How to Decorate in Coastal Style

Go Coastal with Beach-Themed Décor

Bright and breezy, classic and comfortable, coastal style brings the beauty of the beach to your home. Regardless of where you live, you can add casual cottage appeal to your interior spaces that whispers of summers spent at the shore.

Coastal style gives your home a warm, welcoming feel.

Coastal style gives your home a warm, welcoming feel.

Coastal style can take many forms from tropical paradise to New England saltbox, from Mediterranean villa to a beach bungalow in the Florida Keys. Most people, however, think of décor that calls to mind the light, carefree style of an American beach house when they refer to coastal style. The best beach décor is about more than sea shells, white-washed wood, and ocean-front landscape art. It sets a carefree mood that speaks of relaxing on the beach with sand between your toes listening to the soothing sounds of waves rolling onto the shore.

Whether you want to decorate your home with a nautical-inspired motif or simply give your rooms a bit of seaside chic, you can create a coastal retreat even when you live in a landlocked locale. With the right colors, lighting, textiles, accent pieces, and wall décor, you can transform your home into a relaxing, casual place to stay. Here's some easy ways to give your interior spaces a cozy, relaxed vibe that whispers summer and fresh ocean air all year round.

Add Some Beach-Themed Color

Nothing says coastal style like classic blues and fresh, crisp whites. These colors create a calm, color backdrop while calling to mind the hues of sand and sea, skies filled with fluffy white clouds, and boat sails against a wide expanse of ocean.

Coastal style gives your home a warm, welcoming feel.

Incorporate blues and ocean motifs to add a coastal theme to your décor.

Other colors include muted greens such as the tones found in beach grass, sea glass, kelp, and shells. Neutrals help evoke the weathered grays of driftwood, tans and creams of soft sand and create a cool backdrop for other accent colors to pop. If blue is not your favorite, you can also incorporate reds and corals in your decorating theme. Color can be used on walls, rugs, pillows, furniture or decorative accent pieces about the room.

Bring in the Light

One of the most important elements of coastal style is light. Coastal interiors allow sunshine to flood in, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors. If you have plenty of windows, glass doors, and skylights to bring the natural light into your rooms, keep window treatments to a minimum. Think sheer curtains, valances, or textured woven shades that can be rolled up during the day. If you don't have an abundance of windows, either consider adding them or fake it with additional indoor lighting such as recessed lights, sconces, and extra lamps.

Keep It Casual and Comfortable

Coastal style is relaxed and never stuffy. It should feel breezy and light with clear sight lines across spaces. You don't want to stifle your rooms by clogging them with too much heavy, ornate furnishings and an overload of accessories. Keep rooms streamlined and arrange furniture to give you breathing space and plenty of room to move. Be strategic in accessorizing. Less is definitely more.

Coastal style is relaxed and never stuffy.

Coastal style is relaxed and never stuffy.

Favor Weathered Wood Finishes

Coastal furniture should give you the impression it can stand up to wear and tear from salty air and sandy feet, and look comfortable enough to invite you to sit back and relax. Look for slipcovered sofas in blue or white canvas, cotton twill, or duck fabrics, wicker chairs, glass-top tables, warm woods with weathered, whitewashed, or lightly stained finishes. Painted planking and white beadboard on walls are a coastal classic. If your home is located at the shore, consider easy-care, stain and fade-resistant outdoor fabrics in high-traffic areas.

Infuse a Nautical Touch

Nothing says coastal like accessories with a nautical theme. Accessories your home with wall décor and decorative accents that feature ships, shells, sea life, oars, nautical instruments, baskets, lanterns, and other ocean-inspired motifs. Think of items you would collect when beachcombing or bring home as souvenirs from a beach vacation such as sea glass, shells, coral, and ship's instruments.

Decor with a nautical theme.

Décor with a nautical theme looks light and breezy.

Add Textural Interest with Natural Elements

Introduce natural fibers and organic materials for a coastal look. You can easily incorporate texture into your rooms with baskets, sisal, seagrass, and jute rugs, wood accent pieces, coral and seashell sculptures, palm fronds, and natural fabrics such as cotton pillows, woven wool throws. Weathered wood picture frames, decorative items inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and touches of rope trim also bring the lighthearted appeal of the shore home.

Add textural interest with beach-themed decorative accents.

Add textural interest with beach-themed decorative accents.

If light and breezy coastal style appeals to you, check out the selection of beach-themed items at Riverbend Home.

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