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Home Home Decor Coastal Decor Ideas – 15 Breezy Blue and White Rooms Inspired by Sea and Shore

Coastal Decor Ideas – 15 Breezy Blue and White Rooms Inspired by Sea and Shore

These coastal decor ideas will bring crisp, fresh styling to any room in your home. Find out how to get the beachy look

by Monika Bürger
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Coastal decor ideas are underpinned by certain style fundamentals, so whether your look is East Coast or West, Pacific or Mediterranean, there are key design principles to follow. 

It starts with the color palette, based on seascape tones of blues and grays, crisp whites, and creamy neutrals. Added to that are the accent colors, from nautical navy and red to sandy yellow and tints of sea glass green.

Next comes texture, channeling maritime ropes and fishing baskets, seagrass, and weathered wood.

Finally, think space, light, and freedom – elements associated with the distant horizons and sun-drenched vistas of coastal living.

Coastal decor ideas are informed by the landscape, but also by the architecture designed to sit among it, whether that’s classic Cape Cod house style, Palm Beach villas, or bohemian California coastal,’ says Andréa Childs, Editor of Country Homes & Interiors magazine. ‘Natural light, open-concept spaces, an instinctive flow between indoors and out, and a feeling of freshness define the look of homes inspired by shoreline living.’

COASTAL DECOR IDEAS: THE FUNDAMENTALS

The color palette in a coastal-style home is foundational to achieving the look and feel you want to create,’ says interior designer Courtney Wollersheim, from FLOOR360

‘Start with warm gray, beige, white, and ivory as your foundational colors, and add a healthy dose of cozy blue and dusty green accents. The overall effect is sunny, soothing, light, and airy.

Flooring options include hardwood or hardwood-look luxury vinyl plank in a light shade or whitewashed finish of white oak or with visible textured grain.

Juxtapose smooth lines in couches, chairs, tables, and finishes, with chunky textures in baskets and rope or rattan accents.’

From stormy waters to calm seas, golden sands to gray shingles, this is how to create your coastal decor ideas.

1. PAINT A KITCHEN ISLAND SEA BLUE

kitchen with blue island with marble worktop
(Image credit: Humbert & Poyet / Francis Amiand)

If you can’t head to a tropical island, bring the clear blue waters to the island in your kitchen – it’s a simple but effective take on blue kitchen ideas

The decor of this villa, designed by Humbert & Poyet, is informed by its location in Cannes, in the South of France. Inspired by the Mediterranean, a blue color palette can be seen throughout the interiors, even here in the kitchen, where it highlights the rosewood cabinets.

The open spaces allow for a natural flow of light, creating a fluid connection between indoors and out.

Take your seats. Our bar stools, made with durable steel and vegan leather, will breathe new life to any kitchen or dining area. Pull them up to a counter at your home bar or use them as a stylish alternative to dining room chairs.

<< More Bar Stool Styles >>

2. USE THE DESIGNER FORMULA FOR COASTAL STYLE

coastal living room with cream sofa
(Image credit: Future)

The key to coastal living room ideas is creating a light and airy space with light tones and neutral textures for a relaxed feel, then adding accents of bolder color to create lively focal points. Leah Keggi, the founder of independent art studio CoastL Studio, explains.

You can achieve this by focusing 70 percent of your color (walls, furniture, focal patterns) in a room on lighter blues and neutrals that mimic the color of the ocean and beach. Then add in 20 percent of greens and greenery, and 10 percent of smaller decor and patterned pieces featuring richer pinks, corals, or navy.’

Here, weathered walls, natural linen and driftwood furniture, and accessories create a backdrop for deep blue accent fabrics.

Our outdoor floor cushions are the super comfy and style-forward option for outdoor seating. They’re UV coated to protect against fading and water resistant so you can avoid scrambling to bring them inside whenever there’s a touch of weather. Grab a few to have on hand whenever seating is hard to come by or for a fun option for kids to use out in the yard.

<< More Floor Cushion Styles >>

3. DIVE INTO DEEP BLUE IN THE DINING ROOM

dining room with dark blue walls and coastal decor
(Image credit: Future)

Don’t be scared to take the plunge with deeper nautical tones of navy and inky ocean hues when it comes to blue dining room ideas. This strong palette sits beautifully in an entertaining space where it creates a sense of enclosure and intimacy that works for both day and night.

For a fresh, coastal feel, add elements of white and cream to lift the scheme. Here, light voile drapes, and whitewashed furniture keep the look beachy.

Invite the sun inside on your terms. Our blackout window curtains are a denser alternative to your standard window curtain, blocking out most light and proudly featuring your favorite designs. Whether you live in a busy apartment or a peaceful neighborhood, it’s always nice to have the option to shut out the sun and relax inside by the candlelight. Available in either single or double panel options...

<< More Blackout Curtain Styles >>

4. USE SHIPLAP FOR A SEASIDE LOOK

green The Rebel Snug sofa and beach style rattan lamp
(Image credit: Snug)

Wooden panelling ideas can transform the look of a room and are a common feature of coastal interiors.

We love to use shiplap in our coastal decor ideas because of the nautical feel it gives,’ says Owner/Designer Anissa Swanzy, of SKD Studios in Newport Beach. ‘Don’t just consider neutral tones; we’ve painted shiplap navy for a client in a beachfront apartment.

You can defy expectations in other ways, too. Here, the green sofa swerves the usual coastal blue and white palette, but with the nautical pendant light, shiplap and rush lamp, the look puts a new spin on the typical beach look.

Express your style all over your home with a feature-worthy rug. They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor. Rugs are one of the best, attention-grabbing pieces to design a room around. Use the colors within the rug to help choose art prints, furniture fabric and accent pillows.

<< More Rug Styles >>

5. ADD NAUTICAL MOTIFS

hallway boot room with nautical wallpaper and blue and white stripe rug
(Image credit: Amy Leferink Interior Impressions)

Nautical wallpaper and seafaring motifs give a maritime makeover to the usual mudroom ideas and make this space perfect for a coastal home.

An entrance space like one, designed by Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions, sets the tone for a home, so the blue and white color scheme with accents of red is just right. To finish, a porthole-shaped mirror hung from a rope, complemented by a striped rug and coordinating towels, create a playful, uplifting space.

Our peel and stick wallpaper is easy to apply and take off, leaving no adhesive residue. Featuring sharp, vibrant images, wallpaper patterns are ideal for accent walls, flat surfaces and temporary installations. Available in three panel sizes.

<< More Wallpaper Styles >>

6. ADD IN SOME STRIPES

bed with pale green velvet headboard and black and white cushions
(Image credit: Humbert & Poyet / Francis Amiand)

For an elegant, subdued take on coastal decor ideas, introduce typical design motifs in an unexpected way. It might be a twist on the usual coastal color palette, or a reinterpretation of pattern and texture, like this velvet headboard in sea-glass green, created by Humbert & Poyet for a villa in Cannes.

Striped patterns are a nautical staple but bring these in subtly – for example, in cushion covers or delicately striped curtains,’ suggests Connor Prestwood, interior designer at home decor brand Dowsing & Reynolds.

Light blues, whites and hints of yellow are go-to colors for coastal, as they remind us of the beach and the ocean and naturally have a calming effect on us.

It’s easy to get lost in sleep in our warm yet lightweight comforters. Colors pop on this bedding staple and they will surely be the focal point of your bedroom’s decor. Choose from either synthetic microfiber or our unbleached, long-staple 100% cotton. Available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen and King sizes.

<< More Comforter Styles >>

7. CREATE A TRANSITIONAL SPACE

outdoor deck with sky blue sofa
(Image credit: Humbert & Poyet / Francis Amiand)

Coastal-inspired deck ideas are a chance to create a visual bridge between a beach setting (or coastal garden planting scheme) and your home. 

On this terrace, designed by Humbert & Poyet, the clear blue couch and tiled floor bring a look of the sea and turn this transitional space into another coastal setting.

Our sling chairs make the perfect backyard or beach companion to help you reach peak relaxation. Let your cares melt away in the polyester hammock-style seat and recline in multiple positions for whatever your lounging style may be. You can take your sling chair anywhere as it folds for easy travel and storage.

<< More Sling Chair Styles >>

8. GIVE COASTAL DECOR A CONTEMPORARY EDGE

modern sitting room with contemporary blue and white artwork
(Image credit: Humbert & Poyet / Francis Amiand)

Your coastal decor ideas can be as simple as using a color palette inspired by sea and shore, without any obvious nautical references.

I love coastal designs that emulate the coastal lifestyle and feeling without having a literal interpretation of the coast. So I say, skip the seashell, beach and under-the-water-themed decor and elevate the look,’ explains Andra DelMonico and I’m the Lead Interior Designer for Trendey.

If you do happen to like these motifs, use them sparingly. Focus on selecting a color palette that reflects the type of coastal living you want to emulate. The colors you choose will look very different for a nautical northeastern theme and a southern/Caribbean tropical theme. You can’t go wrong with a white, blue, and neutral combination

Accent the space with natural materials, like teak, acacia, cedar, or redwood.’

Our floor pillows are the perfect pick for seating in a pinch. They’re overstuffed and firm to never lose their shape and the high-quality print makes sure the design stays crisp and colorful. Available in round or square, with two size options.

<< More Floor Pillow Styles >>

9. CREATE A PAINTERLY LOOK

bedroom with wave patterned wallpaper
(Image credit: Future)

The sea and coastal landscapes have inspired generations of artists, so why not use a painterly approach as a canvas for your coastal decor ideas?

Watercolor bedding, wave-patterned wallpaper and artworks with an ocean theme all contribute to this artistic interpretation of the coastal look.

Add in weathered wood furniture and panelling to ground this airy, romantic look.

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Individually cut and sewn by hand, each pillow features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper and faux down insert. Keeping an assortment of throw pillow designs on hand is the easiest way to give any space an instant refresh. Available in four sizes.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

10. SOURCE SOME SEA SHELLS

resin sea shells for coastal decor ideas
(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

While too many seaside accessories and trinkets can overwhelm a room, a few carefully chosen accessories can introduce the coastal theme in an elegant way.

Decorate with replica resin shells and coral, or display beachcomber finds such as pebbles, sea glass and shells in glass jars for a subtle coastal decor idea.

Keeping the palette muted will maintain curated look.

11. ADD IN COASTAL DECORATION

hallway with wooden floor and blue and white stripe rug gold mirror and oar artwork
(Image credit: Amy Leferink Interior Impressions)

Browse coastal markets and antiques stores for interesting decorative finds. 

Furnishings in coastal rooms often have a nautical feel, with rope accents, seashells, and other beach-inspired details. Decorative approaches can vary from room to room, but often include elements like wicker baskets, driftwood sculptures, and seascape paintings,’ says Lily Wili, Founder of Ever Wallpaper.

In this hallway, designed by Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions, rowing oars provide a graphic nautical display that is complemented by the stripes of the rug and  upholstered seat.

Park it in style on this incredibly versatile bench, upholstered with vegan leather featuring all the designs you love. The perfect indoor bench, it will give any space an instant upgrade. Dress it with plush blankets or throw pillows to keep it elegant, but super cush.

<< More Bench Styles >>

12. DECORATE A DECK

deck with grey panelling and sofa with blue and white cushions
(Image credit: Future)

All the principles to the coastal decor ideas you bring inside the house, also apply outside on a deck or terrace.

When it comes to coastal decorating schemes, colors play a huge role,’ confirms Jen Stark Founder of Happy DIY Home. Think light green and blue hues, bleached whites, and sandy beige tones to mimic the sand and sea look. You can also consider incorporating driftwood browns and grays, beach pebble gray, dune grass green, and the colors you find in seashells. For vibrant hints of color, add orange or yellow to mimic the sun, and the bold reds of umbrellas or shore flowers.’

It’s also essential that you narrow down to relaxed simplicity – especially in an outdoor living space. 

Materials and furnishes that can take wear and tear are key,’ says Jen. ‘Consider adding streamlined, simple furniture alongside distressed and weathered pieces. Using outdoor fabrics in your rugs or on your cushions is another viable option.’

Our outdoor rugs make the perfect complement to your porch, patio and outdoor living area decor. The endless variety of eye-catching designs help create a unique and welcoming hub for all your outdoor gatherings. Rain or shine, the quick dry fabric and non-slip backing ensures that your rug will stay fresh and in place for many seasons to come. These outdoor rugs are the finishing touch every outdoor space needs.

<< More Outdoor Rug Styles >>

13. PERK UP YOUR PLANTERS

blue and yellow planters on deck in coastal garden
(Image credit: House of Dome)

Use a seashore-inspired color palette to transform simple containers. Boardwalk brown, sandy yellow and sea blue bring the beachscape to your balcony or garden.

For added authenticity, plant them with coastal plants – not only will these suit your coastal decor ideas and scheme, if you are situated by the sea, they will withstand salty air and harsh sea breezes, too.

14. USE ART AS A COASTAL ACCENT

blue armchair with seascape painting
(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Interior designers often use an artwork as the basis for a room’s color scheme, whether they pick out a single shade or incorporate the entire palette from the picture. This approach works particularly well when you’re refining your coastal decor ideas, as you can use the image as your guide. 

You might choose a seascape of predominantly blue and gray tones, with white crests on the waves. Or look for beach scene that incorporates sea, sand, shore and even people and houses, for a more colorful palette,’ suggests Andréa Childs, Editor of Country Homes & Interiors.

Our Framed Canvas Prints add an extra touch of refinement to our gallery-quality canvases. Select from four different frame colors: black, white, maple or walnut to suit your decor taste and show off your favorite artists’ designs. Framed canvases are available in seven different sizes.

<< More Framed Canvas Styles >>

15. BRING COASTAL DECOR INTO A BATHROOM – SUBTLY

teal bathroom with teal panelling and bath
(Image credit: Future)

A bathroom is the perfect space for coastal decor, but you can overdo it, ending up with a space that looks themed. ‘I love the approach taken in the bathroom, above,’ says Homes & Gardens‘ Editor in Chief Lucy Searle. ‘Red, white and blue is always elegant and smart, and if there is the merest hint of a seaside motif, you can get away with what is quite a traditional approach.

Our shower curtains are the perfect focal point for any bathroom with our artists’ array of eye-catching designs. Hookless and extra long, these curtains will surely fit in any bathroom setup. Plus, they’re machine washable to avoid any soap scum or buildup.

<< More Shower Curtain Styles >>

HOW DO YOU DECORATE WITH A COASTAL THEME?

Coastal design has been around for centuries, largely because it was the manner in which people decorated their waterfront or seaside homes,’ explains Amy Leferink, Founder and Principal Designer of Interior Impressions. 

This design aesthetic began very much as a product of the environment when in a beach or lake house. For instance, pulling from the landscape surrounding the home to inform the interior color scheme, or using the natural materials and items, including rope, raffia, or woven materials, that are usually found nearby coastal lands

Over time this look has evolved to be less literal, and more an overall interpretation subject to the designer or homeowner and how they choose to bring the outside in, regardless of the home being situated in a coastal location

It is meant to evoke a feeling of being near the water; bringing the relaxation, ease, and casual vibe of waterside living to everyday life.’

WHAT IS MODERN COASTAL DECOR?

‘Modern coastal decor has no need to place shells and “beachy” things around to create a coastal inspired space,‘ says Connor Prestwood, interior designer at home decor brand Dowsing & Reynolds.

Stick to lighter, neutral colours to keep the space fresh and relaxed. Then incorporate earthy textures like linen and rustic wood finishes to add interest and give your eyes places to naturally land around the space.’

WHAT COLORS SHOULD I USE FOR MY COASTAL DECOR IDEAS?

When you are wanting to decorate your space in a coastal design, color is key,’ says Zara O’Hare, Interior Design Consultant at Land of Rugs.

‘In terms of the main colors for the space, you need to be using creams, blues and whites but you can also use green if done smartly. Think of the colors you see when you visit the coast – these colors should be key in your home! 

You might pair cream sofas and rugs with blue statement walls. The green in your space can also be added with plants to your space.’

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