Oceanfront Opulence: 8 Tips for Designing a Stunning Malibu Beach House

Updated on September 6th, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Nestled against the breathtaking backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu is renowned for its stunning coastline, upscale lifestyle, and iconic beach houses. Designing a beach house in Malibu offers a unique opportunity to blend luxury with coastal charm, creating a haven where the indoors seamlessly connects with the outdoors. 

Whether you’re embarking on a new architectural endeavor or seeking to renovate an existing space, crafting the perfect Malibu beach house requires a thoughtful approach. In this Redfin article, we’re sharing eight tips, backed by experts, that will help you on your journey to creating the ultimate Malibu beach house.

Aerial View of Beachside Houses In Malibu, California
halbergman via Getty

1. Use an architectural style and design that is timeless 

“Starting with a timeless architectural style is crucial,” says Ross Builders, a premier Los Angeles, California-based General Contractor. “Post and beam or mid century designs have remarkable longevity and tend to appreciate in value. Remember, if your house looks striking in a black and white photo today, it’ll remain impressive in 20 years as well.” Ross also recommends, “avoid chasing fleeting trends for materials and designs – beach settings magnify the swift passage of time. Prioritize functionality in your choices. Given fire codes, opt for Class A fire-rated wood like teak, ipe, or shou-sugi-ban treatments for exterior use. Align your living room and kitchen views with the afternoon sunset; that’s when you’ll likely relish your space the most.”

2. Incorporate furnishings and decor inspired by your environment

Choose furniture made from natural materials like rattan, weathered wood, and linen to evoke the seaside vibe. Decor accents such as driftwood sculptures, seashell arrangements, and marine-inspired artwork will not only lend authenticity to your interior but also establish a strong connection between your home and the idyllic surroundings. By letting the coastal landscape be your guide, your Malibu beach house will exude a harmonious and tranquil atmosphere that captures the true spirit of this remarkable location.

“One of the greatest places one can reside is by the beach,” says Our Boat House, a furniture business inspired by the salt, sand, and sea.  A beach home provides remarkable ocean views accompanied by calming waves rushing the shoreline, sailboats in the distance and sublime evening sunsets. Choose window treatments that control light, heat, and privacy, like opaque curtain panels or light filtering blinds.” Our Boat House recommends opting for, “crisp white sofas, soft jute rugs, rustic wood tables, and blue patterned pillows to reflect nature’s palette.” 

3. Craft a tranquil neutral palette

The color palette of the Malibu beach house mirrors the soothing tones found in its surroundings. By utilizing hues such as whites, creams, gentle beiges, and soft grays, these homes create an atmosphere of serenity reminiscent of the sand, sea, and sky. This palette evokes a sense of calm and relaxation, elevating the overall living experience.

“Incorporating textures and colors reminiscent of the serene, rugged coastline is a simple way to achieve the Malibu beach house ambiance,” suggests Azulina Home, a home decor company. “For instance, layering handwoven chunky wool pillows with upholstery furniture in harmonizing neutral, earthy tones imparts warmth and depth to your space. Designing a Malibu beach house revolves around crafting a tranquil setting that directs attention to the captivating ocean views. Opt for a light, earthy color palette and embrace natural materials, like our eco-friendly fique natural fiber rug. The objective is to reflect the soothing beach aura and infuse your interiors with the California coastal essence.”

entrance to malibu home
pastorscott via Getty Images

4. Curate a relaxed furnishing style

Furniture within the Malibu beach house exhibits an effortless blend of casual comfort and refined elegance. Slipcovered sofas, plush cushions, and inviting textiles come together to cultivate an atmosphere that beckons relaxation and leisure.

“When envisioning a Malibu beach home, envision high ceilings, expansive windows, and indoor/outdoor living. Arrange your living room at the home’s core, with furniture oriented toward the rear. Skip the TV, opt for low-profile furnishings mixing woven textures and velvets. Play with colors like blues, creams, and blush tones, complemented by ocean-themed photography. For hardware, choose soft champagne gold or brushed nickel, avoiding dark tones.” Coastal Construction & Design, experts in coastal living.

5. Mastering bedroom arrangements 

“When crafting your Malibu dream home, views take center stage,” advises Coastal Home Plans. “Select designs with ample windows and sliding glass doors to blend indoor and outdoor spaces. Embrace south-facing windows for abundant light, position the master bedroom with east-facing windows to welcome the sunrise, and ensure west-facing views for stunning sunsets. Your home’s layout should seamlessly connect key rooms with ocean vistas. Explore different bedroom placements to match your lifestyle – place the master bedroom on the main floor for easy access or consider alternate configurations for guest accommodations.”

6. Celebrate natural materials

Rooted in the desire to harmonize with the coastal environment, the Malibu beach house embraces natural materials. Wood, stone, and woven textures find their place within these spaces, imbuing a touch of rustic refinement. Weathered or whitewashed wood surfaces add an element of understated elegance that resonates with the nearby landscapes.

“When building and designing a Malibu beach house, the flooring aspect is paramount,” highlights flooring experts, Factory Flooring Liquidators. “Opt for a coastal-inspired open layout that seamlessly connects indoors and outdoors. Choose large windows to frame the mesmerizing water view and consider sliding doors to enhance the indoor-outdoor connection. Opt for light-colored hardwood flooring or luxury vinyl flooring SPC with a wire-brushed finish to capture the natural coastal essence. This, coupled with sophisticated furnishings and decor, creates a clean and serene beachside aesthetic.”

7. Capturing breathtaking panoramic views

Whether immersing yourself in the expansive beauty of the Malibu horizon or finding tranquility in the serene surroundings, the heart of these homes lies in capturing awe-inspiring vistas that define the Malibu coastal experience. Generously sized windows and strategically positioned balconies maximize the visual connection to the surroundings, allowing residents to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature from the comfort of their home.

If you’re building a new Malibu beach house, Beach Home Designs stresses the important of understanding your lot and available ocean views. “To truly capture and showcase the natural beauty, plan your beach house layout accordingly. When constructing a multi-story house, visualizing optimal outdoor focal points can be challenging. In such cases, I advise clients to employ drones – borrowing, purchasing, or contracting drone services – to capture elevated video perspectives mimicking their future home’s height. Also, consider the sun’s trajectory across your lot throughout the day. This knowledge will guide your decisions on window placements, roof overhangs, and covered decks or porches. Achieving the right balance of natural light is key.”

Eoneren via Getty Images

8. Create seamless indoor-outdoor living

A defining feature of the Malibu beach house is its emphasis on outdoor living. According to home building experts at Nagar Builders Inc., “Incorporating expansive decks, inviting patios, and cozy balconies effectively extends indoor spaces while maintaining a harmonious blend between indoor and outdoor architectural and interior design.” Outfitted with comfortable seating arrangements, well-equipped outdoor kitchens, and inviting fire pits, these spaces become havens for both social gatherings and serene sun-soaking moments.

Home decor company Rightside Design shares, “Choose pillows that enhance the natural surroundings of your outdoor seating area. Incorporate durable outdoor pillows that resist fading from sunlight. We enjoy using outdoor pillows that showcase local colors and wildlife. California beach hues inspire us, and these principles suit any exterior design aiming to capture Malibu’s carefree outdoor spirit.”

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Marissa Crum

Marissa is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about real estate trends and home improvement. Her dream home is a contemporary-style house with ample outdoor space.

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