To give you the inside scoop on today's hottest trends in beach house décor, SheKnows talked to Mollie Chalk, an interior designer at Pineapple House Interior Design in Atlanta. Chalk designed the Florida beach cottage showcased in these photos and shares the following tips for achieving stunning and functional beach house décor.
Show off the view
According to Chalk, a major mistake people make when decorating a beach house is ignoring the view. "Be aware of functional indoor and outdoor living space and how they work together as a whole. Open space planning and well-placed furniture help create a natural traffic flow. They also allow your guests to travel through your space the way you intended, hopefully focused on a view," she explains.
Use themed accessories sparingly
Resist the temptation to pack the space with shells, beach-themed art or boating and fishing accessories. Over-accessorizing with themed décor is a big mistake, says Chalk. "It's nice to have a beautiful piece of coral on display or a shorebird watercolor collection, as long as you use restraint. A few well-placed theme items or collections are more successful," she noted.
Design with functionality in mind
"To have a successfully designed space, you need a clear vision of how it will be used and for what purpose. The necessities of that function will point you in a direction and allow for more unique and creative ideas," says Chalk.
Function played an important role in determining how she designed the bunkbed room of the Florida beach cottage. "The client wanted two queen-sized beds, but her grandchildren pleaded for a bunkbed. Reaching into my own childhood, I was inspired by my brother's trundle bed with the ship's wheel headboard. The idea of a trundle made me realize that we could get the number of people she wanted to be able to sleep in this room as well as give the grandchildren a fun and unique bunk and beach experience. I designed a unit that comfortably sleeps five via a single top bunk, queen-size bottom bunk and a queen-size pull-out trundle drawer."
Bring in texture
Asked what are some of the décor biggest trends in beach homes, Chalk replies, "In a nutshell, texture. Wood-paneled walls, coffered ceilings and beams are great ways to develop texture in the most dramatic way and are seen in all the current magazines."
She adds that there are a number of other techniques for implementing texture into your design. "It can simply be a variety of different woven and printed fabrics in a combination of natural fibers. It can also be the type of painted or stained finish on cabinetry or furnishing," she explains.
Keep Chalk's tips in mind as you plan your beach house décor and you'll surely design a space that is every bit as functional as it is fabulous.
More décor advice
Create a beach-themed bathroom
Beach-inspired home accents
10 Budget-friendly ways to decorate your home for summer
Photo: Pineapple House Interior Design and Aubrey Reel of Mon Amour Photography