There are many ways to add Coastal decor to your home. Do you love the coastal look? If you live in a beach house, seaside villa, coastal cottage, lake house, or love the coastal style, we have some tips for you. We have tips to share that will help you obtain a coastal style in your home. In today’s post, we’ll cover simple ways to add coastal decor to your space. Including the ways that you can easily build a coastal style inside and outside of your home.
If you are lucky enough to live by the water, you’ll want to make the most of those views. Here are some tips for creating the perfectly styled coastal home you’ll love. Take a look at our list of tips. And be sure to let us know your thoughts!
Traditional Coastal Classics – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
The traditional coastal and beach house style includes use of white and blue interior colors along with water-related elements. Traditionally, beach home decor was inspired by marine, nautical, aquatic, and oceanic elements. Marine elements are items related to the sea. Nautical elements related to boats, ships, captains, and sailors. Aquatic elements are those such as plants, fish, octopus, sea turtles, mermaids, and other forms of life. Oceanic elements include the tide, surf, and movement of the water.
Shells, mermaids, oars, as well as many other nautical decor items are still as popular as ever in Summer and beach homes. However, consider limiting the use of any one decorative item. For example, displaying seashells, or miniature sailboats in every room of your home is too much of a good thing.
Use Sparingly – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
It is better to use a single decorative item sparingly. Having said that, there are two exceptions to this rule. First, if you have a collection of miniature sailboats or images of seascapes it is fine to display as a group or collection. Second, if there are several decor items that are vintage or antique, then decorate using those vintage items. Especially, if the vintage pieces have historical value which then in turn becomes a conversation starter.
Traditionally, coastal colors tend to be neutral white, off-white, beige with coastal blues, greens as well as sandy earth tones. You’ll find these color combinations across the US. Although, in many Caribbean Islands you’ll see bright coastal colors used inside coastal interiors. Tropical colors such as bright yellows, greens, reds, and blues are frequently used in interior decorating styles.
2. Shiplap Wall Style
Today, many beach homes have either shiplap or white washed plank walls. Shiplap and plank wall boards can be installed either horizontally or vertically. The shiplap and plank wall boards provide depth to the home decor.
The popular practice of installing plank wall boards or shiplap in beach homes was due to several reasons. First, plank wall boards tend to be rough, unfinished wood which is suitable for beach houses. In years past, most beach houses did not have formal living areas. While at the beach, families maintained a casual existence.
Second, traditionally beach homes were seasonal homes that were unoccupied over the colder, Winter months. They were inhabited only over the warmer, Summer months. As a cost cutting measure, insulation was skipped. These beach houses could be pretty chilly over the Winter season. Third, the low cost of rough, unfinished plank wall boards made it very affordable.
Plank boards and shiplap are typically painted white or stained a neutral color.
In the image above, shiplap was installed horizontally. The flooring is white washed gray color. Completing the coastal look, the wicker chair with drum table and crane bird statue makes for a cozy sitting area for relaxing.
Board and Batten Walls – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
As an alternative to shiplap, Krista of the Happy Housie blog installed board and batten walls in her family’s Summer Lake House dining room. An amazing look and blend of coastal decor elements.
Krista of the Happy Housie blog, decorated her Summer Lake House on Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Rather than use shiplap in the dining room, Krista installed board and batten to increase the visual interest of the room. We think it looks fantastic.
We love the soothing coastal wall colors that blend so well with the warm earth tones of the dining room chairs and tables. Krista painted the wall above the board and batten, Whispering Spring by Benjamin Moore. The board and batten walls are painted Cloud White by Benjamin Moore. As a finishing touch, pops of green and blue decor colors were added around the dining room.
3. Coastal Colors
In beach communities throughout the US, the color white is commonly used. That includes interior wall and ceiling areas, fabric, furniture, and accessories all in various white shades. Wooden surfaces are painted in either white-wash or distress finishes. Shiplap in particular is typically painted white, white-washed, or stained in a neutral color. As you can see, the color white is heavily used throughout the seaside-inspired home. White decor creates a totally beach-like vibe home.
In this Summer home, the room walls and ceiling are painted white. Floors are distressed white. Furniture is mostly white with touches of blue and a few green plants. A single Swordfish and anchor clock bring a coastal touch to the room. The main attraction is seen through the windows. A dramatic view of the ocean and rocky coastline.
Window shutters used in warmer, coastal towns are often painted white. Shutters not only control the level of air that enters the home but they provide relief from the Sun too. A practical solution to maintain a home comfortable.
Ocean Blues for the Coastal Home
Next to white, blue is the second most used color in coastal homes. Implement colors from the palest of blue to aqua, teal, and navy, and various shades of blue as seen throughout coastal homes. Blue, the color of the ocean and sky, means trust, loyalty, and security. As a result, blue colors create an atmosphere that is relaxed, tranquil, secure, and calm. And what better way to furnish a home where we seek comfort and a peaceful coexistence along the coastline.
Use blues on walls, upholstered furniture, wall art, as well as dinnerware in all shades of solid blues. Cover chairs and sofas in blue and white striped fabrics. Blue and white stripes are frequently used on dinnerware, towels, pillows, throws, and coverlets in coastal homes.
In smaller doses, the next group of colors commonly used are peach, coral, and green. These colors complement all shades of blue and white colors. Add shades of green easily with the use of indoor plants. Grow indoor plants such as succulents, dracaena, snake plant, or a ZZ plant. As a bonus, many of these indoor plants have air purifying qualities. Indoor plants have good color and provide good air qualities.
You’ll also notice that in many Caribbean Islands, homes use bright tropical colors. Bright blues, turquoise, reds, oranges, and yellows are not only seen in exterior homes but in the interior of the homes too.
4. Natural Wood Accents – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
Use natural wood accents to offset the white walls, ceilings, and fabric covered furniture. Adding natural wood details to an all white room, creates a warm and comfortable home.
Constructed of wood with earthy warm tones, a single wooden accent chair exudes comfort. The Desie Accent chair is constructed from solid teak wood with woven rattan seat. The natural wood creates visual interest in the all white sitting room.
5. Marine Elements
Marine elements such as an anchor, Captain’s wheel, or nautical cleats all have value in a coastal home setting. And if they perform some function they add even greater value.
For instance, this Ship Anchor and Captain’s Helm Wheel bookends. Organize your beach reads with a marine inspired element. One bookend features a gold ship anchor while the other bookend has a Captain’s Helm Wheel. Set measures 7 ½ inches tall by 6 ½ inches wide and 6 ¼ inches deep. Stash a set of beach books such as Moby Dick by Herman Melville or Mutiny on the Bounty by Nordhoff and Hall for weekend guests.
Vintage Maps – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
Share with family and guests reproductions of vintage island maps. Always interesting to see the island images and marine life. Vintage maps make great wall art in any home. The Islands of the Bahamas Map is a reproduction of a vintage map. So appealing in many ways, from the treasure chest, starfish, flamingo, and clusters of swaying palm trees in the background. A display of the island’s colorful history.
A map covered wall above the board and batten wall finish, creates an entryway that is airy and fresh. Drop keys or loose change on a small entryway table that acts as a catch all. Greet weekend guests with three containers of flowers. The board and batten is painted in Colorado Gray by Benjamin Moore. Welcome family and friends with these well blended coastal elements.
Nautical Flags as Coastal Wall Art
The Diver Flag is made from durable nylon material with 2 brass grommets for hanging. Display as wall art in the coastal home. Hang indoors for a marine decoration.
Display a collection of signal flags. Hang signal flags individually or as a group. The framed signal flag grouping in this image creates visual interest that isn’t overpowering. Cream colored sofa, coffee table, vases, and shiplap walls. The set of oars and wood floors give the room a natural wood accent.
Used by boaters, signal flags is a method for communicating with other ships. Developed originally for the Royal British Navy to communicate during times of war.
6. Organic Fibers and Natural Textures
Organic fibers and natural textures include woven rattan and wicker furnishings and accessories, bamboo products, sisal rugs. Combine together natural textures with the natural wood accents to create a comfortable home setting.
In the image above, the armed Opia accent chair is made from teak wood and has a caned wicker backrest. A classical coastal design transformed into a modern coastal look with its tapered, brass metal-tipped legs.
Mix Nautical Rope into Your Decor
Blend nautical roping into any room for a casual coastal style. Home designers have created furnishings that incorporate rope into many designs. As an example, below a mirror made from nautical rope for a coastal home furnishing.
The Conyers Accent Mirror is round and resembles a porthole. Wrapped in nautical rope for a casual coastal look.
Driftwood – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
Driftwood is another material that adds natural texture to the home. Naturally made, driftwood is remnants of trees that have made their way to the seas, oceans, rivers, and lakes. These tree remnants break into smaller pieces. Absorb water and battered by the water movement as they drift within the body of water. Over time, the Sun and water lightens the tree remnants. Eventually, these pieces of drifting trees, wash ashore. And if you are lucky enough, you will come across one while walking the beach.
Natural texture for the coastal home. For more information on driftwood see our post -> Driftwood for Coastal Decor
Elements of Bamboo
Furnish your home in bamboo constructed home products. Used frequently in coastal homes both indoors and outdoors, Bamboo is popular in beach homes. A strong material, bamboo is used in flooring, woven fabric, combined with rattan for furniture making and paper pulp. The warm earth tones of the brown bamboo creates a tropical vibe.
Hang caged Bamboo Woven Pendants that filter the light rays. Combine the beach with bohemian and the result is “beachy” Bohemian. As this pendant shade was inspired. Ideal for evening celebrations.
7. Oceanic Elements
Add oceanic elements which include both plant and animal life to your home decor. Display oceanic plant life such as seaweed and seagrass as wall art or sculpture. Incorporate oceanic animal life into your home decor too. Animal life such as coral, fish, whales, sea turtles, shells, and more make wonderful accent pieces. There is no shortage of animal or plant life images to decorate your home with. Keep in mind that even though oceanic elements go a long way in creating a perfect coastal home, use them sparingly. Avoid overwhelming your home space with too many of one plant or animal life.
As mentioned earlier in this post, there are two exceptions when displaying multiples of any one item. Exhibit multiple pieces of a single element in two instances. The first, is if the elements are part of a group or collection. And second, if the items are vintage or antiques.
Starfish Wallpaper – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
In this coastal setting, the oceanic element of the enlarged Starfish wallpaper is the focal point. However, the wallpaper is limited to a single wall rather than cover every wall with the same wallpaper. Typical beach house colors of white walls, ceilings, and beds with turquoise colored chairs, refrigerator, and storage chest. Finishing the coastal look is the flooring that provides natural wood accents to the home.
Hang this Jellyfish Mandala image prominently for all to see. Created by the Vintage Print Gallery. And so beautifully colored in blues, greens, and beige. A well blended animal life image. The circular jellyfish has oral arms and tentacles gracefully curled as it glides by. Although we aren’t particularly fond of jellyfish for obvious reasons, we love this wall art!
8. Repurpose and Reuse – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
Repurpose and reuse items that are no longer in use or need. Many nautical or beach items in good repair can step into another role within your household. Use an old discarded lobster trap as a side table. Clean and repair if needed. Reuse as either a coffee table, side table or nightstand.
Seek items that can be transformed for another purpose. Reuse an old boat seat as a chair for your beach house. Attach old nautical cleats in your mudroom, entryway, or bedroom as hooks. Install nautical cleats as curtain holders and curtain tie backs. Search for ways to blend repurposed nautical items with new items.
Beachcomber Print by Jim Golden
One photographer and artist, Jim Golden found a way to reuse pieces of rubbish that washed ashore. Discarded, broken pieces of plastic and various other materials were collected followed by organizing them by color. Take a look at Jim Golden’s photographed masterpiece. All collected along the Oregon coastline.
Photographed by Jim Golden, the still-life reminds us all of the importance of keeping our home, the earth clean for all to live. Respect our beautiful ocean so that our beloved sea turtles and all oceanic life can live and thrive. Print and framed in Portland. The Beachcomber Print measures 23 inches high by 30 ¼ inches wide and 1 ½ inches deep.
Nautical Antiques & Tropical Decor
Search for old and no longer in use, nautical pieces that can be repurposed and reused in another manner. Find salvage fixtures and furnishings in salvage stores that specialize in nautical items. You’ll find Captain’s Wheels, portholes, ship lights, glass floats, and more at many salvage stores. One such place is Nautical Antiques and Tropical Decor located in Galveston, Texas.
9. Combine Beach and Bohemian
Mix beach decor with bohemian decor for a beach-y bohemian style. Combine vibrant colors, patterns, and textures for a bright, cheerful coastal space. Vibrant and oftentimes jewel colors blend right in to create an island vintage look. The “Boho” style is so perfect for a creative workspace, one that inspires.
Relax in this warm Sun filled sitting room with all the comforts needed. Packed of vibrant colors, this mini sitting space has a vibrant orange pitcher and an elevated plant stand covered in green tile. Bright colors for a vintage appeal with cactus and palm tree plants nearby. Constructed from woven rattan, the chair has a curved seat.
10. Add a Playful Touch
Have fun with your decor when possible. Of course, there are many ways to add a little humor to your decor. This is especially helpful on days when you are unable to get outside for fresh air.
Add a little oceanic life to your beach home. The handcrafted reclaimed metal octopus crawler is perfect for adding some drama to your home. Known as great escape artists, this Octopus patiently waits for a chance to return to sea. Crawler fits snuggly over the door or window frame. Finish is a mottled blue pattern with large orange eyes to peer down at you.
Create a whimsical display with this pillow cover of a swimmer reclining in a pool float. Position this pillow front and center of your sofa with its turquoise outlined image.
11. Work Towards the Minimalist Approach – Ways to Add Coastal Decor to Your Home
Use decorative coastal elements sparingly. Beach home interiors look best when decor is minimal. This practice is especially important when you are blessed with magnificent ocean views. It is better to not compete with views of the ocean, sea, river, or lake. Avoid decor that distracts from the true focal point – views of the ocean, sea, river, or lake outside your front door. Because home decor can never compete with the magnificence of the ocean or any body of natural water.
Mix materials are in play in this bedroom scene. Although cream and white are the dominant colors, the nightstand and pendant provide warm earthy tones. The nightstand has cane faced drawers while the pendant downward facing leaves are crafted from strung coconut beads. Each piece provides natural textures to the neutral colored room.
12. Elevate Your Outdoor Spaces
Create a comfortable and attractive outdoor space using many of the same coastal elements. Set the stage for Summer long family gatherings. These are a few inspirational images to help you in your journey to achieve coastal coolness in your home.
Outfit your covered deck with beautiful rattan furniture. Throw pillows and outdoor rug feature the nautical classic blue and white stripes. Sofa, side table, and vase are all white. Green your space similar to this deck with a palm plant in the corner and vase full of fresh flowers.
While dining or sipping on a cocktail, enjoy the coconut heavy palm trees and gorgeous ocean views. Exposed shed style rafters protect guests from any unexpected showers. Get ready for the festivities to begin!
Set up your patio for the ultimate rest and relaxation. Color your patio with light blues, cream, greenery, and brown natural wood tones like this patio. Provide plenty of covered areas to protect yourself from the Sun. With a large size patio, you can spend most of your day outdoors. Yahoo!
Relax on an outdoor chaise lounge while you catch a little sunshine and rest. Covered in white, the outdoor chaise lounges have throw pillows in shades of blue and a blue – white striped towel. Umbrella in white with navy blue trim and a white side table. Jump into the infinity pool to cool down when the heat of the Sun becomes too warm.
Inspirational Quote About the Ocean from Robert Wyland
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”
– by Robert Wyland
An internationally renowned marine life artist. Born in Detroit, the artist Robert Wyland is an avid scuba diver and world traveler. Leads in a number of activities including painter, sculpture, writer, photographer, philanthropist, and filmmaker.
This ends our coastal decorating tips for beach houses, Summer homes, seaside bungalows, coastal cottages and lake houses. We hope that our coastal decorating tips inspired you to go coastal. For additional coastal inspiration, take a look at our other posts.
Enjoy our other coastal decor related posts for additional ideas.
Reach out to us with any questions. We are always ready to help you out. Thank you for dropping by and taking a look at our blog.