A coastal home can often get confused with nautical or Hamptons style interiors. While they all have many elements in common, they each have some very different details which set them apart from each other.
They all create a calm coastal feel. A light, bright and airy atmosphere encompassing open plan living with fresh whites and soft neutrals. But that’s where it ends.
Staple colours for this style are obviously navy and white, with an occasional splash of red thrown in. Stripes are essential and are incorporated with elements such as ships, anchors and everything that celebrates life at sea.
This stunning coastal style is timeless, refined and oozes elegance. Its luxurious theme is inspired by the affluent seaside in Long Island. There are rustic, natural influences along with geometric patterns and paisleys. The white on white and soft sandy tones are accented with hues such as navy and greys. A Hampton’s home generally favors a darker timber flooring such as walnut or rosewood.
So, what are the characteristics of a modern coastal home?
A coastal home provides a laidback yet chic look and should create a casual, relaxed beachy vibe.
Textured materials, weathered surfaces and lots of light give a beautiful organic feel that helps embrace the seaside and the natural world.
Modern coastal is flexible and allows for more individual personality than the classic Hamptons style.
Let’s explore some basic guidelines for you to achieve the ‘coastal style’ in your home:-
Light and soft colour palette
Crisp whites and layered neutrals form the basis of any coastal colour palette. Focus on sandy beiges and soft soothing greys. Experiment with accent colours using muted beachy pastels such as turquoise, coral and yellow. Highlight hues can be bright but use sparingly and don’t go overboard. To maintain a cohesive and harmonious palette stick to a few chosen colours.
Be inspired and play with colour using natural beachy elements as inspiration, and keep it simple.
Simple and elegant flooring
Light coloured wooden flooring is an important element in creating the coastal style. Not only is it easy to clean but it mirrors the beauty of a piece of weathered driftwood. The use of white-washed timber or blond woods like ash, beach and maple will give you a light and airy coastal vibe. Use throughout your home to keep a sense of unity. However, the use of rugs from organic materials such as jute, seagrass and straw will add texture and warmth.
Carpeted flooring is not used in modern coastal interiors.
The coastal vibe encourages open spaces
Like the beach itself, coastal homes should feel bright and breezy. Keeping your floor plan simple and uncluttered will create a feeling that everything just flows. Having an open plan home will ensure that one room seamlessly flows into another. Choose furniture items which can be used as a focal point in order to minimise accessories. But be sure that there’s lots of surrounding negative space so people are able to move comfortably around them.
One of the most important elements in creating a coastal home is an abundance of natural light. This is one reason why white is used extensively in this style – it amplifies light rather than soaking it up! Plenty of large windows, doors and skylights will allow sunshine to flood in. Window treatments should be simple, sheer (like tule) and be kept to a minimum.
Should there be a need for artificial lighting then stick with warmer coloured bulbs as apposed to the cold bright ones. High ceilings, low sheen paint on your walls and large mirrors can also help reflect light into your space.
You want to feel as though there’s no boundary between indoors and out.
The finishing touches
Soft, no-fuss textures such as linens and cottons are a must in beach style homes. Keeping your choice of fabric light will make your rooms feel light and spacious. For something a little different you could try washed-out pastels or a tasteful nautical print fabric on an occasional chair or scatter cushions. But keep patterns minimal and don’t over do them.
You want your coastal home to feel comfortable and welcoming. So include plenty of soft elements such as plush cushions, blankets and throws.
Layer lots of different textures but keep things uncluttered.
You can’t go wrong with white furnishing, but bring natural warmth and texture in by incorporating a few pieces made with rattan, linen and light-coloured timber.
Steer clear of shiny fabrics and surfaces, other than glass and mirrors.
Instead complement the soft textiles with the addition of rough elements like thick ropes, sea glass, shells and driftwood. Let the landscape guide you. But the key word is ‘restraint’. Too many accessories can change your look from chic to tacky.
Subtle seaside touches in your artwork and accessories add the finishing touches to a harmonious coastal style home.
How your elements look and feel is important. After all, going to the beach is a tactile experience so try to re-create those sensations with your design choices.