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How to Incorporate a Coastal Interior Design Theme

It's easier than you think to create a coastal feeling in your home. Author, Allison Ryan, shares suggestions for how to easily incorporate an interior design that has a relaxing coastal theme.

Decor your coastal home with things you love!

Striped patterns are a distinctive attribute found in coastal decorating. Thin stripes or thick, multi-colored monochrome furnishings, upholstery, bedding, and pillows in the coastal theme are all probable contenders for materials using this pattern. While stripes are attractive, in order to keep them from overpowering a room, solid fabrics should be integrated into the furnishings as well.

Solid fabrics in colors ranging from dark and light blues to neutral beige's and ivories are great colors to begin with. Another fantastic decorative item to consider including is metal wall art in ocean-esque colors. Laser cut metal wall art or cold rolled steel wall art can bring an amazing spectrum of color to any room.

One simple method to get your furniture looking beachier, without actually having to purchase an entirely new couch, love seat, recliner, etc. is to use slipcovers. Bigger items such as the couch and arm chair can be reasonably veiled under slipcovers, which have numerous advantages, such as their ability to be easily cleaned, the option to change them out to match particular occasions or seasons, the furniture will be kept safe from spills and wear and tear, and finally, if the covered furnishings have become aged or damaged, no one will be the wiser.

Slipcovers easily provide a beachy feel to your home.

Windows are characteristically lightly covered, particularly if you happen to have a view of the sea. Rather than cover the windows up completely, consider drop down linen or bamboo blinds, Venetian blinds, or plantation shutters, all of which have the ability to be tucked up or away to wholly let the surroundings inside. Lastly, carpet, floor, or tile covering mats made of sea grass and palm thatch will naturally fit into the coastal or beach theme, and are particularly functional as they are simple to preserve and do a superior job of keeping sand isolated to the doorway and entrance areas.


Big, flourishing plants that are reminiscent of the seashore are a vital element to coastal-themed home decor and with numerous types to pick from; these plants will add life, color, and a certain appeal to a coastal themed room or home. The neighboring nursery as well as online plant vendors will be able to help you choose which plants to include and where they are typically grown in order to be geographically accurate.

Orchids are the perfect plant to add to your coastal home.

Keep the following suggestions in mind as you are perusing plants:

• Banana plants
• Mini palm trees
• Golden Pothos
• Heart Leaf Philodendron
• Bougainvillea
• Striped Dracaena
• Orchids
• Plumeria
• Bromeliads

Beach Favors by Kate Aspen ~ Available at Sally Lee


Organic resources found from in and around the ocean is the best place to begin when decorating your home. Extra allusions to nautical life such as boating, fishing, and sunbathing will be an ideal starting point. There are countless different laser cut metal gifts and metal wall décor you can purchase that have beachy looks to them. The following will give you some ideas on what kind of items you could consider using to incorporate a coastal atmosphere in any room:

• Brass or copper lanterns or items reminiscent of sea life

• Weathered, battered looking nautical equipment, such as anchors, a ship wheel, compasses, brass bells, or a barometer

• An antique looking brass or copper telescope

• Replicas of boats and artwork of ships navigating through rough waters

• Decorative items depicting fisherman, sailboats, and images of lighthouses or piers, including lanterns, clocks, collectibles, dishware, and paintings

• Big, green potted plants or miniature trees

• Coral, seashells, rocks, pebbles, sand dollars, starfish, and driftwood exhibited in clear or blue tinted jars, in decorative bowls or baskets, or simply as standalone objects

• Driftwood furnishings, artistic items, frames, and lamps

• Ocean inspired laser cut gifts, metal wall art, or metal gifts

• Neutral and blue colored candles and oil lamps with seashell and/or sea life depictions

• Fish tanks or fish bowls with unique or exotic looking fish

• Straw baskets to hold beach towels, books or magazines, seashells and starfish, or potted plants and flowers

• Seagull, crane, and pelican statues or figurines

Dolphin Reef design by Meyda Tiffany - Available at Sally Lee


The diverse nature of coastal decorating truly enables the decorator to climb an imaginative ladder and follow any decorative path they like. Interesting options include wrought-iron lanterns or chandeliers, ocean-scented, blue and white pillar candles with holders, hurricane lamps, and wicker or rattan lamp shades. Keep a special eye out for lighting that portrays themes such as palm trees, sand dollars, seashells, star fish, exotic fish, lighthouses, ocean piers, sailboats, fishing equipment, and general nautical accessories. Lighting can be rustic, with driftwood and wrought iron, or go with a more modern route with large, neutral colored chandeliers.

Allison Ryan is a freelance marketing writer from San Diego, CA. She specializes in interior design and enjoys collecting metal wall art to incorporate into design schemes. For laser cut metal wall art and metal gifts, stop by How to Incorporate a Coastal Interior Design Theme - Date Published: 07th August 2009

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle


  1. Thanks so much for posting this!! I want to do a beach inspired theme for the living/dinning room area, and I have had a hard time figuring out just what to use to incorporate it all together. This is just what I needed!!!

  2. Hi Beach by the Sea!

    We'd like to see you use one of our shipwreck charts in your theme/decor...? We have a very beautiful chart and frame them ourselves, so are able to match wood types with a wide variety...very nautical, very aesthetically pleasing and historically accurate.
    Email us or your blog, we like all things beach!




  3. Just love the coastal style of are so lucky to live by the sea! Thanks for your lovely comment on our blog. Tracey xx

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