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Publication Date: 2015-08-11


7 Living Rooms with Coastal Style

From colorfully modern to tastefully rustic, these spaces showcase the best of seaside decor. If you want to capture coastal style, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.


Fire it Up: Make your indoor spaces flow seamlessly with the outdoors. In this modern Malibu, California, escape, the designers used a similar color palette in the living room and porch, and left the soaring sliding doors unencumbered by window treatments to maximize the view. This couple had a coral collection that became the basis for the home’s fire-hued scheme.

Photo: John Ellis; Stylist: Sunday Hendrickson Idea Spotlight: Go bold with color.

Lofty Living Room: Throw pillows are a perfect way to add pattern to a beach house living room, but also consider unexpected treatments. In this Seagrove, Florida, home, the coffee table is covered in Schumacher’s Bohemian Rhapsody fabric, and the border patterned window treatments show off the high ceilings.

Photo: Jean Allsopp; Stylist: Lynn Nesmith Idea Spotlight: Add an element of shimmer by incorporating mirrored pieces, like the console and mercury glass vases that top it.

Peaceful Surrounding: Design your living space to feel the ocean around you. Use mosaic glass in seaside colors to frame the fireplace, and a row of paintings depicting palm fronds against cloud-strewn skies brings the breeze indoors.

Idea Spotlight: Turn flea market finds into treasures. Revamped or completely repurposed, bargain purchases keep the look casual (at left, the rough-hewn oak table was originally a railway pallet used for unloading cargo).

Make it Easy: It may go against your instinct, but decking your living room seating in light fabric is a great way to keep clean. This Anna Maria Island, Florida, family, just throws their white cotton duck slipcovers in the wash whenever needed. Add personality by bringing in old architectural elements to your space.

Photo: Mark Lohman; Stylist: Francoise O’Neill Idea Spotlight: Here, a reclaimed sea foam shutter becomes the basis for the throw pillow color palette.

Cottage Appeal: Let your home’s architecture speak for itself. Exposed-board walls and rafters play up this family room’s original charm and unique characteristics. But you can achieve the look in new construction, as well. Consider installing beaded board or wooden planks in lieu of drywall. The quirks and imperfections of natural wood lend texture and interest, even if applied to only one wall or ceiling.

Idea Spotlight: Updated with a fresh coat of paint, salvaged attic vents serve as unexpected art when suspended from the rafters.

Coastal Cues: Add character to your living area by thinking in layers rather than limiting your scheme to a single hue. A palette of sea-glass shades brings the beach indoors―even in a landlocked locale. Look for accent paints and fabrics in colors ranging from aqua to deep blue. Don’t stress about overdoing it: White board walls give the eye a place to rest and keep the look cohesive.

Idea Spotlight: Outline your design. Call attention to a room’s architectural elements, such as trim and molding, by painting them a punchy hue. Give upholstered furniture a similar wake-up call with contrasting welting.

Tie it Together: Let the true character of your home shine through, whether it’s a modern escape or rustic retreat. The bones of this nautical Cape Cod cottage are revealed in its exposed white-washed walls and simple brick fireplace. Sea-worthy elements like a telescope and sea grass accents root the space in its ocean-going heritage.

Photo: Annie Schlechter, Idea Spotlight: Make mixed seating look cohesive by incorporating colors among your pieces. Here, alternate piping was used on the glider and sofa, and the wicker accent chair’s blue hue picks up the theme as well.


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