Coastal design is exactly what it sounds like: a design style that is all about that seaside aesthetic. This style isn’t reminiscent of an outdated beach house, however. In fact, with its casual vibe and natural elements, coastal style feels down-to-earth and lived-in while still looking put together. So, whether you have a beach cottage or just want a home reminiscent of the seaside, coastal style design is a beautiful solution. With soothing blue hues, beachy decor, natural fibers, and weathered wood furniture, coastal design is classically calming and beautiful. There are many ways to make a coastal-style space come to life. You can take a more subtle approach, simply weaving in a coastal color palette and materials. Or, you can adopt more of a theme for your space, with beachy art and decor. And then, of course, there are different styles of coastal design—the most notable being that laid-back, West Coast vibe or the more refined Nantucket look! Either way, a classic coastal space will have a color palette inspired by hues you’d find at the beach. So, you’ll find plenty of bright whites and warm, sandy neutrals, as well as a spectrum of blues and greens—and maybe even some earthy pinks and yellows. This color combination brings a serene touch to every coastal-style interior. One of our favorite aspects of coastal style is how approachable it is. This look is rooted in comfort, so opt for furniture that prioritizes that comfort and feels both durable and lived in. Coastal style often leans more toward traditional shapes, with rustic elements. So, when it comes to choosing foundational furniture throughout your home, steer away from overly modern lines. As for materials, we like wood that’s reminiscent of driftwood for coastal spaces—raw and unfinished, or with a sun-bleached or white-washed finished. Stay away from dark or high-gloss wood finishes, which add visual weight and formality. For a sofa, think an overstuffed number you can really sink into, topped with plenty of throw pillows. Or, for a more refined look, you could go for a white slipcovered sofa. In the dining room, opt for a big table in natural wood tones where the whole family can gather. And in bedrooms, consider a bed with caning elements or make of weathered woods. But, in any room, you’ll want to make sure to balance heavier furniture with lighter-weight accent pieces and that neutral color palette—because coastal design is all about an open, airy aesthetic. For other furniture and decorative accents, mix in other natural materials like linen, jute, rattan, roping, and other woven textures. Beyond furniture, decorative accents help this look really come to life. For a more thematic take, go for wall art featuring beachy or ocean-inspired designs—or perhaps some framed photos of your favorite warm-weather vacation. Alternately, you could opt for more abstract art that simply weaves in your coastal color palette. For other decor, we love touches of coastal design on your bookshelves and other surfaces—objects like a coral statue or bookends, decorative driftwood, or a bowl that looks like it’s covered in seashells. Just using one or two in your space will just hint at that coastal inspiration, or again, you can layer in more for a more obvious theme. Woven baskets, poufs and rugs in natural materials like jute and seagrass are also perfect with this style. And speaking of rugs—while jute rugs are a great choice in coastal spaces, if that’s not your style, you could also opt for a rug with a washed-out pattern of blues and greys, earth tones, or a solid-colored rug made in a chunky weave. Adding extra color or texture in your area rug will add some warmth to the bright and breezy elements in the rest of your space! When it comes to other upholstery, like drapes, bedding, or throw pillows, think soft and cozy, with plenty of natural fibers. For window coverings, specifically, go for something lightweight or even sheer for a breezy feeling and to let in as much natural light as possible! Coastal style offers a causal approachability that can’t be beat. It’s a great style for families or pet-owners, too, since coastal-style furniture can take a bit of a beating. If it gets a little worn or weathered from use, that’s ok! A little patina only adds to the organic coastal look. Ready to see this look come to life and get some inspiration for your own home? We’ve compiled all of our best coastal designs—so, start scrolling!
Coastal design is a hallmark of American style thanks to its timeless use of neutral colors and woven textures. But If you want a coastal space to feels a little more playful, remember the same subtle trademarks that make coastal style classic also make it versatile. Here our designer added a bit of flair by using some playful silhouettes in a casual layout.
The core of any coastal style living room is the coffee table. For this style, you need an oversized coffee table that can fit everyone around it. Lightwood and curved details bring in the driftwood feeling that we always think of when it comes to coastal design. The final touch is having one or two trays to hold all your decor pieces that can be moved when you are ready to break out the board game.
The natural textures and pale hues associated with coastal style can be a great way to make a space feel casual and inviting. But, it can be easy to veer into kitschy territory with all the beach themed decor. To create a space that feels more subtle, stick to items that recall the beach but don't reference it too directly. In this living room, sandy wood finishes, pale blue accents, and shell-like vessels are nice nods to the coast that don't feel too obvious.
The task of decorating a mix-use space can be daunting if you need to combine two rooms in one but don't want to skimp on style. An excellent solution to creating an area that is functional and fashionable is selecting light-colored furniture with slender and or simple silhouettes. These simplistic forms will give the space an open and modern chic feel and allowing you to bring two room types together seamlessly.
Putting a big, bright, beautiful rug under the dining table makes this space feel more open. The rug also helps define the room, with the dining table above. Doing more than catching crumbs, the rug brings the design together in harmony.
In this coastal living room, a cozy corner fireplace is accented with a large entertainment center to create the perfect environment for hosting parties and family gatherings. This type of furniture piece is ideal for high or sloped ceilings, and is the perfect solution if you don’t want to mount your TV above the fireplace. It also provides optimum storage space, with both open and closed options.
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