Summer’s Here: Let’s Get Coastal!

Our last blog explained what Transitional Style is and how to incorporate this look into your interior design. Now that we are deep into the dog days of summer and thinking about cooler vibes, it’s a good opportunity to talk about another popular style: Coastal. This style takes its inspiration from the sand and the sea. It’s light, airy and fresh. If you’re already imaging yourself enveloped in a slip-covered sofa, then Coastal Style may be for you.

Let’s get started by delving into what exactly going Coastal means. Coastal, as the name implies, takes its inspiration from the beach. Basically, this means a space filled with light, openness, natural materials and a relaxed mood. Think natural accents, white, blue and green hues, and slip-covered furniture. Coastal conveys a beachy ambiance.

Sometimes I’m asked if you need to live on the coast to make this style work. The short answer is no. Creating a Coastal vibe is about setting the right aura in the space. You can do this by understanding what Coastal style is and is not.
Coastal Style is…
Natural. Give sofas, sectionals, accent chairs, wall art, lamps, and accent tables a natural look by using materials such cotton, rattan, wicker, and linen. Even adding a jute rug will not only anchor a space but bring in a natural feel.
Relaxed. Ahh…can you feel it? A comfortable and inviting living space that is clear of clutter, confusion and constraint . It’s a space that says, “take your shoes off and stay a while.”
Airy. No confinement here. Light and fresh…imagine billowing sheers for window treatments, natural-inspired flooring with lots of open space. Picture yourself walking on a cloud in harmony and peace.

Coastal Style is not…
Weighty. Less is more. Don’t overdo the design with heavy window treatments and accessories that clutter the space. Area rugs should be kept to a minimum.
Inky. There are instances where you see dark colors in a coastal home. However, they are used sparingly for accent walls or in small furniture pieces. Don’t paint a whole room a dark color. Keep in mind that light colors, especially white, rule here.
Overdone. Coastal style is interesting in that it’s all about the natural and casual attitude that the space evokes. It doesn’t have to be all sea creatures and driftwood. On the contrary, styles that are traditional, contemporary, or something in between can be incorporated. Just keep the coastal attitude in your purview.

Focus on the Elements

Coastal style captures the essence of earth, wind, air and fire.
Think of Coastal in this way…
Earth features are the natural wood pieces like a raw wood mantel, ceiling beams, flooring and accent furniture with whitewashed, weathered, or ash finishes. Fabrics like linen on slipcovered sofas, sectionals and chaises make for a grounded earthy feel as well.
Wind brings in the billowy window treatments and breezy feeling of the space. Air is the light and airy mood of the space. Walls are painted white and accent pieces are light shades of color. Blue, green and sand are popular choices. Fire is where you can bring in pops of color in sunshine yellow, lobster red, lemon, lime, and orange.

How Coastal should I go?
The answer is as long as you keep the space open, airy and casual you can bring in what inspires you. For some, it’s a nautical theme with its ships, charts, and lantern-style lighting. For others, it’s more tropical taking inspiration from turquoise waters, what lies under the sea, and possibly an umbrella drink. Incorporate bamboo, rattan or teak and tropical foliage into this theme. It’s easy to go overboard with Coastal style. Too much of a good thing does not light, airy and breezy make. Keep the seashell collection contained to a special place, not spread all over the space. Again, keep in mind breezy, summery, light, cozy and open and you’ll be relaxed and feeling like you’re at a tropical resort, regardless if your home is on the beach.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Coastal kitchens have a large island for your guests to congregate. It should be casual and inviting with light countertops, bold pendant lights in a woven, nautical-style or a classic lantern shape. The kitchen will be painted in light colors with a pop of blue, green or gray cabinetry in the island base, stools, or accessories.
Shiplap, tongue-and-groove paneling or beadboard are all comfortable here. Open shelving is a plus for even more open space.

Use a similar approach to bathrooms by incorporating a driftwood or blue-colored vanity, quartz countertop, light-colored window treatments. Make the bathroom whimsical by incorporating coastal inspired tile or mosaics like a beautiful fish scale mosaic.

Coastal style brings us together in a manner that makes us feel lighter, more at home, and comfortable. Its light, breezy and open mood reminds us to slow down, take a deep breath and relax.

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