Da Modern Beach House

by Tania Ginoza on January 20, 2013 · 8 comments

On Maui, we are fortunate to be surrounded by the clear blue-green waters of the Pacific. We love to spend the day at the beach with friends and family relaxing, watching the sunset or by being active on a board or in a canoe or kayak. The ocean is such a huge part of our lives, it’s not surprising that coastal and modern beach decor is favored by many. Here’s my tips to bring that beach vibe home to your hale (house).


Photo taken at Hue

Let the sunshine in. Sheer curtains, big windows and sliding doors allow the natural light to filter in.

Lighten up. A lighter color on your walls provides the perfect background for bright pops of color or a mix of ocean inspired muted tones.

Go natural. For curtains, linens and pillows, durable cottons and easy to care for linens feel light and breezy. Consider pieces in a neutral taupe, ecru or soft grey.

Surf’s up. Seashells that have washed up on the beach, a ceramic bowl in the shape of a starfish, a silver tea light in the shape of a sea urchin and a print of the ocean will bring the outside in. Art painted on a surfboard or a handmade canoe paddle are luxury pieces for your walls.

Add color. Add accessories and smaller furniture pieces with colors reminiscent of the sun and the sea. Turquoise, coral, sherbet, lime and lemon are some of my favorites. Be wary of only adding accessories with a literal interpretation of coastal life.  A modern sleek tray, a regency frame, ceramic garden stool or an end table in a bright color will provide a needed contrast and back drop for your “ocean” inspired pieces. Avoid the temptation to go with a one or two color scheme, a mixture of colors, neutrals textures and finishes is much more interesting.

Texture. A table in reclaimed wood, a dresser with variations in the grain or an ottoman in a rope or sisal provides a feeling of comfort and ease.

Relax. Homes in Hawaii don’t have mudrooms because of our year round moderate weather and the locals don’t wear shoes indoors. When decorating a home in Hawaii, be prepared for sand, bare feet and muddy paws to grace your doorstep.

Where to shop on Maui:

  • Hue in Kahului (modern and clean accessories and furniture, interior design services also available)
  • Nest in Kihei (coastal living with a vintage beach chic feel at its best, interior design and staging services also available)
  • Proteas of Hawaii by Kula Lodge (ocean inspired ceramics, textiles and table top accessories round out the beautiful protea arrangement selection)


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah, The Ohana Mama January 20, 2013

This is so great! And thank you for the store recs!


Jt Clough | Maui Dog Remedies January 21, 2013

Great beachy home photo. Living in my small space has been so nice to keep all the junk out, but decorating like this is sooo much fun! Thanks for the store suggestions.


Elinor Gawel (Eli) January 21, 2013

I have got to finish decorating. I’ve got to get to Hue.


Tania Ginoza January 21, 2013

I’m so glad this was useful for both of you.

Although not as much a beach or a coastal theme, I’d also recommend Swan Interiors in Wailuku. Nice investment pieces furniture with elegant accessories. It is a collaboration between a group of Maui interior designers.

I’d also recommend Indigo in Paia. Free trade rugs and textiles and upcycled vintage pieces of furniture. More of a Eastern spirituality and Middle Eastern feel. All the pieces are unique as are designed by the owners. The colors go quite well with darker woods but they do have pieces that will work well with lighter also. I have one of their black and white duvet covers which I love. I think it’s quite nice to mix a few of these in with other decor styles as well. They also carry an original bikini line, jewelry, tunics and journals. Vintage knobs and door knockers too. It’s one of my fav shops on Maui.


Jen January 22, 2013

Great tips. I think that’s a great idea to make your living area “beachy”, because, for me, it gives off a calmer atmosphere.

I’m actually going to Maui this weekend for a conference. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get to the Hue, but if I do, I really want that pillow!


Tania Ginoza January 24, 2013

Hue is only open on Saturday until 2 pm. Hey I’ll send you my cell # just in case you need anything (directions, recommendations), just holler.


lisacng January 24, 2013

Lol on the sand everywhere! It’s true huh! I love the tips to let light in (always good) and to focus on natural elements and some touches of bright color


Tania Ginoza January 24, 2013

Yup, you can’t be afraid of a little sand (or dirt) on Maui.


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