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6 Coastal Decorating Ideas to Add a Seaside Flair to Your Home

Monday February 28th, 2022
Whether you live steps away from the shoreline, a bluff overlooking the ocean, or in a quaint beach town that’s home to coffee shops, used bookstores, and occasional tourists—you’ll undoubtedly want to incorporate a coastal decorating style into your home decor scheme. You might also want to incorporate this style even if you live smack dab in the middle of the city or land-locked ranch if you love and miss the ocean enough. Decorating with a coastal style in mind is simple to put together with elements like:

6 Coastal Decorating Ideas

  1. Rustica Metal Doors
  2. Natural Elements
  3. Blue Color Palettes
  4. Nautical Prints and Patterns
  5. Natural Light
  6. Glass and Seashell Decor
Because the coastal style is so distinctive, it’s important to get the design elements down. With the right combination of colors, materials, small decor items, and large decorative pieces, you’ll have a coastal interior design that’s fit for a magazine cover.

What is Coastal Decorating Style?

The coastal style combines the best of coastal decorating ideas with natural materials to create a light, bright, airy environment reminiscent of life spent seaside. You can bring coastal living decorating ideas into your home whether you’re directly on the coast or not.

Do you live on the ocean? Great. In the middle of the city and you wish you were surf-side? Perfect. Landlocked in a state that has more cattle than seagulls? No problem. With the right coastal style decorating ideas in your home, you’ll enjoy an environment that features beach colors, a calming atmosphere, and a beautiful style that flows throughout the home.

So, just what are the features of coastal style? A quick look through the most popular interior coastal decorators and designers will reveal several trends, including shiplap, coastal furniture, natural wood, and coastal decor. Home decor includes natural elements scattered thoughtfully throughout, natural color palettes, including blues, beiges, whites, and turquoise, and lots of natural light.

If you need coastal decorating ideas or inspiration for home decor, consider what colors and features you frequently see during your stays at the ocean. Color palettes often reflect sea green and sky blue, the white of clouds, and the beige of sand. Sprinkle in sea glass and a few prominent shells for decor while utilizing natural woods for your furniture. Once you have these basics down, you can experiment with adding small pops of color to your color scheme or elements such as rattan into your furniture pieces.

6 Coastal Decorating Ideas to Add a Seaside Flair to Your Home

Now that we’ve talked about the common elements of coastal decorating, let’s get into the specific ways you can bring a few nautical vibes into your home:

1. Rustica Metal Doors

One of the first things to do when working on decorating ideas is to consider the large pieces of furniture or decor you could swap out to make a significant impact. Coastal design goes far beyond placing a few extra-large seashells on your coffee table. Rather, you want to create a coastal design that flows seamlessly throughout your home.

One place to make a serious change is an interior doorway. Rather than keeping your standard interior door, you can add an instant splash of coastal design with interior metal doors. Utilizing your interior entry and exit points to add a bit of style is a decor idea that works for any interior design theme, including coastal design.

At Rustica, we have an entire lineup of sliding interior doors that feature a modern coastal design. These doors can be installed everywhere from master bedrooms and guest rooms to living spaces, offices, and kitchens. They seamlessly combine coastal decor with function, providing you with a beautiful, timeless piece that serves a purpose in your home.

Here are several types of our nautical doors and a short explanation of each.

Starboard Door: The Starboard Barn Door combines the look of bold style with the open and airy feel of being on a boat in the water. The upper diagonal half of the door is diamond glass panes with metal framing, while the bottom diagonal half is solid metal. This combination creates a unique statement for any coastal style home.

Inlet Door: The Inlet Barn Door just might remind you of the time you went sailing and pulled into a small inlet where you anchored for an afternoon siesta, a short swim, or tossed a line over the side to catch your lunch. The upper fourth of the door features diamond glass panes with metal framing while the remainder of the door is made from solid metal.

Waypoint Door: If you’ve ever been sailing, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘waypoint.’ It’s a point between, say, your launch point and your destination. The Waypoint Barn Door’s design reflects this concept with the unique glass cut-out in the lower third of the door resembling a plotted course while sailing.

Wake Door: You’ll see the wake that trails your boat when you look at this stunning metal-and-glass Wake Barn Door. The upper and lower right-hand corners are comprised of glass panels, while the remaining V shape portion is made of solid metal. Together, the design resembles the wake that foams behind a ship while it’s out at sea.

Traction Door: Create some waves in your home with the Traction Interior Door. The design was crafted to remind you of the waves your vessel creates when cutting through the water. The lower third and a small corner on the upper right hand is made of metal while the upper-middle portion is comprised of glass set in metal to form diamond panes. The result is a fresh and updated take on making waves.

Tide Door: Sail out with the tide, or at least get reminded of doing so with this stunning Tide Interior Door. The design is set to remind you of the waves and pull of the tide when coming into shore. There are two glass diagonal panes set in between solid metal inlays, creating the look of waves and low tide swell.

Swell Door: Bring the ocean indoors with the Swell Barn Door. The design is meant to mimic the gentle swell of ocean waves with two diagonal panes of glass offset by two diagonal metal panes and one horizontal metal pane in the middle. Choose the glass finish that works best for your privacy needs and enjoy the look of ocean waves with this unique sliding door.

Stern Door: The Stern Barn Door combines function with beauty and privacy to create a one-of-a-kind door. The upper left corner is comprised of a solid glass pane while the remainder of the door is a solid metal pane set in a diagonal grid to provide unique definition and style.

Isle Door: One look at this door and you’ll be swept away to far-off islands where palm trees sway and your boat is anchored in calm, clear, crystal waters. The lower-left corner of the Isle Interior Door is comprised of a glass pane set in a diamond pattern metal framing, while the remaining portion of the door is a solid wood panel. Combined, you get a stunning look reminiscent of island life that you won’t want to live without.

Drift Door: Drift away with coastal vibes when you install the Drift Barn Door. This door features a middle diagonal pane of glass sandwiched between two solid metal panes. Whether it reminds you of a lighthouse or driftwood upon the shoreline, this is sure to add to your look of coastal decor.

Broadside Door: Let plenty of natural light flow into and through your home when you install the stunning Broadside Barn Door. The entire door is crafted of glass panels set in metal framing with a solid horizontal metal panel in the middle. The glass panes are angled diagonally both above and below the middle line so the panels meet the horizontal metal pane and create a singular stunning design.

Compass Door:  The Compass Interior Door is elegance, privacy, and style wrapped up into one door. This door is made almost entirely of a metal pane and features a triangular glass panel in the upper corner. This nautical door will create an instant facelift to any room in your coastal-themed home.

Beacon Door: Though the ocean may call, your home will always beckon you to return, and the lighthouse on the headland will serve as the beacon to guide you back. The Beacon Barn Door is reminiscent of that beacon of light that guides sailors home to the ones they love. The top half of the door features a solid metal pane while the bottom half features a stunning four glass pane arrangement set in a metal framework that creates a beautiful diamond pattern. A solid metal kickplate finishes off the bottom and provides extra durability and style.

Anchor Door: Imagine wrapping up a successful fishing trip and weighing anchor to return home. The Anchor Interior Door is designed to remind you of those times when you lower the anchor or hoist it up to return home. A horizontal middle panel of metal is joined on either side by two triangular panels of glass. Two final triangular metal panels sandwich the glass panels completing the beautiful design.

Fathom Door: Look into the ocean’s depths by installing the Fathom Barn Door. This gorgeous glass-and-metal design features a glass pane set in a metal framework that creates a diamond pattern for the upper two-thirds of the door and a solid metal panel for the bottom third. It’s a stunning door that is more reminiscent of a piece of artwork than a traditional door.

Mar Door: Cool ocean breezes, palm trees swaying, umbrella drinks, and white sandy beaches are what this stunning coastal style door might make you think of. Two huge sections of glass panes set in metal framing with a unique diamond and square design will elevate any room you decide to put the Mar Barn Door in. This is a door you won’t want to pass up when you’re updating the look of your coastal living room, coastal bedroom, or making your living room coastal style.

Each of these doors are available in a variety of door systems—from double doors to exterior doors to pocket doors. Get in touch with a Rustica representative today by calling 1-800-891-8312 for more information about our line of coastal-inspired doors.  

2. Natural Elements

Using natural elements in your decorating is one of the best ways you can infuse your home with a coastal style. There’s certainly a balance to be struck, so you don’t overdo it. However, when used in proportion, you’ll create a style that is simply unrivaled. Furniture with live edge wood, sliding doors that feature light wood, metal, or glass, and window treatments, such as rattan shades, are all excellent options for a coastal style home.

Beach decor should tie into the natural elements you utilize throughout your home. The emphasis when utilizing natural elements in a coastal living room, coastal bedroom, or any other area of your home is to create a sense of light, airy, natural flow from one room to the next and one element of decor to the next.

Whether you want to emphasize your coastal living situation right on the seashore or you want to decorate your home with a mix of coastal farmhouse decor, natural elements work exceptionally well for creating a peaceful, beautiful, and serene coastal style environment.

3. Blue Color Palettes

For any beach house or home that features a coastal interior design, one color palette you’ll want to take advantage of is the blue palette. The fun thing is that you’ll have plenty of colors to choose from within this palette since you have an entire seascape of colors. You might choose to use the lighter blues of the sky that are predominant in many cape cod homes. Light blue tends to increase the overall feeling of an open, inviting, breezy interior and pairs well with natural light.

If you like the darker blues of the ocean, you can use those to serve as accents in a home that features more whites or sandy colors. Light blues with darker blue accents also work well. Utilizing more than one color of blue is a classic home decorating tool you can use to create just the right layering of colors you desire.

If you need some coastal decor ideas, spend some time looking at beach house decor in homes that you admire. Feel free to copy home decor ideas, whether you’re decorating a living room, bedroom, guest room, or kitchen. Don’t be afraid to branch off on your own, either. Gain inspiration for your own ideas by simply spending time at the ocean, looking at pictures of your favorite coastal spots, or spending time in other coastal style homes.

4. Nautical Prints and Patterns

When it comes to nautical prints and patterns, the key here is to use them sparingly. Many coastal living room ideas will feature a key painting on the wall or a piece of furniture that features a nautical pattern. What you won’t see, however, is an entire furniture set that features an ocean print. When incorporating nautical prints into coastal look ideas, you still want natural texture elements to be featured predominantly in every room. However, a well-placed piece of coastal wall decor can be just what your interior design needs to complete the overall look.

Beach theme decor features more nautical prints and patterns. If you want to jazz up your space and feature more nautical decor or patterns, you might consider switching your interior design style from coastal to beach style. There is a difference between the two, one of the most significant being the use of brighter colors and more beach decor.

5. Natural Light

One element that is consistent with several interior styles, including coastal style, beach style, and farmhouse style, is the use of natural light. The focus of a coastal style home is bringing the beach into the home. That means when you enter your home, you want to feel the gentle breeze, the sun’s rays, and everything pleasant about the ocean. Bringing the ocean inside is done with decor, natural-toned color palettes, and plenty of natural light.

This may be an issue if your home isn’t already positioned in such a way where the windows naturally let in sunlight. However, there are several tricks of the trade to increase the amount of natural light in your home without having to completely remodel.

One easy way to increase the amount of natural light in your coastal space is to swap out light-blocking curtains for sheer white curtains. Another trick is to place a large mirror above a large furniture piece, such as a couch set or sideboard. Mirrors naturally reflect and maximize the amount of natural light that filters into your home.

6. Glass and Seashell Decor

Coastal accessories, such as driftwood, seashells, and sea glass, go a long way in creating a space that boasts coastal vibes. Though these elements should be used somewhat sparingly, well-placed decoration pieces in a dining room, living room, guest room, master bedroom, or bathroom can help complete the look you’re going for.

Glass and seashells pair well with other nautical decor items and wall art thanks to their understated appearance, natural textures, and natural color scheme. Coastal decorating is all about bringing the outside into your home, so a few well-placed seashells are perfect. Sea glass is one of the best decor items you can scatter throughout the home since the natural clear, blue, and green glass colors fit in effortlessly with the blue palette and natural color scheme typically used in coastal decorating styles.

You can certainly purchase the seashells and sea glass you want to use in decorating, but if you have these items from your local beach or beach vacations, those items become even more meaningful when repurposed as decor in your home.

What is the Difference Between Beach and Coastal Style?

Though the terms beach style and coastal style sometimes get used interchangeably, they are two different interior design themes. When updating or changing the interior style in your home, it’s always important to zero in on the exact design style you want. By knowing what you do and do not want in your home, you’ll find it easier to say yes to certain design concepts and no to others. So, just what is the difference between beach style and a modern coastal design?

The primary difference between the two styles is that beach style heavily utilizes physical elements from the beach and brighter colors, whereas coastal style focuses more on incorporating natural colors and textures that give you the feel of being in a light, bright, and airy home on the coast.

Practically, this means you might utilize bright turquoise, sunshiny yellow, and even a third pop of color for a beach style. If you’re decorating coastal style, however, you would choose lighter blues, soft whites, and sandy tones for your primary colors with a smaller pop of color here and there for emphasis.

Beach style will also feature more in the way of beach treasures, such as seashells, starfish, pieces of driftwood, and ocean-themed decor, such as whale paperweights, ocean-themed lamps, or a well-placed dolphin candle holder.

Coastal style, on the other hand, might feature sea glass and a few seashells placed in key areas around the home. These pieces might also serve a function such as sea glass in the bottom of a soap bar holder by the sink or a large seashell that holds a few small soaps in a guest bathroom.

Creating a Coastal Interior Design Scape

Creating a stunningly beautiful home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. By making a few adjustments, such as swapping out a standard build door for a sliding interior door and utilizing design themes that complement a coastal interior design, you’ll have your home looking like a refreshing escape in no time.

Take your time and plan out all the changes you want to make. Then, start changing things one at a time, starting with paint colors. Swap out furniture pieces or recover furniture to reflect your new color palette. Utilize plenty of natural elements, maximize the amount of natural light your home has, and finish off the look with well-placed items of decor. Once you’re finished, take a long pause to admire all your handiwork and enjoy your beautiful serene coastal interior design scape.
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