There’s something undeniably appealing about a beach house. It happens the minute you step through the front door and into that light and airy space, with its casual layering of no-frills furnishings made of natural materials, pops of fun color, and collected finds from nature. Not to mention the charming coastal and nautical elements such as framed seascape wall art, seashell-adorned mirrors and accessories, ship-worthy lighting, brass finishes, and anything and everything in all shades of blue! With one big exhale, you instantly feel relaxed, comfortable, and oh, so happy.

Dining With A View

Thanks to a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors, all eyes are on the prize in this dreamy dining room. To add softness, homeowner Marsha Ahearn had breezy tie-top curtains made from 100-year-old French sheets found at the Brimfield antiques shows. Adding to the room's casual look, rather than a chandelier, a lightweight, but hunky lantern hangs above the generous dining table. Pillows made from vintage bark cloth fabric add feminine pattern to the mix of natural wicker chairs.

Retro Charm

Three words sum up the oh-so-cute kitchen in designer Krista Ewart's California beach cottage: scallops, scallops, and more scallops. Oh, a perfectly pink Smeg refrigerator, too!

Effortless Mix of Old and New

Designer Loi Thai (@loithai) believes in layering rooms with that just-right piece of antique furniture or collection of vintage art, but he equally embraces the practicality and accessibility of mass retailer finds. Here, in the living room of his coastal retreat, he set the scene by topping an economical jute rug with a striking blue-and-white striped dhurrie rug. For the comfortable seating arrangement, he paired a factory dolly-turned-coffee table with slipcovered seating and an indoor/outdoor wicker chair.

Nautical Influences

Believe it or not, this airy bedroom used to be a dark hole thanks to its knotty pine surround. Crisp, bright white paint from floor to ceiling instantly transformed the small space, providing a blank backdrop for homeowner Ted Kennedy Watson's (@watsonkennedy) punchy layers of sea-faring themed furnishings such as nautical flags, anchor pillows, and old lockers.

Laid-Back Furnishings

With the beach practically at the back door, this soft and pretty living room needed to be able to stand up to wet swimsuits and sandy feet. No problem thanks to an arrangement of furnishings in a mix of durable and worry-free materials: a sisal rug effortlessly handles traffic; the well-worn wood coffee table welcomes propped-up feet and coaster-free drinks; and both the vintage bamboo chair with its washable cushion covers and the deep slipcovered sofa provide swimsuit-friendly seating.

Airy Porch

Transform your porch into a cozy place to relax with summertime staples (like wicker furniture or baskets) in bright whites and natural hues. Add a colorful rug to disguise any sand guests may carry in with them.

Shipshape Bathroom

Mimic the maritime charms of this master bathroom with a collection of seascapes, a navy soaking tub, and seafaring sconces.

Fresh Finishes + Vintage Charm

What this small kitchen lacks in square footage, it makes up for in charm. To freshen it up, the homeowners gave the 1950s space a bright coat of white paint, replaced the linoleum countertops with warm butcher block, and traded the upper cabinets with open shelving where they could display their collections of everyday dishes, serving pieces, and colorful vintage finds.

Breezy Window Seat

It's summertime and the loungin' is easy on this plush window seat, stacked high with pillows and tucked away behind pretty sea-blue curtain panels.

Ocean Blues

Outside this 1800s cottage on Cape Cod Bay, you'll find pretty blue shutters that reflect colors from the sea. And inside, the homeowners decorated with furniture pieces in a variety of aqua hues.