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Interior Design & Decor
Yes, you can escape to the coast in your own home, any time of year with these light and breezy coastal décor ideas! Coastal design gives you the same calm feeling you get from being at the oceanside or lake.
The warm neutrals of California coastal style most often come to mind when we think of coastal design, but it’s not limited to one look, and can reflect the many ways we enjoy life by the water.
Coastal design is as individual as you are and can draw from every part of the world. Decorate to suit your own tastes, and combine different styles for a more eclectic look: whether it’s a casual ocean beach style, a rustic lakeside cottage look, exotic influences of faraway islands like Zanzibar or Indonesia, the tropical vibe of the Caribbean, the vibrant Mediterranean, or the charm of east coast Nantucket.
We’ve gathered a few ideas to give you some inspiration!
Start by choosing the base colour for your coastal theme that will be calm, bright and breezy in both your indoor and outdoor spaces.
Coastal colours reflect the rhythm and ever-changing beauty of the sea and sky: soft creams, fresh whites, dreamy blues, warm greys, sea greens, and sandy beige tones. Add a splash of bright turquoise, or sunset corals, oranges and yellow to keep your space alive and interesting.
Surround yourself with natural materials – linen, weathered wood, driftwood, bamboo, grape wood, cork tree branches, vintage pottery, and fibres like jute, sisal, and thick rope.
Focus on decorating to evoke the rough beauty of the natural seaside environment.
Show off treasures you have brought home from your travels, or scour thrift shops for beach-inspired decorative pieces.
Pebbles and sand from the beach, sea glass, dried sea grasses, rocks and sea shells will fit in naturally. Of course, care must be taken to not take sea shells or sea grass from sensitive and protected shorelines.
Artwork – Watercolours, oil paintings, and photographs of the sea, lake, beach, and flora and fauna.
Lighting – Light up your coastal décor with driftwood lamps, oyster shell basket lights, Nantucket ceiling lights, wicker basket lights, glass, rope and wicker lamps, and pendants made with brass.
Hardware – Look for hooks, latches and fixtures shaped like sea birds, sea shells and sea creatures.
Storage – Don’t forget that even your storage can be attractive, with wicker baskets, antique sailing chests and vintage fishing tackle baskets on open shelves.
Carpets and Mats – Welcome your guests with the warmth of a hand-woven doormat. Choose colourful Batik area carpets to warm up your space.
If you plan to replace your flooring, choose light to medium shades of hardwood, vinyl plank hardwood or versatile cork.
To ensure an authentic beach house or cozy cottage feel, beadboard or tongue and groove panels, or the wider horizontal plank shiplap on walls and ceilings will do the job.
Keep it light and airy. Popular window treatments are lightweight flowing curtains and drapes, faux wood California shutters, woven blinds, matchstick and bamboo shades.
Backsplashes can be subtle with neutral natural stone or marble, or they can stand out with exotic tiles or murals. Look for handcrafted mosaic tiles or tiles with sea motifs by artisans or at your local hardware.
Cabinetry – The tongue and groove cottage look or Shaker style are go-to cabinet styles for a coastal kitchen. Choose hardware such as scallop shell drawer pulls in a distressed finish and whimsical sets of pulls featuring a seahorse, starfish, crab and scallop shell.
Be original and repurpose vintage tins that have sailing or beach themes for your supplies. Green glass jars with cork lids are an attractive way to store your food supplies.
Have fun choosing dinnerware and cutlery with a seaside theme, such as fish-shaped platters, glasses etched with sea creatures, and cutlery with handles that look like fish scales. To keep it more neutral, white plates are a classic coastal design choice.
Your bedroom is the perfect place to go coastal – imagine drifting off to sleep between crisp white sheets, on a bed with a fluffy duvet and rattan or linen headboard.
Artwork depicting beaches, sailboats and seagulls on shiplap walls or tongue and groove in soft neutral shades will be a relaxing backdrop for your coastal bedroom retreat.
Dressers and night tables refinished in milk paint or off-white paint will add to the peaceful atmosphere of your bedroom.
A breezy coastal living room calls for airy rattan and wicker furniture, with lush fern or floral print upholstered seat cushions and accent pillows. Or you can relax in traditional coastal style with comfy, casual neutral-coloured sofas.
Glass top coffee and side tables on a bamboo or rattan base will give the illusion of more space and show off your lamps and porcelain dishes and urns.
If you prefer cottage style, explore the log cabin or farmhouse style chairs and side tables in light to medium stained wood or white paint. Navy upholstery will give your space a Nantucket feel.
Dress up your glass top dining table with neutral linens, or botanical and sea life-inspired placemats. Two popular coastal chair styles are cane-backed or linen covered dining chairs. Look for sea-inspired glassware in deep blue or green. An original driftwood chandelier is the perfect lighting for your dining room and a great conversation piece.
Create a relaxing coastal bathroom retreat with towels and décor in the blues, greens and neutrals of the sky, ocean and beach. A warm-toned wood vanity will complement a glossy white porcelain sink, tub, and toilet.
Beadboard walls complete the light and airy seaside look.
If you are planning to build a patio, use soft grey or sand colour pavers and patio stones.
Build your deck with lighter colour wood or composite in soft grey. You can also stain an existing deck a lightgrey reminiscent of East Coast homes.
Simple, streamlined outdoor furniture will give your space a sophisticated coastal look. You can add interest with a few distressed and weathered pieces, as well as rugs and throw cushions made with sea and sky-inspired outdoor fabrics.
Al fresco dining is even more enjoyable when you’re sitting at a rustic wooden table on Spanish style ladder-back chairs with rush seats.
Add special touches
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