Written by Sara D'Souza

Beach hut style inspiration

There’s nothing quite as evocative of the British coastline as a beach hut, and with the increase in staycations, they’re becoming seriously hot property.

Maybe you’re lucky enough to have your own little pied-à-terre on the seafront, or maybe you want to transform your garden shed or summerhouse and create coastal vibes at home? Good Homes chats to the lovely Jo from Cool Coastal Huts who owns and rents out three beautiful beach huts on Frinton Beach and Mersea Island to get her top tips on how to get started…

Cool Coastal Huts interiors

Photo: Cool Coastal Huts

Where did you get your inspiration for your beach huts?

I am passionate about beach huts and my style inspiration for the huts comes from holidays in Cornwall, travelling around Australia, exploring the fabulous Essex coast where I live and my love of interior design. 

Beach huts are quintessentially English and a great place to escape to, so why shouldn’t they be cool too? My aim is to give beach huts a style shake up and move away from kitsch into contemporary cool. Inspiration wise, I love the relaxed feel of surf shacks, the simplicity of Scandi-style, and nothing is more inspirational than the view of the sea, you simply have to go with it, frame it and maximise it.

Cool Coastal Huts surf style interiors

Cool Coastal Huts

Do you have any tips for people creating their own beach hut style?

You don’t have to own a beach hut to get the style. Sheds, summerhouses or any small space you might have can all use the same simple style principles to maximum contemporary cool effect.

Maximise the use of space; less is definitely more when designing beach huts or small spaces. Our beach hut cushion laden L-shaped bench seating provides the perfect view out to sea but also doubles up as bench storage: they look great but are also really practical. 

In a summerhouse you could use the same principle to maximise the space and view out to the garden and instead of storage maybe go for an L-shaped sofa bed to give the room yet another use.

L shaped sofa in beach hut

Photo: Cool Coastal Huts

It’s all about good proportion, our beach hut rule-of-thumb is 70% of the space should be kept clear, with fixtures, fittings and accessories taking up the other 30%. This will make your small space feel bigger and the 30% is where you can let your style creativity run free and have fun.

Keep the interior light and bright, we always go for a white interior to make the most of the gorgeous coastal light.

What are your must-have accessories for beach huts?

Interest and coolness can be added with colour pop accessories such as funky prints or objects used as wall art (perhaps a vintage surf board), windbreaks and parasols can give added chic too.  

Cushions and wall art adds interest to your beach hut

Photo: Cool Coastal Huts

Cushions and rugs add colour, pattern and depth. Baskets are a great addition for storage that still looks cool.

I love our Cool Coastal deckchairs, is it even a beach hut without deckchairs? They have to be colour co-ordinated of course!

Add baskets for storage in beach huts

Photo: Cool Coastal Huts


3 ways to bring beach hut style home…

1. Personalise your deckchairs

Instead of splashing out on brand new deckchairs, Lucy Gleeson Interiors has a great tip. Covering your old deckchair frames with new canvas (go for a striped fabric to really get the coastal feel). The Stripes Company has a great step-by-step guide to recovering a deckchair.

Beach hut tips on how to cover deckchairs

Photo: Lucy Gleeson

2. Brighten up your garden

Cassie Fairy from My Thrifty Life showcased a great idea in her mum’s garden of a row of sheds, done up and painted in bright colours, which would make her feel like she’s on the seafront every day. Make sure you go for an apex roof on your sheds to really replicate beach hut style and don’t forget to use outdoor paint.

Beach hut style by Cassie Fairy

Photo: Cassie Fairy – My Thrify Life

3. Candy stripes to make you smile

While stripes spell nautical style, why keep it to your interiors? Get creative like Rachel Erdos and paint the outside slats of your shed in different colours. Rachel followed these steps from Oh Hi DIY! using a small brush, masking tape to keep the lines neat and two coats of Cuprinol’s Forget Me Not Blue and Country Cream. Perfect beach hut style.

Stripy beach hut

Photo: Rachel Erdos


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