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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Tile Shown: Olympic Glazed Thin Brick // Design: Heidi LaChapelle Interiors // Image: Erin Little
2. Color Scheme
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.
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.
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.
3. Natural Elements
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Tile Shown: Salton Sea Picket // Design: Shannon Demma, Urbana Design Studio // Image: Kate Falconer
Tile Shown: Flagstone 3x9 // Design: Hygge Supply & Hygge Style // Image: Trap Studio
Tile Shown: Adriatic Sea 6" Hexagon // Design: Wellrooted LLC // Image: Mallory Shelton
Tile Shown: Aegean Sea Kite // Design: Meg Braff Designs // Image: David Land, Courtesy of Coastal Living
Tile Shown: Salton Sea 2x8 // Design: KSDesigns LLC // Image: Madeline Harper
Tile Shown: Bora Bora Wave // Design: Kristin Riccio Interior Design // Image: Brad Knipstein Photography
Tile Shown: Rainy Day 2x8 // Design: Banner Day Interiors // Image: Collin Price Photography
Tile Shown: White Wash 6" Hexagon // Design: Meg Braff Designs // Image: David Land, Courtesy of Coastal Living
Coastal Kitchen Designs
Tile Shown: Dove Matte 3x12 Glass Tile // Design: Tara Felice Interiors // Image: Sarah Rossi
Tile Shown: Caribbean Picket // Design: Pheasant Lane Designs // Image: Linda Pordon Photography
Tile Shown: Magpie Matte 3x12 Glass Tile // Design & Image: Joy Street Design
Tile Shown: Naples Blue Small Diamond Sheeted // Design: Myri Dujovne, SOF DESIGN // Image: Myri Dujovne
Tile Shown: Mist 4x8 // Design: EJ Interior Design // Image: Brad Knipstein
Tile Shown: Driftwood 4" Triangle // Design: Legum Design // Image: three gems creative
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.