Modern coastal design and decorating ideas

The coastal style can hardly be called an interior classic. Moreover – many, most likely, have never heard of this style. However, those who are lucky enough to see a similar design in photos or visit a house decorated in this way will seriously and for a long time fall in love with the atmosphere of freshness, serenity, light, and relaxation. And if you are thinking about how to design your suburban housing, be sure to take a closer look at the coastal (however, this style is also by no means contraindicated for an apartment). And we will tell you how to create its characteristic harmony and mood by choosing the right decor.

A little about the coastal style: the main features

Coastal – this is how in the second half of the 20th century, people began to call the manner of wealthy Americans to equip and furnish their own houses, purchased somewhere near the ocean or on the shore of a lake. Such housing was bought to find a quiet corner away from the bustle of the city, where you can be alone with yourself and your loved ones and enjoy the natural tranquility and delightful landscapes. The interior for such a house was considered as an oasis of impeccable comfort, in which the lightness of textures and the freshness of the natural palette echoed the owners’ individuality.

Those who are not too familiar with coastal often think that this is the second name of the nautical style, which is more popular today. However, this is not entirely true: these design directions are related but not identical. In the “coastal” interior, there are no deep dark shades of the blue characteristic of the “sea” and their sharp contrasts with white, as well as strong accent red notes.

Besides, there is little or no authentic decor, which abounds in the nautical style. All these chests and steering wheels made of dark wood, barometers and ropes, forged lamps, anchors, and window spans in the form of portholes seem to speak of longing for sea voyages and long journeys. Coastal living is an entirely different story: its fans enjoy a measured and comfortable life on the coast, do not plan to embark on risky adventures on the raging waves – on the contrary, they are closer to hedonism and peace. Based on this philosophy, the main characteristics of the modern coastal were formed:

  • delicate and light palette – beige, sand, all light blue, turquoise, as well as coral, pastel green, and sunny yellow as accents;
  • an abundance of light and air, huge open windows;
  • natural materials with a light texture, including curtains from translucent fabrics;
  • varied decor that creates a cozy, “embracing” space.

In general, coastal-style interiors seem muted, as if slightly faded under the influence of constant sun and wind. And this gives them a certain charm – peace, stability, and serenity.


The following materials can be used for finishing surfaces in houses in the coastal style:

  • floors – almost always natural wood, painted, untreated, or with a brushing effect;
  • walls – painting, plaster, wood panels, matte tiles or wallpaper, plain or with a small, non-contrasting pattern;
  • ceilings – painted or plastered, finished with wooden beams or cassettes.

Moreover, all materials should be of exceptionally light colors – this even applies to design elements made of unpainted wood.


The furnishings in the coastal-style house are varied and include both modern and vintage elements. Among the most harmonious solutions are:

  • armchairs and sofas of laconic shapes with light natural upholstery or removable covers;
  • wicker rocking chairs with soft cushions;
  • chairs made of natural wood with simple high backs – as well as semi-chairs made of willow vine or rattan without staining or dark paint;
  • low wooden coffee tables – most often rectangular or square;
  • banquets and poufs without any decor and upholstery without a pattern;
  • benches, consoles, and chests of drawers in untreated wood.

For the modern coastal interior, wooden cabinet furniture in light colors is preferable – painted, with frame facades or even sliding shutters. Chipped items, furniture with scuffs, minor cracks, and aging effects will look incredibly charming: vintage charm is very close to this beautiful style.

Much attention is paid to furniture hardware, while preference is given to the same vintage elements – brass handles and other types of metal, ceramics, and glass. Dull and worn products look best: spectacular shine, gilding, and pretentious decor are incompatible with the coastal style.


A competent lighting scenario is of great importance for coastal. When developing it, it is essential to find a balance of style solutions and a relevant palette for this direction. Simultaneously, voluminous and dark wooden chandeliers and lamps, characteristic of the nautical style, as if taken from some old ship, are not used at all in the coastal one or are taken in minimal quantities. The following options are preferable:

  • chandeliers made of mother-of-pearl shells or with thin strands of glass beads;
  • pendant lights with matt silver metal base;
  • pendant and table lamps with wicker shades;
  • floor lamps with wooden base and shades with matte textile lampshades;
  • suspensions in the form of wooden propellers.

As for the color palette, light colors are again preferable for lamps – including the colored bases of table lamps. For them, pale turquoise, blue, and pearl are most often used.


Textile in the coastal style interior design is so essential that it should be referred to as a separate section. It is these elements that create a cozy, inviting atmosphere, and therefore become mandatory for the “house by the shore”:

  • curtains – straight linen and cotton for high and French windows, translucent and blinds for small ones;
  • fabric and knitted blankets of light shades;
  • pillows in linen or cashmere in blue, pale green, and coral tones – monochrome or with prints with a nautical theme;
  • lint-free carpets with a distressed effect – or vintage hand-woven rugs.


As mentioned earlier, the decor for a modern coastal home is not as deliberate as in a nautical interior. Still, it was strange not to see any references to the natural environment in it – namely the flora, fauna, and lifestyle on the coast. Therefore, you can safely use the following decorative elements:

  • wooden wall decorations, paintings, or posters with seascapes, yachts, and surfers;
  • candlestick lanterns and ceramic vases;
  • mirrors in light and elegant frames;
  • colored glass bottles;
  • figurines in the form of ships and lighthouses;
  • elements of marine fauna – corals, shells, starfish, dried exotic fish.

Coastal style is the choice of freedom-loving natures, who, nevertheless, are in love with their home and find true harmony in it. By giving preference to this design, you can enjoy the atmosphere of serene relaxation and eventful summer all year round.

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