Establish Your Style Series: Coastal

Welcome to the clean, crisp and calming style of coastal that evokes the same feeling as the gentle hum of the waves unfurling on the shore (now that’s peaceful). Coastal style feels sophisticated and relaxing and can be put into practice in any space, not just by the beach. 

Let us explore the elements of coastal style.

Tip#1: Son of a Beach Accessories: Shoreline treasures such as seashells, sand dollars, coral, starfish and any other maritime accessory belong in coastal style (but use sparingly, there is overkill). Other ideal accessories include objects made of rope and knots, twine, lanterns, and light vases reminiscent of sea glass. Try putting these objects in glass cloches or apothecary jars for a more organized but airy feel. If you don’t want to get your hands sandy, use framed artwork or prints of your favorite beachy wonders. 

Beach Style Bathroom by Southport Architects & Building Designers Austin Patterson Disston Architects

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Beach Style Living Room by Jamestown Interior Designers & Decorators Taste Design Inc

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Beach Style Staircase by Tampa Interior Designers & Decorators Studio M Interior Design

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Beach Style Bathroom by Huntington Design-Build Firms Robert Kocis

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Beach Style Bedroom by Little Rock Interior Designers & Decorators Tobi Fairley Interior Design

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Tip#2: Gentle Sea Hues: Beach style requires a soft palette of light blues, greens and even yellows mixed with white, tans (cream, beige and khaki) and neutrals. White is imperative to coastal style giving it a refreshing, breezy feel followed by the next most important hue: light blue. Pale blue is ideal for kitchen or bathroom tile work and painted walls. Yes, we are going for colors of sand, sea and sky. If you want a bolder look, try punches or coral, lime, emerald green or navy. 

Beach Style Bedroom by New York Interior Designers & Decorators MuseInteriors

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Beach Style Bathroom by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Anthony Baratta LLC

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Beach Style Sunroom by Newport Interior Designers & Decorators Digs Design Company

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Beach Style Kitchen by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Rachel Reider Interiors

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Beach Style Kitchen by Los Angeles Architects & Building Designers Lauren Shadid Architecture and Interiors

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Tip#3: White Woodwork: White trim and and a network of extensive crown molding is prevalent in coastal style. Without screaming colors or eccentric focal pieces, the background or periphery space is just as decorated. Maintaining visible sight lines allows a room to feel airy, even breezy. 

Beach Style Living Room by Stone Harbor Architects & Building Designers Asher Associates Architects

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Beach Style Staircase by Point Pleasant Beach Architects & Building Designers Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

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Beach Style Bedroom by Naples Home Builders BCBE Custom Homes

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Beach Style Bedroom by Washington Architects & Building Designers Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

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Tip#4: Small Windows for Abundant Light: Light is fundamental to coastal style making spaces feel open and bright like standing on the beach. Windows, glass doors and skylights are plentiful, maximizing natural light. Beachy spaces should never feel dark and dim. In coastal architecture, tiny windows, both round and square, are reminiscent of ship portholes or lighthouses. If you want to pull in more light, try circular mirrors for solid porthole effect, AHOY!

Beach Style Bedroom by Grand Rapids Interior Designers & Decorators Francesca Owings Interior Design

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Beach Style Staircase by Charleston Architects & Building Designers The Anderson Studio of Architecture & Design

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Beach Style Bedroom by Rehoboth Beach Home Builders Echelon Custom Homes

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Beach Style Bedroom by Grand Rapids Interior Designers & Decorators Francesca Owings Interior Design

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Tip#5: Clean Fabrics: Crisp, white and simple linens thrive in these airy spaces. Your furnishings should be light with slipcovers of linen. Try cotton rugs and muslin curtain panels, even sheer. Patterns should be simple and few, too many patterns and you hit an ocean of preppy or kitschy (both can be dangerous). However curtains and pillows with cute, beachy patterns in a light pastel hue are heavily encouraged. 

Beach Style Bedroom by Johns Island Design-Build Firms Seamar Construction Group

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Beach Style Living Room by Costa Mesa Architects & Building Designers Brandon Architects, Inc.

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Beach Style Bedroom by Charleston Architects & Building Designers The Anderson Studio of Architecture & Design

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Tip#6: Paneling: Hello wainscoting and beadboards! For those of you with curious minds who don’t know, “wainscoting” is the wood paneling effect on lower walls of a room. Use beadboards on ceilings, in wainscoting or full wall, either vertical or horizontal. Panels emphasize that feeling that maybe you are actually on a ship but didn’t realize because you’re in the matrix. 

Beach Style Bedroom by Middletown Design-Build Firms Aquidneck Properties

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Beach Style Kitchen by Hilton Head Island Architects & Building Designers Group 3

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Beach Style Bedroom by Boston Home Builders Jonathan Raith Inc.

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Beach Style Bathroom by Portland Architects & Building Designers Whitten Architects

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Tip#7: Distressed Wood: More ship resemblances, wood should be distressed or with patina giving it that “I was lost under sea for years” feel. Use light, natural, unstained woods or woods with chipping paint like blond maple and ash, or bamboo. You can also use whitewashed or pickled woods. This is the portion of coastal style that feels almost rustic. Use driftwood accessories but sparingly, do not overdo it on the driftwood or it can feel cliche. 

Beach Style Dining Room by Costa Mesa Architects & Building Designers Brandon Architects, Inc.

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Beach Style Living Room by Huntersville Interior Designers & Decorators Ally Whalen Design

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Beach Style Bedroom by Alexandria Interior Designers & Decorators OUTinDesign

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Beach Style Hall by Newport Beach Home Builders Spinnaker Development

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Tip#8: Wicker Furnishings and Accessories: Rougher fabrics or furnishings like wicker, sea grass, rattan and jute preserve that nautical, outdoor feel. Use woven baskets and bins for organization or incorporate rope, burlap and twine. 

Beach Style Kitchen by Ponte Vedra Beach Interior Designers & Decorators Beach Chic Design

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Beach Style Staircase by Sandwich Home Builders Structures Building Inc.

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Beach Style Kitchen by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Beach Style Home Office by Minneapolis Interior Designers & Decorators Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Exterior style: Yes, these are all beach houses but they are awesome. 

Beach Style Pool by Naples Architects & Building Designers MHK Architecture & Planning

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Beach Style Exterior by Boston Architects & Building Designers Marcus Gleysteen Architects

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Beach Style Exterior by Jacksonville Home Builders Glenn Layton Homes

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Beach Style Exterior by Washington Architects & Building Designers Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

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I hope you enjoyed these bright and breezy picks, I couldn’t narrow it down. We have conquered Traditional, Hollywood Glam, Eclectic, Contemporary, IndustrialRustic, and Modern in the Establish Your Style Series. Next up: Mediterranean

Until the next adventure,

Jenn

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2 thoughts on “Establish Your Style Series: Coastal

  1. Oh Jen, by far your best work! Your selections were AWESOME to say the least. Great job!
    I want to move & redecorate after these photos. What inspiration.

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