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Style Guide: Coastal Cottage

Coastal Style

Like clothing and colors, or patterns and prints, home styles come and go as tastes change and new options appear around us. Whether it’s colorful cabinetry or floral wallpaper, what’s “In” today may not be tomorrow.

With its laid-back, casual design elements, Coastal Cottage design has been around for some time and continues to grow in popularity. Often including blue, green, aqua, and sand colors, this iconic style will make any room or home look and feel like the beach is just a few steps away.

Although Coastal styles can generally be accredited to homes along the shore, the overarching theme can vary from location to location. Pacific Island styles vary from New England themes, for example. However, modern Coastal Cottage looks tend to share some common elements across the board.

Here are a few of the design elements that you can use to create a beachfront feel no matter how far from the water you actually live.

Beachy, but not Necessarily Nautical

Coastal Cottage style can include nautical elements but is not necessarily nautical by nature. A more nautical style would include anchors, lighthouses, seashells, and other marine features while Coastal Cottage is defined by more natural elements such as earth tones, crisp whites, natural accents like driftwood, and beachy colors like ocean blues.

Coastal Cottage creates a relaxed, casual atmosphere like a day at the beach in the summer sun.

Natural Colors and Accents

Many Coastal themes use the natural beach environment as the inspiration for colors, materials, and other accents. With sandy tans, grassy greens, and ocean or sky blues for accents, many cottages decorated in Coastal styles can feel like an extension of the surrounding landscape.

You are also likely to find a little coral pink and sunny yellow mixed in for good measure.

Comfy, Practical Furnishings

Coastal Cottage style can include a variety of furnishings but anyone who has vacationed at the shore probably remembers summer evenings on the porch or patio with friends and family comfortably parked in wicker or rattan furniture.

Bring the outside in with wicker furnishings dressed in neutral, earthy tones, or with colorful cushions that match your own unique theme.

Or, paint the woven textures and add your own spin and style to the room.

Natural Elements as Decoration

Bring the outside in by decorating with beachy accessories such as driftwood frames or candle holders, seashells or sand dollars, white and blue striped pillows, and other, natural items. Be sure to check whether it’s legal to harvest driftwood first – some communities do not allow it to be removed from the beach.

Fill a large vase with beach glass (or sea glass) and have fun searching for hidden treasures will create a unique, colorful accessory. You can even make a game or contest out of the hunt.

No matter what style you choose or how you decide to decorate your home, there are no rules to follow when picking the colors and accents that make your house feel like a home. Just dive in and decorate, the result will be uniquely yours.

Published: July 13, 2021

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