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coastal style

Destination Style: Get Nantucket’s Classic Coastal Look

coastal styleTo celebrate summer, we’re taking inspiration from the all-American tradition of a cross-country road trip. We’ll be making our way across the USA and exploring some of our favorite cities and their signature design styles along the way. Buckle up and get ready for some major destination design inspo. Final stop: Nantucket, Massachusetts!

You’re probably familiar with our love of California coastal style by now. But right now we’re equally smitten by the crisp and breezy look of Nantucket’s charming cottages. The island has long been a quiet escape for East Coasters during late summer and a peek inside its homes shows us why it makes for the perfect getaway. Rooms exude a sense of serenity and ease with their laid-back white upholstered pieces, natural-fiber rugs and artisanal accents, and classic stripes and nautical nods. All of which are set amid a coastal blue-and-white palette. For us, these elements add up to a feeling of pure barefoot bliss.

Nantucket itself is also known for its artisanal spirit. It’s home to textile makers and weavers who still work on traditional looms, ceramists putting out hand-thrown pottery, and painters and artists capturing the island’s gorgeous landscape and quiet beauty. All to say, Nantucket, with its distinct blend of island and coastal charm, has a design aesthetic that we find simply irresistible and endlessly inviting.

To provide you with some quick inspiration, we dreamed up our idea of the perfect Nantucket home with a few stylish tips to help you translate the look into your space. Read on to find out the simple elements that make up Nantucket’s classic coastal style.

Start With a Cozy Layout

Nantucket homes are first and foremost guided by comfort and warmth, and their furniture arrangements often play that up with a sense of coziness. The easiest way to capture this vibe in your space is by opting for furnishings and accents in pairs. Yes, you heard that right: Twos of pretty much everything. The idea is to establish a symmetrical layout which instantly creates a cohesive look that also instills charm and coziness.

Begin with your biggest pieces. Place sofas to face each other and then do the same with your other side furnishings, such as armchairs, side tables, and lamps. All of this will transform your space into an intimate conversation spot that appears layered but also elegant.

The only exceptions? You’ll want to choose a blue-and-white area rug that functions as a neutral anchor to the space, and the same applies for an airy looking coffee table as well as a light fixture that will draw the eye up. They’ll also serve as focus pieces that will help to balance out the one-to-one symmetrical look.

Nantucket StyleKeep To Classic, Clean Lines

The trick is to keep your furnishings simple and classic. That means nothing too modern or sleek. But look for sofas and armchairs that have clean-lined appeal, such as a standard boxy framed piece and high-back armchairs. Nantucket style leans more traditional but it’s not overly formal or fussy, so you’ll want to match these pieces with pristine white upholstery and slipcovers to give larger furnishings an airy, relaxed look.

Bring In The Perfect Coastal Palette

Like any other coastal home, there’s no going wrong with a blue and white color scheme. What gives the palette an East Coast feel, however, is the different shades of blues that are used. Think specifically navy, cerulean, and ocean blues, all layered on to a consistent bright white – meaning skip the off-whites and beiges. The effect is an elevated blue-and-white coastal look that looks polished but feels none too precious.

Nantucket StyleStripe Out

And speaking of what really sets the Nantucket palette apart, try to incorporate a wide range of blue-and-white stripes in impactful ways. Pile on pillows featuring stripes in different sizes and styles (wide, narrow, multi) and make sure to work the motif into some of your upholstery as well. Nothing says Nantucket nautical like a mix of pillows in navy and sky-blue stripes!

Add a Consistent Pop of Color

While we love the crisp look and unifying effect of blue and white, we believe that every space needs a bright burst of color that provides a playful punch. With blue and white, one of our favorite contrast colors is yellow. Whereas a touch of pink can give the palette a boho vibe and a dose of red offers a lakehouse feel, mixing in a sunny yellow hue is in keeping with Nantucket’s charming aesthetic. Reason being yellow maintains the sea and sky theme, and it also lends a decorator-like element of fun to the sophisticated approach to blue and white here.

Nantucket StyleNod to Nautical

Last but not least, Nantucket’s coastal style brings the outdoors and its ocean surroundings in through various nautical motifs. We’re talking everything from starfish and shell patterned pillows, to jute door mats and seagrass rugs, to rope lamps and glass floats as accents. These are the finishing touches that will bring together the whole Nantucket look, which combines elegance and whimsy. With nautical accents, don’t be afraid to go big – the more nautical the motif and accents, the more cozy and charming your space will end up feeling.

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coastal style

Style Spotlight: Tour Our Coastal Style Dream Home

coastal style 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.

coastal style 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.

coastal style 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.

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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.

coastal style

coastal style

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.

coastal style 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.

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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.

coastal style 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!

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