Home Decor Styles: Beach Cottage and Tropical Decor Ideas

Everybody loves the beach and everyone loves tropical island vacations. But since most of us don’t really have the option to live there, many choose do the next best thing, which is to make their home feel like a beach cottage with Beach Cottage and Tropical Decor.

Tropical Beach Views

The most common item purchased in this category is the view of a tropical beach.  These beach views can be a painting, a print, or a photograph and come in many styles and hues.  One individual may prefer a painting of a beach at sunset while another may prefer a view of the water at noon.  Some beach pictures focus on the scene beneath the water while others focus on the sky above.  There are many different ways of looking at a single beach and the artists that specialize in beach views have captured them all.

Tropical Fish

Another popular item of tropical decor is images of tropical fish.  These fish vary in hue, style, and size.  They can be created out of glass, metal, wood, or ceramic.  They can be direct reflections of creatures that live in the sea or pure products of the artist’s imagination.  Some individuals choose to house tropical fish in an aquarium in their home, but salt water aquariums require a lot of work to keep them in the perfect condition that enables the fish to survive and thrive. So make sure that you thoroughly research all that’s involved before committing to an actual salt water aquarium.


Another element of beach cottage decorating is the use of seashells as a decorating item.  Seashells come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes and can be used in many ways.  Some individuals use the seashells strictly as display objects, while others put their seashells to use as key holders or candy dishes.  Some shells are large enough to use as a centerpiece for a coffee table or kitchen table and others are combined to enhance a painting or other object on display.


The most abundant item on tropical beaches, sand, is rarely used as an item for tropical decor.  The main reason is that there is a good chance that it will spill eventually, not only destroying the decor item but also creating a mess that would be a large hassle to clean up.  Items containing sand are usually made of heavy glass or plastic that will not break easily if dropped and are sealed with no openings to allow the sand to leak out.  Sand comes in very few colors, limited to brown, white, and, in rare cases, black.

Where To Find Beach Cottage and Tropical Decor

Aside from actually traveling to the beach or the tropics to purchase or collect your decor items, objects related to beach cottage decor may be purchased in almost any neighborhood home decor store. Beach cottage decor is more muted than tropical decor and does not use many vibrant colors in the designs.  In some stores, both types of decor may be intermixed due to many consumers treating the items as one design scheme.

There are also many online retailers that specialize in beach cottage decor.  These retailers make it easy to compare different styles and offer many items that may not be available in your neighborhood home decorating store.  Their prices are comparable to buying from the physical locations, but you must factor in the cost of shipping.  When purchasing large beach cottage decor items, the cost of shipping can be as much as 25% of the price of the object.


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Home Decor Styles: French Country

One of the home decor styles that has been popular world-wide for centuries, really since home decorative practices began, is the French Country decor style. It is a simple style, but so warm, cozy and inviting. It gives you the mindset of sitting in a countryside in the south of France with all the peacefulness of nature nestled around you.

The Elements of French Country Decor

Several aspects influence the French Country decorating style. Although rustic, the style is also very elegant.

The French Country style encompasses a large array of colors. You can use soft yellows and blues, bright reds, blue and greens, as well as rust.

These same colors are used to decorate the fabrics to accentuate the already dramatic effect of the bright color scheme. In order to define accessory pieces, use bright black or a dim shade for your walls. Natural vines are often used to adorn doorways and windows.

Natural Materials

Natural materials are preferably used in French Country Decor. Rustic floors are commonly made from natural stone, brick, or clay. Dark beams of wood that contrast well with the light tone of the walls are often present.

Traditional countryside themes include roosters, sunflowers, and olives, as well as grapes and lavender. Toile, a French design for fabrics, becomes a white or light background linen or cotton that has a large themed design.

Who Favors the French Country Style?

The French country style is wonderful for anyone who prefers a cozy, comfortable, and rustic look. It is easy to achieve a decor of this type if you follow the tips above. Remember that this style emphasizes the use of color and texture as a way to contrast the individual elements in the room and achieve balance and harmony.

The French country style inspires thoughts of prairies, wildflowers, bright, warm sunlight, and the outdoors. If you use these design components in combination with your own personal touch, you will find this style to be familiar and comforting.


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Home Decor Styles: Unique / DIY

Are you ready to start a home decorating or re-decorating project, but you aren’t interested in getting what everybody else has? Well as you know, when it comes to decorating your home, there are many choices available.  It seems like there is a store selling home decor items on every corner.  But what if you are interested in more unique home decor items?  Fear not – there are many avenues available to find unique items for your home, you just need to know what those avenues are.

Do It Yourself Home Decor – And Do It On A Budget!



One choice for obtaining unique home decor items is to create them yourself.  This is an option for the more adventurous at heart and individuals with a large amount of patience.  There are many home decoration items that can be created by the home owner with a small amount of instruction and a large amount of practice.  Almost anything can be created with a DIY project, but the most popular are blankets, rugs, wind chimes, and bird houses.

Finding instructions on how to create unique home decor items is easy.  Many craft stores carry kits that can be customized by color or fabric while adhering to a basic design.  The best thing about buying these kits is that if you encounter a problem or have a question, you will be able to call a help line number provided with the instructions for the kit.

Other options include finding the directions for a particular project on the internet.  These directions are quite comprehensive and provide step by step instructions on how to manufacture your personal project.  Whether purchasing from a store that carries unique home decor items or crafting them yourself, you are certain to have a great item that will be a conversation piece for many years to come.

Finding Unique Home Decor Items

If purchasing your home decor items at a national chain store where all of your neighbors have frequented does not appeal to you, try using some less conventional shopping options to find unique home decorating items.  One of these lesser known options is to try a local store that sells handmade crafts. Many of these items are the personal work of an individual artist and the items will only be available at that one particular store.

The items sold could be ceramic figurines, hand woven baskets, or unique blankets, throws, and rugs.  There is no predicting what you will find when searching one of these locally owned stores and the prices are comparable to most items found at national chain stores. To be even more sure that your decorations are unique from what your neighbors have, go to out-of-town locally owned stores.

Another option for finding unique decor items is to frequent arts and crafts shows, usually held in the summer.  These art shows bring together up and coming artists from all over the state.  The larger art shows include artist from all areas of the country.  These shows display unique works of arts and crafts created by individual artists that reflect their personal visions.

Because many of the pieces displayed at art shows are hand crafted, there will be only one or two of the items in existence in the entire world.  These items also have a free-ness of form and structure not found in items offered in stores, as these pieces were never designed to appeal to the masses.  The prices for these items may be more expensive than purchasing from a store, due to the uniqueness of the product and the amount of time it took the artist to hand-craft the piece.


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Home Decorating Styles: Modern

Modern home decor is one of the most popular decor styles, in part, because of it’s simplicity. It actually can take on a little bit of the minimalist decorating style in that modern decor does not rely on a large volume of decorations. Rather, the modern decor style focuses on clean lines, modern (even futuristic) looking configurations, sparse decorations, recessed lighting and a planned contrast of color.

The color used in this style of decorating can be dark, bright, rich, colorful and/or bold. Often the walls will contrast with each other and not all the walls will necessarily have the same color when it comes to the modern style. Colors are frequently chosen, in fact, because they contrast well with each other, whether they vary by wall or by room.

Additionally, modern decor will be thought out and chosen carefully in advance. Few pieces of furniture will be selected and often shelves will be mounted on the walls rather than the on the floors because clean space is important with this decor style.. Clean lines are key and furniture is only placed on the floor when absolutely necessary. Often times the only essential furniture that is placed on the floor are the chairs and couches and perhaps a coffee or end table – often made of glass to keep the intended more spacious feeling of the room.

Planning In Advance

When it comes to selecting artwork for your walls, modern home decor will have very particular and well chosen pieces. The artwork should have colors that help reflect the color chosen for the walls. You should only have a few pieces of artwork and they should be of adequate and proper size. There will often only be one or two pieces of artwork on alternate walls since you don’t want a cluttered appearance when it comes to this style of decor.

As with everything else, it is best to select furniture that is simple. Often furniture will have leather or micro fiber since smooth fabrics are important to modern home decor. You won’t frequently find ornate furniture as a part of modern homes. Furniture is often a simple place to sit and nothing else. Coffee or end tables, as mentioned, are often made of glass and simple in design, many times just round or square.

While modern home decor is simple it still provides an air of class to a room or space. People who fancy this decor style go to great lengths to pick out just the right pieces of furniture and decoration in advance to make sure everything contrasts nicely and provides the modern appearance they want. The home will have clean lines and without a lot of knickknacks cluttering up the space.


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Home Decorating Styles: Traditional

Traditional styles of decor are characterized by having a classic look that stands the test of time. It defines a tranquil environment and maintains order.

Traditional rooms are not as sophisticated as formal rooms, but they are more glamorous than a casual or simplistic style of decor.

Furniture in a traditional style room is focused on the focal point and set up around it in straight lines that circle an axis.

Furnishings are large and follow clean lines, and are often upholstered and have no sharp edges. Accessories and furnishings appear in pairs to establish a sense of order and symmetry. However, the style is relaxed and more focused on comfort than aesthetics.

Furniture woodwork is generally clean and curvy with smooth edges and a limited number of sharp angles or vertexes.

A traditional room presents a mix of vertical lines that add sophistication, with horizontal lines that establish comfort and tranquility. Complex patterns and bright colors are too distracting for traditional types of decor. As they usually keep within a strict theme, use fairly plain fabrics and colors, and simple shapes like squares, triangles, and circles.

Colors are often kept within a minimum wavelength of change to maintain order as much as possible. Although some people go with deep color tones, they are more often pale and light, pleasing to the eyes and easy to match.

Dark and bright colors can be used as accents, but are seldom employed as wall colors. Accessories are kept simple and many are limited to functionality, such as lamps, mirrors, paintings, framed laminates, and screens. However, the use of other items that are purely for decoration is also common, and these include porcelain china, plants, and vases.

The traditional style is simple and classy. Applying a combination of rules from the formal and casual styles of decor, the traditional style is a perfect mix of both.


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Home Decorating Styles: Minimalist

For the minimalist home decorator, who generally is decorating a smaller space and wants to SAVE space in order to have MORE space, less is more.

This style of decor doesn’t incorporate many accents, accessories, or even furniture items. Colors are monochrome, simple, and in small quantities. It is based around the idea of white as a way to maximize space.

Minimalism generally manifests its decor style in modern, contemporary ways, even though it is possible to find minimalist designs that are retro and more outdated.

The minimalist style appeals to organization and order. But it does so in a more casual, relaxed way that is not present in the case of formal styles of home decor, for example.

This type of decor follows the principles of functional decorating, where a decorative piece is also a usable resource. The design highlight is placed in the building structure itself, and efforts are made to preserve a maximization of space in as open a layout as possible.

The common concept of colors in home decor do not apply to the minimalist style. Like a blank canvas, a minimalist room uses light and bright colors to increase the perception of space and establish a neutral palette for other elements of design.

While white is the color of choice, off-whites, teals, pale greens, and blues are other possible options that appeal to this type of home decor.

Minimalist furniture appeals to clean lines and geometric shapes, generally of dark colors to make full contrast of the brightly colored walls. In this way, light affects a minimalist room in a special way, increasing perception of its size and placing our attention on the functional furniture – the only decorative elements used in this style.

Just like furniture follows clean lines, smooth textures, and glossy materials, fabric from the minimalist style is also plain, with no prominent textures to distract the eye.


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Choosing a Home Decor Style

There are a few styles of decor that are prominent in today’s interior design methods. These have been transformed through years of evolution.

The main styles of decor that exist today are as follows:

Classic or traditional: The classic, traditional style appeals to order and comfort. This is a timeless look that will last for years to come and requires few accessories. Both symmetry and asymmetry are used in traditional home decor, but symmetry tends to prevail in order to achieve an organized environment that is both simple and comfortable.

Simple or casual: The casual style is based in asymmetry, low furniture, and horizontal lines that give a feeling of relaxation and peace of mind. Furniture in this style tends to be oversized, colors are natural, and fabrics inspire simplicity. Textures are used to add interest and color is splashed with the use of accents such as pillows, which also add comfort and functionality.

Formal: The formal style respects symmetry and uses objects in pairs to maintain balance and harmony. Vertical lines help offer a perception of sophistication, and furniture pieces are tall and sleek. Woodwork for this style tends to be dark but polished, with neutral colors such as cream and ivory to accentuate and contrast the wood’s smoothness and quality.

Shabby chic: This style incorporates pastel colors, vintage accessories, distressed white furniture, and floral patterns to create a warm, cozy environment. Candles add intimacy, and the use of flowers, vintage elements, and white furniture appeals to a feminine innocence that is reflected by this type of decor.

Tropical chic: Fueled by animal print, rustic and natural components, and a jungle-oriented theme, the tropical chic style has become very popular nowadays. Materials such as wicker, dark woods, rattan, and cotton prevail, while patterns are organic in nature. Leaves, elephants, monkeys, and so on are used often.

Minimalism: A monochromatic style that follows the rule less is more. Minimalism is a highly functional style with clean lines and smooth surfaces. Elements of decor are always functional, and floor plans are open to maximize the perception of space in small rooms.


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Balance and Harmony (Feng Shui) in Decor Design

Design Elements: Balance and Harmony (and a little bit about Feng Shui in a video)

The elements of design include an established concept of equilibrium that is defined by balance and harmony.

Balance can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical. When there is symmetry, objects exist in pairs or in even numbers to cancel each other out and maintain neutrality. Symmetry is particularly important in formal styles of decor, as it aids in the maintenance of order and clean lines that is reflected by this type of home decor.

Asymmetry, on the other hand, represents imperfection, casualty, and a relaxed atmosphere. An asymmetrical arrangement could be a set of three different candles that are grouped together as a focal point. In a symmetrical layout, the candles would be the same, spaced apart at equal distances, and preferably used in pairs.

Balance is also a description of how things are set up in a room and how they work together to create a pleasing environment, as well as how they draw the eye.

Just like a painting would look empty if most of the color is on one side of the canvas, a room would feel unbalanced if elements were not cancelled out by another element on the opposite side of the room.

Balancing Weight and Size in a Room

With this in mind, balance is a measure of the weight and size of the components of a room, and also how that quantity or volume is dispersed throughout the space.

Furthermore, harmony is another aspect of home decor that is important in maintaining a home that is inviting and inspires tranquility.

When we say harmony, this doesn’t mean that all the components of your design must be coordinated and matched to perfection. Rather, all furniture, accents, and accessories ought to follow a certain theme and complement the decor that you have chosen for the home or room.


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