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What is Coastal Interior Design Style?

There’s nothing quite like a relaxing week at the shore — but you don’t have to live on the beach to bring coastal design style into your home. By incorporating coastal elements into your house or apartment, like pastel colors and nautical decor, you can capture that beachy feeling year ‘round (without having to worry about sunburn). Read on to learn about the elements of coastal style, get tips on choosing coastal-inspired furniture, and find out where to get even more interior design ideas.

What is Coastal Interior Design Style?

Elements of Coastal Decorating Style

Like any interior design style, the coastal style is distinguished by a few stand-out elements. But which coastal style are you talking about?

First, there’s the Mediterranean style. Characterized by vivid colors, plenty of terra cotta pottery, and the liberal use of wood accents, this style calls to mind the timeless, sun-drenched beaches of Greece.

Aiming for more of a Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod feel? Try the American coastal style instead. Elements of this style, which is also referred to as “Cottage Coastal,” include nautical decor like seashells and netting, airy materials like wicker and rattan, and soft, pastel hues like sky blue or lilac.

Last but not least, travel to the tropics with Tropical Coastal decor. Common features of this design style include fun, festive patterns, vibrant hues like yellow and lime, and tiki-themed decor.

Other Distinguishing Elements of Coastal Interior Design

Here a few other major elements of beach-inspired interior design to consider incorporating into your home:

Furniture or decorations featuring trellis patterns Ocean-inspired decorations, like coral, driftwood, or sand dollars Translucent, gossamer drapes that let in plenty of air and light Wall art featuring seascapes and ocean views Waterproof flooring that can stand up to moisture, gritty sand, and seawater

What Are the Different Types of Coastal Furniture?

We’ve covered coastal decor and color; but what is coastal furniture? Again, the answer depends on which coastal style — American, Mediterranean, or Tropical — interests you. For example, Adirondack chairs are a classic fixture of the American Coastal style. Normally featured on lawns or porches, Adirondack chairs are perfect for cool summer nights enjoying good company. These chairs look to be made of wood (or a wood-look style of plastic) slats and come in a variety of colors ranging from bright white to soft grey, or more vibrant shades like red or blue.

Woven wicker or rattan chairs can deliver either a tropical or Mediterranean vibe. Rather, it’s the cushions, throw pillows, and surrounding decor that give them more of a taste of the tropics or the Baltic coast.

Flooring Austin
Flooring Austin

To give your wicker furniture a more tropical feel, opt for lighter rattan in white or tan. Add vibrant throws and cushions in bright, contrasting hues. Think turquoise and red, parrot green and lemon yellow, coral orange and bright blue. You can keep it tasteful with crisp solids, or go quirky and kitschy with fun tropical prints like hibiscus florals, palm fronds or trees, or pineapples.

That same wicker and rattan furniture can be given a Mediterranean makeover by opting for dark-to-medium brown wicker paired with neutral white or ivory cushions and accent throw pillows in a deep coastal blue or rich bronze that echoes colors you’d see on a Grecian vase. Statement pieces that look like they’ve been picked up from a Santorini street market, but could have just come from an affordable home goods store in your own hometown, can add character and an Old World coastal feel. Look for decorative vases or candle sconces that add to your aesthetic.

Remember, sometimes the best results come from mixing and matching different style elements. Experiment by combining coastal themes with other designs, like industrial or bohemian styles, to find the perfect blend. The style experts at Flooring America can help you customize any space to make your dream beach getaway a reality.

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