Coastal Creations

Think “coastal” and what springs to mind? The beach, right? And who doesn’t love the look and feel of the beach? Coastal is a style all its own and one you can easily own whether you live by the coast or not.

Coastal design is a sensory experience. Creating your own seaside oasis – even in a Manhattan walk-up – takes just a few touches to evoke the feel of an ocean breeze, the sound of crashing waves and that sand-between-your-toes sensation. Coastal elements can complement any style, from Cape Cod cottage, to shabby chic beach bungalow, to minimalist, modern glam interiors. Combine coastal colors, textures and natural accents to create a zen-like summer sanctuary or casual year-round family vacay vibe anywhere.

Color – Get inspired by the changing ocean tides in creating a coastal color palette that works with your style. Paint a backdrop of soothing sage or sea foam green, cloud-white, aqua blue, soft gray. Pull in one or two contrasting or coordinating shades and pops of color with furniture and favorite accent pieces.

Texture – Borrow texture from the rugged shoreline or soft, sandy beach. Mix natural textiles like coral and driftwood with smooth ceramics and glass. Blend nubby, fuzzy fabrics with teak, rattan, bamboo, woven jute and grasses, or classic white wicker.

A smooth white dresser contrasts cleanly with a shaggy, soft silk rug and varying hues of silvery blue and gray in this master bedroom. The textured wallpaper and two-toned drapes effortlessly draw you through the room to the oceanfront view outside. Photo courtesy of Kim Van Hook


Coastal exteriors aren’t limited to Adirondack chairs and hammocks anymore. This modern beachfront patio features sleek teak, burled wood and woven rope textures atop a blue/gray-toned patterned rug. Remember to choose weather and fade resistant fabrics for outdoor spaces to keep your coastal theme looking like new longer. Photo courtesy of Kim Van Hook


Clapboard walls and siding are a coastal classic. Love how Melissa Michaels topped it with wallpaper and tied in more texture with bamboo shades. And those litte anchor hangers are too cute! Photo credit Melissa Michaels, The Inspired Room


Accents – There’s more to coastal accents than pictures of fish and seashells. Look for unique nautical and marine-inspired items to complement a favorite piece of art. Pick up a piece of coral from the beach, roll up comfy throws and towels in brightly woven baskets. Treat your windows to the look with white or weathered shutters. Complete the sensory experience with fresh beach-scented candles.


A stunning industrial-style chandelier anchors the modern coastal look in this condo. Large scale art, accent pillows, patterned wood credenza and real coral bring the space’s neutral base into focus without distracting from the beachfront view outside. Photo courtesy of Kim Van Hook
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