Nautical but nice: 8 beach house looks to bring home

Keep the holiday feel going with these fresh seaside looks


Best in class 1

The essence of a beach house is that it should feel easygoing, that nothing in it is so precious that it cannot be used. They often evolve with a mix of bare essentials and quirky gifts and and local finds.

Relaxed Coastal Style, about €23, is a newly published title by Ryland Peters Small, that features photography by Benjamin Edwards and offers a plethora of really easy to replicate ideas from stripped wood, lofty painted panelled ceilings, bare floorboards underfoot and nautical motifs used in a clever rather than naff way, like this rope banister. Rope can also be used as landing balustrading – but only in a house where there are no small children – and also wound round internal or outdoor columns.

Best in class 2

These Fruiticana knitted fish are decortastic. While part of Ferm Living’s kids collection, they will also appeal to adults with a love of whimsy and can be bought from We Are Barn on Dublin’s Exchequer Street, a sister shop to Industry & Co on nearby Drury Street. They cost €49.50 each and the range includes a clever leopard fish rattle, €39, that will make a useful gift for new parents.

You can equally use objects like stones, shells and interesting driftwoods found while out beachcombing to help decorate a child’s room. They can look especially well when set under glass domes. You could also note the findings of each walk with little notes that your child can handwrite and either roll to insert into the shell or tape to the underside of the find so that years into the future he or she can recall those walks and their simple pleasures.;

Best in class 3

When you think coastal, the maritime mix of blue and white springs to mind but it needs a delicate touch. The play with pattern here, mixing a historic wallpaper with a vintage ceramic-tile stove or kakkelovn, is a sophisticated take on the theme. Tom Keane of Ovne Stoves sells remodelled vintage and antique stoves, and runs the business in tandem with his popular The Old Mill Stores in west Cork. You can substitute the brass doors for stove glass if you want flames, he says, explaining that the stove takes 24 hours to heat up and will remain warm to the touch. These beauties cost from €25,000 to order.

The Drottningholm wallpaper, from BorasTapeter’s Anno collection, costs about €75 per roll from Furnishing Distributors and is inspired by some of the original scenery of Drottingholmen Palace Theatre, an 18th century opera house in Stockholm that still uses original scenery and 200-year old stage machinery.;;

Best in class 4

On a balmy night nothing beats sleeping al fresco under the stars with the ebb and flow of the waves on the shore to lull you to sleep – as long as you’ve made provision for night-time insect visits.

This shoreside scene is from Danish design firm House Doctor and evokes the essence of simplicity. Pictured is a useful, all white tray table, €98, and a large Origi dark antique lantern, €56, and both can be bought online through Trouva. Dublin-based Home-Lust also stocks single items from the brand.;;

Best in class 5

Weathered furniture is an integral part of the beach house look, something Argos has used here to create a very authentic bathroom set-up using a cabinet left to peel and flake in the hot sun as the sink unit. Its Coastal and Nautical collections are particularly covetable.

Pictured here is the toothbrush holder and soap dispenser, part of a three-piece accessory set (Cat no 698/5208) €25.99, a striped under-counter basket used as a bin and part of a set of two (Cat no 725/8628) €15.99; and a circular mirror hung with rope (Cat no 709/4459) €25.99. The crystal blue pair of bath towels (Cat no 621/4711) costs €12.99 and have been hung from a raw wood ladder. Wicklow woodsman James Carroll, aka Stickman, can make something similar. A hazel wood ladder, 1.75 metres high, will cost €300 to order.

Best in class 6

There are many kinds of blue that will evoke the seascape’s ever-changing colours. You can also use a smart shade like a marine or Prussian blue to great effect on kitchen cabinetry but beach house blues also work really well in a kid’s bedroom. American paint company Benjamin Moore offers a gorgeous range of richly pigmented shades.

Seen here is Bird’s Egg on the walls, Iceberg on the ceiling and Ice Mist on the trims. Its Aura collection offers greater durability and costs €105 per gallon size, which is about 3.76 litres, from MRCB Paints and Papers. The long board, propped up against one wall, has also been painted in a tonal shade, as have the 12-storage drawers, set into the end of the mezzanine bed. Try Cork-based The Jellybean Group which stocks a customisable range for something similar.;

Best in class 7

This new Melody large corner sofa comes in a breezy off-white and has slim arms that make the sizeable piece feel far neater. Normally €2,799, the seat, 274cm long by 274cm wide and 80cm high, is reduced to €2,599 in the DFS sale which runs until September 11th.

The sofa company shot this set of new imagery in a cool clapboard-fronted beach house called The Battery, Whitstable, Kent, which is rented as a location for film, TV and advertising. Owned by artist Marilyn Phipps, its nautical themed paintscape, retro kitchen and vintage props and accessories has made it a big hit with interior titles.  

Best in class 8

This Tipi lamp is by interior designer Mårten Cyrén and his brother Gunnar Cyrén for Swedish design firm Skargaarden. Made of teak and steel, it marries two shipbuilding materials, a traditional and a contemporary and that, as well as its elegant form, will make it a welcome addition to any coastal home.

Teak is durable, abrasion and rot resistant and the natural oils found in it make it low maintenance. While pictured in two sizes, it is now available in only one, the smaller of the two pictured, which stands at 74cm high. It is available to order from Dublin-based Minima Home and costs €1,540.