How To Add Understated Coastal Style Decor

Escape from it all in your own home! In this post you’ll learn how to bring understated coastal style decor into your home, whether you live by the sea or not.

driftwood farmhouse table coastal style decor

Coastal style decor is having a moment! That being said, I believe in subtlety, both in life and in design and decor. A quiet home can help bring peace and tranquility to your days. Quiet in design, although your environment may be bustling outside. Soft colors in sun bleached whites, pale blue and green hues of the sea, and washed beiges of the sand. You can achieve these looks with fabrics, paint finishes, furniture selections and accessories.

beach house wall shelf and sconces shabbyfufu

No Margaritaville or taxidermy fish please! Vintage and collectible pieces add much to the cottage charm instead. Think driftwood, natural fibers and elements from the sea. I believe in a great modern mix of vintage and new!

vintage beach coastal salvage bottles sea shells

Best Tips For Adding Subtle Coastal Style Decor To Your Home

  • Start with comfortable and casual furniture and wood tones that have a bleached out effect. Wicker, rattan and bamboo are timeless, as well as driftwood and teak for outdoor living.
  • Sea shells are always at home for a beach feel. Just don’t go overboard and try to bring in larger pieces, either real or faux.
  • Add VINTAGE is always my mantra and will give your coastal style decor a unique look. Keep clutter to a minimum, as always.
  • Keep the color scheme pale and allow your accessories to suggest that coastal look.

beach house breakfast bar shabbyfufu

There is an ebb and flow just like the sea in decorating. While updating my own style over the years I doubt that my excitement over finding something great at a flea market will ever wane. That being the case, I have quite a bit of vintage here at the beach, because I’ve had great luck in finding inexpensive pieces close by. Like the shell encrusted bottle, the vintage demijohn, the incredible pair of vintage architectural corbels and that blue wood box on the bottom shelf.

coastal style decor beach house dining room shabbyfufu

We built the our dining room table and you can read more about that here if you are a DIY enthusiast.

Favorite Paint Colors For Coastal Style Decor

These are some of our favorite coastal tones, and keep in mind that you can have your paint store add less tint to the mix for a more pale hue. Use these on furniture that you want to update…not just walls!

sea washed paint colors coastal style decor

    mercury glass candles florentine trays coastal style decor

One thing that you WON’T see here is that sort of contrived. Let’s stay far away from that please and be suggestive instead.

coastal dining room

These are some of my styling props and every day objects that I store in a glass door step back vintage cabinet. In this post you can see more of the cabinet and the room. All of the above was found inexpensively over years of careful curating and shopping both local and on-line.

blue glass beach collectibles

Vintage glass or even new glass in blues and sea greens are perfect for summer and a coastal feel. These are old glass grapes and I’ve set them into a vintage bowl that has gilded gold trim…

farmhouse beach table

Anything sea shell and everything from the sea are wonderful ways to evoke that natural beach feeling. Although this tablescape is at our beach home it could be anywhere and make it feel like a weekend on the coast. My tips would be to keep it simple and always understated…

farmhouse table beach cottage

Old glass fishing floats in a mother of pearl style bowl, a foam boat buoy that I found recently washed up on the beach and that encrusted bottle are placed down the center of the table and add color and suggest an escape to the coast.

beach vases

Originally published 6/16 and updated 7/20


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  1. Denise Santa Maria says:

    Hi, I really love the glass coffee table that is shown on the first page of the email. Can you tell me where you found it? Thanks so much. Denise

  2. where did you buy that gorgeous glass topped shelf in the second picture? really love all your decorating.

  3. I love the coastal look! I am going to look for a shuttered fireplace cover for the summer and fall. I do have many coastal decorations from living on the East Coast for many years. Thank you for such great ideas again today❤️

  4. In the dining room picture above there is a painting of a water scene with striking flamingos… I am wild for it! Do you if it’s available anywhere? Thanks! Shannon

    1. Hi Shannon, I got that piece years ago at a local garage sale and it was done by the talented homeowner. It’s one of a kind