How To: Coastal.

We are continuing our “How to” series.  This week: coastal design.

Salt in the air, wind in your face, the calming noises of the waves…ooh wait, it is 25 degrees outside and snowing. Wish you could have the feeling of being at the beach all the time? Look no further, we are here to help!  Follow these five essentials and you will be soaking in the sun in your amazing new coastal living room! Take a look.


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1.Layout.  Just as the beach is calming and simple, coastal design should mimic the same features. The most obvious and distinctive elements of a coastal design are the clean and sleek floor plans with modern touches.  Make the furniture the focal point in the room and allow for negative space around each piece so that your family and guests can move easily in the room.  Modern coastal design is clutter free but with some beach accents.  This design also takes advantage of structural elements like wood beams or open shelving.  This helps provide the warmth and character known in the coastal style.

2.Paint color.  Soothing is the aim.  When looking for a color scheme in coastal design, always go for calming and relaxing. Neutrals are key to start out your scheme. Use the ocean and sand as your inspiration and go with either sandy tones or light grays and blue/green accents. White is also a very traditional color in coastal themes.  White allows for the pops of colors that you typically see in this design.  Shiplap on the walls is common as well and can be painted the neutral tones that you select for the color scheme. With the walls painted in light neutrals, you also gain a wonderful backdrop for textured accessories which is imperative in coastal decor.

3.Flooring.  You will see mostly hardwood floors in this type of style with accents of warm textured area rugs that provide a softness to the hardwoods. The types of color range from white-washed to driftwood to even dark tones. The key is warmth, which any type of hardwood provides that feeling.  You can also find porcelain tile in coastal design whether in the main living area and just in the bathrooms. Sisal carpet or area rugs also help soften the hard surfaces and provides that sense of being at the coast.

4.Furniture.  This is the focus of the entire design!!! In my opinion, find the furniture first and the rest will fall in place once your focal pieces are selected.  In coastal decor, light and airy furniture pieces are a must.  Wicker, white slip covers, and light shades of furniture are the basis of the coastal look.  There are also some nice modern looking chairs and sofas that provide a fresh look for the coastal design including light colored wood accents and neutral fabrics.  Another important design element is layering a multitude of textures on the sofas, beds, etc. Pillows are a great way to add these types of textures and colors to the design. This is where you can get creative with your pops of color too.

5.Window coverings and fabrics. To soften and warm up the space, use the same textures as you would on chairs and pillows for your fabrics and window treatments. Woven roman shades can also be seen in the coastal design. This just adds even another depth and layer to the home.

Follow these simple design elements and in no time at all you will have a stunning coastal home.  Also, take a look at our Pinterest board of our favorite coastal interiors.  Enjoy!