BlogJune 2023Anatomy of a Coastal Interior

Anatomy of a Coastal Interior

SURF Coastal Homes Presents Custom Home Quality and Selections Inside Every Home It Builds.

Carrie Friesenhahn of SURF breaks down the pain-staking process that goes into every interiors selection.

Photo Above: "Water" Palette Dining Area | Furnishings & Styling by Sarah Hardin Designs

In the Escape Cottages at Cinnamon Shore South, Carrie matched coastal theme with high-quality tiles, lighting, wallpaper, and other selections. The six darling cottages sold quickly, with interiors in the midst of installation during summer 2023. Looking at how Carrie put those themed interiors together gives insight into the process SURF uses for the upcoming Pool Cottages, available in Summer 2023 and finishing in 2024. Two larger-scale, 4-bedroom beach homes are also in the works from SURF. 

Dunes Palette, from dream board to installation in Summer 2023

The "Dunes" palette, shown above, informs the color scheme of one of the Escape Cottages, bringing in the colors of the coastal landscape, the greens and browns of the dunes accented by the whites of the clouds that float above them. The color scheme connects all the rooms in the two-story cottage, from bathrooms to bedroom, from kitchen to main living.

The "Dunes" palette brings in browns and seagrass greens.

For another cottage, the "Water" palette informed all of Carrie's choices. With every shade of blue considered for a watery mix accented by surf white and gleaming brass fixtures reminiscent of golden sun-kissed days. After initial surface, lighting, and accessory selections, Carrie worked with Sarah Hardin Designs on interior furnishings and styling during the installation phase.


The Water Palette during planning stages sets the scene.

"Water" Bathroom Installation with Styling by Sarah Hardin Designs

Components that Create the Look

Carrie shared ideas for key components to consider when putting together a cohesive look and color scheme. From large items like appliances and furnishings to small details like cabinet pulls, every detail comes together to create cool, coastal style.

• Cabinet Pulls

Carrie may choose Lucite pulls with brass hardware to match plumbing fixtures, as shown above in the Water-themed bath. Or she may choose pulls made from seashells to match a seashore palette. Each theme in a home inspires a custom selection.


Guest bathrooms exemplify the home’s color scheme, where signature mirrors stand out. In the “Dunes” home, an elegant bamboo frame, shown below, complements palm wallpaper.  

coastal bathroom design cinnamon shore

In the “Water” theme bathroom mirror, shown below, has a border made of twigs that create a textured fringe resembling coral.


According to Carrie, interiors should have one element that commands attention and brings joy or delight when someone enters a main living space, and she often finds that a unique light fixture serves that purpose. Striking pendants or fixtures with nautical flair grace "Nautical" kitchen and bathrooms might have fixtures with a little extra glamour.

“Light fixtures are the jewelry of the house,” she says. “I spend disproportionately on lighting.” On the exterior of one cottage, Bevolo lanterns in copper, for instance, create a ship-worthy look on the front porch.

front porch design coastal lighting


The No. 1 rule for Carrie in a beach house, is that flooring should be low-maintenance. “You don’t want to keep house at the beach,” she says. “Flooring should feel beachy and it shouldn’t show sand.” She adds that if people are having fun at the beach, sand will make it’s way inside somehow. So design for it.

Selections for the Sunset Palette for one of the Escape Cottages

In the primary bedroom of the cottage with the "Water" theme, a rug covers the primary flooring. A geometric blue print dresses up the neutral rug, complementing the blue pillows and throw, the wall covering, bathroom tile, and the overall theme in the home. 

"Water" Bedroom | Interior Furnishings & Styling by Sarah Hardin Designs

Countertops and Surfaces

For SURF, they must be durable and beautiful. Carrie often selects quarts and quartzite for beach homes. 

Selections for the "Nautical" palette in an Escape cottage


It's an invisible design element that has many benefits. Building Energy Star-Certified™ cottages, SURF ensures each home has good indoor air quality, operates with energy efficiency, provides comfort thanks to dehumidifiers, and  makes a low impact on the coastal locale. "These elements are invisible, but you can feel them, and it all plays into how you feel when you’re in one of our homes," Carrie says.

COMING SOON: Pool Cottages

The Pool Cottages | Available Late Summer 2023

Every interior element is curated with care for each home SURF builds, with furniture packages available for some of the projects. And that's true for the upcoming Pool Cottage collection.

These seven stunning beach cottages will be set like jewels around a new, neighborhood pool at Cinnamon Shore South! Designed by acclaimed architect Melton Henry and masterfully constructed by SURF Coastal Homes, each one is a gem waiting for the right buyer to discover.

Relaxing Coastal Elegance

The Pool Cottages will exude coastal elegance with interior selections such as Zellige tile; upscale lighting from Serena and Lily, Bevolo, and Shiplights; and gleaming, quartzite countertops. Light-filled rooms will overlook the sparkling pool just outside.

 Make A Poolside Jewel Your Own!

Join our Preferred Buyer program to be the first to hear about them!

And be on the lookout for news about upcoming four-bedroom homes in the works, as well. Carrie hints they'll have themes inspired by the music of ABBA, the carefree tunes made for Dancing Queens and beachside living.

61072 Jen 3

Published by Jennifer Chappell Smith
Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Ready to find your perfect, Cinnamon Shore vacation home?

Get Started