Are you looking for coastal decor and coastal decorating ideas? It’s easy to achieve a coastal aesthetic by incorporating a sandy palette, gentle hues of blues, and greens with whitewashed accents. Nothing says “coastal living” quite like an open living room, oversized sofas, nautical stripes, sea-inspired accents, and coastal decor such as ropes, sailboats, and seaside prints.

Rich, polished wood reminds us of a mighty ship’s hull and thickly woven jute, high luster finishes, and crisp linen pair well with a range of oceanic hues and stormy greys. Navy and white are the backbone of a sailing-inspired look. You can tone down the nautical theme by incorporating pillows in modern prints and creamy neutrals instead of stark whites, as shown in the featured image above (designed by Muskoka Living Interiors designer Cory DeFrancisco). Create your own breezy and effortless chic space with these coastal-inspired finds. 

Shop by design style: Bohemian, Farmhouse, Modern Glam, French Country, Modern Rustic, Scandinavian, Tonal Chic, or Urban Earthy.

Directly below the following images, find a step-by-step guide on how to decorate with Coastal style in your own home, including:

1. How to choose the right Coastal color scheme to match your style
2. Tips on how to include organic textures in your home
3. How to take advantage of ocean views
4. Details that matter in a Coastal style home
5. A comprehensive list of design elements to include in a Coastal style home

Coastal Decor & How to Decorate Coastal Style

Be Inspired by Sea!

It’s easy to be inspired by the natural beauty of the coast. Whether you prefer a little polish with your surf and sand and coastal decor with traditional furnishings and ocean motifs or are drawn to California breeziness and comfortable coastal elegance, this article will bring the serene style of the beach to your home. Get ready to set sail!

Many misconceptions exist about what Coastal design is. It’s been viewed as overdone, busy, and synonymous with rooms full of seaside motifs and decor, such as life preservers, anchors, and bright shades of blue and red. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Coastal style is airy, simplistic, and elegant, with a subtle palette drawn from the sea and sky. Coastal design evokes memories of sandy beaches and warm sunny days with its laid-back vibe and gentle colors. It’s a haven from the hectic pace of day-to-day life and gently whispers ‘Summer’ all year around. It embraces a minimalistic approach that can effortlessly combine modern elements. Coastal spaces are casual, relaxing, warm, and inviting – often designed with a personal touch.

Coastal Interior Design Ideas
Coastal Cottage Decorating Ideas
Beach Home Decorating Ideas
How to Decorate Coastal Style
Coastal Kitchen Ideas
Coastal Dining Room Ideas

Coastal Decorating Ideas
Images courtesy of Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson designed the gorgeous interiors above, a great example of Coastal style design done well. Sarah was expecting their second child and wanted to renovate their remote island getaway in a TV series entitled Sarah’s Cottage. They used inspiration from the natural surroundings out every window and infused the home with authentic island-style design by blending vintage treasures with her favorite cheerful summery hues. If you’d like to view the entire Coastal cottage, I’ve provided a link that will take you directly to the page the images are featured on. It’s stunning and shows how to integrate coastal decor subtly and effortlessly. 

Coastal Decor & Decorating Ideas

1.  Choose the right Coastal color scheme to match your style.

Be inspired by the ocean, sand, and sky to determine your Coastal color scheme. A wide range of color choices can be incorporated into a Coastal style home, from warm and sandy neutrals to crisp whites and blues, muted greens in soft beachy tones, deep shades of navy, and modern steel grays. Regardless of your preference, choosing soothing tones is best to create a relaxing home that instantly makes you feel like you are on vacation at the beach. Accent shades also tend to be more subdued in a Coastal style home.

It’s also important to consider the amount of light in various rooms in your home, as lighting can dramatically impact color. Hanging paint samples on the wall in several places and viewing how the light affects the color at various times during the day is a great way to determine the final result.

Wall Paint Ideas

Sea Fare
Bring on a relaxed beachy vibe with these cool, calm shades of the ocean.

Paint Colors: Listed from largest lid to smallest. Where two lids of the same size are shown, the top one will be provided first.

  1. Seastar: This grayish blue is a striking wall color, especially when paired with darker blues as accents.
  2. Lovebird 27-22: Bring this beachy blue into a white bath.  Blue towels with white subway tile and a white pedestal sink make a striking combo.
  3. Feelin’ Blue C54-3: A small dose of this dusty blue on pillows or in a patterned rug brightens a space.
  4. Serious Gray SW6256: Warmed by brown undertones, this liveable gray can be dressed up or down and pairs well with creamy-neutrals.
  5. Stiffkey Blue 281: Contrast this shade against white – try the back of a cabinet – for instant drama.
    Image courtesy of:
How to Decorate

Watercolor Blues
These hues have a pull that’s hard to resist, just like the ocean shores and vibrant skies that inspired them.

Paint Colors: Listed from largest lid to smallest. Where two lids of the same size are shown, the top one will be provided first.

  1. Tropical Surf GLB13: A touch of gray makes this blue eminently livable – and it’s smashing with medium wood tones.
  2. Poolside B56-3: Pair this watery hue with a classic partner – pale yellow – or try a new spin with caramel.
  3. High Tide 27b7: Go ahead. Wade in and try this deep color on something small, like a side table.
  4. Meander Blue: Pale aqua on the wall sets of silver accents.
  5. Soar 510A-1: On the ceiling, this color gives an open-air-quality to any room.
    Image courtesy of:
Colors for Home Decorating

If blue is your signature hue, here is a new take.  A hint of green is of-the-moment, yet completely livable.

Paint Colors: Listed from largest lid to smallest. Where two lids of the same size are shown, the top one will be provided first.

  1. Balmy Seas 490C-3: This is robin’s-egg blue turned down a bit.  It goes with virtually any neutral, so use freely.
  2. Surfboard 25B2: It’s the color of the Hawaiian sky – consider it in place of blue-gray for a soothing bedroom hue.
  3. Corner Brook A37-1: Whispery blue looks fresh with tomato-orange accents.
  4. Schooner A58-5: This aqua gets moody – it’s perfect for a dining room or any other space where you linger.
  5. Nautical 50007-9C: Coat the interiors of dress drawers for a surprise burst of color.
    Image courtesy of:
Coastal Color Schemes for Homes

Driftwood Grays
There’s a new gray in town, and it’s not the cold, steely hue you’re used to.  These go-with-everything shades, inspired by weathered wood, radiate warmth.

Paint Colors: Listed from largest lid to smallest. Where two lids of the same size are shown, the top one will be provided first.

  1. Winter Gates AC-30: This almost-taupe hue has cozy written all over it.  It’s as rich on a wall as it is on a velvet sofa or chair.
  2. Silver Drop 790C-2: Use this super versatile hue wherever you’d use white. For a hot combo, just add yellow.
  3. Coastal Pleasure 5048: This is a perfect neutral- great for walls, beautiful with dark colors, fresh with white.
  4. Seal Grey GLN46: Roam into dramatic territory and go dark. Pale gray trim is an elegant pairing.
  5. Promotion 10D3: Step away from the beige! This midtone gray is a sophisticated and modern substitute.
    Image courtesy of:
Coastal Wall Paint Colors

Eggshell Blues
Refresh your nest with tranquil, nurturing hues inspired by some of Mother Nature’s favorites.

Paint Colors: Listed from largest lid to smallest. Where two lids of the same size are shown, the top one will be provided first.

  1. Arctic Blue GLB14: A drop of aqua in pale blue evokes cool waters.  Use it to make an ordinary bathroom feel like a spa.
  2. Quench Blue SW6785: Plunge into this refreshing hue.  Splash it on large surfaces, such as the walls of a great-room.
  3. The Good Life B38-3: For a no-fail combo, meld this green-blue with an organic neutral like bark brown.
  4. Sea Breath 5006-7A: A blue with a verve that holds its own in contrast with butter, cantaloupe, or peony pink.
  5. Serene Sky 540C-2: Pulled from above, an ethereal hue that suits ceilings.  Paint crown molding gray-white.
    Image courtesy of:
Palette for Beach Home

For the Love of Gray
What was once an infatuation with gray, is not a long-term commitment.  Warm or cool, pure or tinged with color – nothing adds sophistication quite the same way. 

Paint Colors: Listed from largest lid to smallest. Where two lids of the same size are shown, the top one will be provided first.

  1. Haven of Coziness N-C1: They gray undertones in this beige warm up a room – and pairs beautifully with blues and greens.
    clark + kensington
  2. Gravelstone MQ2-50: Ground a bold-color room with a sofa in this gray-tan shade, or try it on built-ins for a little color boost.
  3. Grizzle Gray: Pump up the drama with this deep, pure gray.  Surprisingly, it seems to recede, making a room look bigger.
  4. Grey Stone: This goes-with-anything gray works great for walls, a headboard or accessories.
    ralph lauren
  5. Full Moon: Fear not! This transitional shade will ease you past classic white into grayish neutrals. Mix in rich woods for a sophisticated look
    pratt & lambert
    Image courtesy of:

2. Include plenty of organic texture in your Coastal decor.

Textural design elements play an essential role in a Coastal style home. It’s important not only how these design elements look but also how they feel. When you think of the beach, it draws to mind a tactile experience derived from the sensation of touching stones and pebbles, driftwood, water, and sand. Try to incorporate this into your own home by layering several textures together. Combine soft elements such as throw pillows and cozy blankets with woven area rugs, textural linen fabrics, light and airy sheers, wood furniture, sand-inspired finishes, and seagrass baskets.
This design style embraces an ocean-inspired palette and natural fibers with a touch of sparkle from mirrors and glass.

3. Choose furniture that is oversized, casual, and comfortable.

The furniture in a Coastal style home is generally larger in scale and is never ostentatious. The look is elegant, casual, and understated, from slip-covered sofas to seagrass chairs. Keep fabric choices light, crisp, and clean.

4. Take full advantage of ocean views.

If you are lucky enough to have a gorgeous ocean view, use the stunning range of color out of your windows and reflect that throughout your home. The beach acts as a breathtaking focal point, and it’s important that the décor doesn’t compete but rather enhances this natural environment. If you don’t have an ocean view, it’s easy to create this feel simply by adding coastal photography and paintings of the sea.

Coastal Decorating Ideas
Coastal Decorating Ideas

Coastal Design
Images courtesy of Muskoka Living

5. Include details that matter.

Nothing conveys the feeling of coastal living quite like an open living room concept with oversized sofas, nautical stripes, coastal decor, and sea-inspired accents such as ropes, sailboats, and seaside prints.

Here are a few other Coastal decorating elements that go hand-in-hand with Coastal style homes:

  • Create a balance between narrow and wide stripes. It’s common to see broad blue and white or blue and tan stripes in a Coastal living room. The stripes can range from the palest blue to navy and use shades of gray or tan. Incorporate narrow stripes in throw pillows, blankets, window coverings, and area rugs. Not a fan of stripes? Many other options add color and pattern that work well in a Coastal style home.
  • Natural fibers such as baskets and rugs instantly add natural texture to the space. The perfect mix of materials includes wicker, natural woven shades, bamboo, and seagrass.
  • Layering is essential to provide an inviting warmth to almost any style of design, so be sure to add plenty of throw cushions and blankets wherever possible. Slipcovers on furniture, such as sofas, living room, and dining room chairs, are commonly used in shades of white, beige, or taupe.
  • Woodwork detail and wood flooring bring the Coastal style to life. From painted board and batten to whitewashed panel walls and wainscoting, these elements transition your home to a coastal cottage retreat. Wood flooring looks best if kept light and has a weathered appearance in tones of driftwood, whitewashed finishes, or natural maples. Use accessories with treasures from the sea and shore, such as driftwood, shells, sand, and coral.

How to Tell if Your Style of Design is Coastal

Your design style reflects your appreciation for the coast’s natural beauty. You like your home to feel casual, comfortable, and welcoming. An open living room concept with oversized sofas, nautical stripes, and sea-inspired accents suits you perfectly.

You are drawn to a subtle palette from the sea and sky and organic textures, natural fibers, woodwork detail, and wood flooring. You love your home to evoke memories of sandy beaches and warm sunny days with a laid-back vibe and gentle colors. Your home is a haven from the hectic pace of day-to-day life and gently whispers ‘Summer’ all year round. It’s also the perfect place to entertain your family and friends. Whether you live on the coastline or dream about ocean breezes and want to bring the beach to your home through coast decor.

I hope these Coastal decorating ideas help you begin your journey!

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Coastal Decor & Coastal Decorating Ideas
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Coastal Decor & Coastal Decorating Ideas
Coastal Design Ideas: A coastal look can easily be achieved by incorporating a sandy palette, gentle hues of blues and greens with whitewashed accents. Nothing says “coastal living” quite like an open living room, oversized sofas, nautical stripes and sea-inspired accents and coastal decor such as ropes, sailboats, and sea-side prints.
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