When you think of “coastal style,” do you automatically think airy, breezy, and light, with a color palette drawn from the natural beauty of seaside finds like sand and shells? Personally, I feel that the coastal interior style looks best when it sets a mood or tone in your home vs going overboard (no pun intended) with “beachiness.” For me, a coastal inspired home evokes the easy, carefree lifestyle of life by the beach. Let’s look at some easy, natural ideas for adding some coastal style to your home.
Let There Be Light
If you’re a Coastal Farmhouse follower you’ll notice that I love to blur the line between indoors and out – plenty of windows, lots of glass doors and skylights- all essential elements that allow light and the sunshine to flood in. So what do you do if you have a house that is lacking in these elements and breaking down walls and replacing windows and doors are not a feasible option? You fake it. Add lamps and sconces, perhaps mount a mirror opposite a window or a try a glass-topped table in a sunny breakfast nook. Keep it simple and airy. Trade in heavy draperies for light fabrics- or take down the curtains altogether and replace with simple shades. The hallmark color of a coastal home – white. Why? It spreads and amplifies light rather than soaking it up. The light hues of coastal interiors further amplify light to create a lively setting.
Crisp and Clean
Organic materials such as sea grass, straw and jute bring a natural warmth and texture to coastal interiors. My personal staple – jute rugs. Add a lighthearted touch of coastal charm by adding a few touches of nautical rope — nautical balls, cabinet and drawer pulls, even stairway spindles make great little coastal splashes. A wicker coffee table next to a rattan chaise on top of a sisal rug might be a bit much, so break up organic surfaces with contrast. Enter the farmhouse side of Coastal Farmhouse. Here is where I add in wood and patina finishes. Picture driftwood, whitewashed or pickled woods, painted planks, and beadboard all add texture and depth to your design. Coastal + farmhouse interiors include slipcovered furniture, sturdy, weathered wood tables, and thick glass. Once again, the idea is to create a serene and tranquil setting.
Darker woods do have a place in this style, but they’re generally the exception rather than the rule. A walnut chest or teak armoire looks stunning against a room full of light colors, as long as the deeper tones don’t overtake the space.
Edit. Edit. Edit.
Like the beach itself, coastal styled rooms should feel breezy, so don’t stifle them with too much furniture and bric-a-brac. Decorate with an eye to maintaining clear vistas and sight lines — accent the periphery of a space rather than clogging its center. As with light, there’s really no substitute for an expansive interior. If you have the budget and the inclination, you could consider remodeling to open up a home that begs for some extra breathing room. If not, arrange furniture in a way that feels as streamlined as possible and go easy on the accessorizing. More inspiring coastal ideas on how to display your treasures in this post.
Take inspiration from your beach finds. Remember, the key word is restraint. One or two pieces of coral on a shelf look striking and sculptural. I like to venture outside the purely coastal theme and experiment by combining other styles as well as finding interesting new ways to display my coastal finds.