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The Coastal House Plan: Casual and Informal Living by the Water

The Coastal House Plan: Casual and Informal Living on the Ocean or Lake


Often thought of as a “house on stilts” (or piers) designed for relaxed and informal waterfront living, the coastal or beach house plan can be as trendy and chic as they come. From a simple vacation cottage to a modern and sophisticated home on the beach, coastal homes are perfect for those who love warm sea breezes wafting through the rooms, and the picturesque views of nature.


Coastal homes can be designed as one-story plans or multi-level structures with three or more bedrooms and all the amenities of waterfront living.


Beachfront home with pier - pile foundation construction   Beachfront home with two bedrooms and a pier foundation - pile foundation

Two house plans illustrate the pier and pile foundations. On the left is a four-bedroom design (two master suites), 3 baths, a covered deck, and a foyer with skylights. The plan on the right has two bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and front and rear covered porches. 


 Superb floor plan layout with plenty of outdoor living space perfect for entertaining.

A one-story Florida-style home with three bedrooms and three baths. It has an open floor plan with easy access to kitchen/dining/living and outdoor space. 



Features of a Coastal/Beachfront House Plan


The most distinct feature of a coastal/beachfront house plan is an elevated main floor built on pier and pile foundations. The “stilt” base protects the home from flooding and water damage to the interior. With the raised living area, parking is positioned below the home. While many coastal homes are built on piers or pilings, depending on your exact location and its flood risks, a home with an elevated crawl space or other foundation may be appropriate.

Amazing Beachfront home with garage under the home.

A covered wraparound porch opens to the elevated living area of this coastal house plan. Parking is on the ground level of the home. 


  • Covered entryways, stacked porches, decks, and balconies provide great views, as do
  • Large windows – that also allow plenty of natural light into the home


This four-bedroom coastal house design has stacked porches, an open foyer, and plenty of windows. 


  • Open floor plans that merge into one “great room” - living/dining/kitchen areas – make it easier for family and guests to socialize and interact with each other.
  • Materials such as stucco, concrete, and aluminum/vinyl/wood siding are used for exteriors; and asphalt shingle or metal for roofs



Casual and Comfortable Interiors


The focal point of a coastal/beachfront house plan is the waterfront view --- and interior designs and furnishings should highlight and enhance this aspect.


  • For starters, ensure that the view and natural landscapes are visible and clear at all times. Keep windows clean and instead of heavy curtains, use decorative window shutters or blinds that filter the sun’s rays without obscuring the view.  

Check out the windows on this two-story, three-bedroom home that gives a magnificent view of the surroundings. A glimpse into the interiors (photos below) shows an open floor plan with free-flowing traffic from the living-dining areas. Colorful cushions dress up the couch and chairs.



  • Colors and tones associated with the ocean – blues, greens, shades of coral, beige, interspersed with some soft browns, red and yellow hues – make the interior very appealing.


A contrast of colors in these two “great room” areas achieves the same informal and casual effect. On the top, a splash of yellow, coral and beige; and on the bottom, brown and white tones touched up with accessories (red flowers, plants) show a “lived-in” informal look.



  • Add some nature accents in the interior décor like plants, seashells, small rocks from the beach seascape paintings on the walls or atop the fireplace mantel.


   Touches of marine life in the décor are visible in this coastal house plan’s interior. Shades that can be pulled up or down provide good views of the outdoors. 


  • Choose furniture that can “survive” beachfront living  - comfortable sofas with attractive and washable slipcovers
    • Deck chairs and benches made of rattan are perfect for the porches and balconies, and for optimum relaxation, have some throw pillows and cushions
    • Wood or tile floorings work best and are easiest to maintain; have some soft and cushiony area rugs around the “great room” 
  • One or two fireplaces to keep everyone cozy and warm …
  • Ceiling fans are wonderful, especially in the summer months


An area rug adorns the wood floor in the dining space. A ceiling fan is visible in the sitting area. And take a look at the abundance of windows in the room. 



So, are you ready for sun-filled days, the sound of waves, and gentle sea breezes? Perhaps it’s time for you to have that perfect beachfront dream home!



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