So you’ve decided it’s time to redecorate your home, but you have no clue if coastal style is right for you. Well rest assured you’re not alone!
Most of my clients come to me stressed about nailing their unique aesthetic. And of course it’s a worry! Unless you’re actually an interior designer you probably don’t eat, breathe, and live home design all day. 
Maybe you’ve taken a design quiz or two. You follow style blogs and are drawn to certain images on social media, but you’re not confident of which interior design aesthetic will give your home the look and feel you want. 
Because so many of my clients feel exactly the same way, I’ve put together five easy ways to help you decide if coastal interior design is perfect for you and your home. We’ll go over these in detail, and I’ve added some questions to ask yourself as you read. 

1. You Love To Bring the Outside In

If you get excited about wide open rooms and abundant natural light, then coastal design was made for you. 
Coastal interiors take their cue from the beach. That means a space that feels expansive and blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.
Think open-plan layouts, skylights, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The idea is to create a natural transition from the inside world to the view outside. Window treatments are minimal to let the light and the view take center stage. 
Are you a lover of natural light? Do you bring the outside into your home by flinging open doors and windows? 
Do the words light, open, and airy speak to you? Then coastal style just might be your unique design aesthetic.

2. You’re Drawn to Natural Materials

Coastal style is inspired by nature and lends itself beautifully to using natural materials. The goal is to create a relaxed, harmonious vibe where no one item stands out among the rest. People who crave a peaceful interior with natural elements find just that in coastal design.
Wood furniture, for example, is common in coastal interiors. But it’s often whitewashed, resulting in a weathered look that blends into a coastal color palette. Pale wood tones also reflect more light to get that airy, calm vibe that’s key in coastal design.
Rugs are usually made from natural fibers like jute or seagrass. Shiny materials or metallic fibers aren’t often seen in a coastal interior— they can be distracting and stand out too much.
The same natural feel goes for upholstery and fabrics. Colors are muted and reflect the green, blues, and tans of an ocean landscape. Linen, cotton, and wool are all natural fabrics found in coastal interiors.
Do you crave harmony in your home design? Is your dream interior a space of serenity and natural calm? Love the feel and look of natural materials and fabrics? Then coastal style might be for you.

3. You Love a White Interior With Hints of Color

By now, you might be catching on that coastal design and “flashy” don’t necessarily go together. But you can still have a dramatic interior! The stunning living room at our Sag Harbor project is a prime example of this. 

A key feature of the beach aesthetic is a sense of calm. The color palette often starts with white and builds from there with soothing blues, greens, and tans. 
You can use this palette any way you like. You don’t have to paint your walls white. Some might favor more color such as a neutral tan or pale blue or green. The goal is a calm vibe with no overwhelming colors to distract the eye. 
Do you like to create balance and harmony with color? Do you gravitate towards watery blues, sea greens, and neutrals? Coastal design allows you to work within this color palette to get the serene retreat of your dreams.

4. You’re Drawn to Layers of Texture 

Spend any time at the beach, and you know the sea, sand, and sky are in constant motion. Ripples in the sand, shifting clouds and colors in the sky, and waves crashing create an ever-changing landscape. Layers and textures are inherent in nature. 
Coastal style captures the feel of the ocean by evoking a sense of movement and depth. Whitewashed wood highlights swirled patterns in the grain, for example. Shiplap on walls or ceilings adds interest on a larger scale.
Beads or shells used for chandeliers create movement, depth, and character without overwhelming a coastal interior. Textured fabrics in natural materials create pattern and layers— keep the color palette muted to let the pattern shine.
Can you sit on the beach and watch the waves come and go for hours? Do you love watching the clouds shift as they move across the sky? Coastal design mimics this constant ebb and flow in your home.

5. Your Hobbies are Surfing, Suntanning, and Eating Seafood

Sea Green Designs
Ok, this one is a little tongue in cheek. : ) But if a beach destination is at the top of your vacation list, then a coastal aesthetic is probably right for you.
Many people are drawn to this style because you can create a resort feel in your own home. Clean and uncluttered? Check. No stiff formal furniture? Also check. A relaxing space to welcome friends and family? Again, check. You can have a year-round vacation vibe in your home with coastal design.
And you don’t have to live at the beach! Your design choice should never be dictated by where you live. I work with clients from all over to help them create a coastal feel that reflects their personality and style.
So do you finally have an answer to the question, “What’s my design style?” If reading about these key style elements had you mentally repainting your walls a soothing blue, wondering how to whitewash your furniture, or booking your next dream beach vacation, then coastal style is definitely your unique design aesthetic!
But if you’re still not sure just exactly what your aesthetic is, I’m here to help! We all need a little guidance sometimes to answer these big questions. Click here to book a free design consultation. I’d love to help you discover your unique style!
March 05, 2024 — Shannon Willey