How to Achieve the Coastal Decor Look

keep calm pretend you are at the beach coastal design

It may not look like it, but it’s only a couple more weeks until SPRING and about this time is when I start looking around for things I can freshen and liven up.  I’m not even thinking out doors yet.  This year I’m thinking something a little more drastic and I’m feeling Coastal.  Maybe that’s just a yearning for something warm and sunny, but that’s not all Coastal represents.

Although the Coastal lifestyle has been around for a few years now,  it’s undergone substantial evolution. Coastal is not about seaside living, but that is where it started.  Coastal is calming and at the same uplifting and it’s grown extensively as a decorating style option no matter where you live.  Coastal is not themed decor, that went out with the eighties.

There are basically two styles for Coastal, one being the more colorful version keeping to the traditional blues with today’s infusion of corals or beach glass green.

The simplest way to achieve the more traditional version of Coastal is by adding decorative cushions in hues of blues from aqua to navy and punch colors like red or coral.  Architectural features like wood slats or panels painted white contributes to the traditional Coastal feel. Weathered white furniture topped with polished brass accessories will add those final touches.

The design board below uses different, but still traditional Coastal aspects like the graphic area rug with overlapping circle patterns.  The blue in the area rug is picked up on the toss cushions. The nautical decorative elements are kept to a minimum.  Imagine the design board without the mirror, oar and sailboat. Would the space still seem the same?  Editing is usually the toughest challenge when decorating, too much and the decor looks themed, too little and people lose the vision.  This Coastal inspired design board has an updated Coastal feel with some unique pieces, just enough to make it interesting.


The second Coastal version incorporates neutral tones reminiscent of sand and driftwood.

The natural Coastal version takes it’s inspiration from neutral beach tones, however, if not done right this look can seem plain and boring. When designing with neutrals it’s best to add a variety of textures.  These beachy tones are perfect for texture building materials like sisal, rope and washed out woods. Adding sand, shells or rope to clear glass instantly suggests Coastal, so try not to over use it.  Sofas and chairs look best in linen-like (real linen is beautiful, expensive and hard to keep clean) fabrics preferably slipcovered.

This nature inspired Coastal design board is anything but boring.  The large pieces sit on a neutral sisal area rug with toss cushions accenting green glass inspired color.  Notice how well the combination of weathered dark wood and the contrasting lighter driftwood work with each other. I only point out the fact the woods differ in finish because I usually find people are hesitant about mixing wood species and I always say, if Mother Nature plants them together than we can we can put them together. The  rope and metal are used to further add Coastal distinction.  The final and connecting decorative piece is the wall hanging which maintains the natural decor style and colors. Slide2

The more I look at this post the more I’m longing for a beach vacation.  Maybe I’ll just settle for redecorating the living room Coastal style!  What do you think?  Do you have a Coastal favorite?

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15 thoughts on “How to Achieve the Coastal Decor Look

  1. These are gorgeous examples of coastal décor! We are in the midst of a home remodel and one room has no plan at the moment. It gets a lot of sun and I would love to do something coastal. Now to convince the hubbie…!

  2. I’ve never really explored coastal decor before, (unintentional rhyme) I have just fallen hard for driftwood, like just discovered it’s charm. I must have been sleeping under a rock! :/ Time to explore this decor a little closer. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I lean towards the natural coast palette – love driftwood, sisal, beach glass greens and blues, and for me I like a pop of turquoise too… the ocean is my favorite place to be! Great examples!!

    • Hi Cathy. I don’t know about those exact drapes in the photo, but I was just at Target last week and they had ombre drapes in blue and green. Or you can DIY there are lots of instructions on how to, just do a search.

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