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What defines a coastal home? Contrary to popular opinion, a coastal home is not a nautical home; nor does it need to be situated by the beach, or decorated with masses of seashells on every available tabletop. A coastal home should be beachy; breezy, natural and relaxed, with a touch of elegance.
So, how do you get a modern coastal home look without overdoing it with kitschy anchors, old maps or blue and white-striped everything?
Our top tips for creating a coastal home
Modern coastal homes are breezy, relaxed and take advantage of a natural color palette. That means plenty of earthy tones and crisp whites, with a touch of color; often blue, yellow or green, or light peachy tones for a more tropical look.
Coastal homes utilize natural fabrics like linen, with wood or cane furniture. But there’s more to it than that; ideally, you want cohesive spaces tied together with a central theme that can blend seamlessly from one room to the next. You want to create a relaxed, breezy atmosphere with a touch of luxury, so your home doesn’t look like you’ve just stepped into a holiday rental. Here’s how to achieve the look.
Start with light
When you think of the coast, you envision calm, breezy open spaces and bright lights. So, when it comes to creating a coastal space, you can easily embody this atmosphere by embracing lots of natural light. Create light by adding large windows, skylights, mirrors and glass doors.
While natural light is always best, you can also add artificial lights or candles wherever possible to brighten up your rooms. Wrap fairy lights around stairs, or around window frames or furniture. You could also add multiple sets of fairy lights to mason jars to create portable lights that can be used inside or out.
When in doubt, add some white
White will always have its place when it comes to coastal homes, particularly in a Hamptons coastal-style home. But there’s a reason why it’s so popular. White and neutral tones create the illusion of space, making your rooms feel airier.
To get the look, start with a fresh coat of light-colored paint; ideally some shade of white or a grey-white or yellow-white base. Or, if you’re happy with your walls as they are, you could add some light-colored wall art to breathe new life into your spaces.
Some great coastal wall art ideas are:
- Images of whales or other sea creatures
- Tropical island scenes
- Palm trees, or other imagery of tropical plants
- Images of the sunset over the water
Place your wall art in a space where it will get sunlight and have the maximum amount of impact, particularly if you’re placing it in a small space.
Embrace open-plan living
Open-plan living is becoming more and more popular in modern design, and there’s a reason! Not only does it help your spaces feel airier and more open, and bring more natural light into your spaces, it helps your home feel more social and enhances your living areas. The best part is, you don’t have to have a huge space to embrace open-plan living.
While it might not always be possible to knock down your walls to create bigger spaces, consider the placement of your furniture. Ensure that furniture isn’t placed to cut off one area from another, or even consider getting rid of larger piece of furniture. Perhaps that large armchair can be moved to a room in favor of adding smaller pouffes or ottomans in living spaces that can double as storage spaces. Use large area rugs to separate your spaces and create “zones”.
Keep it natural
Coastal home design is all about a natural look. Natural light, open space and cool tones all evoke the feeling of being by the sea.
That means using natural, raw organic materials, like wood in light tones or painted white, as well as cane or seagrass. Seagrass baskets add a natural look and can be used for extra storage.
To add natural textures, use linen and cotton. Linen slipcovers can be used over furniture, as well as adding an extra layer of protection to help furniture last longer. To add a touch of intrigue in your spaces, adorn your walls with a textured wall hanging or a large canvas print.
Coastal homes usually utilize a fairly neutral color palette but the key is to add plenty of texture to give your spaces some interest. Throw some chunky textured cushions on the couch or a throw rug.
Don’t be too literal
A coastal home should build the feeling of being by the coast without being too literal. Too many anchors, blue and white stripes and seashells, and you run the risk of creating a look that is pure kitsch.
Try adding a touch of the coastal here and there but use any ocean décor sparingly. Add some seashells in the bathroom or use a few coastal ornaments but pair them with plants or more modern décor pieces to balance the look.
Keep it simple
Above all, keep your coastal home look simple. Above all, a coastal home should feel relaxed, not stuffy and overfilled with trinkets. Furniture should be simple, with lots of negative space surrounding it.
Once you’ve nailed the basics, aim to instead dress up spaces with color in small doses. Aim to stick to a soothing color palette, adding pops of color with wall art or colorful cushions.
In terms of colors, you can start with a white or neutral base and add colors according to the style you’re going for. For instance, true blues and whites can create a Mediterranean look, while blush pinks and creams can add a tropical look, especially when paired with some indoor plants. On the other hand, adding greens and blues can lend a country-style coastal look to your spaces.
So, there you have it; you’re ready to create your coastal home look! To dress up your spaces with some wall art, photo cushions or to check out our range, click here to browse our products. Happy styling!