Coastal living rooms that recreate carefree beach days

Create a calming coastal living room that's a permanent reminder of sunny days by the sea

You don’t have to live by the sea to enjoy the calming qualities of a coastal living rooms. And a good place to start is by playing with the colours of the sky, sea and sand to form a dreamy theme.

Bring the themes of the seaside into your living room and channel coastal chic with soft furnishings in calming whites, washed-out denim and cool shades of blue. A weathered, faded look is the essence of coastal interiors.

We have so much more to see – check out our living room ideas

Choose a living room with a whitewashed colour scheme for a room filled with space and light. White or neutral-toned wall panelling creates a great beach-hut vibe – coordinate with sand-coloured sisal flooring or carpet. Team this decor with white linen furnishings and a wicker chest-style coffee table. Add a seascape canvas on the wall and accessorise with beach ornaments such as seashells, coral and beach pebbles.

Driftwood is a wonderful material to add a feeling of relaxed coastal charm. Choose furniture crafted from driftwood such as a coffee table or open shelving. Position a sailing boat on your mantelpiece, arrange pebbles and wood in a corner of the room for relaxed coastal chic.

Want more seaside inspiration? Read: Nautical decorating ideas

1. Modern coastal living room with contemporary furniture

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Subtle and sophisticated is the key here. This coastal scheme is a fine example of  how a grown-up take on the look helps to keep it elegant. In this living space the minimal presence of coastal is what makes it work. An injection of inky blue accessories alongside natural seagrass textures is just enough of a nod to maritime style.

Don’t think coastal decor means you have to be traditional with furniture and colour choices either. As the trends evolve we see more and more how new furniture shapes can help to breath new life into existing themes.

2. Marine blue and aqua coastal living room

coastal living rooms

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Wash the room with a mix of blue hues, to create a modern coastal scheme. Paint the walls blue to really bring the space to life.

A deep blue sofa may be bold but it can be timeless, in the right environment. The shade sits happily with other shades of the colour for a harmonious, layered look and is beautifully offset with pale tones and warm neutrals – this oatmeal flooring being a case in point. Together, these soothing tones are just the thing to turn your living room into a relaxing hideaway.

Get the look
Enquire online: Harry Sisal Aluminium carpet, £99 per sq m, Crucial Trading

3. Coastal living room with global pattern

coastal living rooms

Image credit: DFS

Merely introducing a mix of blue tones invites the nautical look without being too overstated. Coastal living doesn’t have to mean all things seashells and deckchair stripes. As shown in this elegant living room above, classic nautical stripes have been replaced by tie-dye, batik and block-print patterns in rich indigo blues.

Teamed with a chic denim fabric sofa, this alternative look oozes carefree coastal dwelling.

4. Real wood-panelled coastal living room


Image credit: Simon Whitmore

So what if you are totally land-locked and thousands of miles from the New England coast? Tongue-and-groove panelling will instantly transport your living room to Maine or Massachusetts, decoratively speaking.

Here, a bold dresser adds a pop of country colour, alongside evocative artwork and a range of knits that pay tribute to the  rolling waves, sailor’s knots, and other aspects of ocean life through their stitch design.

5. Effortless sun-bleached coastal living room


Image caption: David Brittain

Bring the beach home by mixing weathered coastal colours, unfussy reclaimed wood furniture and characterful seaside motifs for a look that will relax you as soon as you walk through the door. Arrange accessories in loose groups, rather than tight grids or clusters to create a more informal, relaxed look.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Anton coffee table, £129, House by John Lewis

6. Island-style boho coastal living room


Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

If you want your living space to be a space where you can truly kick back and relax, this look, inspired by Ibiza’s laid-back Bohemian attitude, sets the perfect mood.

White walls, flooring and upholstery will give you a bleached-out, Mediterranean villa look. Layer on lots of colour with Blues of different depths, using a combination of plain, tie-dye, batik and ikat fabrics. Beachcombed finds such as shells, hurricane lanterns filed with pebbles and driftwood-look pieces will fill the room with natural style – these can be displayed in repurposed crates, to enhance the rustic feel.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Padstow coffee table, £299, Marks & Spencer

7. Chic Hamptons-style coastal living room

Chic Hamptons-style coastal living room

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

This look is pure, American-style smart nautical chic and will give your room simple effortless elegance.

Fitted covers would look too casual, so go for fitted upholstery with smart piping or a strip in a trim navy blue. Use dark wood furniture to give the scheme definition and a traditional look and finish things off with statement accessories. An oversized lamp, bold artwork or even a salvaged ship’s wheel can all add wow.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Dalton hand-tufted rug, £114.99, Wayfair

8. Brilliant all white coastal living room


Image credit: Tim Young

Bring some coastal personality to a neutral living room and enjoy a holiday mood all year round. Plain white walls can look quite stark, so choose a barely-there shade of misty grey to add the subtlest hint of colour.

Introduce patterns and texture into your scheme with stripes and checks and cheery seaside-print fabrics. Fill the empty space above your sofa with a gallery of coastal artwork, from scenic prints and ocean vistas to holiday postcards and nautical typography.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Jute border rug, from £79, Very
Buy Now: Similar Ace coffee table, £345, Loaf

9. Panelled-effect coastal living room


Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Keep to a fail-safe coastal colour scheme of breezy blue and white, teamed with weathered wood furniture and rustic woven matting. Mimic the look of sun-bleached wood panelling with a clever faux-effect plank-look wallpaper.

Incorporate a bookcase or shelving unit into your room so you can create a display of coastal finds, from storm lanterns and sea birds to pebbles, shells and driftwood.

Get the look
Buy now: Clarke & Clarke Peeling Planks wallpaper, £39.91 per roll, Jane Clayton 
Buy now: Similar Dunwich medium sofa in Harbour Linen, £1,909, Multiyork

10. Coastal-inspired living room with bold blue shelving


Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Mid blues softened with warm neutrals and natural textures create a laid-back boathouse look. Give the room structure with furniture that has simple new to define the space – it’s a trick that’s especially effective in a multifunctional room.

Finish the scheme with hard-wearing materials such as broad-weave linen upholstery, heavy-gauge cottons, worn saddle leather and deep-dyed denims for no-nonsense comfort. Little pops of red on fabrics and accessories bring the low-key scheme to life.

Get the look
Buy now: Nautical themed plates, from £17, Cream Cornwall at

11. Coastal living room with Miami-inspired glamour


Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Beat grey-weather days with tropical-ocean colours and plush textures for a living space that oozes modern elegance. Mid-century style goes super-sleek with this mix of lagoon blues, geo patterns and chic shapes. It’s a smart look, so go for tuxedo-style sofas and cube shelving. Round or urged occasional tables will soften all the sharp corners.

With deep blue-green tones on the walls, you’ll need some hits of bright white for light relief, but go luxe on finishes. Ramp up the glam factor with silky velvet on upholstery and cushions, high-gloss surfaces and glossy blue glassware.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar graphic fabric, Mistral 120094, £34 per m, Scion at Fashion Interiors
Buy now: Similar paint, Inky Pool 3 paint mixing matt, £1.56 for a colour tester, Dulux

12. Chic Mediterranean-style coastal living room


Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

If you want your decorating schemes to feel relaxed and confident, you can’t beat a simple combination of blue and white with a bold mix of Mediterranean-chic pattern. An oatmeal-coloured sofa, washed-oak furniture and weathered wood picture frames soften the fresh look of white walls.

Arranging storage and artwork symmetrically gives the room a more upscale look. Add another layer of rustic texture with hammered metal accent pieces in the form of lights, small tables and trays.

Get the look
Buy now: Marylebone oak coffee table, £1,125, Oka
Buy now: Orrico hammered aluminium side table, £130, Habitat

13. Laid-back beach style coastal living room

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Mix fresh blues with warm neutrals to give your living room a calm, contemporary look that oozes laid-back charm – synonymous with coastal style. Keeping the walls neutral allows the blue accents, however subtle, to really shine. Natural woven textures help to add a rustic beachcomber feel, without making the look feel too contrived.

14. Seaside style coastal living room


Image caption: Dominic Blackmore

Be inspired by holiday cottages and days at the beach to create a fresh and relaxed look in your sitting room. Set the tone with nautical-themed sketchbook prints and crisp deckchair stripes.

Bright whites, faded denim blues and a few bold pops for scarlet create an easygoing but quintessentially British seaside feel.

Get the look
Buy now: Verona armchair, from £1,399, Multiyork
Buy now: Sanderson Sail Away fabric, £61 per metre, Jane Clayton

15. Cool blue coastal living room


Image credit: David Brittain

It’s impossible not to love blue – it’s fresh, versatile and mood-lifting. The colour of the sea, blue offers an easy way to create a coastal look. But don’t go overboard – work in warm neutral tones on upholstery, flooring and wood trims to take the chill off soft blue tones. Complete the look with a seascape painting that will leave you in no doubt to the coastal theme.

Get the look
Buy now: Chambray wallpaper, £70 per roll, Osborne & Little at John Lewis
Buy now: Olivia sofa, from £2,400, Neptune

16. Neutral alternative coastal living room

coastal living rooms

Image credit: Tim Young

Take a natural approach to coastal style, using the colours and textures of the beach as inspiration. Subtle pebble shades of pale grey, sand and stone, the rough warmth of weathered wood and worn linen – the fresh hues of sea, sky and cloud. Weathered wood is the starting point for this living room with its panelling-effect wallpaper and in details like the stool and wall art.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar paint, Colourcourage Honu Lulu matt emulsion, £25 for 2.5ltrs, B&Q

Related: Blue living room ideas – from midnight to duck egg, see how sophisticated blue can be

Even if you live miles from the coast, we hope these coastal living room ideas help you capture a little bit of the magic of time spent next to the sea.

All the latest from Ideal Home