17 Living Rooms with Coastal Style

From colorfully modern to tastefully rustic, these spaces showcase the best of seaside decor. If you want to capture coastal style, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.

beach house white living room

J. Savage Gibson

Peaceful Surrounding

Design your living space to feel the ocean around you. Use mosaic glass in seaside colors to frame the fireplace, and a row of paintings depicting palm fronds against cloud-strewn skies brings the breeze indoors.

Idea Spotlight
Turn flea market finds into treasures. Revamped or completely repurposed, bargain purchases keep the look casual (at left, the rough-hewn oak table was originally a railway pallet used for unloading cargo).

Blue and white accents throughout this cottage style family room give a fresh updated look.

Richard Leo Johnson

Cottage Appeal

Let your home’s architecture speak for itself. Exposed-board walls and rafters play up this family room’s original charm and unique characteristics. But you can achieve the look in new construction, as well. Consider installing beaded board or wooden planks in lieu of drywall. The quirks and imperfections of natural wood lend texture and interest, even if applied to only one wall or ceiling.

Idea Spotlight 
Updated with a fresh coat of paint, salvaged attic vents serve as unexpected art when suspended from the rafters.

Entryway into another sitting room in a white and blue decorated beach house

Richard Leo Johnson

Coastal Cues

Add character to your living area by thinking in layers rather than limiting your scheme to a single hue. A palette of sea-glass shades brings the beach indoors―even in a landlocked locale. Look for accent paints and fabrics in colors ranging from aqua to deep blue. Don’t stress about overdoing it: White board walls give the eye a place to rest and keep the look cohesive.

Idea Spotlight
Outline your design. Call attention to a room’s architectural elements, such as trim and molding, by painting them a punchy hue. Give upholstered furniture a similar wake-up call with contrasting welting.

Bold and playful art pieces, red chairs and yellow chaises pop against the white couch and the surrounding walls

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Nod to Mod

Take the edge off contemporary decor with bold color. Accenting a neutral space with vibrant hues (on doors, art, or upholstery) puts a playful spin on a streamlined look. Give a ceiling an unexpected twist: Add strips of wood to divide it like a grid, then have fun painting a few of the squares.

Idea Spotlight
Fill bowls and tabletops with souvenirs from the sea. These one-of-a-kind natural accents never go out of style.

A bright, acqua, painted floor sets the color stage for the rest of this living room's blue accents

Jean Allsopp

Connected with Color

Unify an eclectic furniture mix with color. Dressed in soft shades of blue and white, everything in this open space comes together. With swirls of color on top, the oversize custom coffee table anchors the room.

Idea Spotlight 
Painted floors don’t just look good; they mask imperfections and are easy to clean. Use oil-based porch and floor enamel in a high-gloss sheen for best results.

The brightly-patterned tropical fabric on the couch is center stage in a living room with soft, classic architectural elements.

Tria Giovan

A New Attitude

Take an unconventional design approach, even with the most traditional architecture. Tropical fabrics and muted wall paints shift this room from stodgy to hip without erasing its charm. Think twice before removing classic woodwork―a fresh coat of paint may be all you need to update your space.

Idea Spotlight 
Choose your favorite bold pattern and limit it to one application. Whether on a sofa, wall panel, or drapery, the graphic motif will make a strong statement where you want to see it most.

Bedroom wall that rolls up to invite in the beach shore right into the space.

Roger Davies

Outside In

Connect your living area to the great outdoors with an oversize cased opening. Whether you opt for a sliding tract door or an overhead pull-down, there’s no better (or bigger) way to take in the view.

Idea Spotlight
Skip patterns entirely and stick with solid fabrics if you really want to simplify. If you find a solid scheme a bit too boring, add a patterned rug.

Robin's egg blue wood paneling compliments a pink painted wooden dresser

Roger Davies

DIY Design

Paint plywood paneling for a look that’s comparable to high-end board-and-batten alternatives. The material also works well as flooring; go with a dark stain or thick coat of paint for the best wear.

Idea Spotlight
Punch up a coastal palette with dashes of beach-grass green. When used in small doses, the color adds zing to a traditional nautical scheme.

Blue and White striped rug, white canvas arm chairs and accents of spring green on the lamp shade or on the top of the side table update a wood paneled cabin's living room.

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Cabin Fever

Update a wood-paneled room with bold design. Rich colors and strong graphic elements paired with modern furniture and accessories bring pizzazz to even the simplest cabin. Soften the all-wood look by covering floors with a rug that stretches almost from wall to wall. Cover windows with light-color Roman shades.

Idea Spotlight 
Keep the look interesting by selecting three distinct fabric patterns. As a general guideline, opt for a stripe, a solid, and a coordinating print. Add subtle texture with nubby linens and soft chenilles.

A family relaxes in this beach house living room with striped arm chairs, and a durable cotton rug

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Practical Style

Don’t let wet bathing suits or muddy paws put a damper on design. Choose materials such as cotton rugs and sturdy linen slipcovers that can be simply washed or replaced.

Idea Spotlight
Give the ceiling added interest with pressed tin. Whether using salvaged materials or new, easy-to-install tiles, the metal adds instant appeal overhead.

Stacks of favorite books, souvenirs from trips abroad as well as framed family photos in cabinet add to this homeowner's sense of style.

Jean Allsopp

Keep it Real

A living room should reflect your personal style and read as collected rather than decorated. Proudly display family photos, books, and items with sentimental value. Raid your yard or garden for big, gorgeous greenery you can show off inside.

Idea Spotlight
Dress prominent pieces in neutral tones for a look you’ll never tire of. This allows accessories to pop, and you can change them to suit the season.

Family Room with a large stone fireplace, wooden walls and high, exposed beams

Brian Vanden Brink

Rustic Flair

Warm up your family room with rich wood interiors and a prominent stone fireplace. High ceilings and clerestory windows flood the space with natural light and keep the room bright.

Idea Spotlight
Use local treasures such as stones for the fireplace or driftwood for the mantel to highlight your area’s natural beauty.

white couches are arranged in a L-shape to face the views of the coastal scenery outside

Tria Giovan

Clean and Simple

Let straightforward architecture and simple furnishings show off waterfront views. Choose single-pane windows, doors, and transoms to create a seamless transition between inside and out.

Idea Spotlight 
Skip on window treatments and keep artwork simple. Let coast take center stage by arranging furniture around views.

A school of fish are hung above a white painted fireplace while red leather chairs flank each side. A white cotton couch faces the fireplace.

Jean Allsopp

Master the Mix

Blend leather with cotton upholstery, Lucite with wood, and antiques with new pieces to keep a room fresh and unpredictable. Maintain the edge with vivid art, vintage finds, and oversize accents such as baskets and lamps.

Idea Spotlight
Disguise dated brickwork with bright-white paint. For best results, clean and prime bricks first, then coat with an oil-based, semi-gloss paint.

folding doors completely open up this beach living room to the outdoor patio

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Maximize Views

Select doors that won’t interfere with the scenery. Bifold, sliding, and pocket doors tuck neatly out of sight when left open. Opt for doors with louvered shutters to provide privacy when needed.

Idea Spotlight
Have slipcovers custom created in your favorite hue. Although white is the most common color for covers, you don’t have to follow the crowd. Like other accessories, slipcovers can easily be changed with the season.

large banana leaves are arranged in a glass vase on the coffee table with a white couch situated behind

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Bring in the Breeze

Design with cross-ventilation in mind and allow ocean breezes to flow straight through. A well-planned ventilation system can eliminate the need for air-conditioning entirely. Position vents in the ceiling to allow warm air to escape.

Idea Spotlight
Decorate down to the last detail. For a graphic statement, keep everything―from sofas to book jackets―in the same color palette.

Pale sea green linen couches and chairs blend into this light and bright room with its wall of windows

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Forget the Fuss

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. This no-frills design plan allows the ocean to take center stage. When outfitting window-walled rooms, choose low-profile furnishings over high-back or ornate ones that might compete with the view.

Idea Spotlight
Keep things interesting when upholstering in a single hue by using fabrics with different textures. Try terry cloth as an alternative to linen, or leather for a sleek, modern appearance.

Printed from:
http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/living-room-00400000051289/