Go coastal: 9 ways to 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.

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.

bedroom with bedside lamp and bed with pillows

(Image credit: Neptune)

Olivia headboard, from £515 for a double; covered in Agatha fabric in navy, £55 per m;

Arrange a set of block-striped vases

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.

room with white windows and white walls

(Image credit: TBC)

Make your own striped vases by wrapping mini glass bottles in white, sea blue and navy yarns

Pick perfect panelling

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.

bedroom with white walls and bed with pillows

(Image credit: Harriet Hare)

For similar bedding, try the ticking stripe, £65 for a double duvet cover, Harriet Hare

Try a subtle seaside wallpaper

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.

living room with printed wall and table with chair

(Image credit: Linwood)

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.

living room with white walls and sofaset with cushions

(Image credit: John Lewis)

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.

room with white walls and white windows

(Image credit: Sainsbury's)

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.

living room with printed wall and sofaset with cushions

(Image credit: BoråsTapeter)

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.

bedroom with bedside lamp and bed with pillows

(Image credit: Sanderson)

Seagulls wallpaper 214585, £48 per roll, Sanderson

Add in some nautical details

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.

living room with white walls and sofaset with cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

Mr Darcy sofa, from £785, Sweetpea & Willow. Jerada rug, £1,865, Oka. Balmoral coffee table, £650, Laura Ashley.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.