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The Coastal Design Style

Coastal design brings the idea of the seaside inside: the lightness, colors, relaxation, and fun that one imagines when thinking of a beach. This design is often favored by people who live on the coast, but living inland, even as far away as Kansas, many homeowners choose a coastal design to reflect and recreate that soothing tidal rhythm and skies reflecting on wet sand like an ever-shifting Monet watercolor.

Coastal Style Architecture

Imagine a glass front door opening into an airy space designed with tranquility in mind. You may not be able to change the structure of your home, but you can adjust what you do have create a seaside vibe for all who enter. Here are a few ideas:

  • Highlight open areas and keep them uncluttered

  • Bring in as much natural light as possible

  • Consider adding a skylight

  • Keep window treatments minimum and non-intrusive

  • Install a floating staircase to add a dreamy element 

  • Consider removing a wall to create more open space

  • Cover a wall in tongue-and-groove paneling to add texture and craftsmanship (and reduce maintenance!)

Coastal Materials

Coastal decorating has a history as old as our country, and "light" is the most important word. For that carefree beach mood, choose materials that are easy to clean and easy to care for. Go light on fragile and easily soiled materials. You want your guests to feel as at ease as you do. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Grasscloth wallpaper

  • Light woods such as maple, oak, and cork

  • Wide, white oak floor planks

  • Wood cabinets painted a washable white

  • Weathered and distressed furniture

  • Linen slipcovers in your color palette that are easy to slip off and clean

Coastal Colors and Finishes

The signature colors of coastal design are soft blue and green ocean shades, driftwood gray, sand-colored beige, and white. Accent colors of coral sunset, robin's egg blue, and beach rose add colorful splashes that keep the eye on the beach. Appliances, metals, and flooring should be in harmony with your color palette. To reflect the sensory experience of sea, sand, and sky, consider these ideas: 

  • Layer various shades of white for a more dynamic visual

  • A gray wall is neutral and can be paired with any color of floor, window treatments, and furnishings

  • Be bold and add black accents to a white and teal room

  • Copper, bronze, brushed nickel, and brass appliances and metalwork work well with coastal color palettes 

  • Vary window treatments using a "what works best here" plan. For example, you can mix blinds and drapes in the same room, just keep them the same color. 

Coastal Furniture and Decor

Artwork, furniture, and accessories should whisper "coastal" while not shouting "beach". Starfish, shells, anchors, and whales can look kitschy and insert an off note in a serene design. Aim for a stylishly casual feel that invites relaxing and visiting. 

  • Gauzy linen drapery

  • Light, distressed wood for coffee tables, picture frames, and accent pieces

  • Jute or sisal area rugs

  • Glass accents reminiscent of sea glass

  • Weathered driftwood 

  • Linen slipcovers in neutral or light shades

  • Chairs with wicker frames

  • A wicker rocker with cushions from your color palette 

  • Wall art in natural materials such as rope, twine, and driftwood

Coastal Lighting

The natural tones and textures of your coastal decor should be reflected in your lighting choices. Rope and netting will continue the seaside ambiance. Coastal table and floor lamps can incorporate seagrass, driftwood, and shells that soften the spaces you need to light. Make sure that each lighting choice gives the amount of light required for tasks that will be illuminated. Complete your coastal decor by considering these suggestions:

  • Lanterns continue your theme in hallways, foyers, and outside

  • Sconces come in beach designs 

  • Pendant lighting comes in classic and contemporary coastal styles

  • Metal lamp bases compliment coastal colors

  • A clear glass lamp base can be filled with shells

Please contact us for more inspiration and information. We look forward to working with you to create a coastal living space that will be an extension of your beach or a reminder of that special place.