"Beachy" decor is so often derived from driftwood, sea shells and shabby chic. There’s nothing wrong with that look, but there are beach-inspired styles that appeal to a more streamlined retro-modern sensibility.
First, our mid-century inspired beach-y palette:
Designer Jonathan Adler is the embodiment of this style: mod, relaxed, playful yet chic, with bright color pops on a mostly neutral background. Can’t you just see yourself hanging out in this room and then jumping on your Vespa for a ride down the Coastal Highway?
The second room uses a lot of vintage pieces, but deploys a similar strategy as Mr. Adler: A neutral background with color pops, some pattern, and clean mid-century modern furniture shapes. Those aqua chairs are the furniture equivalent of a vintage scooter.
The next vignette goes a little more shabby, but in a very modern way. I see driftwood, sisal, sea shells, and even a beach print, but it still feels very contemporary and chic because of the simple lines and color palette that is grounded in natural neutrals. Bits of aqua, burnt orange and goldenrod rescue this room from beach cliche.
This living room plays more off the browns and oranges in our original Pinspiration photo, but it still captures the spirit with the beach painting and mod furniture and geometric greenery.
The final image is airy and bright — the image we all have of the perfect beach house. But the mid-century bent-wood bar stools and aqua tile are unexpected in this more traditional room, and give this potentially boring kitchen some retro-inspired style.