Whether it’s the beaches of California or the rocky coast of Maine, there’s no denying coastal living has its draws. There’s something about the simplicity of the lifestyle and the salty breeze that draws us in. And while we can’t all upend our lives and move to a small coastal fishing village, we can all achieve the laid-back, natural look of coastal style in our homes.
So it’s no surprise that Coastal style is actually one of our most-requested looks. With its casual vibe and natural elements, Coastal style feels down-to-earth and lived-in while still looking put-together. So, to celebrate the arrival of summer days (hopefully) filled with sandy beaches and sunshine, we’re breaking down this rustic, beachy style and showing you how to get this look in your own home.
Root Your Look in Comfort
One of our favorite aspects of Coastal style is how approachable it is. There’s nothing stuffy or fussy about it. In fact, comfort is key. This look is rooted in more traditional shapes while putting a premium on livability.
When it comes to choosing foundational furniture for this look, steer away from overly modern lines and go for something a little more rustic in shape and color. We lean toward large, overstuffed sofas that you can sink into, topped with plenty of throw pillows. In the dining room, we love big tables in natural wood tones where the whole family can gather. But you want to make sure to balance this heavier furniture with lighter-weight accent pieces and neutral color palettes—because ultimately you’re going for an open, airy aesthetic.
Choose Light, Weathered Woods
The Coastal look is all about being easy and breezy. For this style, we like wood that’s reminiscent of driftwood—raw and unfinished, sometimes even with a sun-bleached look. Stay away from dark or high-gloss wood finishes, which add visual weight and formality. You want to keep things light and airy.Shop This Room
The great part about lighter, weathered woods is that you can mix and match styles and tones, and it will still have a cohesive look. Your dining table doesn’t have to be the exact same shade of wood as your chairs or sideboard. By choosing light woods that have almost a grey or whitewashed undertone, you’ll achieve a cohesiveness that’s not too matchy-matchy.
Rattan is a great option for accent pieces as it easily complements lighter wood tones, offering structure while being visually lightweight. And this doesn’t have to be limited to the more traditional chair or footstool. We love the uniqueness of a rattan bar cart and the tropical feeling it lends a dining room.
With all of these pieces, there’s a livability to them that can’t be beat. It’s ok if these pieces get a little worn or weathered from use. A little patina only adds to the organic coastal look. So, don’t be afraid to really live with these pieces—because this style of wood only gets better with age and use.
Opt for Organic Materials + Natural Textures
Bring the outdoors in with organic materials and natural textures. This look takes its inspiration from nature—so look for materials like jute, rope, linen, unfinished woods, seagrass, cork, and rattan.Shop This Room
How you use them can range from the more obvious—like linen bedding or rattan side tables—or have a more contemporary twist to keep your look more modern. Think: rope-wrapped armchairs in the living room or a mirror frame and footstool covered in chunky, hand-braided water hyacinth. Look for pieces that have streamlined frames made with natural materials that keep the beachy vibe alive.
You can accent the rawness of these organic materials with soft, textured throws and woven baskets. We love the natural look of soft wool baskets for blanket storage, books and magazines, or as a laundry basket.
Keep the Color Palette Neutral with Pops of Blue
When it comes to a color scheme, take a cue from nature—sandy beaches, weather-beaten boardwalks, and seagrass. These warm neutral notes will ground your look, giving it a summery, serene feeling.
And when it comes to adding pops of color, think in shades of blue for those soothing ocean vibes. You can mix and match tones of blue—from navy to sky blue—for visual depth, everywhere from throw pillows and vases to wall art and area rugs.
These decorative accents are also a great way to bring the beachy vibes of Coastal style into your home. Our favorite types of coastal decor are nautical-inspired wall art—like these blue coral prints or rope knot artwork. And we’re also big fans of using an oversized shell or piece of coral as a decorative accent on a bookshelf or coffee table.
And don’t forget to add pops of natural green. Every room should have some sort of plant element to bring the colors of nature inside. Some of our favorite plants for the Coastal look are the muted greens olive trees and eucalyptus or the bright pop of monstera plants. Even a single leaf in a vase creates a simple statement look!