Well, today I am going to show you how to decorate a coastal living room. And we are going to do it with furniture and accessories from places that we designers love to shop at that the general public doesn’t know about! All of your friends are going to be wondering where you got all this cool stuff from! :)
Getting that beachy look doesn’t necessarily mean adding just blue and white and putting up a picture of the beach. Designers design a space based on the feeling the style evokes.
A beachy house is one that has a laid back casual atmosphere. We take our cues from nature that we find at the beach. Yes, there's a lot of blues and white but there are also beiges, greens, and even pops of pink. This picture below is one of the gulf coast beaches at sunset near my house in Ocean Springs. It’s the perfect photo to draw inspiration from.
Traditional coastal design will never go out of style. We all love the laid back casual atmosphere of a beach house. Some common themes you will see running through beachy/coastal design are lots of natural light, casual furniture with natural textiles, a little sparkle, and a soft color palette with lots of blues, greens, grays, browns, and crisp whites.
I always recommend that you pick out the major anchoring pieces of the room first. In a living room, that means starting with the couch and area rug. I know everyone who wants a beach themed house wants a white couch. And performance fabrics have come a long way. But that does not mean that if you spill something on it you don’t have to clean it right away. So if you spill red wine or a kid has a grape juice party on your pretty white couch you will need to clean it up immediately!
If you aren’t the type of person who wants to always be worrying about cleaning up stuff then I suggest going with a different color for your couch. You can do a light soft blue or green fabric instead.
Below are my top picks for coastal inspired couches. All sales are final unless there’s damage and I do make a small commission when you buy something-thank you for your support!
Once you’ve decided on your couch, now you can pick out the area rug. I usually like to add something that is durable and will stand up to life on the beach. For this situation, I prefer man made rugs. Rugs made out of natural fibers like jute look great in pictures but if they get wet they need to be hung up to dry out so they don’t get mildewy. Choosing the appropriate size is also super important. You can read more about how to choose the right area rug HERE.
Some of my favorites are below. These are all 8x10 but I have other rugs in different sizes here that also would fit nicely in a coastal living room.
So now that you have the big pieces in place, it’s time to fill in with the smaller pieces of furniture. This is going to be your side chairs if needed, coffee table, end tables, floor lamps, and possibly a credenza for your TV. Some of my favorites are below. If you don’t see what you’re looking for you can check out my shop here for more options.
Now that your furniture pieces have all been it’s time to pick out paint colors. If you’re wondering why I didn’t start with paint, it’s because you have endless options when it comes to paint colors. It’s better to wait to pick out paint colors until the majority of your furniture pieces have been selected.
I ALWAYS recommend buying a sample and painting a big square of the color you want to use on your wall. See how it looks in your space! If you don’t like doing that, you can check out samplize. They will send you a large peel and stick sample that is made with actual paint (and not just printed on).
Some of my favorite coastal colors are
Now it’s time for some fun! Let’s layer in some draperies, knick knacks, and artwork! This is where you can let your personality shine! It’s also a good place to add a little sparkle and some more texture.
When selecting beachy decor items, you’ll want to look for things that are shiny, have some natural elements to them, or work with your overall color scheme. I just love this toucan! Isn’t he so cute?
I hope you were able to find some inspiration here for your coastal design! As always, if you need a little help, I am here for you. I have several different levels of design services so if you just need some help with layout or selecting finishes or if it’s a full blown renovation, let me help you! You can check out some of the different services I offer here.