When it comes to feel good-factor, few interiors beat the coastal aesthetic. Who doesn't appreciate all year round summer in their home? Of course, it does help if you live in a mild or warm climate. In a cool climate, with colder light, consider adopting a Scandinavian look and simply add a few coastal touches. The full coastal look is achieved with light, slightly distressed woods, simple cotton and canvas fabrics, soft tones and bleached floorboards. Be warned of the risk of going into 'themed interior' territory, which is not something generally aspired to. Instead, take a lighter approach and use sparingly anything that could be considered overtly nautical and kitsch. Here's our guide to bringing a little West Coast warmth and sunshine into your home.
Start with the big-ticket items
Once you have created a mood board for inspiration, decide which of your existing furniture can be replaced or given a coastal makeover? Take an inventory of everything you have and decide if it can be re-upholstered or if the wood can be stripped back to natural. White woods will blend with the new design, so keep anything white. Natural woods are great and anything existing that is dark wood could be painted with chalk paint in a muted blue, green or white tone. Don't overlook the chance to buy new. Even on a limited budget you'll find suppliers that offer cheap home furniture with free delivery in exactly the style you need. Check out the distressed media unit and tallboy from pricecrashfurniture.co.uk below. This is exactly the type of furniture that will bring your look together.
Above: Coastal Chic collection by pricecrashfurniture.co.uk
Bring white and ivory canvas into your home with drapes and blinds. Add crisp white cotton bed linen and blue and white striped accents. Consider using a few themed fabrics sparingly as scatter cushions or edging to blinds. They add a pop of colour and reinforce the coastal vibe. Tie them together by picking up colours and using elsewhere in the room and home. For example, the coral colour in the middle and right fabrics below could be picked up in coffee mugs and plant pots. Likewise, the yellow in the oar on the fabric on the right could be picked up as an accent colour in vases and an outdoor terrace parasol. Cohesion in your design is the secret weapon to achieving a wow factor.
Above: Fabrics available online from Spoonflower
Ticking fabric is a traditional striped pattern which works well for coastal interiors. It's available in several colours including navy, grey, red and airforce blue. Airforce blue is the popular choice for using as upholstery fabrics for armchairs and window seat pads. It has been used widely in Hamptons Style interiors. If you are a fan of Hamptons style, use oversized white lamp shade drums on floor lamps, rugs with a broad blue and white stripe, overstuffed French style furniture in blue ticking fabric or cool ivory or grey cotton. Pull the look together with numerous blue and white ceramic vases, jars and enormous vases of abundant, unstructured flowers and foliage. This is a look of abundance combined with comfort. It welcomes the outdoors in and showcases furniture and soft furnishings against cool, neutral walls.
Above left: Scatter cushion by Heals
Above right: Scatter cushion by Zara Home
We hope that you've been inspired to strip your decor back and introduce light woods, cool tones and carefully selected nautical accents to bring a fresh coastal breeze into your home.