10 Truly Horrifying Beach House Decor Fails To Never Try at Home

While kicking back in a beach house might sound dreamy, I have to ask: Why is beach house decor so bad? Here are the worst designs I’ve seen.


While kicking back in a beach house might sound dreamy right about now, I have to ask: Why is beach house decor so bad?

As someone who’s rented beach houses on sandy shores from New York’s Fire Island to the Maine coast, I can conclude that beach house owners tend to go overboard with beach-themed decor. We’re talking seashells not only at the seashore, but everywhere in the home, fashioned into soap dishes, wind chimes, “seashell bouquets”—you name it and it’s been done.

We get it—we’re on the beach! But that doesn’t mean taste, style, and just plain common sense need to be tossed to the wind. And so, whether you own a beach house, dream of buying one, or just want to revel in what you might find in some unfortunate beach house you rent or enter one day, here’s a look at some of the most ridiculous beach decor that really should be jettisoned before someone gets seasick indoors.

1. Groan-inducing signs

Distressed signs with lame sayings are a no-go.


Must I be reminded to “Wash My Palms” in the bathroom? And I already know that “The Beach Is My Happy Place,” because I’m renting here. I’m sure there are some good puns out there, but until I spy something fresh that makes me smile, I’m hiding these signs behind the closet door the minute I arrive.

2. Fake fish and coral

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Another pet peeve of mine? Handcrafted “art” and faux sea treasures piled up on the one serviceable side table in the living room. All I’m asking for is a little space to put down my phone and my coffee mug while I’m on vacation.

3. Oars as art

Photo by Go Nautical Collections 

Oars aren’t only questionable as decor, they’re also a downright menace. When oars are displayed precariously, as shown here, they’re a recipe for disaster. That is, kids will crash into them, that glass cabinet door will shatter, and—oops!—here goes your security deposit.

4. Lobster trap furniture

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One of the things we said we would NEVER buy for our little house… the lobster trap coffee table. We got too

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