Decor & Design Guide

How to Decorate Coastal Style Design Guide Tips

How to Decorate Coastal Style?

While Nautical Decor captures the adventurous spirit of the high seas, coastal decor is all about capturing the serenity of the shore and simplicity of the laid-back beach lifestyle. This short guide lays down the coastal decor and coastal design basics followed by 7 coastal interior design ideas to help you create beautiful coastal inspired rooms that feature what you love most about the coast. 

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Coastal Decor Interior Room Design Guide

What is Coastal Style?

Sea, sand, sun, salty breezes, shore birds, and treasures washed ashore are just a few of the things we love about the coast, along with feelings of relaxation, ease and fun, as well as a deep sense of spacious beingness. It is no surprise that coastal decor and coastal interior design is so popular. And as you will see, the coast and the sea can be represented in a variety of ways. In general coastal style means light and breezy rooms, bathed in white, blues and natural tones to create a calm and relaxed space. Coastal design and aesthetic can be specific, such as Beach Cottage Style, Vintage Style or Modern Style. And coastal design also takes different forms depending on region. Examples are New England Style (often with a Nautical Flair), Nantucket Cottage Style, Hamptons Style, Florida Style, including Key West and Palm Beach, Tropical Island Style in general, Bohemian Style, Coastal Americana and Mediterranean Style.

Images: ChairLanternsArt

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Coastal Beach Color Palette Schemes Room Decor Inspiration

4 Coastal Decor Basics

Create a home that captures what you love most about the coast.

1. Coastal Colors

Sun bleached whites, light blue and green hues of the sea, and sandy beige tones are the main coastal colors. Other beautiful serene colors to incorporate into your coastal decor theme are dune grass greens, beach pebble grays, driftwood grays & browns, and all the colors you find in shells. For some pops of vibrant colors, think of the beautiful yellow and orange sun light at dawn and dusk, the colors of shore flowers, as well as all the beach umbrellas that brim with bright fun colors. Turn to the Shore for Room Color Schemes -Nature's color combinations are always perfect.

2. Space over Things

Stepping out onto the beach and looking over the sea one instantly feels a sense of space and ease.
To bring this open and expansive feeling to the home, keep your rooms breezy and uncluttered. Arrange furnishings in a fashion that maintains an overall vista, and go easy on accessorizing. Make your house feel as though a gentle ocean breeze could flow through it.

3. Relaxed Simplicity

Relaxed simplicity is the way of the beach. You want the space to be comfortable and casual, whether your home decor style is elegant, eclectic cottage style, or something in between. The coastal aesthetic of relaxed simplicity can be achieve no matter what your coastal decor style is. Furnishings and materials that can take a little wear and tear are good choices. Simple streamlined wood furniture pieces as well as weathered and distressed furniture pieces are all easy going. You might even want to consider using outdoor fabrics and rugs inside the home.

4. Natural Fibers & Textures

Use natural materials that mimic nature by the sea. Cottons and linens feel simple and breezy; woods, jute, sisal, and natural woven materials all read very coastal. Think of palms, pines, driftwood and dune grasses. Some woven materials are made from actual seagrass. For example, a natural woven jute or Sisal Rug is a great choice for an all white coastal palette in the living room or in the bedroom, adding needed earthiness and texture to the space. You can always top the rug with a smaller soft carpet for added comfort, in case you don't like how the texture feels.

Simple Home Decor Style Tip Quote
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." ~William Morris
Coastal Interior by Williams Sonoma

7 Coastal Design Elements

"Coastal style is at its best when it sets a mood rather than hitting people over the head with its beachiness."

1. Get an Ocean View

Large Oversized Ocean Art Sunset Sunrise over the Sea Art Scenic Beach Landscape Art
Click on Images to View & Shop Ocean Art, Sunset & Sunrise Art and Scenic Ocean Beach Art.

If you don't see the sea from your window, no problem. Anyone can have an ocean view with Coastal Art.
Hang a great coastal beach painting or photograph in a prominent spot. Above the fireplace, the TV, above the sofa, the bed or a buffet table; any place where your coastal art catches the eye and imagination. For a rustic beachy look, consider Coastal Art on Wood. Let a great piece of coastal art inspire your color palette and room design.

2. Add Oceanic Sparkle

Mirrored Furniture for Coastal Living Metallic Coastal Accent Tables Glass Top Coastal Mirrors Decor Ideas for Every Room
Click on Images to View & Shop Sparkling Decor Ideas. 

Bring something shiny to your space that sparkles like the sea on a sunny day. This can be large things such as Mirrors and Mirrored Decor & Furnishings, also glass top tables, as well as luminous glass tiles for the kitchen or the bathroom, metallic items and small decor accessories such as mirrored trays, sparkling vases and light reflecting wall accents.

3. Expressive Accessories

Natural Basket Decor and Storage Ideas Faux Coral Statures and Figurines Decor Ideas and Shopping Animal Decor Shore and Ocean Animals Sculptures and Figurines
Click on Images to View & Shop this Selection of Coastal Accessories.

Choose Coastal Decor Accessories that really speak to you. Think of all the things that you love about the coastal experience. For example, if you love all the shore birds and other wild life, bring your favorite animal, or animals to your home in the form of statues and figurines. Or if you love to dive under and snorkel, find some decorative home accessories that bring the underwater world to your space such as coral and fish figurines. Or perhaps you are simply in awe with the beauty of the beach landscape, the dunes and seagrass swaying in the wind, then get a vase and some dried grasses and create a beautiful arrangement, or go in the direction of seagrassy accents such as woven storage baskets.  

4. Coastal Motifs and Icons

Shop Coastal Pillows Coastal Bedding Ideas Coastal Fabric Upholstered Accent Chairs
Click on Images to View & Shop Coastal Pillows, Bedding & Accent Chairs.

Include patterns that feature coastal motifs, such as shells, coral branches, starfish, as well as beachy stripes. You can bring these coastal motifs and patterns to your space with a bunch of great coastal pillows, dreamy sea inspired bedding, cool Coastal Area Rugs and awesome upholstered chairs in coastal theme fabrics.

5. Focal Point Coastal Accent Wall

Coastal Art Gallery Wall Ideas Shop the Look Wood Panel Accent Wall Design Ideas Shiplap Walls Coastal Theme Decor Coastal Wallpaper Accent Wall Ideas
Click on Images the View & Shop the Look of these Accent Wall Ideas.

Besides creating an ocean view with ocean beach art, as mention in point 2, there is a sea of Coastal Wall Art and Coastal Wall Decor out there that can bring the coast to your home. Under coastal wall decor you will find anything that is not traditional fine art, such as beach signs,  wall wreaths, and all kinds of wall accents. To create an eye-catching focal point, consider devoting an entire wall to the coastal theme. This can be a coastal gallery wall, a single wall that is covered with wood panels or a wall decorated with coastal wallpaper. A fast and easy way to make a wall stand out is with paint. Choose a Color Inspired by the Sea.

6. Display your Beach Finds in Style

Seashell Display Ideas Shell Collections Decor Fill Glass Lamps with Shells and Beach Finds Fillable Table Lamps DIY Framed Sea Shell Art Ideas
Click on Images to View Shell Display Ideas and Shop the Look.

Chances are that you collect shells and whatever else intrigues you while taking a stroll along the beach. There is your opportunity for free coastal beach decor. To make sure to keep your space uncluttered, display your shells and other beach finds in a stylish and organized fashion. Jars, fillable lamps, display tables and display cabinets keep your treasures safe & sound. Driftwood is another great addition for any coastal decor style. Large sculptural driftwood branches, for example, are awesome art from the shore that can be displayed anywhere in the home, even mounted on the wall. And if you are lucky you might also have seaglass pieces to work with.

7. Channel a Favorite Place

Florida Interior Design Ideas Decor Shop the Room Tropical Palm Island Style Decor Design Ideas Interior Images Nantucket New England Beach Cottage Style Interior Decor Design Ideas
Click on Images to View selected Coastal Styles & Shop the Look.

If you're not living near the coast, or even if you do, channel a favorite place. As mentioned earlier, coastal styles and coastal interior designs can vary greatly by region, pronouncing different design elements, according to culture, history and traditions. You can infuse these elements in your home with decor accessories or make them the star of your coastal decor scheme. For ideas browse all Coastal Interiors and House Tours.

4 Coastal Decor Interior Design Basics

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Coastal Decor Inspiration & Shopping Ideas

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