Coastal Interior Design Style: A Comprehensive Guide

It’s no wonder coastal-style homes are becoming one of the most popular styles in home design. A coastal home can be customized to fit any lifestyle and personality, making it a great option for most homeowners.

Looking to upgrade your home and have a love for coastal interiors? Add beachy vibes to your home with these coastal design ideas.

While you’re here, read our other guides on coastal interiors: Coastal Style Bedroom FurnitureCoastal Color PalettesHow to Create a Coastal Living Room, and Coastal Kitchen Design Ideas.

This article may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a commission from the sale (at no extra cost to you!). I recommend items that I personally love and believe these products will help you create your dream home.

One of the main reasons coastal homes are so popular is because they provide natural beauty and relaxation through an oceanic design style.

This means coastal-style homes are often decorated with beach-inspired furniture, rugs, lighting, artwork, and decor – all in keeping with the natural elements of the coastal habitat.

To start designing your own coastal home, here are some ideas for creating a spectacular beachy vibe in your own home. Make sure to read until the end to get all of the up-to-date insights on accomplishing an astonishing seaside feel in your own home.

Want to learn more about interior design? You may like these design styles too!

dining room with large and stylish lighting above spacious dining room table

What is Coastal Design?

Coastal interior design, also known as beach or nautical design, is a decorating style that incorporates elements of the ocean and the beach into the design scheme. This style is characterized by its bright, breezy, and relaxed atmosphere, and its focus on creating a calming and peaceful environment that reflects the natural beauty of the seaside.

Typical elements of coastal interior design include light and airy color palettes that are inspired by the beach and ocean, such as shades of light blues, white, beige, and sandy tones.

Natural materials such as wood, wicker, and rattan are also commonly used in this style, along with textures like sea grass, jute, and linen.

Seashells, driftwood, and other coastal accessories can also be used to add a touch of the beach to the interior design. Furniture pieces may be upholstered in soft, durable fabrics such as cotton or linen, and may include classic beach house motifs such as stripes, anchors, and other nautical patterns.

Overall, coastal interior design aims to create a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere that transports you to the beach and helps you feel connected to the natural world.

The elements of coastal design contain natural materials such as wicker furniture, wood floors, jute rugs, and light colors of linen and cotton. The use of shells, surfboards, coral, raw wood, and other pieces from the sea are used to enhance the coastal feel.

The coastal design ideas in this article will serve you to create the atmosphere of a beautiful seaside retreat.

The natural elements of a coastal home include the use of natural wood and natural textures like rattan and natural fiber rugs. These natural materials create a feeling of being on the beach.

There are many coastal-style homes in Florida.

Traditionally, coastal homes are built with durable materials against the salty breeze. So, natural materials such as cement, brick, metal, cast stone in waterproof mortar, porcelain, glass, clay tile, concrete, preservative-treated wood, and other long-lasting building materials are used to preserve the house. 

Therefore, if you are looking to remodel, or decorate your home for a more coastal feel, remember that using raw and natural materials will help you achieve just that.

two homes with coast exterior design with gray siding and stone work

The Benefits of Natural Elements in a Coastal Home

The coastal design has been popular for decades because it is associated with the relaxed lifestyle of people who live near the shore.

Imagine if you were on the beach, and you close your eyes and take a deep breath of fresh salty air. How would you feel?

This soothing and enlivening feeling the beach provides is the exact reason why this design style is trending. Living in a coastal-styled home reflects calmness, comfort, and relaxation by enhancing the airy feel of the space and using serene colors such as white, cream, and blue tones.

Related: 17 Incredible Ceiling Design Ideas You’ll Love

Natural Elements to Include in Your Coastal Design Style

One of the best things about natural elements is that they are versatile and can be used in many ways to achieve the desired look.

For example, if you want to add a touch of the beach to your home, you can use rugs, furniture, and fabrics with coastal designs or colors. You can also use lighting such as candles or wall sconces that give off natural light.

To achieve this beachy look, make sure to use the following tips when redesigning your home. The below examples are a great way to get started!

Side table and pillows with art design in a small living room

Area Rugs

Rugs are one of the best ways to add texture and color to a room’s design while also providing a feeling of comfort. So which rug should you choose for your coastal style home? The answer depends on what kind of look you want to select.

For example, popular rugs in coastal design include natural fibers like jute, wool, seagrass, sisal, and safavieh. Your choice of rug would depend on your price point and if the rug will be placed in a low or high traffic area. If you design your coastal living room, using a more durable material like jute would be favorable. 

Organic Furniture

A relaxed, carefree attitude typically characterizes the coastal interior design style. There is no need for formal dining rooms or living spaces in this home style. Instead, each room should flow together to invoke a welcoming atmosphere that invites company into your home with open arms!

Organic furniture is often seen as a more sustainable and eco-friendly option than traditional furniture, which may be made from synthetic materials and treated with toxic chemicals. In addition to being better for the environment, organic furniture may also be better for human health, as it does not emit the same toxic fumes as synthetic materials.

Some examples of organic furniture include:

  • Wooden furniture made from sustainably harvested wood, such as oak, maple, or bamboo.
  • Upholstered furniture made with natural fibers such as cotton or wool, which are free from chemical treatments.
  • Mattresses made with natural latex or organic cotton and wool, which are free from harmful chemicals.
  • Cork flooring, which is made from the bark of cork oak trees and is a renewable and sustainable material.
  • Rattan or wicker furniture made from natural materials that are biodegradable and sustainable.

Overall, organic furniture provides a natural and eco-friendly option for those who want to furnish their homes in a way that is healthy for both people and the environment.

large mirror that opens up an office space

Fabrics

Depending on if you are going for a modern coastal design or a traditional seaside look, the colors of fabrics will vary.

For example, if you favor the modern design trend, stick to using light colors such as white, cream, and light sandy grey.

You can choose fabrics with sea patterns and designs for a more traditional look. However, remember to be cautious about the amount of color you use. Using too much color can overwhelm the space and not allow for the serene feeling coastal-designed homes provide. Some natural fabrics are burlap, sisal, jute, linen, and cotton. These fabrics are great for pillows, drapes, or blankets.

Modern Light Fixtures

The coastal design creates an airy feel because it primarily uses lots of natural light and natural sources of light such as fire. Think about using candle wall sconces, pendants over kitchen islands, or even tiki torches outside your patio doors.

Natural lighting is essential for creating that ocean escape feeling, so make sure to open up the space, use light colors for drapes, and, if possible, build large windows and skylights. 

Decorating with More Natural Elements

Thus far, you have learned about the fundamental elements of designing a coastal home. Now, the finishing touches are in order!

By this time, you should have already chosen your coastal color palette. If you are still struggling to select the right color scheme, view our article, Coastal Color Palette: How it Feels to Live Coastal.

After choosing your neutral primary color, you can select decorative pops of color to enliven the space.

Using photographs, picture frames, or paintings of sea life or the ocean will enhance the coastal effect. Also, the use of seashells, coral, dried sea sponges, starfish, and nautical decor are ideal for bringing the sea experience directly to your home.

If you want a contemporary coastal look, use minimal color and pieces to decorate the space. This will bring simplicity which increases the serene feel of seaside living.

The beach house look includes neutral colors such as crisp whites, creme, and grey with pops of color such as blue, coral, yellow, and green hues. Image Credit

How to Choose Natural Elements for Your Coastal Home

Whether you’re itching to get on the water or yearning for some sand between your toes, coastal living has a lot going for it. And when it comes to decorating your beachside retreat— we’ve found that the natural elements of this seaside beauty are the most popular choices for coastal homes.

This article should have given you some ideas about what makes for good coastal decor, so when choosing your decor, make sure to determine what most resonates with you.

First, you can determine whether you want a contemporary look or a more traditional one.

Secondly, choosing the right coastal color palette is crucial.

natural wood ceiling in a coastal master coastal bedroom design
This coastal bedroom added pops or orange and navy blue into this light and airy space!

Thirdly, if you are remodeling, or shopping for furniture to create a coastal interior, always choose natural and raw materials listed in this article.

For a contemporary look with a nautical feel, consider using modern elements such as black hardware on white walls or sleek metal finishes in neutral tones such as taupe or grey.

Lastly, choose the decorative pieces that best match your design style. At this point, you can select area rugs, fabrics, pillows, and ornaments.

Bottom Line

This blog post has covered some fundamental elements of designing a coastal home. If you’re remodeling or shopping for furniture, make sure you choose natural materials such as wood and stone over synthetic products like plastic. The colors used in this type of design should mainly consist of light hues with pops of color here and there, depending on what fits best with your taste.

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