How to Pull Off Tasteful Coastal Decor Without Going Overboard
Whether you live inland or by the beach, nailing a coastal feel gives your home a breezy, laidback, serene vibe. Here in Southern California, beach life means great vibes. If you want to bring those indoors, here's how to tastefully design your home using a nautical style.
First: Employ Restraint
Coastal done poorly can quickly cross over from classy to cheesy. Everything doesn't have to be blue. You don't need to put seashells on every bare shelf. And if you are thinking about using a plastic flamingo as part of your decor, please, stop now.
You don't have to stock every available space of your home with sea-themed accents to get a beachy feel. The goal is to keep it simple, but strategically choose pieces that are all at once cozy, livable, and stylish.
Coastal Color Palette
An easy way to choose coastal decor colors is to take inspiration directly from the seaside: the ocean, sand, vegetation, and sky. Shades of blue are an obvious go-to, but also consider accent and complementary colors like greens, creams, tans, grays, or corals.
Since coastal living is about blending the outdoors with the indoors, the more you can brighten your space, the better. White walls make light, bright, and pale neutral colors pop. Add some windows and mirrors to reflect natural light, and your space begins to open up.
If you're using wood, again, go for lighter colors as opposed to rich and dark, like mahogany. Choose woods like natural oak or blond maple, which mimic the color of sand but are so much more practical for building tables with.
Beach house furniture is durable, comfortable, and inviting. You wouldn't sprawl your sand-covered body all over a fancy leather French salon sofa.
If you want the coastal feel, opt for pieces that blend function with fashion. Casual-style furniture is a perfect fit for coastal, and you can still find high-quality pieces that enhance your design.
Transitional-style furnishings are also a way to make your coastal decor pop. Since these pieces blend the traditional with the modern, you can make sure your beach-inspired home looks classic but anything but outdated.
To really personalize the look of your home, it's all about the accessories. But remember, it's about simplicity and refinement, not going “overboard.” Some ideas:
- Wall art: Add more light with sconces. Put the sea on display in a painting. Show off an art piece inspired by a global coastal destination, like Bali. Or add some sea birds in flight to a wall.
- Throw pillows and blankets: Look for soft sand-colored blankets, or add a tropical pop of color in teal. Get a little fun and funky with pillows in palm or fish prints.
- Area rugs: A turquoise wave-themed rug or bright coral rug really stands out among more neutral colors. Or look for a rug in various shades of blue for that down-by-the-sea feel.
Coastal motifs and centerpieces really help put your place in a beach house category. You could make dozens of types of coastal accents yourself on the cheap, from coastal jar candles filled with sand to a starfish garland to hang on a mantle. If you can head out to the Cali coast to source natural materials for your decor, you can infuse more meaning into your accents and give each one a story to tell.
Bring the Beach Indoors, Wherever You Happen to Live
It doesn't matter if you're in a cul-de-sac or a studio apartment — you can create your very own beach home by following a few easy design principles.
- Think light, bright and airy — both in terms of color and natural light.
- Don't overcrowd your space — choose a standout piece or two for each main living space, and accessorize thoughtfully.
- Go for comfort — casual and cozy rules.
If you want to transform your space into a coastal paradise, stop into a Jerome's Furniture showroom. One of our design consultants will help you piece together the look you're going for.