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.
Metal gates create unique headboards in keeping with the antique vibe of the room.
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.
Wood walls give an instant vintage appeal to a room. Even a wood accent wall can lend an old-time look to your space.
The vintage Heywood-Wakefield bamboo furniture set on this porch feels crisply shipshape with cushions covered in marine blue fabric and white piping.
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.
Classic white cabinetry and tile won’t seem overly sterile if you include lively vintage accents, such as a farmhouse sink and retro metal barstools.
Whitewashed wood in this kitchen shows off the natural material’s texture and imperfections—creating a lived-in-for-years look.
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.
Natural pine floors, walls, and ceilings preserve this cottage’s retro, lived-in look. Vintage wicker furniture in different designs adds to the casual feel.
Let a showstopping sink take center stage. Set a colorful enamel bowl atop a vintage washstand, or mount it on a countertop as an attention-getter.
Use texture to add vintage interest. Beaded-board walls with vertical stripes and distressed cabinets make this kitchen feel established.
Coastal can be formal, too. The sea-inspired colors of this lush canopy make the space cool and breezy instead of stuffy and straitlaced.
Encourage your little explorers and add vintage charm by displaying a favorite collection of antique globes and maps in a playroom.
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.
Use large antiques in unique ways. Overhead, an antique canvas kayak reminds homeowners that the water is just steps away.
Use salvaged pieces to make new things. This homeowner designed her kitchen island using antique table legs and salvaged butcher block.
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.
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.
Don’t feel like you need to strip and refinish reclaimed wood. These boards were salvaged from an old home and used just as they were.
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.
The simple addition of whimsical wallpaper on the ceiling and walls diverts the focus from the retro peach tile and breathes new life into this room.
In this room, a screened door in a muted blue makes a breezy statement as the pantry entry.
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.
Little things, such as cabinet hardware, help reinforce vintage style. These classic bin-style pulls offer a chic and antique look.
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.
The exposed beams in this loft space are reminiscent of the interior of an old ship.
Cut decorating costs by reimagining new homes for pieces you already own. For instance, an old apothecary chest is a rich, charming substitute for countertops and cabinetry.
Painted floors are low-maintenance and age beautifully. Scratches and scuffs only add character.
For generations, Southerners have painted their porch ceilings a soft blue shade called haint blue because it makes ceilings appear higher and is rumored to deter wasps.
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.
This casual dining area features a freestanding custom replica of a ship’s table surrounded by banquette seating. A retro-nautical light fixture hangs overhead.
Lend a sense of history to newer homes with salvaged or reclaimed wood. It’s environmentally friendly and provides a welcome contrast to newer building components.
Look for unexpected nautical finds that can be used as art, such as these antique oars.
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.
Old books, buoys, and antiques lend history to this coastal cabin. Glass-pane doors extend the space visually and ensure plenty of natural light.
Vintage signs are a proven way to add vintage charm and give your space a graphic punch.
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.