The Coastal Living Dream - Reality Check


Wow, what a feeling! You just moved into your coastal home.

You’ve dreamed of this moment for years and now you’re here. Doesn’t it feel great to be in such a natural and relaxed environment? It’s time for those leisurely walks or bike rides, reading on a lounge chair in the yard, inviting friends and family to join you for an intimate barbecue, and maybe a little gardening.


Your own small piece of paradise, right?

There are so many reasons living the coastal life is appealing - more leisure time, stunning views and a beautiful home that reflects the organic elements of the area are just a few. You wake up in the morning, walk out on to your patio and revel in the soft breezes off the ocean.

But after a short while, you may discover that there’s a lot more to a living in a coastal home than enjoying the view and the lovely, laid-back lifestyle. The sun, wind, and sand can take a heavy toll on the materials both inside and outside your home.


Now your life is not what you planned and putting the puzzle together is a challenge. Nothing seems to fit and its more stressful than you imagined.


Smart design choices at the outset and a well-thought out maintenance plan can keep your home beautiful and functional. This way it will always reflect the organic elements of coastal living – it will be reflect you, your lifestyle and be less of a burden on your resources and budget.

Here are some items to put on your design and maintenance plan:


Space and Storage


Most coastal properties are smaller than the average suburban home. With your neighbors so close to you, it might feel like you’re living in a fishbowl.


A touch of design ingenuity, and experience with coastal living, can give you the privacy you need.


Creating a space where you can relax and enjoy your privacy can make all the difference to a small outdoor area. Fencing screens in a variety of materials or plantings can give a cozy and secluded feeling outdoors.


Storage can be another challenge. If you find you have more stuff than closets, where does it all go? A smart redesign of the space with more storage could solve your problem.


Rethinking how you store items in a more organized way can prevent spending time looking for stuff.


Fun in the sun or on the beach often involves equipment - like bicycles, boards, and games. It also means patio furniture with cushions that need to be protected from the elements. Protecting your belongings will reduce replacement costs and make needed items easily accessible for family members to use and return.


When you’re short of storage space, think inside the box to keep it all organized, accessible, and safe.


Let's get Organized


Great way to keep organized with open shelving located by the entry for quick grab or drop.

All the toys ready to be used and easy to access to avoid hassles… A mounting location of storage container keeps everything tidy but also easy to locate…


Coastal Friendly Materials


Ah! Those delightful warm sea breezes. Nothing quite compares to the joy of an early morning cup of coffee enjoying the ocean view. But those same breezes, and the sun and salt air, can cause serious damage to fabrics and finishes.


You’ll soon see discoloration, mildew (that funky beach-house smell), corrosion on metal finishes inside and out, small holes that eventually become large worn areas on furniture, and peeling paint on the exterior. This happens pretty quickly.


The outside of your home is the first impression, so the paint you choose must withstand the summer sun and the salt spray blowing off the ocean. Use the best-quality paint you can find.

Painting a coastal home requires more prep work. Make sure your designer and painter know how to do the job correctly.


Power washing can take care of a host of problems created by the sun and sea air. It can be used to clean and restore walls, decks, driveways, and even windows.

Choose awnings, window treatments, and furnishing fabrics that can withstand sun and salt air. 


Complement your choice with hardware that works - including any automation for the window treatment. 


Interior Finishes


You’ve probably spent hours daydreaming about what your house will look like, inside and out. That perfect space for a relaxing afternoon with a book, or an evening in the backyard entertaining friends and family after a long day at the beach.


But no matter what your personal preference, your first consideration should be compatibility with a coastal environment. Don’t fret, though. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your vision.


There’s a wide range of choices for all the finishes.


For flooring you could choose tiles, hardwood, luxury vinyl, or even carpet. Just make sure you choose something that’s water resistant, easy to clean, and has a strong wear-layer that will hold up to sand. One option is bamboo - it’s eco-friendly and durable.

One of the most appealing features of a coastal home is the stunning views. It’s likely that you’ll have windows and doors that face the sea, so make sure that you choose functional, energy efficient windows. If your home is in an area that’s threatened by storms or hurricanes, invest in FEMA impact-rated glass.

A designer experienced in coastal living can help you navigate these tricky waters. When you do it right, you can enjoy the lifestyle you dreamed of without the hassle and cost of constant maintenance.



So if you are crazy about all things coastal and want your home to be a reflection of your coastal dreams, just click below for a FREE copy of COASTAL, a magazine filled with all good things for living your best coastal life due out in June 2020.


Email: catherine@grandeinteriors.com for your FREE COPY

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catherine@grandeinteriors.com

Branford CT, 06405

Tel: 203.458.6066 

© 2020 by Catherine O'Brien

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