How to Easily Create a Chic and Practical Coastal Vibe

Love the pillows in this photo? They are custom Marika Meyer Textiles!

What makes a home feel like it belongs on the coast? How do you create interiors that inspire the feelings of a beautiful, expansive beach or waves crashing on the shore? I’ll tell you — the answer does not necessarily involve kitschy beach-themed items, though I’ll never shy away from seashells or some sculptural coral. Much of that coastal feeling can be conveyed by creating a home that is more casual and approachable. Durable materials, relaxed patterns, lots of texture and casual upholstery all provide the feel of a relaxed environment where you can kick back and enjoy the views.

Soft shades of blue and green in these two dining spaces bring the colors of the ocean inside. Durable acrylic chairs are a great casual option in a beach house - and they easily wipe clean! Melting popsicles? No problem! The vapor chair from CB2 is an affordable and stylish option.

This dining area is a perfect example of a not so literal translation of coastal style. The casual light fixture combined with the woven chair backs, sisal rug and paper-backed fabric walls all contribute to a laid back, relaxed space. Why not mix a natural rattan dining chair in with a more traditional indoor chair to get that beach vibe in your dining room? There are options that run the gamut on price. I especially love this affordable option from Pier 1, because you know your kids are going to sit down in their wet bathing suits!

Pale green is a personal favorite that reminds me of sea glass, but it is also a less traditional color choice in beachfront decor. In this space, the soft green and natural linen upholstery combine to create the ultimate serene library. Adding a skirt to upholstered furniture is a simple, subtle way to lend a more relaxed feeling to a room. Here, a fairly formal sofa is given a casual edge with a kick-pleated skirt.

There are so many different ways to go with the kitchen, but the goal should be to create an informal space for family and friends to gather whether it is after a day at the beach, or for dinner party prep featuring some fabulous local seafood! In the kitchen on the left, it’s all about natural materials - a bamboo desk chair, a vintage table. To the right, that tile backsplash in the palest blue/green says it all.

Tabletop is key to setting the stage for your family barbecue or summer dinner party. Some of my favorite items are casual and neutral, but have loads of texture!

In this bathroom, we were thrilled to work with our client’s fabulous artwork. These extra large, ultra graphic fish are a favorite in the office and were a no brainer in this stunning master bath. What better way to give a nod to a coastal location than with an abstract interpretation of sea life?

Here are a few more of my favorite pieces in fashion and decor that convey that casual, relaxed oceanfront feeling, that you wish would never end.