Go coastal: Give your home some seaside style

Keep the holiday vibe going with these ways to bring a little coastal freshness to your home...

Coastal style is more than just a decorating look, it’s an attitude: easy going and versatile, it’ll work in any scheme to give your space a calm and relaxed feel that reminds you of lazy summer holidays.

Tap into the enduring appeal of the coast, with a grown-up elegant take on maritime style. Choose a palette inspired by the water’s edge, mixing fresh neutrals with blue-grey, marine navy and terracotta for schemes that have seashore appeal. Layer striped linens, painterly designs, rough-hewn wood with curated beach finds and coastal curios for a sophisticated take on seaside living in your coastal home…

Dine with a sea breeze

Image credit: Dan Duchars

Bring an easygoing feel to an outdoor deck. Team a handsome leather chair with crafted benches made comfy with terracotta cushions. Lay the table with striped linens and raffia and zinc accessories.

Get the look
Buy now: Table, similar from Made.com  
Buy now: Bench, similar from Home Barn
Buy now: Safari chair, £195, Rockett St George
Buy now: Chambrey tablecloth, £76; Belton wire plant cloche, £22, both Rowen & Wren
Buy now: Runner, York Stripe, £96 m, Fermoie
Buy now: Wood and marble paddle board, £20, Rockett St George
Buy now: Indigo Storm bowls and plates, £15.95 each, Rockett St George
Buy now: Ripple plates, £3 each, Sainsbury’s
Buy now: Salcombe cutlery, £68 for 24 pieces, Neptune

Take pleasure in the details

Image credit: Dan Duchars

Inspired by high seas and skies, splashy ceramics look wonderful with stripes for a place setting. Carved bamboo servers and seagrass add a rustic touch.

Get the look
Buy now: Blush espresso cup, £4.50; carved bamboo teaspoon, 
£6.50 for 6, both Curious Egg      
Buy now: Indigo Storm plates, £15.95 each, Rockett St George
Buy now: Illyria Limpet 
dish, £15.95, Home Barn
Buy now: Seagrass placemats, 
£20 for 4, Also Home

Showcase collected curios

Image credit: Dan Duchars

Create a place to display shoreline objets with a bleached wood desk and a decorative marine wallpaper as a backdrop.

Get the look
Buy now: Wallpaper, Coralline 111637, £59 a roll, Harlequin at Wallpaper Direct   
Buy now: Trilby hat, £72, Celtic & Co
Buy now: Indigo Storm jug, £29.95, Rockett St George
Buy now: Mussel Shell Ring wreath, £15, Pippa Designs at Notonthehighstreet.com
Buy now: Resin coral, £8.99, Dorset Gifts
Buy now: Coat hook, £24.99, Scottie & Russell

Bathe in seaside chic

Image credit: Dan Duchars

Hang folding shutters above a simple contemporary bathtub. Draw the eye with nautical towels, fringed hammams and a complementary woven rug.

Get the look
Buy now: Vintage elm stool, 
£150, Oggetto   
 
Buy now: Driftwood chair, from a selection, 
Posh Graffiti
Buy now: Fields rug, £159, Rockett St George
Buy now: White pitcher, £58; Scents of Land candle, £39, 
both Another Country
Buy now: Black lava pumice stone, £5, Curious Egg
Buy now: Antibes basket, £32, Curious Egg

Drift off to far-away places

Image credit: Dan Duchars

A white slatted bed works well with sheer linens at the window and a restful mix of lightweight throws and cushions on the bed.

Get the look
Buy now: Panelled walls, painted in Brilliant White, £25.20 
for 2.5L Vinyl Matt Emulsion, Dulux at B&Q
Buy now: Mole bedside table, £215, Loaf
Buy now: Kota rug, £99.99, Myakka
Buy now: Classic double bed, £450, The White Company
Buy now: Dorset postcards, £10 for 14, Another Country
Buy now: Broad Stripe Top Stitch curtains, £374 for 2, Volga Linen

Love light and bright living

Image credit: Dan Duchars

Highlight neutral surfaces and furnishings with cushions and curtains scattered with coastal plants and sea vegetation. Faded stripes and distressed wood create a subtle maritime vibe.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar console, Barker & Stonehouse 
Buy now: Polperro armchair, £965, Oka
Buy now: 
Shareef lantern, large, £29.95, Myakka

Shake it up with a maritime print

A crisp nautical stripe will instantly smarten up plain bed linen. Use a couple of metres of fabric to cover a headboard or add scatter cushions to bring a little Hamptons chic to white sheets.

Get the look
Buy now: Olivia headboard, from £515 for a double; covered in Agatha fabric in navy, £55 per m; both Neptune

Arrange a set of block-striped vases

Image credit: David Giles

While seaside motifs look at home in a coastal setting, there’s a fine line between chic and kitsch. For a more pared-back approach, keep to just a few well-chosen pieces, such as a trio of stripy vases filled with a handful of wild blooms. Make your own striped vases by wrapping mini glass bottles in white, sea blue and navy yarns.

Pick perfect panelling

Image credit: Tim Young

Try an alternative feature wall by covering the surface behind your bed with white-painted wooden panelling instead of wallpaper to give an instant beach-side feel. Opting for half-wall panelling will give you a ledge for displaying your beachcombed finds, too.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar bedding, try the ticking stripe, £65 for a double duvet cover, Harriet Hare

Try a subtle seaside wallpaper

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

While there’s a temptation to go overboard with nautical prints, add too many and you risk creating a room that looks ‘themed’. Instead, layer pattern sparingly to give it more impact – use a sketchbook wallpaper on a single feature wall for a subtle jumping-off point, then add a simple ticking stripe and soft brown furnishings for an understated, yet smart, take on the trend.

Get the look
Buy now: FitzRoy wallpaper in Biscay, £79.90 per roll, Linwood

Reupholster seats and sofas

The big appeal of coastal living is its laid-back nature, so harness this at home by dressing slouchy sofas and lived-in armchairs with removable slipcovers that can easily be popped in the wash. Go for cottons in crisp white, easy-on-the-eye blue and grounding grey – try Bemz to give Ikea classics a new lease of life, or look to Plumbs for good-value, bespoke options.

Get the look
Buy now: Large Nelson sofa, £799; Holkham armchair, £1,199; Drift coffee table, £399; all John Lewis

Create a cosy coastal corner

Make the most of a niche or tricky space with a built-in bench arrangement. This wraparound banquette seating doubles up as handy hidden storage – team it with mismatched chairs, reworked canvas blinds and fish-patterned crockery for easy-going coastal style.

Get the look
Buy now: Striped tableware, £35 for a 12-piece set; jug, £12; bowls, £2.50 each; napkins, £8 for four; all Sainsbury’s

Think big with a supersized map

Create a conversation piece in a living or dining area by using a large map as a statement piece of wall art. Whether it’s a sepia-toned, vintage print of a favourite haunt, a modern nautical chart in bold tones or a wall-sized map-of-the-world mural, it’s a one-stop way to bring punch to a room and add a personal touch.

Get the look
Buy now: Boston Harbor digital wallcovering (1.74m x 2.25m), £154, Lexington range, BoråsTapeter

Upcycle a piece of furniture

Creating a beach-inspired look needn’t involve spending a fortune – in fact, coastal’s rustic, undone style lends itself perfectly to an upcycled piece or two. This chest of drawers captures the spirit perfectly, thanks to its whimsical seabird print in floaty shades of blue and grey. Re-create the effect on an existing unit by unscrewing its drawer handles, then cut down wallpaper to fit the drawer fronts and paste into place, finishing with a protective coat of clear varnish over the top.

Get the look
Buy now: Seagulls wallpaper 214585, £48 per roll, Sanderson

Add in some nautical details

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

If you prefer a smarter style to laid-back beach chic, try this upscale take on coastal with accessories in crisp navy blue and white with a maritime theme. Mix in touches of cream and grey to soften the sharp lines of blue and white and keep your accessory arrangement loose to offset the formal feel.

Get the look
Buy now: Mr Darcy sofa, from £785, Sweetpea & Willow
Buy now: Jerada rug, £1,865, Oka
Buy now: Balmoral coffee table, £650, Laura Ashley

Will you be adorning your home in maritime treasures?

Ideal Home loves...