What is coastal style? If you love beaches and coral and soft colors and driftwood and seagrass rugs then this is the post for you and your coastal self.
I was just at the Pinner’s Conference this weekend speaking on different styles and what they looked like and what defines and style and I got so many questions that it would make your head spin.
Like what defines a style?
And how can you tell if your style is you?
And can you mix styles?
And why did you talk about your toes when you started this blog?
I wrote a book all about style and how to find it called The DIY Style Finder. We traveled all over the country photographing different houses with different styles—like the beach house that’s been in my family for over a century. I thought it might be fun if we took a style a day and talked about it and how to create it and what you can buy to get it and how it looks in pictures.
I’m calling it Style Week.
Today I’m talking about coastal style and how to get it and sharing tons of pictures that didn’t make the book (and a few that did).
What is coastal style?
I’m glad you asked.
Welcome to style week.
It’s kind of like fashion week for your home.
Every day this week, we’ll be talking about a different style and how to get it.
Today is all about a little coastal.
Elements of coastal style
Just in case you were wondering, coastal isn’t nautical. Nautical is navy and military and anchors and reds and blues and stripes and Gilligan and his hat. Sometimes coastal style has elements nautical, but truly? It’s more about celebrating bringing the outside in. It’s a feeling. It’s a life style. Coastal style is all about the blue skies and the sand and the sunlight and the simplicity of lazy days at the beach.
And the best part?
You don’t have to live next to the ocean to get it.
Here are a few of my favorite elements of coastal style:
- soft blues and yellows and grays
- seagrass anything
- worn, chippy furniture
- adirondack chairs
- crisp white linen
- slipcovered chairs
- jute rugs
Coastal style is all about natural elements
(total aside: aren’t these pictures beautiful? These are some of the ones that we didn’t include in the book)
Coastal style is strawberries on a lazy afternoon and sunlight dancing across your toes on an outdoor porch and the smell of fresh flowers gathered from the garden and a glass of sweet tea waiting next to a wicker chair and a really good book.
Natural elements fill a house with life.
Here are a few natural elements you can introduce into your home to bring in a little coastal style:
Coastal style is all about light
If you take nothing else away from this intense discussion on coastal and all its style, remember this. Coastal style is all about light. It’s all about opening up doors and letting the sunlight into your space. Here are a few ways you can introduce light into your home:
- Add sheers to the window instead of heavy curtains
- Paint wood floors
- Keep walls light and bright and airy
- Introduce white into the space with pops of darker colors
- Add a screen door to your front door to let the sounds of outside in
- Paint furniture light and airy colors
Coastal style is all about texture
When you think of coastal style, just think about the beach. The beach is full of wonderful, incredible, amazing texture. There’s the coarseness of the sand and the texture of the grasses and the rough edges of shells and the smooth finish of rock. Here are a few ideas to introduce coastal texture into your home.
- Add texture to the floor with seagrass rugs
- If you want to know more about the pros and cons and my big opinion of seagrass rugs click here
- Add texture with natural elements, like driftwood accessories or reclaimed wood pieces
- Fill bowls with collections, like shells or rocks or driftwood pieces
- Tuck a woven pouf or painted wood stool next to your chairs for a simple accessory with extra texture
Add a coastal paint color
One of the easiest ways to add a little coastal to a space is with paint. You can transform a room in a weekend with a new coat of paint in a soft, warm, inviting coastal paint color. When choosing a coastal paint color for your space, think of the elements outside and bring them into your walls. Here are some of my favorite coastal paint colors and the elements that they bring in:
- SW Dover White (clouds)
- SW Rain (rainy days)
- SW Alabaster (afternoon skies)
- SW Watery (ocean)
- SW Lemongrass (sunshine)
- SW Topsail (wind)
How to introduce color into a coastal space
Coastal is all about subtlety and softness, but that doesn’t mean it has to be without color. One of my favorite ways to bring color into our beach house is with accents. If you scroll up and look at the first room I showed you which is the living room at the beach house, you’ll notice all the neutral. The walls are SW Alabaster. The ceiling is repurposed wood beams. The furniture is all woven and neutral. And then? There’s that beautiful slipcovered built-in bench with extra color to add a little happy to the space. Here are a few ways to bring a little color into your coastal space:
- Bring in flowers. This coastal kitchen has white cabinets with white floors and white countertops. This bunch of fresh flowers that I brought in from the yard add the perfect pop of color. Hydrangeas are one of my favorite coastal flowers.
- Slipcover furniture. Coastal living is all about easy. Add brightly colored slipcovers to your space that you can change out when you want to create a different look for the room.
- Add patterned dishes. One of the easiest ways to bring in color to a space is to set a table full of color. Layer in different patterned and colorful dishes with your basic white dishes on the dining room table.
- Layer in pillows. Looking to add a pop of color to the room? Pillows are inexpensive and come in indoor/outdoor fabrics that are perfect for the coastal room.
Keep it simple
Don’t overthink the space. If you are living in a coastal environment (or just creating one in your home) think easy. For example, these dishes are plastic. They make the transition from indoor to outdoor and are perfect for big family gatherings. Here are a few ideas for keeping it simple in your coastal space:
- Use indoor/outdoor accessories like this plastic dinnerware set whenever possible
- Shop thrift stores and yard sales for inexpensive furniture finds that can be painted
- Layer in indoor/outdoor rugs and pillows in the rooms
- Keep most of your larger furnishings and walls neutral
- Collections make adding accessories even easier
Here’s are a few coastal style accessories to inspire you
Click on the links to shop
If you are coastal I celebrate you and your wonderful style.
You are sunshine.
You are welcoming.
You are warm summer days and incredible books and joy and the easy breezy afternoon walk along the ocean.
I love your style.
Let’s be friends. 🙂
PS Be sure and check out the rest of the styles and how to get them in my new book, The DIY Style Finder.