American Coastal Style

Should evoke a mood or a feeling of casual, breezy, seaside relaxation without bashing you over the head with beachy paraphernalia. American Coastal Style can be broken into subcategories like transitional coastal (my style), coastal cottage, and contemporary coastal. Regardless of which sub-style you prefer, they all have several things in common, tons of natural sunlight, casual furnishings made with natural fibers and textures, ocean inspired color palettes, touches of subtle sparkle from glass and mirrors, and “found”, natural elements from the sea or coast as decor accessories.

Coastal Color Palettes

Choosing the right colors for your walls and decor will immediately help transform your home and give it the feeling of a relaxed coastal environment. The ocean, sky, and sand provide the inspiration for a coastal color palette. Think neutrals like weathered driftwood grays and warm soft sands…Crisp whites like sailboat canvas and sand dollars…Muted greens like beach grass, kelp, and sea glass…Watery sea blues and aquas and..Deep navy and steel grays like the storm clouds over the turbulent oceans.

Let the Light Pour In

Coastal Decor celebrates the sunlight and beautiful vistas. Coastal homes have a multitude of windows allowing natural light to be the main source of illumination in the home. Window treatments are kept simple, light, airy and are rarely ever closed. Think about it, have you ever walked into a beach home that was dark and gloomy? I hope not. So even if you live hundreds of miles inland, go ahead and push back those drapes and let that glorious sunlight pour in. Who would want to obscure a gorgeous beach view anyway?

Casual Furnishings & Natural Fibers

The furniture in coastal decor is anything but stuffy and ostentatious. It should be comfortable and casual, but this does not mean you need to sacrifice style and elegance. Choose natural fibers like rattan, cane, or sea grass for chairs, and jute, sisal, sea grass, or knotted wool for floor coverings.  Slip covered sofas dressed in linen or cotton help keep the look casual, but with kids, a durable utra-suede or outdoor fabrics in sandy shades work well and are practical. Keep linens simple, crisp and clean, and light. And bring in hand painted, distressed accent pieces to round out the look.