What to look for when shopping for coastal decor
When you walk into your home, you want it to feel light and airy. Why not turn to the seashore for inspiration? With a clean, open aesthetic and a color palette of whites, blues, greens, and corals, coastal decor makes any home or apartment feel like summer all year long. Whitewashed wood and wicker blend with elements from the shore like seashells and driftwood for spaces that feel happy and relaxing. If this style sounds like your perfect fit, here's what to look for when shopping for coastal decor.
Coastal living rooms are easy-breezy casual. When it comes to sofas and couches, it's all about slipcovers. For a true beach-home look, shop for a durable duck cotton or linen slipcover in bright white or a blue-and-white striped print. Make sure to measure your couch or sofa to get the proper fit.
To complete the look, add a few rattan arm chairs and painted wood tables and shelves in varying shades of blue and green. To make the most of natural light in your living room, hang unlined curtains made from filmy white muslin. To keep floor-length curtains as clean as possible, make sure they hang about an inch above the floor.
Kitchen and dining room
There are loads of ways to give your kitchen and dining room a coastal feel. In the kitchen, add accents of white wainscoting, install a white farm-style sink, and add pretty starfish cabinet pulls made from recycled sea glass.
When shopping for a dining room table, consider a product with a glass top to reflect light and add a feeling of more space. Make sure to measure your dining area before picking a table. A good rule of thumb is to allow about 50 inches between a table and its surrounding walls to accommodate chairs and walking space.
To finish your coastal look in the dining room, surround your table with cage-style chairs painted in a light green or whitewashed bamboo chairs topped with vibrant, colorful cushions. Bring extra warmth to your dining area with a chandelier made from seashells, stained glass, or pearly white beads.
If you're looking to transform your bedroom into a beach-style retreat, pair light-colored walls with a shiny metal bed frame in copper or brass. Add a cozy white comforter and sheer white curtains with pull down shades for a look that breathes pure bliss.
When shopping for comforters, choose one filled with goose down for a cold climate and a comforter stuffed with a down alternative for a warmer climate. To stow away extra blankets and linens, place a white wooden storage bench at the end of the bed, or create a bright and airy storage-style window seat.
To achieve a light coastal look in the bathroom, think wallpaper. Choose paper featuring pastel colors and whimsical prints like sea birds or sail boats, and add a matching colored toilet seat just for fun. If you're planning a bigger project, install white subway tile in the shower, and paint bathroom cabinets in a light, beachy color like powder blue or seafoam green. For bathroom windows, hang wispy white curtains or white plantation shutters. When shopping for plantation shutters, choose products made from wood for superior style and durability.
Now that you've learned the basics for achieving a beach house look, it's time to add the details. Fun accents make coastal decor pop. Consider purchasing striped area rugs in navy and white and nautical accent pillows featuring prints of boats or anchors. To keep your look casual, mix and match round, square, and rectangular pillows.
For more coastal style, top counters, tables, and shelves with colored glass vases and bowls in hues of blue, green, or coral. Decorate walls with oversized paintings of seascapes or smaller pen and ink drawings of seashells or sea birds. Corral clutter in large, hamper-style baskets, and place an antique model ship above your mantel. When shopping for a model ship, buy a pre-made product or a kit you can build yourself.
Bright, beachy style doesn't stop at the back door. You can give your patio or deck a coastal look too. Start by flanking your back entrance with fisherman-style pendant lights. Decorate your patio with bright Adirondack chairs, a colorful hammock, and a picnic-style table.
When choosing a picnic table, you have lots of options. Try a traditional rectangular shape, or go for a round or octagonal style. To make dinner guests feel warm and welcome on a summer evening, add pretty place mats, colorful dinner ware, and inviting hurricane lanterns. For even more fun, hang string lights in trees or along fencing, and mimic a beach bonfire with a cozy fire pit.