Coastal Interiors – Decorating on the Beach

Beach, Nautical and Coastal Interiors

Decorating interiors on the beach is always one of my favorite locations to work.  You can’t get much better than working on the water.  I am so inspired by the water, sand and sea life that comes from this type of living.  If I had to choose just one place to work…it would have to be the beach.  There’s something serene and peaceful with the sounds of ocean waves crashing and seagulls squawking.  As an interior designer in Orange County, California, my work has taken me to several homes near the water.  From East Hampton, New York to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  When designing a beach house or home on the water it only makes sense to bring the water elements into the interior design.

Living Room Coastal Interior Design
Living Room – Coastal Interior


If you are wanting to create a comfortable and laid back look to your coastal interior design project then read further for some key elements of coastal interiors.

Take a look at some of our completed projects on the beach (click on the links below to view)…

East Hampton, New York

Emerald Bay, Laguna Beach, California

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

If you have never experienced the beach on a personal level, look at magazines dedicated to coastal destinations, or better yet, contact a Coastal Interior Designer to take all the guess work out of it for you!

Living Room Nautical Design
Use Blue and White in Coastal Interiors

Key Elements of Coastal Interior Design

Furniture

Coastal interiors and decorating on the beach mean different things to different people when it comes to choosing the furniture style.  The most important thing is to keep the design casual and simple.  Use materials such as reclaimed wood, bamboo or wicker furniture and keep in mind certain types of wood aren’t recommended for ocean air.  Try to incorporate stripes and patterns that relate to the beach.  For example, use navy blue and crisp white for that nautical look.  Linen fabrics are also a good choice for drapery and pillows.

Walls

Keep your wall colors light and airy.  This will help bring the true coastal experience into your home.  Soft color palettes work best for homes on the water.  Although I don’t typically like white walls…on the beach it gives you that clean, crisp feel.  White also works well as an accent on such architectural details such as wainscoting.

Windows

Less is better when considering a coastal interior design style.  However, if you are seeking privacy there are many window treatments available that can marry the two together nicely.  White shutters are a good choice as they will not only compliment the wainscoting, but will also provide you privacy when needed.

Flooring

Stick with hard surfaces when decorating on the beach by using hardwood floors or tiles.  Clean and simple and uncluttered is best.  Lighter colors for hardwood and throw rugs will help bring the room together as well as hide the sand that may be tracked in from the beach.

Accessories

This is a great area to bring in the details of coastal interiors.  Add small touches here and there that will bring these elements to life.  Add a net, use some rope or bring in some shells.  Stay on the lookout as you’re walking on the beach…an old piece of driftwood that has weathered from the constant beating of the waves is a great accent.  Use some live tropical plants such as giant birds of paradise or a kentia palm.  Use images of sailboats or rope in your artwork as shown below.

Sailboat Artwork
Accent with Nautical Artwork
Nautical Rope Artwork

Nautical Artwork

Lighting

Rattan or wicker works nicely with lamps, or add another type of texture that reminds you of the coast, like sea shells.  Wrought iron is also a good choice to bring an element of metal to the room.

Coastal interior design is not only a fun and creative way to decorate, but it can also bring an element of Feng Shui into your home as the ambiance can be cathartic to your soul.  You will just breath easier in your new coastal interior surroundings as they remind you of the care free days at the beach.

Do you have any favorite tips or ideas that you like using when it comes to decorating on the beach?  Share some inspiration from your coastal interior design projects.  Send in some pics and comments…I’d love to see what you’re up to!

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- Posted by Chris

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