Coastal Style: Bringing the Tranquility of the Sea to Your Home

Being native to Charleston, we know a thing or two about embracing coastal style and the power of incorporating the vibrant colors and textures that surround us. This design style is all about capturing the essence of the sand, sky, and sea, and harnessing it to create an atmosphere of tranquility and relaxation. Coastal interiors stand out from other beach-themed designs like nautical, Mediterranean, or tropical styles. Instead, it focuses on crafting a space that exude a soft and breezy ambiance through the use of natural colors and materials.

Harnessing Natural 
Elements and Soft Tones

The core features of a coastal design style include jute textures, earth tones, layered blues, crisp whites, stripes, and loose linen upholstery. What sets coastal apart from its nautical counterpart is a lack of kitschy and in-your-face design elements. Coastal design is rooted in natural materials and soft tones that evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.

Bedroom designed by B. Berry Interiors
Image via B. Berry Interiors featuring ‘Gerty Dot’ by Erika M Powell on the cushion
Bedroom designed by Allison Elebash
Image via Allison Elebash Interior Design featuring Ann Mcguire ‘Rhodie’ upholstered on the headboard

Creating an Open and Airy Ambiance with Natural Light

Light is another defining element of coastal design. Coastal design relies heavily on natural light to create a feeling of openness and airiness that connects the indoors with the outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling windows, glass doors, and skylights are key architectural features of coastal homes. Window treatments, if used, are minimal so that the natural light is not diminished. The open floor plan is a signature feature of coastal design that creates an uninterrupted flow between rooms and allows natural light to permeate throughout the space. Slip-covered furniture is an essential part of this style, adding a casual and cozy feel to the space.

From Left to Right: Light Weight Plain Linen in Sea Green by Volga Linen, ‘Fish Collage’ by Rouse Phillips, Narrow Stripe Linen in Natural/White by Volga Linen

Jute Textures, Earth Tones, and Layered Blues

Natural elements such as furniture made from wicker, rattan or light and weathered woods are used in coastal design to invite a relaxed and easy atmosphere. Rugs with materials such as straw or seagrass add to the comfortable and beachy ambiance. Natural fabrics such as cotton or linen are preferred for upholstery, and the color palette is dominated by neutral white, beige, light blues, grays, and greens.

Bedroom designed by B. Berry Interiors
Image via B. Berry Interiors featuring ‘Gerty Dot’ by Erika M Powell on the cushion

Achieving the Perfect Balance: Seaside Touches in Moderation

Seaside touches like shells, glass bottles, or woven baskets are welcome in coastal homes, but in moderation. Cliched design elements such as anchor prints, “beach this way” signs, or any other decorative features that take away from the natural beauty of the coast are avoided. Simple touches such as a collection of blue glass vases or a classic blue and white stripe wallpaper are better choices for adding visual interest to a staircase or hallway.

Image via Erika M Powell Textiles, featuring ‘Envelope Stripe’ by Erika M Powell in the foreground
Image via Allison Elebash Interior Design

Coastal design beautifully blends luxury with understated living by creating a relaxed and easy atmosphere where natural materials and tones invite peacefulness. By incorporating natural elements, a neutral color palette, and an abundance of natural light, there’s no reason why anyone can’t evoke the breeziness and comfort of the beach in their own home.

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