Relaxed. Simple. Sun-drenched. Open. Any home can adopt the spirit of the sea, even if the nearest beach is miles and miles away. When we vacation to exotic faraway coasts, or nearby ones in the US, we relish soaking in this vibe. But wouldn’t it be nice to feel that way all year long? We’ve collected a few design tips and products to help you add a little sea worthiness to a porch, a breakfast nook, or your entire home.
1. Incorporate a variety of textures
Sea settings are always a riot of textures, from rough driftwood, polished shells, and porous sand and rocks, to frothy surf, billowy clouds and azure waves. When you incorporate some of those sea-inspired textures into your home it’s easy to create a natural beach atmosphere. Mix woven rugs with rough-hewn wood furniture and pooling drapery like our Raw Silk Woven Panels to make the setting feel like a place to unwind.
2. Mirror nature
Coastal homes always manage to bring the glory of nature inside—and we’re not just talking about sand underfoot! For example, rattan baskets and sisal rugs look like the rope rigging on a ship. Maybe that’s why they’re beautifully commonplace in shore homes from Santa Monica to Scandinavia. Zinc topped tables and circular wall art take a note from portholes and weathered rowboats along the Cannes coastline. We believe when you incorporate touches like these you add the calming character of a sunny place. Our earthy Sea Coral Rug is a perfect example: bold pattern but the tones are understated, with a nod to nature. Our St.Kitts Side Table is another great choice to integrate a bit of French island charm into a deserving corner.
3. Layers, Layers, Layers
The oasis of the bedroom is an ideal environment for a little beach ambience. The trick to adding this sensibility is to layer neutrals and natural fibers in the room, especially on the bed. Think purity. Our Santorini Bedding Collection is the essence of the relaxed elegance of the islands with its 100% cotton skirted coverlet. Layer on accents of indigo with our Jaipur Shams and texture points with our Cable Knit Boudoir Pillow.
4. Coastal Colors
Further reinforce your home’s connection to the natural world by borrowing colors from life outside. Of course it’s natural to gravitate toward the blue of a cloudless sky and the aquamarine of an ocean tide when you’re decorating a beach house. But that’s only the beginning of the coastal color palette. The taupe, brown and beige of dunes, and the soft yellow or muted lavender of wildflowers work well too. And don’t forget to consider a warm weathered grey and white, like a seagulls wing. Take a look at our Slipcovered Tristan Chair and Ottoman in French grey with ivory ticking stripe. The color is subdued and soothing and the removable slipcover makes it so low maintenance—a very important component in a beach home! Really any cozy furniture is a good choice for coastal décor. Our elegant Fontaine Wingback Chair has a relaxed but refined seaside look, with cotton and linen upholstery in neutral or French grey and a very casual deconstructed burlap back. Stonewashed linen in sage green or lagoon blue juxtaposes with a hand-rubbed wood finish in our Helena Chair.
5. Refract the Light
Like finding a piece of sea glass on the beach, home accents that refract the light to stand out are always welcome in a coastal décor scheme. Wherever appropriate, incorporate objects that add to a room’s illumination, like mirrors. Our Feuille Mirror strikes the right chord with emanating rays like the sun and a round mirror at the center.
6. Don’t go Overboard
A little nautical goes a long way when decorating a room. Use simple elements in surprising ways and avoid the cliché. Sometimes one piece or two is all you need. Our Sand Dollar Burlap Pillow on a neutral colored chair in the corner of the porch or bedroom can say it all.
7. Display your Collections
The things we collect, be they sharks’ teeth or petite bottles of sand from every beach we’ve walked, give a room a story to tell. And all great coastal homes have sea stories (whale’s tales) brought out when guests come aboard. Display your collections and get ready for conversation.
8. Mix Modern with Antiques
A simple white wall that would be expected in a modern gallery becomes beach-house beautiful when it’s accented with a Gustavian style chest like our Vienne Cabinet. The distressed patina and aged imperfections hit all the right notes. But any piece with a hand-hewn quality to the wood works well, especially when it’s paired with natural linen like in our Adreanna Bergere Chair.
9. Look to the East for Inspiration
Exotic locales conjure a mystical beach vibe, and an exotic mix of fabrics, woods, tiles and colors will give a room the peaceful feeling of distant shores. Coral can signal Australia’s reefs, bamboo the shores of Southeast Asia. Our French Blue and Gold St. Trophine Cabinet has hand-painted embellishments and a lacquered finish that gives a glow of Asian splendor to a room.
10. Surf’s Up
The classic beach house always has touches of what makes a coastal home coastal: the sea. You’ll see a painted seascape framed above the mantel, rope-braided Japanese glass floats as an understated centerpiece, or reclaimed wood ceiling beams. The simple linen drum shade on our shimmering Capiz Shell Lamp does the trick too.
Creating a home or accenting a room with the peace and serenity of a coastal retreat just takes tuning in to depth of passion people have for the sea and expressing it. When you bring bits of those elements and all of the feelings you have for that watery world indoors all that’s left is to sit back to enjoy it.
Do you have a beachy getaway? What makes it so laid-back chic? We’d love to hear all about it. Drop us a line in the comment section below. You never know, your story might inspire a new piece of furniture or bedding collection from us!