2011 Ultimate Beach House Room Tour
Check out our East Beach Idea House in Norfolk, Virginia. It's packed with fantastic decorating ideas—all yours to steal!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Lighten Up: A pair of balustrade-shaped bedside lamps, typically made of wood, take an airy turn in translucent glass.
Video: Tour the Master Bedroom
Checkmate: Made from square tiles in different sizes and colors, the bath’s mosaic floor is a fresh update on a classic checkerboard pattern.
Durable Surface: Made of a synthetic material that looks like wood, this porch floor is resistant to mildew, moisture, splitting, scratches, and stains.
Window Dressing: The shutters’ rich navy color and off-beat hardware make them worthy of a double take. They’re functional, too—they cover the windows’ entire width to offer storm protection.
Dimensional Decor: Antique creamware plates and a set of whitewashed antlers are a 3-D alternative to typical artwork above the bed.
Tailored Treatment: Arabesque-shaped valances, which highlight the room’s high ceilings, take a preppy turn when framed with trim in a contrasting fabric.
Reed Between the Lines: The vanity’s fluted detail resembles the rattan reeds used to make furniture commonly found in coastal locales.
Graphic Design: Buttons and piping (upholstered in a contrasting shade) give the headboard a preppy, graphic punch.
Texture Message: The nubby burlap wall-covering adds casual comfort and visual interest.
Made in the Shade: A retractable awning and manual roller shades made of weatherproof fabric offer protection from bright sunlight and strong sea breezes.
Eco-Chic Rug: With wide stripes, super-soft ribbing, and 50 percent recycled content, this indoor/outdoor rug is good-looking and good for the environment.
Hedge Fun: A row of tall, slender elm trees creates a privacy screen (with enough height to shield the second floor, too!); silvery green maiden grass beneath softens the fence with beachy texture.
Top Shelves: Their openness offers easy access to everyday items such as dishes and stemware.
Tile Style: The irregular texture of the glazed white bricks on the backsplash is a rustic twist on porcelain subway tile.
Lighting the Way: A pair of pendants are like spotlights over the counter workspaces in the kitchen, while a pair of swing-arm sconces provides just enough light for reading.