Coastal Bedroom Decorating: Elements of the Seaside Style
In the wintertime, if you’re like most, the beach is where you aspire to be. Actually, most of us would choose to wiggle our toes in the sand the better part of the year.
If you’re nodding in agreement, then why not choose to convert your bedroom, where you rest and relax, to a coastal-themed space? Certain elements are a natural fit for coastal feel; and when combining these, it is not difficult to transform your bedroom into a vacation-like space you’ll never want to leave.
Where Do I Start?
Start with inspiration. Photographs. Pinterest. And start an Interior Decorating Style Board to organize your thoughts, ideas and decisions.
To begin, nothing is more inspiring and budget-friendly than color – but there is more to coastal than color. Think of the overall experience of a walk on a beach on a sunny, early summer morning. Shimmering blues, turquoises and greys, weathered woods, gnarly driftwoods, polished flat stones, billowy white sails, frothy waves, salty breezes, circling gulls and seashells in the sand. Coastal is a casual, comfortable experience; it is blue, gray, white, it is texture and natural, it is outside, uncluttered, airy and open. It is a clear, unobstructed view of the water, sky, sand and waves. It can be thematic, with maritime items, or high-key faded pastel, or monochromatic… whatever you wish. I’m just here as your guide to make suggestions!
Okay, So What About Color?
Think of the foundational colors of the beach. Neutral, light textured tan (sand) underfoot. Grays and blues from the horizon line and all around. White clouds above. Can you see it?
There you go…do what you like, but that’s one suggestion for your foundational paint and flooring choices, forming the basis – the canvas – of your decor. Super-light blues or grays for your walls, white for ceiling and trim, light sandy brown (natural or weathered wood) for your flooring. The rest will build from textures, fabrics, furnishings and hardware.
Another note about color before we proceed. Limit any bold, lower-key or striking accent colors (like reds, darker turquoise or even navy) to about 5%, because these will draw attention and focus – and that’s counter to a relaxing atmosphere. Too much red or stark contrast or busy color patterns? Not relaxed. Not at all. Bring interest with texture.
Beachy Textures and Fabrics
Barefoot in the sand. Twisted driftwood and windworn rocks. Wood shingles beaten by winds and washed with salty air. Gauze and linen curtains rising and falling on the breeze.
At this point, your ceiling, walls, trim and floor should be a plain backdrop, like the beach, sea and sky – absent of ornate, heavy or busy patterns. Shiplap or wainscoting is a popular wall, ceiling or floor treatment, and simple, plain 1” x 4” baseboard, window and door trim are basic but beautiful.
Below are some examples of coastal textures, when applied to the canvas of your painted room, that will evoke a sensory adventure. Think natural, think windworn – but clean and fresh. Use these textural finishes and fabrics in furniture, curtains, rugs, throw pillows and bedding…and be creative to incorporate these in the larger furnishings, accessories and decorative items. If you feel you are at risk of injecting too much pattern or texture, read my post about Finding Harmony in Home Decorating Patterns…it might help!
- Whitewash, natural or distressed wood
- Gauze, linen, flour-sack
- Rocks/polished stones
- Clear, frosted or colored glass
- Coral and shells
- Natural matchstick shades or grommet curtains
- Cotton weaves
- Wood shingles
Furnishings, Decorative Items and Hardware Ideas
By this point, you’re well on your way to finishing out your dream bedroom. The perfect color is on the wall, whitewashed furniture is in place, natural wood flooring is down, woven cotton rug is laid, gauze curtains up (just suggestions…really). Almost done.
But there’s nothing on the wall…and no decor on that end table! Never fear…I have some ideas for you. And as always, Pinterest has the greatest visual collection of crafts imaginable, as we all love budget-friendly ideas!
Maritime-themed and Found Objects: Boats, Decorative knots/Rope-wrapped items, Dock cleats, Oars, Birds, Sailboats, Compasses/Navigational/Weather devices, Shells, Sand, Driftwood accents.
Storage: Trunks, wicker baskets, weathered wood shelving or crates
Landscapes, Photos, Wall-hangings: Oceanic, beach, sky, black and white gallery vacation photos, neutral macrame or tapestry wall hangings, collections of shells and natural items (shadow boxes, shelf vignettes).
Lighting: Vintage lanterns, candle centerpieces, glass pendants, colored or clear glass mason jars wrapped in netting or accented with twisted rope.
Hardware: Dock cleats for hooks, rope/sisal/macrame loops for drawer handles or curtain hooks, glass knobs, shells or coral for drawer pulls.
Sleeping in Your Sand Castle
So whether you decide to just vacation at the beach, or set up your own oasis at home, I hope this post has helped. For those at risk of going a little “overboard” with themed decor, try to keep the palm fronds and hammocks at a minimum…unless you prefer your bedroom to look like the set of Gilligan’s Island – in that case, go for it!
Do you like the coastal style? If so, why? Share in the comment section below!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”