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Welcome to Week 2 of our five-week blog post series, Home By Design. I hope our Modern décor post gave you everything you need to turn your current living space into your dream Modern home. 

Now, if you’re dream home doesn’t include Modern décor, but does include the feeling that you’re always minutes from the beach, (whether or not you really are!), this post is what you’ve been waiting for!  

Cause this week’s Interior Design style is…  

Style 2 | Coastal

(Don’t have time to read this now? Pin me for later!)

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The Short & Sweet:

This post is really special for me, because Coastal décor is what pulled me into the world of home décor and interior design. 





For most of my life, I didn’t live anywhere near the beach. And for the foreseeable future, I wasn’t going to live near a beach. So, to fill the deep water-and-sand longing in my heart, I started looking for ways to bring the beach into my home!

(Aside from, of course, bringing in water and sand. Gross.)

So what is the Coastal style? What does that name really mean?

Coastal décor is a quite celebration of beach living. It’s simple, open and peaceful, and it uses unique nautical items to display the beautiful characteristics of ocean life.

Simply put, Coastal décor is a non-flashy way to display your beach items. It’s not inspired by a luau or an explosion of tropical island colors, (which do have their place in other beach styles.) It’s inspiration would rather be a quite, undisturbed, natural piece of paradise whether the water and land embrace. 

How to Make it Coastal

 That sounded poetic, right?

(Please say yes – I’m working so hard on my coastal interior design inspired blog poetry!)

So, now that we know what separates Coastal décor from other beach themes, how to we make our living space Coastal?

Well, let’s start off with the basics:   

Three Defining Traits

#1: Open Spaces

Like the Modern style, Coastal homes are open and uncluttered, as this creates an environment of peace and relaxation. But, unlike Modern, Coastal homes have lots of large, open windows and glass panels.

This open design lets in two important coastal characteristics: natural light, (as this style comes from regions with sunny days), and beach breezes! 

#2: Light & Dark Color Contrasts

We’ll get into this more in the Palette Planning section, but coastal homes are predominantly light colored. However, contrasting those light colors with dark ocean colors or natural wood colors is a distinctive trait in Coastal décor.

This contrast is typically achieved with stripes, (the most common of which are Navy Blue and white stripes, which instantly add a nautical feel), but can also be done with other contrasting colors and patterns.

#3: Nautical Items

This, of course, is the star of Coastal décor. Items from the beach such as driftwood, sand and seashells, or items of nautical significance, like anchors, are what make this theme coastal.

We’ll go into this more in the Décor Items section, but your nautical items shouldn’t be flashy – instead, think natural. Whether it’s an item that’s actually from nature, or beach/boat supplies in their natural (i.e. weathered) state, you want your nautical items to be as natural as possible.  

Now that we know the three defining traits of Coastal Décor, you’re ready to finish your living space off with these… 

4 Coastal Essentials:

Palette Planning:


Image credit: @coastal_living and @coastalinteriors

When palette planning for Coastal décor, I like to break down the color palettes into two sections: the base colors and the accent colors.

Base colors should be used in the majority of the home. These are the light, neutral colors like white, tans, and light browns. (Light greys can be used, but you have to be careful – they can clash with browns or be confused with blues.)

Accent colors are used sparingly, but multiple can be used in any given room. Accent colors can be light or dark, but they should always be pulled from the ocean/coastal scenery, e.g. blues, greens, browns, etc. Incorporating natural wood is also included in your accent color palette, but the browns from natural wood shouldn’t be your ONLY accent color. 

Finding Furniture:


Image credit: @coastalinteriors and @livecoastalau 

Furniture is great way to incorporate your accent colors. Dark blue arm chairs, for instance, can bring in some ocean blue, contrast with your white walls, AND make spilled spaghetti not a big deal.

(Talk about a win!)

However, you can also use base colors for your furniture. Shape-wise, Coastal furniture should be simple. Have your furniture as large or small as you want! It can be round, curved, or traditionally-shaped, but it should be symmetrical. (We leave asymmetrical furniture to Modern design.) 

Décor Items:


Image credit: @coastalvintage and @beachfrontdecor

Beach stuuuuuff! Like we mentioned earlier, these items shouldn’t be flashy or overly colorful. (Save those items for your tropical rooms!) But, they can be items you, family and friends have collected from beaches all over the world!

This is where you can make your coastal home completely unique – fill it with your cherished beach stuff! However, if you’ve never been to the beach, or you just want more décor, you can find nautical items at thrift stores and hobby stores to complete your Coastal look.

Décor items can incorporate either your base colors or your accent colors. But, they should always be recognizable as beach-related items. 

Wall Décor:


Image credit: @livecoastalau and @beachfrontdecor

Wall décor is also a great place to feature your accent colors! Pictures and posters can do a great job of tying in all the colors from your color palette. You can also hang items like baskets and nets to bring in the “natural” aspect we mentioned earlier.

For pictures, it’s best to choose 1 – 2 nautical items that you’d like to feature. For instance, I love wooden docks, so most of the pictures in my home feature docks that stretch out into the beautiful ocean. There are so many items that represent the coast, so if you use too many, the simplicity of your coastal home can get confused.

Instagram for Inspiration:

You probably noticed that all of our photos were from people on Instagram – that’s because these are all accounts that we know and love for their Coastal décor! Here’s the full list of our featured accounts if you want constant Coastal inspiration:  






Well, that’s our post! Thanks so much for checking it out, please comment and share if you liked it, and don’t forget to come back for our next home décor how-to:

Home By Design | Boho

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That’s all from me! Have a great week, everyone, and as always… 

Stay restless, Creatives! 

~ Christine