Several years ago I started getting clients asking for a more casual, rustic look in their coastal homes. This was around the time the “farmhouse” aesthetic, made popular by the TV series “Fixer Upper,” was all the rage. Coincidence? Probably not. ????
So if you’ve been wondering if coastal farmhouse is a style, the answer is most definitely yes! One thing I love about interior design is how it’s constantly evolving, and coastal farmhouse style  is definitely a great example of this. As people moved away from the “shabby chic” coastal cottage look, there was a push for something more transitional. Coastal farmhouse is a perfect way to achieve the right balance between traditional and modern interior design.
In this post, I’ll go over the key elements of this unique aesthetic, and how you can get the coastal farmhouse look in your own home.

What is Coastal Farmhouse Style?

Hamptons Coastal Farmhouse - Remsenburg Project by Sea Green Designs
Coastal style typically includes a sea-inspired palette, light, airy spaces, and plenty of natural elements. Farmhouse style incorporates simplicity, rustic charm, and rural architecture. When you blend the two together the result is a relaxed yet sophisticated feel.
A coastal farmhouse modern home will typically reflect coastal colors and accents while the architecture is characterized by shiplap, beams, and barn doors. We often incorporate reclaimed lumber and use texture in finishes and fabrics for a sophisticated and casual look.
If you have a touch of nostalgia for farm life but enjoy carefree coastal living, this aesthetic is perfect for your home!

Pair Old and New for the Perfect Coastal Farmhouse Look

Reclaimed and distressed wood finishes are a core feature of the coastal farmhouse aesthetic. Our client in the video above had old barn beams milled to create the boards for the built-in benches we designed by the fireplace. This is a great way to incorporate more sustainability into your home design! Our shop has an entire section dedicated to sustainable, reclaimed, and recycled home goods if you're looking for other ways to bring these materials into your home.
Seek out vintage or distressed furniture in antique and second-hand stores. Pieces that work well include old wooden dressers and sideboards. You can often find furniture painted and left to chip, in beautiful coastal colors like teal and blue.
If painted furniture isn’t your style, stick to reclaimed wood pieces. These provide rustic texture and interest that ties the farmhouse to the laid-back coastal look. Seek out pieces that highlight the patterns in the wood grain, or that add movement in the form of lines or other patterns. Another option is whitewashed or cerused oak, as in our Oak 4 post bed.

You also want to seek out interesting accessory pieces from the same antique and vintage stores. Old wooden crates, galvanized metal pitchers, and vintage ocean landscape paintings are perfect coastal farmhouse accessories. Use your imagination and find pieces that really speak to you. The goal here is to add a few warm rustic touches to the light, bright, airy coastal vibe.

Coastal Farmhouse Is All About Texture and Layers

I’ve said it many times before, and I’m going to say it again! Nailing a coastal aesthetic is all about adding layers and texture. And if you want to know how to blend coastal and farmhouse style, you have to know how to add warm textures and materials to your home.
Nature is constantly shifting and changing, from colors to layers to movement. Whether you’re walking through hay fields or on the beach, you can’t help but notice these shifts. Take your inspiration from nature itself and load up on the texture.
Wicker, rattan, and distressed wood are all good choices for larger pieces. Woven furniture adds a homey charm perfect for a coastal farmhouse feel. Consider pieces with a blend of texture, like a wooden bench with a woven seat, for example.
Think beyond furniture as well to the more surprising elements of coastal style, like shiplap. Yes, shiplap! Long favored in coastal style, I’m certain there’s no better design feature to perfectly meld coastal and farmhouse together. Adding texture to walls in the form of shiplap or wainscoting acts as a nod to the past, while painting it a crisp white keeps the look modern.

Repaint in a Coastal Farmhouse Palette

The beauty of coastal farmhouse is that the color palettes are so complimentary.
Farmhouse style is usually reflected in a neutral color palette, with white or gray serving as the main color. Muted pops of color complete the rustic, calming feel.
If that sounds a lot like a typical coastal palette, you’re not wrong! There are a few subtle differences, including the use of beachy hues like watery blues, seaglass greens, and sandy tones.
While you can’t go wrong blending neutrals with any of these colors, I find sticking with classic coastal blue and white lends this style a more timeless look. If you want to stick with coastal farmhouse in the long run, I’d use blue and white as your base.
If you like to change things up often, experiment with some of your favorite colors. Deep greens or rusty reds are some more daring choices in this aesthetic.
You can do the same with fabric patterns as well. For something more timeless, stick with traditional coastal stripes. If you want something bold, consider covering an armchair in a floral pattern with deep jewel tones. Either of these work for the coastal farmhouse look—you just get to decide what works for you!
So, is coastal farmhouse a thing? I hope by now you know the answer is a loud yes! If you’re interested in getting this warm yet beachy look in your own home, why not book a complimentary design chat with me? I’d love to help you create the coastal farmhouse retreat of your dreams!
March 05, 2024 — Shannon Willey