job: Can’t find a striped fabric that floats your boat? Try piecing together solids in the width of your choice for a graphic color-block effect, like that of the banquette slipcovers.
Sheer Bliss: Pleated linen draperies filter bright seaside light and lend an ethereal quality to the space.
Sky Blue Hue: The dreamy wall shade is a soft backdrop for the starker contrast between the navy and white upholstery. Tip: Vary blues for a more sophisticated, less matchy-matchy look.
5 of 20Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck
Double-decker Cabinetry: White paint and glass doors on the upper cabinets brighten the room, while the polyurethane finish below stands up to wear and tear without chipping.
Marine Scheme: The deep blue recycled ceramic-tile back-splash and durable enameled cast iron cookware echo the shades in the adjacent living and dining spaces as well as the bay.
Seamless Stainless: Appliances such as this dishwasher that can be installed flush with cabinetry lend a streamlined look.
Planks with Patina: Watered-down gray paint gives the wide-plank oak floors a worn, weathered finish that’s as beautiful as it is durable.
Eye-catching Lighting: Bigger is better when it comes to above-island pendants. This stainless steel fixture is more than 3 feet long!
6 of 20Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck
The Breakfast Nook
Sunny side Up: Make the most of a single, cheerful color by mixing motifs, such as the chairs’ bold ikat print, the cushions’ tailored piping, and the rug’s classic stripes.
Everyday Art: Find beauty in the ordinary by curating a collection of similar items, like these brightly colored flip-flops framed in Lucite boxes.
Double-duty Built-Ins: Space-saving bench seating is even more efficient when there’s room for storage below.
Outside In: The banquette cushions’ weatherproof fabric can be wiped down with a sponge, making white a safe choice for the dining area.
7 of 20Photographer: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck
The Master Bedroom
Charted Territory: Antique, hand-colored nautical maps of the Mid-Atlantic coast and a pair of fish-eye mirrors frame the bed and bedside lamps (above right) with a graphic, symmetrical arrangement.