A well-designed coastal cottage looks comfortable, inviting and effortless but is actually achieved with intention. To get the look in your own home, follow these steps.
Start with a clean, neutral palette. Using white or a very light beige color on the walls will make small spaces feel bright and open by reflecting natural light, lending to the crisp, breezy feel of being at the beach. Expand the palette to mirror colors found on the coast. Subtle blues, browns and even greens all work well in coastal design.
Pops of color, such as coral or sunny yellow, can be surprising and fun, but can feel harsh if overused. Dark, heavy wood pieces can do the same. Limit them to accent pieces such as pillows, a chair or end table, or even light fixtures.
Natural elements are essential to coastal design. Seagrass rugs, linen fabrics, bamboo blinds, rope accents, a piece of driftwood, a jar of shells, a mirror framed in oyster shells, or freshly cut palm fronds are all subtle elements to bring the outdoors in without going overboard. Pulling in nautical pieces, such as a vintage map or ship’s instrument, can expand on this. Elements should draw interest without being a distraction to the overall look.
Mix and match furniture pieces and materials, throwing in new, polished items with weathered, vintage finds. A combination of wood, wicker and soft upholstered pieces lends to a relaxing, casual look. Avoid furniture sets, and if you can’t find the right vintage piece, create your own by distressing a piece you pick up at a garage sale or thrift store.
At its very essence, coastal design should be relaxing and serene, just like vacationing at the beach. Allow the design to unfold through the tips above for an individualized coastal retreat.
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