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I’m a woman of contradictions. I often wish for the quiet and isolation of a cabin in the woods, but I would go crazy living more than a 15-minute bus ride to the nearest downtown centre. I’m a decent cook but I also enjoy fancy restaurant meals. I spend most of my days in pajamas, but I enjoy dressing up for events. So no wonder that a genre mashup like beach house and urban styles would appeal to me.

Whether you want a beach style in your downtown condo, or bring a bit of the city with you to the beach, there’s a way to keep in touch with both sides of yourself with a decor that uses styles and ideas from the two.

Urban shapes, beach colors

One way to join both beach and urban styles is to use the shapes of one and the colors of the other. The result is a soft, understated contemporary beach house.

This kitchen eating corner incorporates a nook under the window for that beach house feel with a definitely urban dining set. The dark wood and clear geometrical shapes would be at home in the most fashionable loft, while the pastel colors return you to the soft hues of sandy beaches.

From the same beach house, here’s the living room.

Again, the designer stayed true to the beach house style by using plenty of white on the walls and muted colors for the seating. I love how the salmon pink subtly enhances the dark wood and the carpeting. But the shapes are also definitely urban, with minimal and unfussy lines.

Urban details

You can have a very traditional beach house while still bringing a touch of the urban by focusing on small details: cushions, light fixtures, mirrors, etc.

This dining nook is overall very soft and beach-y with the aqua and beige colors. However, the industrial metal table top, the large clock and the light fixture bring a piece of urban, industrial style.

I’d never thought about using such special outdoor light fixtures, but how gorgeous are these? The star shape is definitely urban and original. I am totally in love with this entrance.

Finally, the bedroom, just like the dining nook, is all soft textures, whites and aquas… except for that light fixture that reminds you of an orbit system around a planet or a star. (I think I see a theme here!) This subtle touch is soft enough to go with the room with its round shape, but still urban enough to be interestingly out of place.

Be unexpected

When it comes to interior design, sometimes the unexpected thing is the most striking one. In beach house decoration, whites and pastels can become boring, and fast. So how about…

I know, right? Absolutely stunning! The striking use of bright colors against black and white background is definitely urban, but the choice of colors reflect the tropical setting of the home. This feels like a luxury resort!

This powder room is definitely on the urban side, with an almost Art Deco-like symmetry and dark colors. The striking geometrical contrast would work well in any well-appointed urban loft, and so would the gorgeous marble sink.

Urban retreats

These were all beach or lake houses, but what about beach styles in urban settings? This Chicago residence did something great with a transitional space.

The big planter with a palm tree, the marble and the soft colors definitely have a beach vibe. Comfortable patio furniture waits outside. You can always play ocean sounds on your stereo, and bam! you’re now sitting on the beach.

Which of these do you prefer? Are you the beach bum or the urbanite?

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.