4 Easy Rules for Incredible Coastal Design | Fireclay Tile
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4 Easy Rules for Incredible Coastal Design

By Ted Ryan

4 Easy Rules for Incredible Coastal Design

Coastal design is an homage to being by the beach. Wide open vistas of sand, sea, and unspoiled nature, room to roam, and a relaxed attitude that only the elixir of sun and salt air can offer all make a trip to the beach hard to beat. So it’s no surprise that you’d want to celebrate that feeling in your own house no matter what coast you call home.

modern bathroom rendering with blue tile

Tile Shown: Essentials Hood River 3x9, Daisy 6" Hexagon

Whether you're closing on a dreamy beach house or ready to renovate your primary residence to match your region's coastal character, follow these 4 rules to bring this laid-back interior design style home wherever you live.

1. Open Floor Plan

open concept living room and kitchen

Tile Shown: Navy Blue 6" Hexagon // Design: John Gioffre // Image: Leonid Furmansky

From an architectural standpoint, the foundation of a coastal design is an open floor plan that flows. A breezy open concept home, or at least a kitchen that opens up to the living room and dining room, is perfect for entertaining and family gatherings, lets natural light spread throughout the space and if your home is fortunate enough to face the sea, you won’t block the views of the beach with unnecessary interior walls.

open concept kitchen

Tile Shown: Olympic Glazed Thin Brick // Design: R Titus Designs // Image: Kip Dawkins Photography

If you aren’t keen on making structural changes to your home, you can always mimic the feeling of an open floor plan with scant window dressings, restrained furniture choices, and bare wood floors for an airy and minimalist feeling throughout a space.

coastal kitchen with blue island

Tile Shown: White Wash 4" Hexagon // Design: Jessica Sparks // Image: Kim Lindsey Photography

Whitewashed shiplap walls or rectangular tiles hung horizontally will also create horizontal lines to make a space appear larger.

coastal kitchen with white brick backsplash

Tile Shown: Olympic Glazed Thin Brick // Design: Heidi LaChapelle Interiors // Image: Erin Little

2. Color Scheme

blue and white coastal kitchen

Tile Shown: White Wash 3x6 // Design & Image: Coastal Living

Nothing says coastal like the color palette of the seaside. Starting with a neutral base of crisp white or warm beige sets the tone before bringing in the ultimate coastal color: blue.

coastal kitchen with blue and white table setting

Tile Shown: Salton Sea 2x8 // Design: Hygge Supply & Hygge Style, Heather Landry, Breathing Room Inc. // Image: Trap Studio

Sample our Coastal Design favorites here featuring Navy Blue, Mist, Nautical, Sand Dune, Crater Lake, Feldspar, Ember, and Salton Sea.

tile samples

Shades of green are also perfect for a coastal style, especially in an environment where the ocean has a teal or turquoise hue to it. Hints of yellow and coral also play well in coastal designs.

coastal kitchen with yellow stools

Tile Shown: Frost 4x8, Malta in Cool Motif // Design: Diane Gordon Design // Image: Elisabeth Gordon

3. Natural Elements

blue and white kitchen

Tile Shown: Tusk 2x8, Nautical 2x8 // Design: Colossus // Image: Stephanie Russo

There’s no need for a mood board when furnishing a coastal design. All you need to do is observe the environment around you. If your project isn’t right on the beach, refer to the nearest region that is. Let the color of the sand, water, and flora influence your color choices. Local woods will guide your flooring and exterior siding decisions as well as furniture.

bathroom with tile shower and floor

Tile Shown: Calcite 3x6, Calcite & Seaglass Mini Star and Cross // Design & Image: Stephanie Feinerman Design

Natural materials like sisal, jute, and linen will liven up your home with an organic design style perfect for coastal spaces. And tasteful finishing touches like a few sand dollars, seashells, and jars of sea glass help give your coastal home a sense of place.

coastal bathroom with blue fish scale tile

Tile Shown: Aegean Sea Ogee Drop // Design: Jennifer Hallock Designs // Image: D Wang Photo

Don't forget to be generous with house plants and fresh-cut flowers as well to bring life and lively pops of color to your interior.

4. Vacation Vibes

white kitchen with blue triangle tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Crater Lake 6" Triangle // Design: Chris Cassidy // Image: Amanda Cassidy

Whether you’re designing your getaway beach house or your primary residence, coastal is as much a feeling as it is an aesthetic. If the meaning of a seaside holiday is to relax and unwind, your design should help you do the same.

dry bar with hand painted tile

Tile Shown: Starburst in Neutral Motif // Design: Kate Lester // Image: Gray Malin

Choose furnishings that are casual and welcoming: a sofa that invites you to take an afternoon siesta, a coffee table you don’t mind putting your feet up on, beds and bedding that beg you to turn in early, and a dining room set or patio set big enough for family lobster feasts and durable enough for years of memories.

transitional living room with blue brick fireplace

Tile Shown: Appalachian Glazed Thin Brick // Design & Image: Leslie Murchie

With its neutral palette and clean comfortable designs, transitional decor is a perfect choice for coastal homes.

Coastal Bathroom Designs

Giving your bathroom the coastal touch? Check out these Coastal Bathroom Ideas.
bathroom with green picket tile

Tile Shown: Salton Sea Picket // Design: Shannon Demma, Urbana Design Studio // Image: Kate Falconer

bathroom with round mirror and green tile shower

Tile Shown: Flagstone 3x9 // Design: Hygge Supply & Hygge Style // Image: Trap Studio

bathroom with blue hexagon tile

Tile Shown: Adriatic Sea 6" Hexagon // Design: Wellrooted LLC // Image: Mallory Shelton

bathroom with blue tile

Tile Shown: Aegean Sea Kite // Design: Meg Braff Designs // Image: David Land, Courtesy of Coastal Living

blue shower with square and fish scale tile

Tile Shown: Adriatic Sea 4x4, Adriatic Sea Ogee Drop // Design: Studio 42 Design // Image: Kelley Bedoloto

bathroom vanity with tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Salton Sea 2x8 // Design: KSDesigns LLC // Image: Madeline Harper

bathroom with blue and beige tile

Tile Shown: Shetland Wool & Dusty Blue 1x6 Sheeted // Design: Lyons Studio // Image: Kylie Fitts

beach ball tile bathroom floor

Tile Shown: Hexite Tile in Chateau, Frond, Desert Bloom, White Wash, and Neptune // Design & Image: Leslie Murchie

bathroom with green tile walls

Tile Shown: Bora Bora Wave // Design: Kristin Riccio Interior Design // Image: Brad Knipstein Photography

bathroom with blue wallpaper and black tile floor

Tile Shown: Rainy Day 2x8 // Design: Banner Day Interiors // Image: Collin Price Photography

bathroom with green tile and lemon wallpaper

Tile Shown: Naples Blue Ogee Drop, White Wash Mini Star and Cross, White Wash 3x6 // Design: Bright Bazaar

blue and white bathroom

Tile Shown: Aegean Sea Small Diamond Sheeted, Aegean Sea Large Diamond // Design: Rachel Winston Design // Image: Zulu Whiskey Productions

Tile Shown: White Wash 6" Hexagon // Design: Meg Braff Designs // Image: David Land, Courtesy of Coastal Living

Coastal Kitchen Designs

Learn more about coastal style and how to bring it to your kitchen.
transitional kitchen with glass tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Dove Matte 3x12 Glass Tile // Design: Tara Felice Interiors // Image: Sarah Rossi

coastal kitchen with blue backsplash

Tile Shown: Caribbean Picket // Design: Pheasant Lane Designs // Image: Linda Pordon Photography

white kitchen with blue glass backsplash

Tile Shown: Magpie Matte 3x12 Glass Tile // Design & Image: Joy Street Design

white kitchen with green cabinets

Tile Shown: Calcite, White Wash & Frost 3x3 Sheeted // Design: Joy Street Design // Image: Sen Creative

hotel kitchenette with tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Salton Sea 3x3 Sheeted, Salton Sea Large Star and Cross // Design & Image: Ashley Petrone

kitchen with green tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Naples Blue Small Diamond Sheeted // Design: Myri Dujovne, SOF DESIGN // Image: Myri Dujovne

white and grey kitchen

Tile Shown: Mist 4x8 // Design: EJ Interior Design // Image: Brad Knipstein

triangle tile backsplash

Tile Shown: Driftwood 4" Triangle // Design: Legum Design // Image: three gems creative

pool house kitchen

Tile Shown: Crater Lake in 2x6, Crater Lake in 6" Hexagon // Desing: Meg Braff // Image: David Land, Courtesy of Coastal Living

Ready to curate the coastal design of your dreams? Get in touch with our Design Consultants for free personalized design assistance including sampling, estimating, renderings and ordering.

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