Creating a relaxing and inviting beach themed home can be fun both for you and your guests. Whether you want a casual beach themed getaway for a few days in the sun or you want to turn your beach house into an enduring retreat, there are some easy ways to create just the right atmosphere. Whether you’re going to live in your beach cottage whole life or just use it as a vacation retreat, these tips will help you bring your beach themed decorating theme to life.
Beaches, by definition, are places where the waves hit hard and the sand is soft. This means that if you have hard sand beaches you’ll have to fight against beach pollution. Beach pollution refers to all the pollutants in the ocean that can wreak havoc on your beach. There is nothing that says, “beach pollution” like large amounts of black sand, thick sunlight, and the threat of very hot and very cold days. If you intend to make a beach cottage appear like a true beach house in your yard, incorporate lots of black sand into your design, from blankets and pillows to tablecloths and shower curtains.
If you really want to bring beach pollution to your design, you should also incorporate lots of erosion control into your design as well. Erosion occurs naturally when the sea turns from a liquid state to a solid one, but over time, with more rain and moisture in the air, certain areas of the beach may erode faster than others. If you live on a beach with many coastal marshes and bays, this can be a major source of concern. You can buy erosion control barriers to place around your beach for added protection. Or, you may want to consider an intertidal rock garden. An intertidal garden is a space filled with rocks that offer protection from eroding beaches and from the sun’s powerful rays.
Another way to protect your beach from erosion and from making it susceptible to harmful chemicals is to carefully select the sands that you use to create your beachscape. Natural sand (that you gather yourself) is very soft and fine, so you don’t have to use a lot of pressure or sanding to prepare it for landscaping. There are two different kinds of natural sand available: marine sand (often referred to as “black sand”) and ecosend sand (also called sand that contains fossilized coral reefs). Black sand is not only softer than marine sand but also has a much richer, more natural color.
You may also want to incorporate erosion control features into your beach-design. One popular solution is to line up boulders along the beach. Boulders not only give your beach a natural appearance, they also act as natural sedimentary repositories, holding the accumulated sand back and reducing the amount of beach water flowing over it. Several large boulders placed in strategic locations can easily prevent erosion by serving as an erosion buffer.
Creating a sharp edging along your beach – creating “shallow shelves” where your beach meets the shore, creating “deep shelves” where your beach meets steep cliffs, and creating “sharp edging” along the beach when it slopes steeply – can be difficult and requires professional expertise. In order to create sharper edges along your beach, you’ll need to add metal edging. This is similar to the technique used by landscape architects to mark architectural and historical structures like buildings and statues. Metal edging is available in several different styles to suit your taste. One style is called U.S. State Beach Sand, which closely resembles the beach bluffs we typically see along the beaches of southern California and New Mexico, but which are manufactured with a steel head that creates a sharp edge.