The Coastal look has always been a popular choice for holiday homes but the style has recently seen a rise in its popularity, making it’s way into firmly mainstream decorating as well. It is perhaps not so much a revival (as my title suggests) as a re-appropriation.
In general, Coastal decorating sets to highlight the lifestyle and luxury of beach side living. Think soft linen furnishings, lime washed or chalk painted furniture pieces, hessian, sisal and jute, recycled glassware, driftwood, shells, candles and ALOT of distressed wood!
Get the look;
If you want to add touches of this theme to your current decor, it is usually pretty simple, provided you have a fairly neutral base. By choosing your key furniture pieces in neutral tones, you can quickly and easily alter you theme to breathe fresh air into your living spaces. What do they say…. a change is as good as a holiday- it’s never truer than with this theme; by adding some coastal elements to your home, you might just feel like you have had a short sojourn somewhere exotic.
The easiest way to change a room is by changing your soft furnishings; cushions and lamp shades for a living room for example, or Manchester for your bedroom.
Undoubtedly this style features a variety of blues tones paired with white, sometimes with greys, beige or aqua/turqoise highlights. The result is light and airy, fresh and calm.
How to Use flowers or plants;
Plants are generally pretty undervalued, but they are a favourite in my house, because there is nothing I hate more than cleaning vase water….even after 15 years of floristry (or perhaps especially so). I love this simple idea of planting succulents in a shell home. Succulents do require good drainage so consider a charcoal based potting mix.
To continue with the coastal theme it makes sense to feature tropical foliage such as Ferns, Monsteria, or Anthurium leaves alone in a vase, or with simple white or soft blue flowers; the leafy greens will make the room feel fresh and bright and will not detract from the other elements within. You could use scented Oriental lilies, Hydrangea, Gardenias, Peonies or Roses to add a softness to the room. Despite the theme being coastal, interestingly, it rarely utilises tropical flowers such as Anthuriums or Heliconias, largely because of the basic colour palette, but also as tropical flowers tend to have a more plastic-like texture, and lack the softness and luxury of the more feminine blooms that are favoured.
You could also consider simple decorating ideas such as floating flower heads in a bowl, which is easy for even the least creative person. Lilies are a great choice for this, or Frangipanis are also perfect (but are only available through the warmer months)
Many plain items can be upcycled to easily match this theme- think about adding rope to a basic glass vase, white washing tired wooden furniture, adding sand, shells and starfish to transparent vessels, add a piece of driftwood to your sideboard (and if you are game, create your own air plant and succulent garden in it)
As with any style, Coastal isn’t going to be for everyone, and some homes will not be easily transformed into an Oceanic Oasis. BUT if light and bright, soft and airy is for you- Coastal Chic may be just what you are looking for….