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Design Tips for Making the Most of a Waterfront Home

Written by:
Tony Gilbert

Waterfront homes offer a unique canvas for homeowners to blend natural beauty with architectural excellence on the serene shores of lakes, rivers, or oceans. These picturesque settings call for innovative design ideas that maximize both aesthetic and functional potential. From stunning windows that embrace breathtaking views to making the inside of your home feel like a vacation, let’s dive into design strategies that elevate your waterfront living experience.

Know the Regulations Before Building

When designing a waterfront home, it's important to be aware of all specialized regulations and restrictions before beginning. In some areas, there may be restrictions on what you can and cannot do with the shoreline. This could include prohibitions on building docks or other structures that might be used for recreational activities. 

It's also important to consider any environmental regulations that may be in place. The body of water you’re building near may be an important habitat for aquatic life, and it's essential to be mindful of any impact a new structure might have on the local environment.

Researching and understanding the rules and regulations can help ensure that the design process goes smoothly and that the home is built according to local laws.

Build With the Elements in Mind

Building with the elements in mind is essential when designing a waterfront home This will help ensure that the home meets the necessary safety requirements and won't be at risk of being damaged by strong winds or floods, if those are common in the area. Using strong and durable materials, such as concrete, brick, or steel, can help protect the home from the effects of wind and water.

The home’s foundation should be securely anchored into the ground, with features such as flood walls and drainage systems to help protect against flooding. Additionally, the foundation should be waterproofed to protect against moisture damage.

Depending on your location, it's also important to consider any potential risks that may arise due to the proximity of the waterfront home to the shoreline. This includes things like storm surges, coastal erosion, and high tides. Taking the necessary steps to prepare for these potential risks can help ensure the safety of the home and its occupants.

Let Windows Show Off The View

Having the flexibility to choose the direction your house faces and what the windows will highlight is one of the many benefits of building a home. Particularly when designing a waterfront home, windows should be used strategically to capture the best views. Here are a few tips:

Consider the window size: If the window is too small, the view won't be as enjoyable. Many choose to have large floor-to-ceiling windows or even a full wall of them.

Think about the shape: The shape of the window can also have an impact on the view. Consider rectangular, square, or even circular windows to make the most of the view.

Choose the right direction: Think about where the window should face to ensure the most stunning view. Do you want to see the sunrise over the water?

Think about where you spend time: The view is one of the best parts of a waterfront home, so you’ll want to make sure you have windows in the rooms you’re in most frequently.

Utilize Coastal Decor & Bring the Outdoors in

Using coastal decor and accessories can help bring the outdoors in and enhance the beauty of a waterfront home. Elements of coastal decor—such as light wood furniture, natural fibers, and bright colors—often embrace aspects of nature. Incorporating these elements into the interior of a waterfront home can help create a sense of balance and harmony. 

Accessories like wicker baskets, driftwood, and rope can be used to give the home a more coastal feel. Look for pieces that can easily transition from outdoors to indoors, such as wicker or rattan furniture. This can help blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors and give the home a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Plants, both real and artificial, can also be used to bring nature inside the home and create an inviting atmosphere.

Construct an Outdoor Space to Enjoy the View

Constructing an outdoor space like a deck or patio is the perfect way to take advantage of the serene views that come with being close to the water. The spaces can be as involved as you want, ranging from areas with an outdoor kitchen for gatherings to just a cozy place to sit and enjoy nature.

When designing the outdoor space, choose comfortable yet stylish furniture to make the space inviting. You’ll also want to utilize lighting like solar lights or string lights to highlight the area and create an inviting atmosphere, since you’ll surely want to spend some nights out looking at the water.

Incorporating an outdoor space into the design of a waterfront home will not only add a beautiful element to the home, but it may even add value. 

Love Your Waterfront Home

When designing a waterfront home, start by researching the local building regulations and environment. Once you know what you’re allowed to do and how best to do it, you can use windows to show off the view, incorporate coastal decor, and create an outdoor space. By utilizing these design tips, you can make the most of your waterfront home and create a beautiful and functional living space.

By Liliana Alvarez

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