Coastal bathroom ideas – 10 ways to turn your space into a nautical hideaway

Invoke memories of your favourite beach holiday with our coastal bathroom ideas

coastal bathroom with metal vanity unit and sink, bare wood on walls, vintage mirror, wall lights, stone floor, shower to right
(Image credit: Future PLC )

You can’t beat the gentle sound of waves lapping on the shore, seagulls calling and the calming colour palette of the coast. Our coastal bathroom ideas will give you a breezy style that's easy on the eye and easy bathroom ideas to create. 

Not for maximalists, the feel is generally quite pared back and features key elements like raw wood, rope and sailcloth accessories, stripes and nautical pieces like bulkhead lights. 

‘Blue and white is a classic colour scheme to create a coastal look in your bathroom.  For a more sophisticated feel, add depth by combining different shades of blue into your design through flooring, walls and accessories. 

'Consider the materials that you introduce into the scheme, touches of wood – be it painted or unfinished, rattan and nautical motifs will help to create that coastal vibe,’ says Jemma Dayman, hard flooring buyer, Carpetright. 

 Coastal bathroom ideas 

Create our coastal bathroom ideas and the result will be a chilled space in calming blues, sandy tones and the odd coral. Our beachy decor tips will whisk you away in spirit to your last seaside holiday in no time. 

1. Consider organic shapes

coastal bathroom with pale grey tongue and groove, large freestanding bath, white floor tiles, white bath mat, Velux window, basin

(Image credit: BC Designs)

When it comes to sourcing the right sanitaryware for your bathroom, look to the coastal landscape you love the most for inspiration. 

‘Choosing a bath that has soft curves is perfect for a coastal bathroom as curves are naturally found in nature, especially by the coast – think soft curved pebbles and even waves. Curves are very much about a softer, more relaxed feel to a space, which is what we’re often wanting to create in coastal bathrooms,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs.

headshot of Barrie Cutchie
Barrie Cutchie

Started in 1999 by British designer, Barrie Cutchie, who has been at the forefront of bathroom innovation and design for over thirty years, BC Designs has become a well respected design house that offers beautifully crafted products in all areas of the bathroom market. In 2020 Barrie won an award at The Designer Awards for his contribution to the bathroom industry.

2. Choose sleek designs for a contemporary look

coastal bathroom with modern bath, blue wall, black pendant lights, towel radiator, white hex floor tiles, metal shelf, large crittall style window

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

There’s a misconception that coastal bathrooms can’t be modern too, they can – opt for clean lines like a thin-lipped bath, black fixtures like a standpipe with matching tap and stylish pendant lights, metallic storage and a colour scheme of crisp white with a hint of blue grey. 

If your bathroom is on the small size choose white floor tiles in a contemporary shape like hexagons, they’ll add a touch of subtle pattern. 

3. Be inspired by Spanish colours

coastal bathroom with pale pink walls, pink and yellow patterned splashback and floor tiles, curtain under sink, vintage mirror, vintage chair, rug, shelf

(Image credit: Fired Earth)

Although we automatically link blue and green with the coast there are plenty of colours in other parts of the world that depict the wonderful shades that the shoreline can offer. 

‘While palettes of blues, greens and greys instantly evoke a fresh, coastal feel, sandy pinks and coral tones can work brilliantly too. Take inspiration from the warm roses and golds of dappled beaches and windswept dunes, and add elements such as sun-bleached textiles, weathered woods and softly flowing fabrics to create a beautifully layered and relaxed coastal look,’ says Colin Roby-Welford, creative director, Fired Earth

4. Add a seafaring feel with painted panels

coastal bathroom with grey painted panelled walls, beams, dark grey painted freestanding bath, white painted floor, large vintage style mirror, brass taps

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Reminiscent of the wood panelling in ships, this is a great DIY application if you want to add some character to your coastal bathroom. Again, look to nature for colour inspiration, if blues and greens aren’t your bag then look at pebbles, there are many shades of grey that will give your wood panelling an authentic look. Team with antique brass accessories and if you have beams keep them in their natural state. 

5. Embrace the sandy tones of yellow

coastal bathroom with yellow walls, botanical artwork on walls, marble basin, small stool, white towels, plant

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

‘Yellow can offer a breezy freshness, especially our pretty Gervase Yellow from the archive, in fact, most clean pastel colours will work a treat and it will lend a dose of sunshine to a coastal space, no matter the light!’ says Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador, Farrow & Ball

The other advantage of yellow is that it looks wonderful with white, use it to break up the scheme and add in patterned curtains and prints on the walls. 

headshot of Patrick O'Donnell
Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell has been bringing his impeccable eye for colour to Farrow & Ball since 2012. Over that time, he has been a Showroom Manager, Global Colour Consultancy Manager and now Brand Ambassador. However, he is best known as the much-loved face of Farrow & Ball on social media. 

6. Lift a low ceiling with pastel blue

coastal bathroom with blue painted tongue and groove, beams, white ceiling, floor and bath, striped towels, storage baskets

(Image credit: Future PLC )

Lighter shades will enhance a space that may have design challenges like low or sloping ceilings, another trick is to use tongue and groove as the vertical ‘stripe’ will create the illusion of height. 

A pretty blue ‘ice cream’ shade will do the trick, team it with pretty pops of pink and classic striped towels. 

7. Add character with shutters

coastal bathroom with white shutters, cream wall tiles, wood effect floor, shelf, artwork, stool, freestanding bath

(Image credit: California Shutters )

Ditch the blinds and opt for shutters, they have a seafaring feel due to their traditional styling. 

‘When exploring colours for a coastal bathroom, we recommend using brighter and lighter shades. Neutral colours like grey and white are also popular finishes and complement other rustic textures used in coastal schemes like reclaimed wood flooring and traditional shutter windows treatments. In a bathroom, café style shutters in white are a great solution for both privacy and light control, and add plenty of personality,’ suggests Sam Tamlyn, managing director, California Shutters

8. Paint your bath turquoise blue

coastal bathroom with blue painted bath, black and white floor tiles, turquoise feature wall tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC )

If you want to embrace the coastal bathroom theme but are not sure where to start then paint your bath with a bold shade of blue or green. It’s certainly a statement but one that can work in a nearly all white bathroom. 

Then, you can start to use a similar shade throughout your bathroom to tie the look together. 

9. Use textures galore

coastal style bathroom with metal vanity unit and sink, bare wood on walls, vintage mirror, wall lights, stone floor, shower to right

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Walking along the coast will offer a myriad of inspiration for your coastal bathroom, not least the sheer amount of textures that adorn the shoreline. Raw wood offers a unique texture that conjures up the key aspects of the seaside – boats, chalets and washed up treasures. 

Using it on your walls will give that authentic touch that you can use as a starting point for your coastal bathroom scheme. Mix it with enamel wall lights and a touch of brass to finish the look. 

10. Introduce a Mediterranean style with pattern

coastal bathroom with grey tongue & groove walls, blue bath, vintage metal side table, patterned blue and white floor tiles

(Image credit: Carpetright)

‘The key to designing a beautiful coastal bathroom scheme is creating a calm and relaxing feel. This doesn’t necessarily mean opting for white or neutrals, you can tap into the latest design trends whilst still maintaining a tranquil feel,' says Jemma Dayman, hard flooring buyer, Carpetright

'Vinyl flooring is a cost-effective way to bring a coastal look to your bathroom and is the perfect way to introduce colour and pattern. From geometrics though to plains and playful motifs in soothing blue tones, the latest luxury vinyl products help to create a classic tiled look that will bring a Mediterranean style feel to your bedroom with ease.'

What are the best coastal colours for bathrooms?

'Sandy and warm neutral tones are perfect for adding the coastal vibes to a bathroom without being cliché. If you’re wanting to bring in other shades, pale blues work well with sandy colours and instantly feel like you are by the sea,' says Barrie Cutchie, design director, BC Designs.

'Whilst an all white bathroom often feels appropriate, another ‘never fails’ scheme is blue, especially in the mid-spectrum. Our elegant grey-tinged Parma Gray will offer a clean, sharp look whilst having an empathy with the coastal setting, or try a mid-clean green such as our recent addition Whirlybird. Both colours will sit happily with classic white sanitaryware. For added punch in your bathroom, look no further than Arsenic, this wonderful saturated green aqua will work wonders,’ says Patrick. 

How can I make my bathroom look beachy?

'Texture and pattern are a great way to achieve that beachy feel which can be easily achieved with vinyl flooring. Both practical and stylish, vinyl is waterproof, slip resistant, and easy to maintain. 

If you’ve got a more generous budget, luxury vinyl is a great alternative. It offers the same benefits as vinyl, but with a high-end look and feel. From wood flooring styles through to stone effect designs, they are incredibly realistic and hard-wearing. Opting for a wooden finish will create a beach hut feel. 

Tile effect patterns, such as our Retro Star flooring, are a lovely way to create a decorative flourish in the bathroom and can work in both traditional and contemporary schemes,’ says Jemma Dayman, hard flooring buyer, Carpetright.

'If you’re wanting to add some texture, consider timber cladding up the walls which can help to create a beach-house vibe. Painting these can soften the wood while still remaining in keeping with the coastal look,’ adds Barrie.

Sophie Warren-Smith
Contributor

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events.