Vintage Coastal Style
Use these 68 design tips and decorating ideas to add antique appeal to your home.
Antique fixtures such as a pendant lamp and cabinetry hardware lend a schoolhouse feel to this breakfast nook. Dark painted trim highlights the architectural details in the space.
Natural wood, simple linens, and an aged patina give this bedroom a timeless feel. A stack of suitcases adds storage and acts as a reminder of the spirit of travel that has drawn people to the coast for centuries.
The focal point in this kitchen is the remains of a pole once used as a practice mast for members of the Life-Saving Service (the Coast Guard's predecessor) to rehearse rescues more than a century ago.
Use classical shapes in modern ways for a chic look that’s steeped in history. For this dining nook, an antique table was painted white and lacquered. The upscale plastic chairs add elegance with antique lines but keep the space childproof.
Sleek, contemporary dining room chairs stand out against the rustic wooden farm table. Vintage lighting and a nautical art display give this room coastal personality.
Paint shelves white to display collections of vintage pieces to their best advantage. Choosing the same white for both shelves and walls allows prized objects—such as these antique cameras―to stand out.
Using an exterior finish on an interior wall makes the space feel like an addition to the original home. Interior shingle-style walls add a vintage feel and suggest timeless New England life in this room.
Pine plank floors and exposed framing pay homage to early American architecture. Mosquito nets hung from overhead beams create the look of a four-poster bed while allowing the drama of the ceiling to speak for itself. Weathered wooden pieces, such as the large pine chest and tree trunk coat rack, enhance the rustic theme.
Give your kitchen a nostalgic feel with vintage appliances. A refurbished stove, manually operated toaster, and dial phone will lend an old-school vibe, while a retro clock will ensure your culinary efforts cook to perfection.
Reproductions are wonderful, but real vintage finds add character to your home. In the home's bath, new fixtures were added around vintage hand-painted zigzag tile.
Get creative with appliance colors. Think black, white, and stainless are your only options in the kitchen? Think again! Colored appliances are a great way to add a retro feel to your cooking space.
Don’t be afraid to mix antique eras. Mid-century chairs freshen up the look of this antique table, and bookcases lend a library feel to this dining room, while glass French doors let the light shine in.
You needn’t give up the shower to have a classic footed tub. These homeowners made a shower curtain that surrounds the antique tub by soldering copper piping and bolting it to the interior roof rafters.
Keep your space neutral to highlight antiques. Instead of artwork on the walls, these homeowners incorporated eye-catching antiques and ethnic furniture. The standout pieces also help to bring the all-white room to life.
Family heirlooms and collections will always add personality and a sense of place to your home. This owner showcases her father and grandfather's hats and fishing baskets, as well as antique duck decoys.
Before air-conditioning, coastal residents would often take advantage of the sea breeze with a sleeping porch. This antique iron bed and vintage-style bamboo furniture look beautiful on the screened porch.
High wainscoting is a hallmark of an Arts-and-Crafts style home. A light paint color keeps the woodwork from feeling too heavy, and the coastal hue gives the room a beachy look.
Re-create an antique look in any room in your home without an expensive overhaul by hanging black-and-white and sepia-tone photographs. Salvaged frames in various widths and texture add an authentic feel to aged pictures.
Use paint color to highlight antiques. Paint exposed pipes or ducts the same hue as their surroundings to trick the eye and make the utilitarian objects appear less prominent. To focus attention on a single object, such as this antique sink, paint adjacent surfaces a softer, creamier white.
Wood-planked floors and cozy quilts made of light, sea-colored pastels honor the rustic feel of this century-old cottage, embracing the charm of the setting and the house.
A streamlined sectional sofa and pair of swivel chairs lend a 1960s vibe to this living room that complements the home's architecture.
Nothing says vintage nautical like chunky rope accents. This converted attic bunkroom has six beds, each hung with nautical rope that was braided by a local fisherman.
Use a classic quilt like this one in a familiar pinwheel pattern. Details such as a metal washbasin and straw hat lend sunny country appeal to a room decked in sleek, modern lines. A vintage postcard collection keeps the space inviting and inspiring.
Distressed walls, lighting, and cabinetry give this kitchen a sense of depth and place. Try distressing techniques such as sanding furniture, or scour flea markets for goods with an aged patina.
Knotty pine walls reminiscent of old beach homes and wooden sailing vessels combined with saturated blue, green, and white fabrics create the classic look of a luxury liner.
Dacron sails are impermeable to water making them excellent alternatives to traditional shower curtains. Their durability matches that of commercial-grade upholstery, but they’re weathered enough to feel as soft as pillows.
This pool umbrella is retro-chic. Not only is the pink color a beach club trademark, but its squared-off scalloped edge is a classic cabana detail. The treatment isn’t limited to outdoor furniture. Try the same edging on a drapery valance or bed skirt.