Get the Look: a Refined, Coastal Living Space

October 04, 2018

Get the Look: a Refined, Coastal Living Space


It’s time to leave behind the seashells, Hawaiian prints, and on-the-nose nautical accents.

The new look of coastal decor has arrived, and according to Max Humphrey, an interior designer based in Portland, Oregon, “It’s all about comfort and a stylish beach house vibe.” Follow his tips to create a coastal living space that is as welcoming as it is chic.

Keep It Light & Bright

A navy-and-white palette is a no-brainer when it comes to color (and a stylish choice, at that!). But don’t be afraid to lighten things up with breezy blues, seafoam greens, muted purples, and even playful pops of red and orange. Start your color scheme using throw pillows and blankets on a neutral-hued sofa or accent chair, then weave it into your wall decor and home accessories.

Scale Patterns

Add character and contrast by using a spirited mix of prints and patterns. Stick to upholstery and textiles with one large-scale, coastal-inspired print—like cabana stripes or a palm frond motif—paired with smaller, saturated patterns (ikat dot, floral, or quatrefoil motifs) to balance out the look.

Amp Up the Texture

Layer on natural warmth and texture using hearty fibers like sisal, rattan, and braided jute. For larger furnishings, trade in sleek, streamlined metals for weathered wood to channel a laid-back, beachy feel. Think ash, blond maple, and bamboo with a mix of whitewash, natural, and darker finishes.

Hang Tasteful Wall Decor

You don’t need a ship anchor, seashell painting, or porthole mirror to convey a coastal theme in your wall decor. Subtle finishing touches, such as watercolor landscapes, rope wall hangings, wooden frames, and woven pendants, still speak to a shoreside-inspired aesthetic, but leave behind the kitschy clutter.

Bring the Outdoors In

Don’t forget to welcome the outdoors in! (Coastal decor is all about Mother Nature, after all.) Surround your space in lush greenery year-round with potted plants, and adorn empty surfaces—like the mantel or console—with coral, cut branches, driftwood, and sea glass accents.

–Holly Stephens




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