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Coastal Décor: 10 Ways To Transform Your Space Into a Beach Paradise

  • 5 min read

Be it a beach cottage or just an airy room reminiscent of the seaside, coastal style design is a beautiful décor option in any space. The coastal décor is nothing short of inviting with staples like white linen sofas, natural fibers, and weathered woods. 

There are many ways to make a coastal living room come to life, and by adding beachy and coastal elements, you can run with the complete theme or opt for more subtle hints of coastal throughout.  

What is Coastal Décor? 

Coastal décor is often defined by its use of bold horizontal stripes and nautical motifs, but an excess of beachy décor can quickly take a space from coastal to kitschy. To achieve the look without going overboard, start small.  

Coastal style is beachy. Through the use of natural light, soft tones, and a clean aesthetic, it's meant to evoke the breeziness of the beach, with the feeling of summer year-round.

Here are 10 ways you can incorporate coastal décor into your space:

1. Light and Airy

Entryway framing two swinging French Doors with matching side lites. The French doors features are the Double French Glass Door designs by RealCraft. The entry way also features Turkish rug in front of the doors, a big vase with a indoor plant on the left side and a watercolor painting frame on the right side.

If there is one thing that stands true inside a coastal-styled space, it is that it needs to have abundant light. Interiors should never feel dim or cramped, but rather light, open, and airy. You want to feel as though there's no boundary between indoors and outside, so large windows, glass doors, and skylights are key. Window treatments are also minimal as not to obstruct the natural light that can pour in. A great way to let more light in is by swapping your traditional doors for French Doors.

2. Keep it Natural

Rattan Chair with a white and a blue pillow on the seat area.

In order to create a relaxed vibe, coastal design usually incorporates many different natural elements. These elements sometimes come through via furniture, often made out of wicker, rattan, or light, weathered woods, and fabrics. Rugs are generally straw, seagrass, or jute, and materials are simple and devoid of shine.

You won't find many metallic or flashy textures, but rather natural materials or light, flowy fabrics, like sheer curtain panels. Though wood is common, it will usually be white-washed or a blond maple or ash. 

3. Lots of White 

White bedroom space. The shot is facing a large window and the end or a queen size bed with white sheets. There are also 2 sets of white curtains, one for the window and one seems to be from the bed. All furniture and decoration on the shot is white, including the the walls and the curtains.

While you might be inclined to use bold blue and dark wood palettes, a white interior is actually more appropriate in modern-day coastal design. It's almost like minimalist design in the sense that less is more, and it favors neutral. It's all about natural light, so a white room will make the space feel even airier.

All of this doesn't mean you can't accent with color. Though you'll still want to keep it soft, accent colors typically include neutrals, such as a warmer beige or khaki, light blues, greys, and greens. But don't be afraid to personalize your space. The color palette can be adjusted according to taste.  

4. Open Space

Office space in a beach house. The shot frames a desk and chair set up facing the wall. There is a world map on the wall above the desk. There is a stainless steel lamp on the desk near the left corner and a indoor plant on the right side of the desk. Both desk and chair air white washed painted and seems to be made with weathered wood.

Coastal interior design needs an open floor plan to create a breezy and airy atmosphere. Removing or restructuring borders can ensure that one room seamlessly flows into another, especially in an open plan living and dining room. You don't want to clutter anything with furniture or décor, but rather create the feeling that everything flows as a unity.

Minimal modern coastal beach house décor can bring larger open spaces together with a cohesive look. Often overlooked areas like a hallway or a reading nook can feel exceptional after adding two accent pieces connecting two spaces.

5. Sliding Doors

Exterior of a beach house framing a set of exterior sliding doors. The doors designs are the Z-brace with lites by RealCraft. There are two wooden beach chairs in front of the door and a adult black dog on the left side of the home entrance.

Along the same vein as open-air spaces, replacing traditional doors with sliding doors can really help create more space and add to any coastal style. Sliding doors can be incorporated in your home's interior as well as in the exterior

The sliding doors from RealCraft come in several designs that complement just about any space, offering multiple sizes, wood species, and accessories. Using sliding doors is a space-savvy solution for smaller spaces and complementing the area as a design element.

6. Shell it Out

Interior beach house/ coastal décor knickknacks.

When decorating for the coast, it's OK to add in a few seaside touches, like shells, glass bottles, or woven baskets, but the key is not to go overboard. You want it to feel easy and natural, not kitschy and overdone, and clutter is a serious no-no. 

Keep it simple, and you can't go wrong. Avoid anchor prints, bold nautical stripes, and an overabundance of shells. Instead, take your lead from the coast elements and incorporate a collection of blue glass vases and bottles upon a fireplace hearth, some driftwood on a coffee table, and some seashells, for example.

7. Light Woods

Minimalist Coastal interior. Shot frames a modern medium circular dining table. The table is covered with a short table cloth and there are two mugs, one flower vase, and one book on top of it. There is a ratan chair on the the left side of the table and the room has several open windows on the background.

With the modern coastal design, you can exude a "barefoot luxury" vibe—what better way to do that than through light unpolished wood floors. Incorporate beach wood throughout a coastal room as it would be on a beach. The use of wood adds warmth to a room and can make you feel like you're completely immersed in the outdoors. 

Blond and light woods with a texture like driftwood still give coastal space their beautifully balanced appeal. The rougher elements like wood, shell, and rope complement soft textiles and wispy sheer or tulle curtains.

8. Fabrics and Rugs

White woven circular area rug on a light wood floor.

Cotton and linen feel simple and breezy; woods, jute, sisal, and natural woven materials all look very coastal. Try palms, pines, driftwood, and dune grasses. Some woven fabrics are made from actual seagrass.

Channel the natural textures of a beachscape and opt for rattan seating and beautiful woven accessories. To add dimension and keep with the open and airy feel, slip-covered furniture (in light cotton and linen) is a go-to, along with soft, billowy pillows and throws.

Textured and woven rugs can add dimension to any room. Anchor a traditional coastal-style living room with a large area rug that evokes the feel of the deep blue sea. Or sprinkle in bright textiles in rich shades for a bold focal point. 

9. Traditional Motifs

Two collectible size boats in front of a window. The shot has dramatic natural blue lighting and seems to be taken during very early on a cold morning.

Ocean scenes, sailboats, seahorses, surfboards, and mermaids are classic coastal accents that never really go out of style. Just make sure to use them sparingly, strategically, and artfully, as you would with any other statement piece.

Bright, bold tropical color accents and neutral coastal blues, greens, and sandy tones are classic beach house décor elements that aren't going away anytime soon. But remember, a little bit goes a long way! Materials like bamboo and rattan are also coastal-style classics that span decades.

10. Patterns

Circular beach house couch with several pillows on top of it. The pillow have different colors and patterns. The pillows very from white, light blue, and dark blue hues. The room where the couch is located is white and there is a large window or door behind it. All other elements in the background are white, including the walls, the window, and some curtains.

Coastal interior design trends are playful and flexible when it comes to patterns. You can easily swap a scatter cushion for a brightly colored accent cushion with a trendy print in a beach-inspired space. But the elegance of a more modern East coast style living space is better matched to paisleys, geometrics, and brocade.

Create Your Beach Paradise

Coastal décor is perfect for beach homes, cabins, or any place you want to bring the essence of the beach. Start by shopping for high-quality, affordable sliding doors from Real Craft! Using the simple tips above, you can transform your space into a beach paradise oasis.

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