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 you 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!
There have been many misconceptions that exist with what the Coastal style of design is. It’s been viewed as being overdone, busy and synonymous with rooms packed full of seaside motifs and coastal decor such as life preservers, anchors and bright shades of blue and red.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Coastal style done well is airy, simplistic and elegant with a subtle palette drawn from the sea and sky.
It 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.
The gorgeous interiors above were designed by Sarah Richardson and are 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 Sar 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 in a subtle and effortless manner. Images courtesy of: Sarah Richardson
Coastal Decorating Ideas
1. Choose the right Coastal color scheme to match your style
Let yourself be inspired by the ocean, sand, and sky to determine your Coastal color scheme. There is a wide range of color choices that 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, it’s best to choose soothing tones if you want to create a home that is relaxing and instantly makes you feel like you are on a 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 you have in various rooms in your home, as lighting can have a dramatic impact on 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 what the final result will be.
2. Make sure to include plenty of organic texture
Textural design elements play an important role in a Coastal style home. It’s not only important how these design elements look, but how they feel as well.
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 a multitude of 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 style of design embraces an ocean-inspired palette, natural fibers with a touch of sparkle provided 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. From slipcovered sofas to seagrass chairs, the look is elegant, casual and understated. Keep fabric choices light, crisp and clean.
4. Take full advantage of ocean views
If you are lucky enough to have a gorgeous view of the ocean, make full use of the stunning range of color that exists out 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.
Images courtesy of: Muskoka Living
5. 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 sea-side 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 very common to see wide blue and white or blue and tan stripes in a Coastal living room. The stripes can range from the palest blue to navy, as well as make use of shades of gray or tan. Narrow stripes can be incorporated in throw pillows, blankets, window coverings and area rugs.
- Not a fan of stripes? There are many other options that add both color and pattern that work well in a Coastal style home. They can be incorporated through the choice of artwork, window treatments, accessories, and upholstery.
- 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, or 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.
Whether you live on the coastline or dream about ocean breezes and want to bring the beach to your own home through coast decor, I hope these Coastal decorating ideas help you begin your journey!
Written by the Editor & Interior Designer for Buyer Select: Tracy Svendsen