Long Cove, by Lexington Furniture

There’s something easy and breezy about beach house decor. This white, light-infused style makes us want to turn off our cell phone, curl up with a good book and disappear for awhile.

If you haven’t quite secured that waterfront beach house property yet, not to worry; Beach decor today is as much about an attitude today as a location. In other words, you don’t need to have coastal property to feel like you do!

In a word, beach house decor is about simplicity, as perfectly translated in the beach house dining room shown here (Long Cove, by Lexington Furniture). Nothing says beach house style quite like white-washed furniture.

But what’s so intriguing about this room is that it’s elegant rather than rustic or cottage-y. Notice the elegant oval-back chairs and and that hefty table base. In a darker wood they’d have looked traditional, formal and all serious-looking, but in a washed tone, they invite us to relax and unwind. (Remember the house in the movie Something’s Gotta Give? The furniture was classic and elegant; but all those light colors made it so-ooo relaxing

Light-colored fabric on the dining chairs make them disappear, like we want to do at the beach. A round table feels more relaxed and intimate than one that’s long and formal, and a simple sideboard rather than a full-fledged china cabinet feels informal and casual. Notice its long legs – they add to the airy quality we love about the beach. Hanging a whitewashed mirror above the sideboard creates an elegant, shabby chic quality. But even more impressive; placed on a wall adjacent to a window, it reflects the window; (… a very crafty designer’s trick that doubles your light)!

Simple topiaries flank the mirror over the sideboard, and there’s nothing fancy about that shaded bulb chandelier – it’s casually elegant with the wrought iron frame. A woven jute rug simulates beach sand; windows are kept uncovered. This is a beautiful thing if your view is the ocean; not so much if it’s your neighbor’s window. If you need a little privacy, choose simple white or light-colored cotton or linen curtains that diffuse rather than block light; make sure they can be pulled completely off the glass during the daytime to maximize your natural light.

Speaking of light, a white ceiling is pure beach house style, reflecting all the light back into the room. Even the charming ceiling beams are painted white so they add texture but don’t deduct any light. The  simple slate color wall color (Behr 750E-3, Skyline Steel) is cool and slightly gray… so it feels refreshing and relaxing at the same time! You could go slightly brighter for an even more refreshing look, such as seaglass color (Behr 520C-1 or 2), an azure color (Behr 560A-1) or even nostalgic wedgewood color (Behr 570E-1 or 2).

Lexington Furniture is known for their fine quality furniture and also their Tommy Bahama collections …so they really understandbeach, tropical and nautical style. Check them out at www.lexington.com.

Want more information on decorating in beach house style? Find out which paint colors, furniture, accessories and designer tips ideas will create a professionally designed beach house look in our 24-pg Beach House RoomCue.  Just $12.95 at www.roomplanners.com.