With beach season comes beach houses… For tips on keeping the decor en pointe, we speak with interior designer Tom Scheerer, who shares his pro advice on the best colors, the right bedding and more.

1a. It’s always best to have something decorative for the dining-room table that works day to day and during the day — candles and a centerpiece always look a bit stiff. This dining-room table (above) was perfect for the client’s collection of tropical-appropriate carved and painted parrots, the scattered bud vases always at the ready for fresh-cut blossoms or leaves. No flower “arrangements” needed!

1b. The [client’s] vintage orange blossom transferware dessert plates are perfectly suited to the colors of this dining room.

2. Houses with lots of bedrooms should always include a twin-bedded room or two. It allows for much more rooming flexibility for large house parties. Especially when it’s hot, a twin bed can be just the thing!

3. I like a washable bedspread whenever possible or, at the least, a folded-down coverlet at the foot of the bed. It’s nice to be able to put one’s feet up without having to turn down the bed in the middle of the day.

4. Cooking and serving food at the beach and in the tropics should be done with the heat in mind. I often forgo a first course and make sure the main course is light. Local food is especially important when you have house guests. You want to make sure they feel as if they’ve arrived somewhere different!

5. There are certain colors that I abhor in the tropics. Red, for one — it just makes me hot to think about it. Deep colors work in deliberate doses to contrast a generally light palette. This deep peacock blue dining room is a great segue to its two balconies and the jungle landscaping beyond but is one of the few dark or vividly colored rooms in this large house; the rest are light, white and airy.

6. Vintage Ingo Maurer light fixtures fashioned from bamboo and paper fans have long been an obsession of mine. I buy them whenever I can. They tell a romantic story of the tropics so succinctly.

7. Keep accessories thoughtful but bold and to a minimum. Collections and cozy clutter have no place at the beach where life should be kept as simple as possible.

9. Stay away from overtly tropical or beachy fabric choices. You shouldn’t need shell- or palm tree-printed fabric to tell you where you are. Instead, use colors and prints that evoke the beach.

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