Your home is your sanctuary from the outside world.

Whether you’re wanting to overhaul your current decor or need to freshen up a space, coastal design offers an elegant and tranquil way to decorate your home. The colours and feel of the seaside provide a timeless elegance and won’t go out of fashion anytime soon.

From beach cottage casual to upscale villa living, these seaside chic decor ideas will brighten up your space and breathe fresh new life into your home.

Coastal Colours

The very first step to creating a home with a beachy vibe is choosing a colour palette to set the stage for everything else. A coastal palette is naturally cool and calming, but don’t feel like you’re restricted to only using blue tones. Keeping things light and bright should be the goal. Here are some ways to begin to bring your coastal theme to life with colour.

Sandy hues

Warm, natural tones from taupe to khaki are reminiscent of soft sand and provide a light, neutral base for any room. To avoid the dreaded beige overload of the 90s, consider choosing an accent colour to complement the neutral tones and keep things from becoming too monochromatic.

Watery blues and greens

Nothing says ‘seaside’ quite like the beautiful blue colour of the ocean. The bad news is that since the Caribbean has so many different hues to choose from, it can be hard to decide on a colour. The good news is that greens and blues can blend well together. Take inspiration from the ocean itself. The water is lighter close to shore, and gets darker as the water deepens. Blues and greens can be as light as an early morning sky, as bold as the turquoise water near Sandy Spit, or as dark as the deep, navy blue ocean on the horizon.

Crisp whites

For a truly bright and breezy feel, you can’t go wrong with a clean white colour palette. White and ivory hues are naturally bright, and daylight lights up your rooms allowing your personality to shine through. Picture crisp clouds and soft breezes through linen curtains to inspire your clean colour story.

Bold ‘tropicals’

A coastal colour palette doesn’t have to be all beach all the time. The vibrant colours of the tropics are as varied as the people of the Caribbean. Corals and pinks make great accent colours for turquoise and teal, and yellows can really brighten up a kitchen or bath. Purples and oranges provide other bold choices that can provide a great complement to neutrals and remind people of the beautiful flowers of the tropics.

Don’t leave wallpaper out of the mix either. Modern wallpapers can bring muted texture to an area large or small, and keep walls interesting without needing to add accent colours that create a jarring contrast for the eye.


Island living is outdoor living with the beauty of nature surrounding your home, creating comfortable and welcoming outdoor spaces for relaxing and taking it all in. Hammocks and swing chairs are a tropical staple and invite guests to stay a while.

Keep the coastal feel going with furniture choices that bring the outdoors in. Driftwood tables  bring a natural element to a living space or entryway. Wicker and rattan pieces aren’t just for the patio anymore; they add texture to rooms that can normally feel one-dimensional or flat.

Make sure furniture choices are as functional as they are beautiful. Ottomans and stools can be moved from one room to another and from indoors to out, depending on where extra seating is needed. Comfort is key in creating a relaxing, welcoming space. Don’t be afraid to mix traditional pieces with more modern or artistic ones to create visual contrast.

Rugs not only provide a soft place for your feet, they can tie an entire room together. Geometric patterns add movement, while solid colours with texture create an anchor for other pieces of furniture. Layering rugs is a great way to bring natural fibres like jute indoors, while a vibrant coloured piece brings another visual element into the room.

Artful Accents

Classic coastal design truly comes to life in the small details of a room. Artwork choices can be very literal and depict beach scenes or boats, or be more conceptual and invoke the flavour of the sea with images of coral or shells.

Framed starfish, sand dollars and sea fans create a more lively and natural way to decorate a wall, while oars and paddles bring the feel of the sailing life into your home.

Lamps not only provide light, but keep a continuous coastal feel throughout various spaces. Lantern sconces in the bedrooms harken to the yachting lifestyle, while glass bases wrapped with rope or nets bring the fishing industry to mind. Seashells and other natural elements can also create interesting lighting choices without adding weight to a room.

Plants bring the beautiful, natural world indoors. Tropical flowers provide colour and lush green palms and other potted plants liven and freshen a space.

Bedrooms and bathrooms need to be the most relaxing areas in a home, so keep accessories to a minimum to reduce visual (and literal) clutter.

At the end of the day, you will want to walk into your home and feel the peace. Kick off your shoes, grab a cocktail, and enjoy the relaxing vibe of your seaside-chic sanctuary.

Photography by Don Hebert