Coastal Interior Design

Coastal and nautical design are not the same thing. Coastal is not about anchors, mermaids, and seashells in abundance. All the kitschy beach décor falls more into the Nautical themed aspect of design. Coastal style is one of the fastest growing decorating styles. This interior trend is the use of natural light, soft hues, and clean aesthetics. It is meant to suggest the brightness of the beach. The core features of Coastal are usually jute textures, light earth hues, layered blues, crisp whites, stripes, and loose linen upholstery. The key is to stay away from beachy cliché.

Coastal Design

Elements of Coastal Decorating Style

Full Of Light

A coastal home needs to have plentiful light. Interiors should never feel dim or overcrowded, but rather, light, open, and airy. Big windows, glass doors, and skylights are key elements in this design. To not detract from the natural light, sheer curtains are the perfect beach window treatments.

Keep It Natural

In order to keep a relaxing vibe, use lots of natural fibers and textures. Whicker and rattan are usually what furniture is made out of.  Rugs are generally seagrass or jute and fabrics are kept simple. Glitz and shine have no place in coastal décor, but rather natural materials. Think of white-washed, blond maple or driftwood.

Coastal Design

Refrain From Clutter

Go easy with the seaside touches. Seashells, glass bottles, or woven baskets are all ok but use restraint when decorating. Spaces can look “overworked” with too many bits and pieces out on display. You want it to feel easy and natural, while clutter can make your décor look overdone. Avoid the clichéd items such as anchor prints, “beach this way” signs, and mermaids- all which can make your space feel like a beachside souvenir shop.  Instead bring in the fish floats, coral or driftwood which makes for fabulous accents.

Coastal Design
Beach Style Dining Room by Westport Architects & Building Designers Michael Greenberg & Associates

Color Duos Work Well Together

Usually all white rooms are the Coastal Design fan favorite, but colors do have a place in this style. Bringing in shades inspired by the outside can be equally interesting. Think of blue and green or aqua and tan- all colors seen on the coastline.

Coastal Design

Slipcovers Are Your Best Friend

The best kind of furniture is the kinds that can stand up to a wet swimsuit, suntan lotion, the sand brought in from the beach, or open windows that welcome in the elements. Slipcovers can easily be washed or dry-cleaned to maintain their clean aesthetic. Coastal upholstery needs to be pretty, hardworking, and hassle-free. Great hues, other than white, for slipcovers are light shades like muted blue or pale gray linen.

Coastal Design

When it comes to bringing coastal style to a home, a balance of function and breezy decor is key. Bring all the above elements together and you will have an open, airy hangout space with tons of sunlight and soothing colors. Remember that Coastal Design has its own fundamentals of style and is the definition of sophisticated oceanfront living.  If done correctly, you will not need a summer rental to escape to.

Found this article interesting? Check out my other posts:

Get the Hollywood Regency Look

Learning About Shabby Chic

French County Interior Design

Scandinavian Interior Design and Décor


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Judy L.

    Great article Kimmothy. Thanks for defining nautical and coastal, I always thought they were the same.

    1. Kimmothy

      Thank you Judy for reading the post.

  2. Donna Poole

    I love our old farmhouse but it’s very dark inside. This looks so refreshing to me! Lovely!

    1. Kimmothy

      Donna, your farmhouse is so cute. Not many people get to live a home over hundred years old.

Leave a Reply