If you're lucky enough to have a house by the sea, here's how to turn it into an oasis of calm for the summer: following your inspiration, your love for the landscape and spending very little

Furnishing the house by the sea well makes the difference in the quality of the experience that we will bring to the city after a well-deserved vacation. And, often, to do it well, you don't need infinite budgets but valid ideas.

If you are lucky enough to own a house by the sea, it is likely that at the time of reading this piece you are already there, happily in smart working or - we hope so for you - already in dolce far niente.

Small or large, the second home by the sea represents an oasis of calm and a safe haven to return to every single summer.

How are you furnished? Or rather: how much attention has been paid to the domestic scenography of your beach holiday home and since you haven't refreshed its interior design?

Inspired by the new book by Rizzoli USA Secret Houses Living in Menorca – collection of refined residential projects in the sunny Balearic island – we decided to gather inspirations, cues and advice in the direction of a design update of your seaside retreat. Objective: to give life to the house of dreams.

Serene atmosphere and organic souvenirs

The beach house acts as a real decompression space. Be careful not to make the mistake of furnishing it without planning and saving money, slipping into the cliché of "it's just a holiday home anyway".

Explains the interior architect Paolo Rota, director and co-founder of the studio Rotagiorgino: "A style of furniture creatively inspired by the landscape works for a holiday home by the sea".

How does this idea translate into practice? "The first advice is to explore the surroundings and be inspired by nature and by the colors and materials of the place, catching the local atmosphere. It is very easy to come back from these walks with local souvenirs, from classic shells with a piece of wood smoothed by the sea and the wind.

These natural elements can act as primary inspiration around which to build the entire interior design.

Given that everyone has their own tastes and seaside homes can freely embrace a contemporary, classic, minimalist or eclectic mood, here is an essential element in my opinion: interiors must give a sense of calm.

Nothing ensures this effect better than natural materials, whether it is a local stone wall or a light wood floor or – why not? - painted in shades of the sea, from blue to teal. For a further reference to the landscape all around".

Light base and the rest to follow

"A neutral and bright base: we start from here. In the second house by the sea, the shades of white, beige, ivory, sand and gray are an excellent starting point, to be integrated with furnishings that, in a cohesive way, tell a story .

If you want to create an eclectic domestic scenography linked to the territory, I suggest you browse the markets and antique shops of the area, looking for second-hand furniture and accessories, which you can then re-edit with DIY crafts. -it-yourself pickling and painting.

For a lighter and more modern style, yes to furniture with clean and minimalist lines in bamboo wood, rope, rattan and organic cotton. Elements in teak wood bring to mind the interiors and decks of the most refined sailboats, while a rough stone sink adds a rustic and chic touch to the bathroom and kitchen.

As an alternative to or in combination with parquet - an evergreen of style and materiality - cement tiles work very well on the floor, perhaps by marrying the principle of chromatic contrasts and choosing them in light tones combined with colored furnishings, or vice versa.

Light curtains in natural fibers, from linen to cotton, cannot be missing, as well as woven mats, colorful handcrafted rugs, large vases and some pieces of art, whether it's a framed photo or a very modern painting, in contrast with the (intended) simplicity of the interior. Remember the starting principle: calm and serenity».