Beyond Nautical: 4 Tips for Fresh Coastal Decor

Beach House
Whether you live on the water or just dream about it, coastal décor is a wonderful way to celebrate a place and a lifestyle you love. Adding coastal touches can give your home personality, but go too far and you’ll find the theme detracts from the ambiance. Here are 4 fresh, authentic coastal décor touches that will give a sense of place to any style.

Look Lived-in
Many beach homes have been in the family for generations. Even if you’re decorating new construction, get that cozy, lived-in look with distressed or reclaimed wood furnishings and crisp white upholstery with patterned accent pillows and throws. Don’t be afraid to mix old and new pieces for a unique, personal approach to coastal style. Furnishings should be able to stand up to kids, guests and pets and should invite lingering, so consider teak and resin wicker for indoor and outdoor durability.

Get Inspired by Nature
If you’re not decorating a schooner, forget navy blue and anything made of brass. Instead, take color cues from what you see around you. Love the Carolina Lowcountry? Incorporate marsh greens, indigo blue and oyster shell whites. Longing for tropical colors of the Caribbean? Start with the turquoise of the ocean and combine with lime green, lemon yellow and mango orange. California dreaming? Incorporate reds and yellows of spectacular West Coast sunsets. Coastal décor always benefits from natural textures such as weathered, reclaimed or distressed wood and jute or sisal rugs.

Go Local
Every coastal inspired home needs elements of regional history. Comb local antiques stores for historical objects such as maps or photos, incorporate local found objects and arts and crafts made by local artists and makers. You’ll not only be supporting cottage industries in your area, you’ll feel more anchored to the history of your home. Look to local natural elements for design motifs. Nature prints that feature birds and native plant life are no-fail additions to any coastal home.

When it comes to finishes and upholstery, you’ll never find leather furniture or heavy upholstery or textiles in a coastal home. Lighten up your look with linen, cotton, all-weather wood and indoor-outdoor fabrics that can withstand the elements. Durable, washable furnishings lend a consistency to your décor story and are easy to care for. Clear or colored glass accents mix well with any style and keep the look light and airy without cluttering the view.

Focus on a Relaxed Lifestyle
Coastal homes are functional and unfussy. Start by making every space function for how you live, even if it breaks traditional design rules. Think of it as setting yourself up to relax. Place a big basket for flip flops outside the back door, hang pegs for drying wet towels on the porch, and be sure there are plenty of hammocks and rocking chairs for relaxing at sunset. Coastal homes are also always ready for impromptu parties, so keep plenty of serving ware and linen napkins on open shelving so guests can help themselves.

You don’t need to load up on anchors and seahorses to feel like you’re living at the beach. Decorating your home like a local is a design approach that will give your home a fresh, authentic and relaxed feel.


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