Interesting Peep into a Beach House Design: An Off-Grid Experience

Beach House Design

Craving that tropical holiday with the sun, the sea, and the beach house? We don’t blame you. Everybody loves a vacation where they can just get away and relax for a bit. But when was the last time you observed a beach house design for its features and Architecture? 

Beach houses are usually located on or near a beach that is used by people as a vacation home during summers. They are usually constructed to weather the type of climate that they are located in and the building materials and the construction methods follow the regionality.

Often associated with gardens, beach houses are used for a specific type of leisure activity, vacation, and a getaway home.

This may get you wondering about the origin and evolution of beach houses throughout the years. Read on to find out.

Evolution and History

Like most things in life, Beach house design also has a rich history and pattern of evolution behind them.

One of the most famous 20th-century beach gardens was designed and constructed by Derek Jarman at Dungeness, England, which celebrated local materials, regional plants, and integration of site.

Sculptural beach houses were designed by American architect Andrew Geller in the coastal regions of New England during the 1950s and 1960s.

One such style of Beach house design is Contemporary Coastal.

Contemporary house architecture is so similar to those seen on the California coast that the style is sometimes referred to as “California contemporary.” The climate of California lends itself to contemporary architecture slowly adding in changes that evolved over the years.

Beach holidays were popular in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Maggie Irwin Becker constructed a beach home at 706 Manhattan Court in San Diego’s famous vacation resort town of Mission Beach in 1924 which is revered to till this day.

A beach house design, also known as a coastal style home, has beach or coastal-inspired characteristics including open plan living, natural elements and characters, bright and breezy colors, and a modernized design.

So, When was the first beach home constructed?

The structure, The Lovell Beach House, was finished in 1926 and is today regarded as one of architect Rudolf Schindler’s most notable works, second only to the Schindler House, which was constructed four years earlier for his family as a display house and studio.

When it comes to beach house design, the usual misconception is between coastal and Nautical styles, which share some similarities but different foundations. Coastal style of architecture has more to do with integrating natural materials and textures and bridging the gap between the outside and the inside of the structure. Due to the advent of many cultures, their style of architecture and critical regionalism started defining beach house architecture in various countries. 

Moreover, the basic function of a beach house is to accommodate people comfortably considering the climatic conditions and the geographical factors that affect dwellings in such terrains.

To find out more about beach house architecture and design, we have to take a look at the elements that form it.

Planning and Materials for a Sustainable Build

When it comes to the planning and design of a beach house, there are several elements that you can incorporate for that extra feel and touch. The use of certain materials increases the lifespan and longevity of your house and its elements.


Beach house designs usually feature up to two levels and usually come with a raised living area. In most of the house designs, the living room is placed on a level up with a garage or a parking area directly beneath it.  The majority of the design is built on pile foundations which helps the structure to accommodate high tides and motion of the water, preventing it from upturning. This type of foundation also prevents flooding in cases of a high tide season allowing you to enjoy your vacation home throughout the year with safety.

Incorporating large windows and breathable spaces is a trademark of beach houses and a way of bringing the outside in. The fenestrations are usually strategically opened into areas with a maximum and stunning coastal view.

Another interesting feature of the beach house design is the incorporation of porches and decks with all-year-round furniture that serve as an excellent place for entertainment.

Opting for easy care flooring is essential to the longevity of the structure and risk-free, low

Maintenance. A beach house is proven to have sandy feet, saltwater, moisture, and humidity. All these options form a compelling factor to opt for the appropriate flooring material.

As far as the interiors are concerned minimal and attractive options can be chosen as we do not want to take the concentration away from the view outside. White can be used as a color for a wide variety of spaces and light shades of wood to highlight the white in a beach house design.


Choosing the right material for each finish is imperative when it comes to beach house design. Read on to find out what is the best option for every surface.


Flooring is an essential element when it comes to beach house design as it is constantly exposed to moisture, harsh sunlight, humidity, and not to mention sandy and wet feet.

Engineered hardwood veneer or Reclaimed hardwood flooring

These can be the best option as they can be refinished whenever they lose their shine. They are almost indistinguishable from the real wood. They are also economically friendly and can take a beating. Reclaimed hardwood is sustainable which adds to the plus factor but can also be hard to install and maintain in a beach house.


Concrete serves as a durable and long-lasting material that looks flattering with almost all pieces of furniture. Apart from being incredibly easy to maintain, concrete flooring last a lifetime and more. Although a tad bit expensive, they make for the best lasting option for flooring in a beach house.


Tiles are a good option when it comes to flooring in beach houses as they are long-lasting and give a beautiful sheen to your flooring. You can choose from a variety of ceramic, porcelain, or vitrified tiles that can be super easy to clean and gives a certain gravitas to your house. Tiles are proven to crack in places over time and also need reinforcement underneath.


Beach houses are subjected to moisture-laden wind and harsh sunlight throughout the year.

Oil-based formula paints

These can be used in coastal climates as they effectively wick away moisture, keeping the wood or the concrete underneath safe for many years to come.

Acrylic Paints

Acrylic Paints are a great alternative to oil-based paints as well. Acrylic paints keep dirt and salty air away from your beach house. It is also a known fact that acrylic can hold its color and gloss for a longer period when compared to oil-based formulas making them a better option.

Roofing Systems


Metals like steel can be a good option for a roofing material for a beach house. Although they can be costly, their longevity and energy efficiency makes them a viable option. Metal or steel roofing system effectively reflects the heat from the sun. While selecting this material, also take care of what style of architecture you are following.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is growing in popularity as viable roofing material for beach houses as they are aesthetically pleasing and durable. Although they are susceptible to mildew and weed growth they are widely known for their impact-resistant properties making them very popular on the coasts of England and America.

Clay barrel tiles

Clay Barrel tiles are prominent in Mediterranean, Italian, and Spanish-style homes roof designs. They are long-lasting, low-cost, and energy-efficient. The one big disadvantage is that they break with time, although individual tile replacements are not difficult to obtain.


Slate is increasingly growing in popularity for roof design. However, it is heavy and expensive, which should be considered throughout the design process.


Opting for a green and renewable approach to decking material selection is always recommended. Usage of hardwood, concrete, composite, PVC, capstock, and ASA wood is also recommended but they might require little maintenance in a beach house design.


Coastal areas are prone to humidity and moisture in the air which can be trapped inside the wood and causes it to warp in a beach house design. In such cases, insulation is very important. Closed-cell insulation underneath the first floor is imperative to protect the hardwood flooring and seal out the moisture. It is a type of spray foam alternative to fiberglass which is denser in composition and effectively provides a barrier against air and water vapor.

Walkways and Patios

Because of its low-maintenance and durable qualities, granite is frequently used for seaside patios and pathways in a beach house design. Granite patio pavers form a simple, beautiful patio design.

Beach houses must be coated with a special coating to protect them from seawater. If a home is built on sand, it must have a foundation that fulfills specified requirements.

Granite is a popular material for coastal houses and beach villas because of its durability and attractiveness. While freeze-thaw cycles commonly ruin wood, brick, and concrete, granite can endure harsh coastal conditions and requires minimal maintenance.

Different variations of Beach Houses

Stilt, Pier, and Platform Beach House Designs

The structures that are built on steeply sloping terrains that are adjacent to a water body bring forth special challenges to Architects. To protect such houses from unusually large waves and high tides, beach houses can be raised anywhere between 8 to 15 feet above the lowest land level. A platform is constructed with materials such as Steel I-beams, concrete columns, and timber piles, posts, and frames. These bases also serve to anchor houses to the underlying ground during harsh winter storms in windy regions.

Stilt, Pier, and Platform Beach Houses
Stilt, Pier, and Platform Beach Houses

Luxury Beach Houses

For a beach house to be accounted as a luxury, it can have as many as six bedrooms with features like swimming pools, guest houses, and extensive gardens. Attached along with that beach Houses also provide bed and breakfast options which is then rented out to a various tenant for an economic experience. A luxury house requires a larger plot, tends to leave a larger footprint, and usually spreads horizontally with less than 3 floors.

Weatherproofed Year-Round Beach Houses

To be weatherproof year-round, a beach house prevents and protects your home from harsh winter storms and hurricane season. These houses are usually built to withstand all that nature can throw at them and can be occupied at any time of the year. Structures that are built withstand events such as earthquakes and in some cases tsunamis. The beach house is designed to withstand high velocity wins winds. Beach houses with gable end roofs are more likely to be affected by high winds which get trapped under it and lift the roof, essentially ripping the building in half. Thus the careful choice of materials affects the sturdiness of such buildings helping in protecting their longevity

Examples of Exemplary Beach Houses

Villa G01

Designed by Mask Architects, Villa G01 is a unique luxury beach house with panoramic views of the sea, located in Northern Sardinia. It was designed to ensure the sustainability of local architecture and material texture of Sardinia all the while incorporating today’s latest technology with robotic construction techniques. The futuristic-looking villa employs a concept that is in accordance with inspiration and overall appearance.

House of the Infinite

Designed by the Spanish architect, Alberto Campo Baeza,  it is known as House Of The Infinite, a landscape architecture beach house design project which effectively conceals the two-story structure underneath a flat roof with geometry cutouts overlooking the shoreline of Cadiz, Spain.

House of the Infinite by Alberto Campo Baeza
House of the Infinite by Alberto Campo Baeza

La Casa del Sapo

Espacio 18 Arquitectura by Mexican practice has designed a concrete seafront home on Zapotengo beach in Oaxaca, with two wings oriented to follow the rising and setting of the sun.

La Casa del Sapo, or Toad’s House, the “timeless” minimalist design was created as a reflection on life’s necessities.

La Casa del Sapo, or Toad's House
La Casa del Sapo, or Toad’s House

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