Decor Ideas for Coastal Living

coastal living white nauticalWhether you live by the beach or just dream about it, you can bring the beach into your home with a few decorating ideas.  The underlying theme of a coastal home is comfort.  The elegant factor comes from the simplicity and the clean aspects of coastal living.

Buy pieces that are comfortable for sitting, dining and living, but also will be easy to clean and maintain.

Think crisp white living rooms with nautical blue pillows, airy light linen curtains, mix up various furniture styles, rustic, cottage or contemporary with rattan pieces.  Then carry out the nautical theme with accents like model sailboats, shell mirrors, coral-inspired chandeliers, sand filled lamps, wicker baskets and glass floats.  Mix and match textiles and tie them together with a common color or print and use them liberally throughout your home.

coastal living farm tableFor the dining area try mixing different colors of chairs and benches with a wooden farm table, or try a shabby white dining table and add hints of beachy colors.  Break out that shell collection to put on display on your hutch or side table.

Linens are a great way to carry out your theme in the bathroom too.  Think seashell prints or carry out the pops of accent colors you have chosen for other areas of your home. Bead board wainscoting can give your bathroom a coastal feel.

Be sure to break up the neutral palette by adding pops of accents colors in unexpected places, turquoise, blues, kiwi or ocean greens and corals.  This will allow your eyes to be drawn around the room.

Use rugs in coastal colors, yellows, blues and whites or sisal.

Pick end tables and coffee tables in unfinished natural shades, pickled or worn wood, or use a crab trap as a side table.

Keep schemes simple and choose accents carefully to maintain the easy effortless nature of beach-inspired décor.

Even if you don’t want a full beach inspired theme you can still coordinate with hints of seashells around your home.  Think of a stunning piece of coral on a table in your hallway.  Display your sea finds on the mantel even if it is only during the summer months.

Whatever you decide go with a relaxed look as that is what being at the beach is all about.

Is The Beige Bathroom Out?

beige bathroomThe neutral color scheme has been ideal, soothing whites and timid taupes.  Think white subway tile and Carrara marble and polished chrome or the beige travertine tile with light cabinets.  A neutral color scheme has been safe, desirable and resalable for bathrooms for several decades. But is the beige bathroom going out of style?

Recently, designers are seeing home-design trends shift.  The gutsier palette may reflect the confidence and strengthening real estate market.

The powder room traditionally has been the canvas for some decorating bravado.  The full bath remained a neutral zone.  Many homeowners today are choosing a more colorful palette.  Think full color on walls, pink and green tiling, not that we are likely to revisit the candy-pink sinks and toilets of the mid-20th century.  But designers today are introducing much more green, blues and soft matte blacks and grays into their designs.  Why some of these cool tones?  Cool tones offer an entry point for the color-shy.  For now, most sinks and toilets remain white but a few of the high end retailers are offering matte black faucets and swooping charcoal tubs, although neutrals remain the top sellers.  The tiles people are choosing are more bold and colorful from blues and greens, to browns, blacks and yellows.  New board-like porcelain tiles are also becoming very popular.  More consumers are opting for bolder paint colors than ever before.  Even if they opt for neutral sinks and toilets they are painting the walls blue and using dark cabinets.  If you use similar paint colors at least somewhere else in the rest of your home, entering your bathroom won’t seem like an abrupt swerve into “color land”.  Your home has a working palette, so draw from those hues.

Other tips from the pros:

  • Put samples of flooring, fittings and paint together, it makes the big picture easier to visualize.
  • Avoid pea greens and acid greens…they aren’t so great on the skin.  The color that is hippest right now is blush, because it makes you look beautiful
  • Don’t just rely on color from rugs and towels, even if you just use a strong border color it will update your bath.

Bathrooms are an ideal place to splash out a little.  They aren’t rooms you socialize in.  Success lies in finding the sweet spot between bland and over the top.