Whether you live by the sea, own a beach house, rent a furnished home in a coastal town, or simply wish to incorporate the natural, relaxing ambiance of a waterfront property in your inland abode, the coastal living room stylings I’m about to reveal will inspire you and help you recreate that cozy coastal feel in your own living space. The idea of coastal décor often elicits visions of blues, teals, and whites with starfish, seashells, and marine life artwork. While all of these aspects are definitely part of this unique style, the concept is so much more than that.
In the paragraphs that follow, I’m going to talk about what coastal décor entails, some styling rules you should follow if you want to create this type of look in your own home. Also, some images of classic cozy coastal living rooms to set you on the right path to styling your living room with a coastal feel.
What Makes for a Cozy Coastal Living Room?
A coastal living room style is many things. It is airy and bright while promoting relaxation and calm. It incorporates nature including natural materials and fibers such as wood, wicker, woven fabrics, and textiles like linen and cotton.
The color palette is simple, taking cues from the sand and sea. The overall vibe should make you feel as if you could step out the door and onto the beach – even if you can’t.
There are several different versions of the coastal style, but the most popular seems to have a modern, minimalist vibe to it that’s fresh, relaxed, and cozy.
Cozy Coastal Elements To Look Out For
- Natural elements
- Neutral walls and/or furniture pieces
- Jute rug
- Wicker baskets
- Wooden beams
- Pops of bright colors like blues and greens
- Artwork that feels like you’re at the beach
6 Things to Consider When Styling Your Coastal Living Room
Being by the water, whether it’s a lake or the sea, often brings about feelings of serenity and relaxation. These are the feelings you should strive to achieve in your coastal-inspired living room. To help with this, you should consider some or all the suggestions listed below.
1. Wallpaper is a Great Addition
Wallpaper comes in a variety of colors and patterns, with virtually endless possibilities. Using coastal wallpaper, either on a single wall to create an accent wall or on all the walls for a cohesive look, can be both bold or subtle, depending on the vibe you are going for.
If you are creating an accent wall, you might consider something with a large print in an ocean-inspired color palette, or if you want something less striking, a brushstroke-painted background may be a better choice.
2. Embrace Ocean-Themed Artwork
Hanging artwork on the walls is a great way to create the beachy theme you are going for in your living room. The coastal artwork you choose doesn’t have to be a specific beach scene, but rather, an abstract piece that uses a natural color palette can often be more interesting than a simple beach image.
3. Don’t Forget the Seashells
Seashells are classic coastal décor. Having said that, you don’t have to collect seashells to display around your living room (unless you want to). You can incorporate the classic shell design by adding furnishings and textiles with scalloped edges or shell-inspired patterns.
If you love seashells like I do, here are some other ideas to decorate with seashells anywhere in your home.
4. Include Stripes
Stripes, especially stripes in shades of blue, are a great addition to a coastal living room. They add a nautical vibe that’s bold enough to draw attention, yet subtle enough to create a relaxing feel.
If you decide to include stripes in your coastal living room, don’t go crazy. A single striped armchair looks stunning, while a combination of wide and narrow stripes on throw pillows or other accent pieces can add a perfectly nautical touch.
5. Embrace Coastal Colors
Whites, beiges, and blues are classic colors found in coastal décor, with blue being the standout color. Blue elicits feelings of relaxation, serenity, and calm, which is exactly the vibe you want in a coastal living room.
Mix shades of soft blue with white and beige in the summer months, and if you want to give the space a warmer feel in winter, add accents of rust, mustard yellow, and/or other earthy tones, which will make the blues in the room pop.
6. An Alternative to the Blue Coastal Color Palette
If a blue coastal theme isn’t your thing, another great option for a coastal vibe is white combined with neutrals. While many people view a white living room as luxurious or clinical, by pairing whites with neutral colors found in nature, you create that serene ambiance you only find on the beach.
Consider some white or off-white furnishings, lightweight, breezy sheer curtains, and accent pieces in wood, rattan, wicker, linen, jute, and seagrass to create a not-so-clinical atmosphere with interest.
How to Style a Coastal Living Room
For a true coastal look in your living room, I recommend starting with walls of white. As I mentioned earlier, you can create an accent wall using wallpaper or artwork inspired by the sea, but as a base, white walls are best.
Next, furnishings and window coverings should be neutral, light, and airy. Linens and cotton fabrics can be used to create a casual look, while hues of the sand and sea can be added for subtle pops of color.
Layers of natural materials will add interest to the space. Baskets, soft textures, and light woods are all great choices for accent pieces. Area rugs, throw pillows, and lap blankets are also great additions to further add interest and comfort to the room.
TIP: To keep your space tidy, organize with baskets in spaces like the living room.
Keep in mind that creating a coastal theme can be exciting, so it can be easy to go overboard. The idea is to create an atmosphere that makes you want to relax, but if you get too crazy, you could easily create a space that’s too busy to relax in. Try to restrain yourself when it comes to adding different elements – less is more in a modern coastal style.
Try to avoid overdoing things like anchors, crabs, ropes, signs, lobsters, sea urchins, and nautical themes. These things are okay in small doses, but adding too many can create a cheesy beach vibe rather than an elegant coastal design.
Some Coastal Living Rooms Ideas to Inspire You
If you want to create a coastal look in your living room, take a look at the examples below. These images may just give you the inspiration you need to achieve the relaxing, beachy vibe you want while keeping it cozy.
Simple and Fresh
This unique coastal living room has shiplap planks on the walls to give it an exposed wood look, while the couch has a white slipcover over it so that it fits nicely with the coastal style.
To bring it all together with a nice pop of color, the homeowner has included a striped blue and white area rug. With the large windows and natural accents, this living room is both simple and fresh.
Airy and Inviting
Color is the name of the game in this example. With shades of pastel blues and seagrass greens, this living room is both airy and inviting. The piece of artwork on the wall as well as the throw pillows and white accent pieces bring it all together for a coastal-inspired vibe that you can’t help but love.
This is an example of how orange (rust) pairs well with the blues of a nautical theme in the living room. The white paneled walls give off an exposed wood vibe, while the punch of orange adds warmth to the space for an all-season coastal feel.
If you love the nautical look, here are some nautical bathroom ideas.
In this contemporary coastal living room, the space embraces the sea outside by including hues of blue, white, beige, and occasional pops of coral. What makes this beachy living room so special is the coral and seashell accessories strategically placed around the room.
I also love the window coverings. They are light and airy. Window shades are a great way to add to your coastal living room vibe.
Quaint and Cozy
This coastal living room exudes chic style with a white and soft blue color palette. That plush white sofa and fluffy throw pillow just make me want to snuggle up with a good book while listening to the waves lap the beach. The simplicity of it all is just so calming.
Neutral Family Room
This example coastal family room is done in a neutral palette with soft shades of blue dotting the space with subtle colors. The variety of natural textures and fabrics brings interest to the space and gives it warmth and serenity.
Beach Bungalow Living Room
Last but not least on the cozy beachy living room inspiration is from my first Airbnb project, The Beach Life Bungalow. With a lot of natural light coming in through the windows here, we kept the walls neutral and went with a bold rug and accent pieces.
Each side table was hand painted and found on Facebook Marketplace to make this a budget friendly furnishing project.
You can come stay at this home in Lake Worth, Florida or my most recent short term rental in West Palm Beach. Check out The Palm Beach Bungalows for more info.
Recap Of Cozy Coastal Living Rooms
As you can see, you don’t need to live on the beach to enjoy décor inspired by the sea. Using the right color palette, materials, textiles, and accents will help you create a coastal look and feel in any living room, no matter where it is located. Take the cues I’ve provided above to create a calming, fresh, airy feel in your own living room, and if you have any suggestions you would like to share with us, please do!
Hey, I’m Melissa… As an Airbnb Superhost and someone who is passionate about investing in real estate, I created Beach Life Bliss to share my experiences and help short term rental operators. I have been a landlord for over 10 years and started my first Airbnb property in 2019.
Creating a space with amenities that guests love, beautifully designed rooms, and providing exceptional hospitality will make your Airbnb business thrive.
I hope that all of my Airbnb hosting resources are helpful as you navigate the challenges and rewards of being an Airbnb host!