What Makes A Beach House Unique?

Owning a beach house means you are a pretty lucky individual as you either have the relaxation and beauty of living at the coast or are fortunate enough to own a second home in a beach location. These wonderful slices of paradise offer a lifestyle of tranquillity, and in turn, the houses are built to reflect and navigate the natural environment. With beaches worldwide in different climates, terrain, and historical milieus, beach houses are as unique among each other as they are to those not found at the coast.

Beach houses are unique in terms of their location and how they are structurally designed and built to accommodate the coastal environment. There are also styles of architecture that are unique to beach houses and certain interior design elements.

There are so many different types of beach houses, each with its own unique and enduring qualities. However, certain elements apply to beach houses worldwide and make them distinctive from any other.

The Location Makes A Beach House Unique

As they say, in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location, and when it comes to beach houses, nothing could be more accurate. Of all the fantastic places to have a home, there is nothing quite as special as a beach house balanced on the rocky coastal cliffs or with its base dipping into the white sands.

Their proximity to the ocean is the most unique aspect of a beach house, as no other home offers the panoramic views of azure waters and the cooling salty breeze that drifts from it.

Whether a beach house is situated on the slopes that meet the sea, the sandy strips of the tropics, or the harbors and ports of old fishing villages, all these homes have the unique advantage of seaside living and all the incredible perks of these wild landscapes.

The Structure Makes A Beach House Unique

Beach houses are at the mercy of the elements, more so than those in suburban settings, and while beach locations are seen as idyllic, often they are subject to stormy and hostile conditions.

Beach houses are therefore designed to cope with the sometimes adverse weather and combat the salty ocean and her corroding abilities.

For beach houses built in sandy areas where erosion is an issue or for those places where there is flooding, especially where storms may cause a drastic rise in the sea levels, houses are built on stilts or have raised foundations. Homes may also be equipped with storm windows and shutters to brace against the elements.

One of the biggest concerns for coastal living is the corrosive nature of the salty sea air and the havoc this can reap on houses. To combat corrosion and rust, beach houses make use of anodized aluminum for window frames and railings.

Many beach houses are also built from timber with a smaller carbon footprint and causes less disturbance to the environment than a brick and mortar building. Wood can be treated with a sealant which makes it very durable and weather resistant.

The flooring of beach houses can also be a unique aspect to combat the sand and salt of beachside life. Most will have tiles or concrete floors that can easily be cleaned. Wooden decks are also a popular choice for a stress-free beach property.  

Beach houses are also structurally designed to enjoy the exquisite beauty of these settings. Wrap-around porches and large glass doors and windows open these homes to their seaside vistas. Many beach houses are designed to boost airflow and allow the cooling air of the ocean to rush through the open plan living spaces eliminating the need for air conditioning.

Beach houses are uniquely designed for their environment to simultaneously keep the harshness of Mother Nature at bay whilst also inviting her splendor in. Beach houses work to be pliable and complement their natural surroundings instead of trying the conquer them.

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The Architecture Makes A Beach House Unique

Although people may choose to have many styles for their ocean abode, a few types of beach house architecture are iconic.

Cape Cod Beach Houses

The style of a Cape Cod home dates back all the way to the Puritan settlers who brought with them to America ideas of British housing. The harsh winters of New England forced them to adapt these homes with steeper roofs to rid them of snow, low ceilings to maintain warmth and shutters to keep out the icy wind. All these features are now considered key factors in the Cape Cod design.

You’d also expect a beach house designed in the Cape Cod style to be symmetrical with a central entrance, have a large entrance hall, centralized chimneys, gabled dormers and be covered in shingles.

Hamptons Beach Houses

The Hamptons in Long Island, New York, have long been the playground of the wealthy. The style of these houses that were once mere farmhouses turned beach shacks has become associated with luxury beach living all over the world.

The unique features of a Hampton-style beach house include gable roofs with large balconies, columns, wood paneling, lantern lighting and ox-eye windows. Always featured in white with muted tones of the beach and pops of ocean blues, these elegant homes are one of the most popular styles of beach houses.

Modern Beach Houses

Beach houses are often located in some of the most sought-after real estate locations globally and are usually owned by the uber-wealthy. This has led to many beach houses being updated and redesigned to modern architectural masterpieces.

Glass, concrete and steel define these homes and ensure they capture and appreciate as much of the coastal setting as they can. Clean, simple lines and wide-open spaces make modern homes perfect for beach life. Often designed to be environmentally friendly, modern beach houses are glamorous structures that ooze luxury and are as breath-taking to look at as the ocean itself.

Mediterranean Beach Houses

The Med is one of the most famous coastal areas in the world and the traditional houses of the region are the picture of seaside living. Terracotta tiled roofs with rustic textured walls in white, beige or honey-colored palettes are complemented by heavy carved doors, wrought iron fixtures and stone details. Mediterranean beach houses are the most romantic of all beach house architecture.

Interior Design Makes Beach Houses Unique

Certain design elements define a beach house interior. Beach houses are always designed to maximize on light and with this comes an interior design that mimics the light and airy features of the home.

Interiors often contain large areas of white, including white furnishings, but combine this with the neutral tones of the beach and splashes of blue shades of the ocean. Beach homes often lean heavily on natural elements such as wood and stone.

The furniture also brings in wicker and cane, durable materials offering UV, mold and water resistance. Hemp and jute are then incorporated for jugs and soft furnishings.

No beach home would be complete without the addition of quirky seaside or nautical elements. Whether it be a rope-style light, a coral coffee table ornament or a painting of a whale, no beach house can escape the unwritten rule of the inclusion of at least one cheesy ocean-related décor object.

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Editorial credit: Karen Culp / Shutterstock.com


A beach house is unique based on its location and how it is adapted to ocean life. From structural elements that assist in combatting the harshness of seaside conditions to architecture that has become synonymous with beach living, beach houses are like no other. They are uniquely positioned, designed and decorated to belong only to the coast.