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GET THE LOOK - What is Coastal Style?

Updated: Apr 13

***Original post 2021.***

Coastal Style has become increasingly popular over the last decade or so. So popular, in fact, that it can be found in homes that are nowhere near a body of water. That's because the fresh, airy vibe it brings to your home makes people feel relaxed, casual and comfortable. You know...the way you feel on a beach vacation! Who doesn't want to feel that at home too?

While there are several variations of Coastal Style depending on the locale, the most popular by far in this country is a Contemporary version. (Read about what Contemporary means here.)

Coastal Style

Living room concept board in a coastal style using soft greys, blues and tan colors.

How to Get the Look - Key Elements

  1. MATERIALS - Cotton, linen, and other natural fibers feel clean and relaxed. Wood finishes either look sun bleached or are painted. Shiny surfaces tend to mimic the sun reflecting off the sea. Flooring can be wood or tile, but if you actually live near water, the better quality Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) products on the market may be a better choice than wood for you...long wearing, easy to maintain and waterproof!

  2. FURNISHINGS - Slipcovered and easy-care furnishings are a must and rattan, sisal, seagrass and caning are frequently used. Comfort is key so everything should be sized for relaxing. Every chair has a cushion and ottomans and coffee tables are for kicking up your feet.

  3. COLORS & PRINTS - Coastal style uses a fresh airy palette of crisp white mixed with shades of blue, green, grey and sandy beige, all colors that can be found in coastal landscapes. Brighter blues, corals, reds yellows and greens are used as accents for a fun feel Black or dark brown can be used as an accent color and can help ground the lighter palette. Prints are often in stripes, checks, batiks, or small-scale prints with an organic feel.

  4. LIGHTING - Lighting is casual and reflects natural materials and shapes. It should feel just as light and breezy as the rest of the decor. Glass lamps, either clear or in the colors of seaglass, or casual pottery lamps feel right at home as do basket weave pendants and chandeliers.

  5. ACCESSORIES - Accessories are simple and spare but include organic shapes and natural materials or themes. Driftwood, found objects, and paintings of the ocean are perfect.

An extra tip for making this style feel fresh and current? Ditch the kitsch! A couple of references to nautical life are okay, but please no swordfish or fishing nets on the wall. Reference those things in the prints, textures and colors you use instead.

Now that you have the tools, start creating your own Coastal getaway! Click on any of the products below to Shop the Look.

***Updated April 2024.  In the case that the same items were not available, similar items were chosen.***

Coastal Style

Not a fan of the options above? Here are some alternatives so you can make it your own! Click on any of the items to get a closer look.

Coastal Sofas & Chairs

Coastal Coffee & Side Tables

Coastal Lighting

Coastal Accessories

Coastal Rugs & Pillows

Websites to shop for more Coastal Style:

If you haven't yet, take my Design Style Quiz to see what your personal style is!

There's more Design Styles to come so keep checking back. Better yet, hit subscribe above to get email notifications when a new post comes out, and exclusive access to design advice not available on my blog. Let me know what you think of these finds in the comments below!

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If you would like to see more Interior Design Inspiration head over to my Portfolio for a little eye candy.

If you need more assistance pulling a look together for you space, you can read more about what I offer on my Services page.


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