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How to create coastal style

Posted: 04/07/16 How to create coastal style

You don’t need to live beside the sea to bring a coastal twist to your home. It’s a timeless way to decorate and can make any room look pretty, spacious and packed with interest. Ready to transform your interiors? Here are the ingredients you need for coastal-style rooms.

Coastal interior colours

The shades of sea, sky and beach should form the basis of your room scheme palette – we’re talking blue horizons and puffy white clouds, the beautiful tints of the ocean, and subtle, restful sand and stone neutrals. How you use and balance these shades in your scheme will depend on the room’s size and how much light reaches it, as well as the direction it faces.

For example, if it’s a small room that needs to feel bigger, you might choose white walls, and possibly white-painted floorboards, too, to visually expand its dimensions. You could then introduce shades of blue in your choice of upholstery and soft furnishings.

North-facing room? The light that reaches these spaces is colder than that in rooms oriented towards the other points of the compass, so architectural white walls won’t create the effect you’re looking for. Yes, do opt for a pale shade to reflect the light and stretch the space, but make it one that has a yellowy base for a warm ambience.

If colour on the walls is more up your street, blues from soft to mid tones are a possibility for rooms looking any way but north. In a hallway, kitchen or bathroom, tongue and groove boards to dado or full height painted in an attractive blue will create the look and provide a robust wall covering that suits hard-working areas. For living rooms and bedrooms, try painting all four walls in your chosen blue, contrasted with white for woodwork and ceilings.

We mentioned wooden boards for the flooring, which have an authentic coastal pedigree whether finished with white floor paint or in their original wood finish. If you like something softer underfoot, add a rug – blue and white stripes will suit the scheme to a tee. Prefer carpet? Then a sandy neutral’s an easy choice, or try a natural floorcovering like jute in a bedroom (but don’t use it a living room or hallway as it won’t stand up to the wear), coir or sisal.

Sideboard with oak top

Painted furniture for a beside-the-sea look room

Think classic furniture designs for a coastal room, and you won’t go far wrong. Cabinet furniture with panelled doors and wooden, glass or brass knobs, or brass, chrome or wooden handles, will create the right atmosphere. Go for pieces painted in white or stone or, if your scheme doesn’t feature blue yet, pick our mid blue colour.

Want a contrasting material? Look for pieces that incorporate oak alongside a painted finish. We’re talking our Oak Dining Table in a kitchen or kitchen-diner, New Hampshire Modular Sideboard with oak top (shown above) for a dining or living room, and New Hampshire Modular Desk with oak top for a home office or living space.

Divan bed upholstered in blue

Coastal-themed upholstery and soft furnishings

Major in natural and simple when it comes to upholstery and soft furnishing fabrics for a coastal scheme. Cottons and linens should definitely be part of the mix. Mix and match with ease by selecting from our blues & aquas for sofas and armchairs, curtains and blinds and cushions. In the bedroom, a Fabric Covered Divan (shown above) can add another layer of sea-inspired blue to the room.

Using the blue, white and sand palette to create layers of colour in your scheme will ensure the room is decoratively rich, but introducing a coastal stripe can give the room a boost. Try it on an armchair or sofa in the living room, or for a few scatter cushions in the bedroom.

Blue fabric collection

Seaside accessories

Now comes the fun part of adding the decorative pieces that complete your room scheme. We like the idea of glass hurricane lamps, and glass vases with a clear finish or in tints of blue. Lampshades finished in a fabric from our blue or neutral collection will complement the rest of your choices. Don’t forget a mirror: a must-have for the bedroom, living room or hall that’ll help bounce light around for the bright and breezy atmosphere a coastal room demands.

See our full range of designs for the living room, bedroom, hall, kitchen-diner and bathroom.