Decorating a Coastal Home

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There is no need to hire an interior designer! I’m sharing tips for decorating a coastal home that will inspire you to create the home of your dreams. In this post, you’ll learn what gives furniture and decor a coastal style and how to choose a color palette that suits your style. Find sources at the end of this post!

Stefana Silber decorating a coastal home

Coastal vs. Beachy Style

Both decorating styles reflect a home near the coast, but what sets them apart? While both styles are casual and incorporate natural materials and similar color schemes, coastal interior design feels a bit more upscale.

bedroom with refined coastal furniture and decor

Beach decor tends to be more relaxed – think “Life is a Beach” wall art and seashells galore – and cottagey. Keep reading for examples of how to use contemporary coastal decor in every room.

coastal vs beach decor

How to Make a Home Feel Coastal

Besides using traditional colors associated with the oceanside, it’s important to incorporate natural materials throughout your home. My love for rattan and cane decor is no secret. When it was time to decorate the beach house I had an excuse to use it more frequently than I would in my primary home (which is nowhere near the coast).

how to make a home feel coastal with natural materials and coastal colors, examples of coastal decor

You don’t need to stuff your home with seashells and other accents to give it a coastal feel. Carefully select a few complementary decor pieces that reflect both the overall look and your style.

Use a Seaside Color Palette

The key to decorating a coastal home is to take inspiration from nature. Let the colors and textures found near the shore will set the tone for the decor you choose. These details may vary a little depending on where you live, but the concept is the same. Get outdoors and take in the view!

paint colors to use when decorating a coastal home

Here in Maryland, our coastline has miles of beautiful beige sand, dunes covered in tall beach grasses, and deep shades of blue ocean. Add in the bright blue sky and colorful summer flowers then you have endless colors to influence your home interior.

beach house living room decorated with light blue, beige, and chartreuse, natural fiber rug, coral patterned pillows

You’ll find light blue and beige throughout my beach house. These colors are the foundation of my color palette and I chose them because they are light and airy. However, decorating a coastal home doesn’t have to be limited to just a couple of colors.

beach house decor, tropical flowers, yellow vase, blue coral

I used bold accents of green, pink, and navy blue throughout that complement the light blue and creamy beige. Adding touches of these colors from one room to the next ties the overall design of a home together and gives it feel thoughtful and purposeful.

nautical decor in a beat house bedroom, navy blue dresser, Serena and Lily rattan mirror, wall art, natural fiber rug

Beach House Furniture

Serena and Lily is the ultimate source of inspiration when decorating a coastal home. The beautiful soft colors and natural materials come together to create the quintessential upscale beach style.

close up of rattan side table in a coastal living room

All the furniture in my beach home was curated with that signature style in mind – starting with the prettiest shade of blue! I found the most calming blue sofa and bed and used them for the main color of the living room and one of the bedrooms.

beach house living room with light blue Ikea sofa, rattan side tables, natural fiber rug
coastal bedroom with a light blue upholstered bed, white bedding, rattan night stands, woven bedside table lamps, natural fiber rug

The primary bedroom furniture combines woven materials and classic white wood. Pottery Barn knows how to do coastal and this collection did not disappoint!

Pottery Barn Coastal Bedroom, coral wallpaper, white and rattan bed and nightstand, blue and white bedding, patterned rug

The other bedrooms have variations of blue and white furniture. The white beds contrast so nicely with the blue side table and the blue bunk beds give that room a nautical look.

bedroom in a beach house with white twin beds, blue night stand, coastal wall art
navy blue bunk beds in a beach house bedroom, navy and chartreuse accent colors

The kitchen and dining spaces have bistro-style chairs and stools. The light gray and white pattern blends with flooring and white cabinets (both chosen by the builder).

decorating a coastal dining room and kitchen with bistro style chairs and stools, rattan pendant
Serena and lily inspired bistro dining stools

Coastal Wall Art

As I mentioned above, a refined coastal home tends to lack word art of any kind. We know we are at the beach so no need to point it out! Instead, use more refined wall decor as an opportunity to elevate each room.

Stefana Silber demonstrates decorating a coastal home by hanging coastal wall art

Go ahead and get those ocean or blue heron prints. As long as the color scheme in the art itself works with the rest of your decor, these classy options are a great way to fill wall space.

Here is a list of coastal wall art ideas:

  • boats
  • birds
  • shells
  • sea creatures
  • ocean landscapes
  • abstract

Decorative Accents for a Beach House

Accents are the element that brings a design to life. I’m all about mixing textures and materials in a design, but don’t go overboard. Decorating a coastal home is no exception. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best choice.

Using realistic-looking faux flowers and greenery is a great start. Incorporating tropical plants in small doses will make a big impact.

faux palm leaf in a wooden case, white scalloped mirror, blue coffee table book

Don’t overlook the opportunity to use mirrors, pillows, and lighting to bring the outdoors in. In this case, it is all about the materials. Things like rattan (swoon!), linen, and cotton will give your home the softness and natural look you want.

decorating a coastal bedroom with natural elements, rattan lamp styled on a white dresser

Want more ocean-specific decor? These sea urchins’ delicate colors and textures are so interesting that I styled them in a decorative bowl on the coffee table.

coffee table styled with pink and green sea urchins in marble bowl and coffee table books

Driftwood is a classic coastal home accent perfect for any shelf or table. It’s versatile enough to be used as a centerpiece too!

decorating a coastal home with driftwood on a console table under wall art

Another way to decorate is with coffee table books and there is no shortage of options that would look lovely in a beach house.

coffee table book styled with a candle on top of a rattan side table

Decorating a Coastal Home on a Budget

Whether you are planning for a big renovation or redecorating a small space, there are ways to stretch your budget. It’s okay to splurge the important things to you as long as you have enough left over to complete the rest of the project.

For example, I splurged on other areas because I found an affordable alternative to the Serena and Lily sofa I was eyeing, saving me thousands! If you want to learn more about it, check out my IKEA HYLTARP SOFA REVIEW for details.

Stefana Silber Ikea Hyltarp sofa review, light blue, decorating a coastal home with affordable furniture

Everyone I know uses a combination of high and low-cost decor in their homes. Nowadays there are many affordable designer-inspired alternatives so do your research when shopping for furniture and decor!

Beach House Decor Sources

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