If there's one style that never goes out of style, it's the nautical, beach-inspired look, perhaps because of the nostalgia that it carries with it. (After all, what better childhood memories are there than summer barbecues and sand castle contests at the beach?)

The trick to creating that atmosphere inside your home, though, is to avoid the kitsch and keep it looking natural.

"Remember not to get carried away with beach shtick like rope and boat floats and fishing nets," says Jeff West, an interior designer in Rehoboth Beach, Del. "It starts to look like a tacky seafood restaurant."

West advises that all sea-inspired decoration should have a purpose, as when tiny shells hold up candles in hurricane vases or when big shells are used as doorstops. And materials should reflect a casual environment.

"It's all about linen, wicker, whitewashed woods ... an understated beachy feel," he says.

Whether you have a family beach house that needs some updating or you want to incorporate that laid-back vacation vibe at home, we've rounded up ideas that will keep summer going year-round.

Classics with a twist

Though the beach look is timeless, even the classics need updating. Donald J. Wooters, an interior designer in Easton, Md., says that today's twist on wicker is to buy it in colors, to "just give the traditional thing a modern look." He recommends wicker furniture made by Mainly Baskets, such as the veranda chair, which comes in 14 colors including Dawn Sky Blue and Lemonade ($355, theclassycottage.com).

Another beach house classic is slipcovered furniture.

"One thing I think is always an essential look for a beach house is a beautiful slipcovered sofa and chairs in neutral sailcloth or sometimes in piped and contrasting colors," West says. "It's always a fresh, crisp and timeless look." For a comfy basic, try Restoration Hardware's Grand-Scale Roll Arm Collection ($1,495-$3,190, restorationhardware.com).

It goes without saying that blue is a popular choice for beach-house color schemes, but today's blue "is bolder than the sea-glass colors of the last few years," says interior designer Fiona Newell Weeks. "Think turquoise paired with emerald and chartreuse. And navy and white seem like they will always be strong." For that look try the Riviera armchair, an update of the classic 1930s bistro chair. For navy-and-white palettes, Weeks recommends orange or coral accents ($245, serenaandlily.com).

Indoor-outdoor fabric is your friend

"Easy living is the key," Weeks says, as seaside homes will have to stand up to spills of suntan lotion, kids' snacks, red wine and more. Enter today's indoor-outdoor fabrics, which West says "aren't just for porches anymore."

Indoor-outdoor rugs, such as the Beckham striped denim rug, are crucial for beach houses.

"Outdoor rugs are being used indoors often in spill zones due to their cleanability," Weeks says. ($298-$514, dashandalbert.com)

Have a little fun by using indoor-outdoor fabric in a surprising place, with the Fresh American Trimaran striped pouf in turquoise ($275, dashandalbert.com). Or Company C's chevron Julep pillow in indoor-outdoor fabric would be a cheery throw for that classic slipcovered sofa ($65, laylagrayce.com).

Tame sand, clutter

Because all the sand on the beach seems to make it through the front door — not to mention sandals, shovels and sunscreen — "you need good baskets around to throw flip-flops and towels in," West says. "It's a great look and serves a good purpose." Terrain's color-block wicker basket puts a trendy spin on wicker and is good for indoor or outdoor use ($118-$138, shopterrain.com).

Another good tool for managing the sand-filled clutter is a coat rack or set of hooks. Hang Pottery Barn's anchor row of hooks inside or out for a subtle nod to the nautical style, and then hang swimsuits and towels to dry. "There just aren't enough towel bars in a beach house when you consider all of the showers a person takes to remove the sand and all of the damp towels that are left around," Weeks says ($59, potterybarn.com).

Entertain with ease