A beach house gets a tougher workout inside as well as outside. The Burns house in Bethany Beach, Del., often has every guest room occupied, and kids and dogs coming off the beach can track in wet sand. Beach living calls for a simple color scheme and a pared-down look, says Washington designer Erica Burns. Here are some of her suggestions.
1. Create spaces easily shared by lots of people. Because three generations of the Burns family and their friends are regularly at the house, Erica created a system to identify whose towel was on which bathroom hook. (Her mother-in-law, Nancy, is a fan of all-white towels.) Erica painted $2 frames from Michaels with chalkboard paint and glued on ribbons for hanging. Guests write their initials in chalk to mark their hook.
2. Don’t skimp on outdoor furniture. At the beach, your deck or porch is usually your main living space. The furniture needs to be able to withstand sun, sand and damp bathing suits, and be comfortable for large groups. She used Gloster chairs and coffee table on the sundeck. Their mahogany frames have multiple coats of marine-grade paint. The thick cushions are beige indoor-outdoor fabric.