Classic Coastal Style – Decor Guide
Classic coastal style may be the most popular style when it comes to coastal homes.
A timeless interior design trend that draws inspiration from coastal areas and beachfront homes.
Whether it’s the Hamptons, French, or the “Beach Farmhouse”, the classic version of coastal style is a cozy, lived-in, relaxed, and put-together home with a touch of luxury and tradition. A home where we still can bring sand on our feet and the hair dripping, after a day of swimming and sunbathing without fearing damaging the furniture.
Key Elements of Classic Coastal Style
The Classic Coastal Style is all about blue, white and soft beige tones, resistant fabrics, easy-to-clean surfaces, natural elements, pinched with a grain of salt and a touch of tradition.
You want to create a breezy uncluttered space, with lots of light, that reminds you of the beach, but with classic or rustic details.
Here are the key elements in a seashell:
- Light and airy color palette that reflects the natural colors of the beach, sea, and sky.
- Natural materials that add texture and warmth to the space.
- Beach elements in decor to bring the beach and ocean indoors
- Light, resistant, easy to maintain fabrics to create a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.
- Beach inspired patterns like stripes
- Views and natural light to create a bright and airy atmosphere
- Simple and uncluttered with a focus on functionality and comfort.
So let’s dive a little deeper into the key elements of a Classic Coastal Style decor and find out how you can achieve the look in a breeze.
Classic Coastal Style Color Palette: head to the beach
The color palette is taken straight from the beach.
It’s the gold sun, sand and beach grass, the light breezy blue sky and the calm water, the white foam, the clouds and seagulls, sprinkled with some dark greenery from the dune plants.
- Gold or sand cream
- Dark green
Base color: White
White is a key element in coastal style decor and is usually used as the base to achieve a clean, bright foundation. White reflects natural light, which is essential in creating an airy and breezy atmosphere while giving the impression of a bigger, cleaner space by blurring lines.
So, white should be used on walls, ceilings, and trim. You can also use it on the floor as flooring material or just with a white rug.
The main pieces of furniture should also be white.
Start adding other coastal colors like tones of blue, sandy beige, and touches of seafoam green over this white canvas, with fabrics, pictures, accessories and additional furniture.
Splashes of Blues
Almost any shade of blue works well with coastal décor, but while deeper tones add more contrast and detail and make the room feel more vibrant and traditional, lighter washed out blues give the room a calm appearance and a breezy air, which is what you want to achieve a Classic Coastal style.
Sprinkles of sand and gold
To add warmth without making the room a lifeless beige neutral, use soft sandy or vanilla cream tones in fabrics (solid or patterned), real sand in glass jars, washed out wood and terracotta vases. The warm tones of the sand color break the icy blue and white palette.
Golden brown tones are added by natural fibers like wicker, rattan, and jute, as well as by stone and terracotta vases and lamps.
Furniture hardware, lamps, and picture frames made of brass and gold cast a beautiful, classy accent, like a sun ray on the bright clear day.
A few points of greenery like succulents, begonias, and any dark green foliage that resembles dune plants or seaweed will complement the beach look.
And since we’re talking about plants, choose ones with white flowers, like lilies, similar to those that grow in the dunes. Depending on the style or location, why not adding a small palm tree?
Putting the colors together
- Doors, windows and shutters
- Flooring (optional)
- Picture frames (option)
- Throw pillows
- Lamp bases
- Picture frame (option 2 if the picture is not blue)
- Baskets, wicker and natural fiber objects and accessories
- Wood floors or additional furniture
- Picture frames (option 3)
- Lamps (metal)
Classic Coastal Style Materials
Natural resistant materials that can withstand the salty air, the salty wet hair dripping and the rough sand rubbing the surfaces. Also materials that are easy to clean: Remember, you’re on vacations forever, so you don’t want to work hard to have a clean home.
- White resistant and washable fabrics
- Natural fibers
Coastal Fabrics: Sail up!
Coastal fabrics are characterized for their durability, easy maintanance and texture.
These are typically natural materials such as linen, cotton, and jute, which have a relaxed and casual feel.
Coastal fabrics can be used in a variety of ways, from upholstery and drapes to accent pillows and throws. They add texture and warmth to a space while maintaining a fresh and breezy atmosphere. Overall, coastal fabrics are an essential part of creating a comfortable and inviting coastal-inspired home.
Choose white or off white color (they will become off-white eventually) linen or cotton, resistant as boat sails; add light and airy patterns such as stripes or subtle nautical evoking designs (ropes, plants).
Using natural elements is an essential to bring the beauty of the seaside indoors and highlight the casual look of the coastal home.
Natural materials such as wood, jute, linen, are often used in coastal design to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere and elements taken straight from the beach such as seashells, coral, and stones can be used to add texture, personality and depth to the room.
So, use natural fibers in things like baskets, trays, chairs, rugs; textured linen in throw blankets; washed wood in small pieces of furniture, floors or accessories and a couple of ceramic and glass vases and lamps.
Metal: Let the sunshine in
Using brass and golden metal in coastal home decor can add a touch of luxury and sophistication to a room.
These metals can be used in a variety of ways, from light fixtures and hardware to decorative objects such as mirrors and picture frames.
Brass and gold metals are perfect for coastal design as they reflect the warmth of the sun and the shimmer of the ocean. They can also add a touch of class to a space, which contrasts well with the casual and relaxed atmosphere of coastal design.
When combined with natural materials such as wood and woven fibers, brass and golden metals can create a harmonious balance of elegance and comfort.
If you prefer a more rustic vibe, choose black or dark bronze instead for hardware and light fixtures and, in that case, choose white or light wood for picture and mirror frames in order to keep the walls white and bright.
Glass! the sparkling ocean
Glass brings the water element to the Coastal home evoking the sparkle of sunlight reflecting off the sea. It’s a great way to add a touch of elegance and beauty to your decor without cluttering the space. It’s light, clear and reflects the light.
Use glass in vases, lamps, candle holders, mirrors, table tops and for a cohesive coastal look, consider using blue and green tones in your glass decor pieces to help tie in the hues of the sea and sky.
Classic Coastal Style Patterns and Motifs
Keep it as simple as you can and the best bet is stripes.
Avoid using shells, steering wheels, boat or fish printings (and never use mermaid motifs!).
Also don’t use too much floral patterns because it will steer the boat in a different direction, a bit far from the Classic Coastal. You can mix and match some patterns with solids and stripes, but don’t over use floral and nautical printings, because even if you can use it in many coastal styles, the Classic Coastal it’s inspired in a vintage french beach look, with striped huts and parasols.
Textures: Add depth.
When you’re dealing with a predominantly white color palette, as in the Classic Coastal home, textures can prevent the room from feeling flat and one-dimensional.
So, using and mixing textures in a white room is an excellent way to add depth and interest to the decor.
Consider incorporating a mix of resistant coastal key materials such as rough linen, cotton, and soft wool, which can all add a different tactile element to the space. Layering a wool rug with a woven throw to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
Mixing textures can also help create contrast, such as pairing a smooth, glossy ceramic vase with a rough, matte stone sculpture. The key is to keep the textures balanced and varied, so the space feels visually intriguing but not overwhelming. With the right mix of textures, a white room can feel serene, sophisticated, and inviting all at once.
So mix the plain resistant fabrics (linen, cotton) with large woven fabrics (large wool thread), natural weaves, like wicker and jute baskets, and also wood, stone and glass.
The more rustic the style the more rough textures you can add.
Classic Coastal Style and its variations
The Classic Coastal Style is the default coastal style. The basis for of all other coastal styles.
It’s characterized by a light color scheme made up of tones of mainly white and blue, with touches of beige, gold and green. Classic furniture made of natural materials, such as wood, rattan, or wicker, with soft and simple lines. And the decor often includes coastal-themed accessories like seashells, driftwood, pebbles or coral.
So, although the color schemes and materials are similar in all coastal styles, there are subtle differences that can make the home go from a traditional to modern style, from youthful to “grandmother”.