Coastal Design

Cottage life means the good life! There isn’t much in life that beats the comfortable, bright and airy feel of coastal living. Cottages are meant to be clean, rustic, show signs of longevity and life. They display generations of families spending summers to create lasting memories.

When at the cottage, you are meant to be at ease and completely relaxed. Your space is meant to be aligned to reflect that mood and energy as well. All accessories and design pieces are loosely and casually arranged. No tight or strict ways to go about anything in the space. Textiles and fabrics are meant to be kept natural, neutral, and quite simple.

Colors are kept light; starting from the walls and furniture, to more specifically the accessories, the colors mostly consist of clear blues, creamy whites, and beiges to remind us the of the feeling of being on a sandy beach.

Coastal Design: broken down – Some specific touches that make a Coastal designed space complete are the following:

Windows – Plenty of Natural Sunlight:

Coastal spaces are known to have lots of windows, allowing the bright and happy energy to flow right in. Floor to ceiling windows allow for a seamless view of the focal point, which is the water, of course!

Not always are window treatments used in Coastal spaces. However in cases that they are used for added privacy, natural fabrics are chosen which are usually very light colored and thin. This ensures that the overall visual weight of the space remains minimal.

For homes or cottages that allow for it, retractable windows add a world of difference. This way there is no distinction and separation as to where your space ends and the ocean begins. Making the indoor and outdoor spaces blend together, beautifully. NanaWall is a great option to look into if retractable windows are a possibility in your space.


Furnishings in Coastal spaces are kept casual. Pieces are selected that are meant for you to just fall on after spending a long day at the beach.

Seating consists of oversized armchairs, cushy down filled slip-covered sofas, and knitted textured poufs for additional casual seating. The colors used are for the most part white. If not white, then light greys and very neutral creamy colors. Visual interest is created by adding some woven wicker pieces to the seating area as well, for the added element comfort.

Pieces such as the coffee table are wooden, distressed, and rustic, with finishes being weathered and painted. Pieces are either left unfinished or brightened by being hand painted in white or light ashy tones. Whitewashing and pickling is also used as techniques to give woods the aged and petrified appearance suited for Coastal designs.

Accents – Touch of the Ocean Life Indoors:

Light airy colors – clear blues, off white accents, light greys, light aqua and sea glass – all colors of the sand and water.

Accents to make the space complete are consisted of beachy and earthy touches. The specific accents which make a space Coastal are nautical and beach accents such as shells, corals, and sea creatures, as well as compasses and woven baskets.

Seating: Sofas are always drowning in toss cushions. Accents throw cushions, are found in light colors, as well as navy to bring the sense of the deep ocean inside. All patterns and designs are meant to keep with the ocean theme. Some examples of designs found are: starfish, shells, anchors, lighthouses, whales, palm leaves, sea grass, stripes, octopus, turtles and seahorses. Linen and natural fabric throws are also always added in case the sea breeze gets a bit chilly at nights.

On Surfaces: Larger trays are placed on coffee tables to house more decorative accent pieces. Tall cylinder vases filled with sand and seashells, lanterns for candle lighting, driftwoods and sculptural sea decorations are what complete the full space design.

Rope details, barn wood and netting are some other touches that are found throughout the space to add the earthy textures required for this style of design.

Wall Art: As with any other design style, the wall décor plays an important role in the space. There are different options for wall décor. Some options are large clocks, painting of seaside motifs: lighthouses, sand dunes or anchors, decorative wall hangings that are organic and resemble the seaside life.

Which-ever option that is selected, the ultimate goal is to keep with light colors, bring a bit of the outdoors in, and have fun in the space. This is where your true personality can have a bit of fun while still keeping true to the Coastal style. Wall art is one of the simplest and quickest ways to refresh and change the feel of the design so don’t be afraid to let a little loose here!

Lighting: Pendant lighting, floor and table lamps will be the main source of lighting in the space during the hours that the sun is not beaming in.Details such as sea shells, nautical designs, clear blue glass, ropes & driftwoods are specifically important to be in included when selecting lighting for a Coastal designed space.

 Plants: The addition of plants in Coastal designed spaces, bring the sense of the luscious greenery outside, inside. The favorite go to plants for this design style are plants that are more on the tropical side.

Some great examples include: Monstera Plant, Kentia Palm, Bird of Paradise, Split Leaf Philodendron & the Banana Leaf.

Flooring: The main type of flooring used in this style of space is traditional oak hardwood flooring, finished in very light stains. Sometimes instead of staining the hardwood, the flooring just gets painted white, allowing for that worn rustic look to occur overtime. The main way the floors are protected and dressed up in this style, is by the use of natural textured rugs. Knitted and hand woven carpets, as well as sisal rugs are definitely the right match for this relaxed, coastal feel.