Beach houses are usually places where your family and guests can sleep and shower in between swimming and soaking in the sun, but if it turns out to be rainy or chilly, you're going to want to have a quality living room. Although the central room of your beach cottage may be small, you can take advantage of this set-up to create a cozy, comfortable area.
Your cottage living room may not be huge, but there are several ways to tweak the room and make it feel larger. One of the easiest tips is to simply have less furniture and fewer items. Eliminating large pieces like dressers and bookshelves will make the space feel larger, and less clutter will feel cleaner. Try using a wrap-around couch or built-in shelving to conserve space, notes HGTV.
Since you're already at the beach, you may want to take advantage of some blues and yellows. This already calming color combination will make your guests think of the sand and sea outside while still being in the clean comfort of home. InteriorDesign.net notes that sanding floors by hand with steel wool and vinegar can create a rustic feel, though certain woods like oak or mahogany should be avoided when using this technique.
Using wicker for the furniture of your home will both add to the classic feel of a beach house and allow you to spend less time maintaining your cottage. The sturdiness of quality wicker makes this material perfect for furniture that's both indoors and outdoors. Salty sea air can also be punishing to many materials, so it's often better to be pragmatic when choosing furniture. Another great advantage of wicker is the ease of removing and washing cushions, so you don't have to worry too much about spills or wet beach-goers taking a seat before completely drying off.
You'll also want to base your decor around natural materials. Using wood blinds or bamboo blinds will make the space feel more relaxed and will match well with exposed woodwork and wicker furniture.
The beach is lined with tons of free accessories for your beach home. A day of beach combing can yield colorful clam shells, conch shells, sea glass and unusual rocks that have washed ashore. Try placing a bowl of found items by a window with a celluloid shade - the controlled amount of light will make the items sparkle while still controlling glare.