How to Create the Pale and Pretty Coastal Look
Want to create a light and airy interior with a hint of nautical style? Here’s how to get the look
A coastal-style interior is, ironically, mostly about what’s outside. To hint at sea views, wide horizons and sunlight reflecting off blue seas, create a bright clean backdrop indoors to reflect as much natural light as possible for a fresh, breezy feel.
This room is a masterclass in pale and pretty coastal style thanks to its whitewashed floorboards, walls and rafters. Pale painted furniture and bedding add to the overall look.
Stripes are an essential element of this look, but to keep your room on the softer side of coastal, use them sparingly; you want to create a hint of seaside rather than deckchair overload.
A soft ticking fabric made into a Roman blind is just enough to add a nautical air without dominating a room.
It’s easy to think of blue and white as classic nautical shades, but pale aqua can create a softer feel in a coastal-style interior. Paint tongue-and-groove panelling for a wash of colour, or bring in watery-toned accessories.
Vintage and coastal are two styles that can complement each other beautifully. By creating a relaxed and simple coastal-inspired backdrop, vintage pieces with patina and history will really stand out.
The vintage-style lamp in this bedroom ties in neatly with the salvaged blue shutters, and both pieces add depth and interest to the space.
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Coastal style is a down-to-earth, tactile look and its key element is texture. This bedroom is soft and inviting, thanks to layers of natural cotton and linen bedding and a soft rug underfoot.
To recreate this look at home, weave in plenty of natural materials and avoid anything synthetic or glossy.
Traditionally, shiplap is the name given to external house cladding, but using a shiplap-style wall cladding indoors will create a nautical feel, reminiscent of a boat’s crisply painted interior.
Used vertically from floor to ceiling as seen here, shiplap is also a great way to draw the eye up and create a feeling of space in a small room.
A coastal home should have an integral link to the outside world, so natural materials are key. Wood, rattan and linen will create an instant seaside feel and the finish should always be light. Avoid dark woods and choose pale or light painted wood finishes instead. Mix in some natural wooden chopping boards for texture too.
Once you’ve got a crisp, pale backdrop, you can have fun with coastal-inspired accessories. Don’t clutter up surfaces, but focus instead on one or two key pieces to add character and texture.
Rope, shells and driftwood are all good for bringing a little of the flavour of the beach into your home.
A monkey knot rope doorstop like this one is functional as well as visually appealing, while a simple glass vase is perfect for displaying beach pickings.
Coastal style often has a relaxed feel, but nautical- inspired interiors can be smart and elegant too. This little tabletop display draws on maritime emblems such as rope and brass, rather than beach finds. Set against a white wall, it’s a quiet and elegant nod to life on the ocean, without a stripe in sight.
To bring a beach holiday feel to your home, try to keep the design elements as simple as possible. Think about seaside holiday homes you may have stayed in; the interiors are usually pared back and uncluttered, so try to channel this in your scheme.
In this kitchen, the clean, coastal look has been created by storing large items and packaged food inside cupboards, while displaying a few select pieces on open shelving.
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Soft, watery shades of pale blue and soft grey are a great way to bring in a subtle nautical flavour. If in doubt, look to the sea and sky for inspiration – the soft tones of a moody day can transfer beautifully into an interior.
The cloud-grey sofa and sky- blue armchair in this scheme are light and airy, and perfect for leisurely lounging.
Have you created a pale and pretty coastal look in your home? Share your ideas and photos in the Comments below.