You’ve probably seen the strong trend towards coastal styling in interior design recently on social media, on reality TV, or in magazines. It's a style that's become quite classic if done well, and isn't really going away anytime soon. But achieving the look without your home ending up looking like a boat tour waiting room can be harder than it seems. Luckily, I have a few tips to ensure that you won't be cut adrift and sailing in an unknown ocean of design. (Sea what I did there?! OK...ok!)
Three shade colour scheme
The most effective way to create a coastal theme in a room in your home is with the colours that you choose. In fact, to keep things looking clean and relaxed try to limit yourself to three main shades.
The first unsurprisingly is white. This can be used everywhere from floors to walls, to furniture, and even for decorations, and it provides a crisp and clean foundation that you can build the rest of the room upon.
The second colour - blue. I know, another shocker! However, it's essential to choose the right shade of blue for the room you are trying to create. Darker bistro blue and navy can work well for a space that you want to have a more cozy or even formal feel. While lighter blues, and of course ocean blue, can set off walls and furniture in the perfect manner for a beachy coastal vibe. Just remember that blue really should be the accent colour here with white as the base.
Lastly, an easy way of creating a genuinely beachy feel is to include light brown and sandy colours as well. You can do this by introducing wood in natural tones such as a natural oak wood floor (something you can click here to find out more on). Washed toned shiplap, sandstone, pine, reclaimed timbers and even sandy coloured concrete or porcelain tiles can be brought into your scheme to also introduce a sense of warmth into this type of room.
When it comes to coastal fabrics and soft furnishings, it's all about cottons and linens in ticking stripes, block colours and washed finishes. Think thick Hessian or sisal rope borders on cushions, chairs, and rugs, and canvas wall hangings and table linens to complete the nautical look.
Although, it is possible to introduce a few softer textures such as chenille, furs or corduroy as well, just keep them on the chunky side to ensure they balance the coarser fabric elements of the room.
Contain the Kitsch
Finally, keep the overly obvious nautical and beachy theme decorations to a minimum. With so many beach decor options the temptation is often to let the accents do the work, resulting in a room that seems too cluttered and over the top.
With that in mind, pick just a few subtle items that nod to your theme and let the colour scheme and materials used throughout take up the slack. That might mean no wooden boats or bouys, but perhaps an antique one with a family story attached would speak volumes. A porthole mirror might be OTT, but a simple vase of shells you have collected on your last vacation might be enough to make your beach-side vignettes rock.
There's no rules in my book, but a sense of balance, calm and understated elegance will certainly keep things classic for years to come. And of course, like any design style, there's variations on the coastal theme, including a more Hamptons luxe approach, rustic beach shack, or minimal and modern to name a few. Each adjusts the levels of these points accordingly, but these remain the basic beach house beginnings.
How do you do coastal?
Let us know in the comments below and tag @vp_sam in your beach house beauties.