Beach house interiors: 18 ways to get the coastal look

Love beach house interiors? Well don't need to live anywhere near the sea to recreate those laid back, coastal vibes...

Beach house interiors
(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

Feeling inspired by all the beach house interiors that floating around Instagram at them moment? Well, hey, we don't think you need to live anywhere near the sea to recreate those relaxed coastal interiors. But before you go buying anything and everything that comes in a crab print, or a load of wall art that says something like Life is better at the beach, there is a right way to do the coastal trend, so keep scrolling for plenty of subtle seaside inspired design ideas...

For more living room ideas make sure you check out our gallery too. 

1. Beach house design is all about layering up on texture

Beach style living room with layers on natural materials

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

Coastal interiors aren't all about blue stripes and miniature ships in bottles. You can create all the beach house interiors by layering up lots of different fabrics and materials. Rugs, cushions, baskets, wall hangings can all be incorporated into your current space to create that relaxed, laid back feel that the coastal look is all about.

And can we just talk about that driftwood coffee for a sec? Coastal inspired homeware at its best. For a similar table have a look on Wayfair

Get some more inspiration from our white living rooms feature. 

2. Add blue hues to a beach house living room

Coastal-style living room with blue rug and bare floorboards

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

Combine the traditional seaside look and the more contemporary, rustic beach house look by keeping with the whole mix of materials thing, but adding in a few hints of blue. We love how this blue carpet looks against the limewashed floor, and the cushions are just the right amount of nautical without venturing into Life's better at the beach territory. 

If you want more tips on how to bring these ocean hues into your space, head over to our blue room ideas

3. Beach house furniture: go for a simple lines and tons of comfort

Coastal inspired living room

Keep things simple and classic with clean lines and a blue and white colour palette. This is definitely a more grown up take on seaside style: the whitewashed walls and a pale floor work perfectly with the deep blue sofa and light grey cushions. Add in some wooden accents to stop the look becoming too matchy matchy and a few stylish coastal accessories (check out that porthole mirror) to bring the look together. 

If you are after a new sofa to go in your coastal inspired living room, make sure you have a read through our guide to buying a sofa

4. Invest in a subtly striped sofa 

Coastal inspired living room by dfs

(Image credit: dfs)

If your love of coastal interiors goes beyond a few anchors printed on cushions and a shell wallhanging, think about investing in a classic striped sofa as the focal point of your living room. We love this sofa from dfs; the stripe is subtle enough so, if your tastes do change, it could be adapted to suit any style. 

5. Or go for a striped armchair

Striped armchair by Vannessa Arbuthnot

(Image credit: Vannessa Arbuthnot)

If you aren't ready to commit to a full on striped sofa, maybe an armchair might be a better idea? We love the Scandi feel of the  Calmsden Armchair, upholstered in Lapland Stripe from Vanessa Arbuthnott. Why not pinch this idea and mix the soft coastal look with more striking pieces like sculptural dark wooden furniture? Rugged, Mid-century, coastal style? You saw it here first. 

6. Beach house decorating ideas on a budget: Upcycle furniture 

Coastal style sideboard painted with a shabby chic effect

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

If you want to bring some coastal interiors into your home but don't want to fork out for new furniture, try upcycling some of your existing pieces. The white washed, shabby chic look is key in coastal interiors, and conveniently we have a step-by-step guide to creating a rustic paint effect. Once you are happy with the result, complete the look by adding a few nautically-inspired accessories. 

7. Pick pretty pastel paints for your walls

Summer house interior ideas

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

A  quick and easy way to get a lovely, light, beach house look is to use paint. Give your walls a lick of a new coastal colour to instantly transform it into a room that just feels like it belongs by the sea. We love this lovely duck egg blue, it works so nicely with creams and wooden accents. Make sure you check out the rest of this gorgeous lakeside summerhouse, you'll find loads of inspiration there. 

8. Switch up your bedding for a beach house bedroom ideas

Coastal inspired bedroom

Moving on from how to get the coastal look into your living room to how you can incorporate it in your bedroom, we reckon the easiest way to bring any trend into a bedroom is with bedding because it's quick to do and it's (relatively) cheap. For coastal interiors, the obvious choice to go for is stripes, but we also love the relaxed look of linen bedsheets, in sea-inspired colours – think calming blues, crisp whites and sandy beige. 

9. Match a subtle colour palette with wood for a calming space

Coastal style bedroom

(Image credit: Argos)

If the more traditional blue and nautical stripes aren't quite your thing but you love the light, airy feel of coastal interiors, a simple neutral palette can be just as effective at evoking those holiday feels. Layer up different weathered coastal colours and add natural materials for plenty of texture and interest. When adding accessories, arrange them in small groups, in a haphazard way, in keeping with the whole informal look. 

Love the shiplap style headboard in this bedroom? We've got a whole feature dedicated to DIY headboard ideas, and you can actually make something similar yourself, so make sure you go and have a snoop over there. 

10. Create a rustic coastal look in your dining room

Coastal inspired dining area

(Image credit: Argos)

Much like the bedroom above, there's not a sea shell in sight in this gorgeous dining room, but you still get that beachy feel because of the neutral colour palette and all those natural elements. We love the big vase of natural grass as a contrast to all those pale colours; you could obviously source the real thing but Wayfair actually do some pretty realistic looking versions. 

11. Add pops of blue to an all white space

living diner in a Swedish island home

(Image credit: Anne Nyblaeus/A Design Features)

Ah, back to white and blue. Again. A quick way to get that coastal look in your dining room is to switch out your dining chairs oooor you could even paint your current ones in a lovely sea blue. Something like Farrow & Ball's Stone Blue or Cook's Blue would work well in a coastal style interior.

If you do want to give painting your dining chairs a go, have a read through our guide to how to paint furniture to get you started. You might want to check out our pick of the best furniture paints too. 

12. Beach house kitchens need a coastal display

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

You can bring some of that coastal style into your kitchen without having to whitewash the entire thing. If you have any glass fronted or open cabinetry use this to display glass jars, small wicker baskets and nice pieces of crockery. Ramp up the seaside feel by adding some driftwood sculptures, rattan lanterns and seagrass wall hangings. 

13. Or paint your kitchen cabinets white

All white kitchen

If you want to take the look even further, an all white kitchen is a sure fire way to add that airy, coastal feel to your space. You could even paint your cabinets yourself, just follow our step-by-step guide to how to paint kitchen cabinets. Lift the look with a wooden worktop as a contrast and pick out kitchenware that has a touch of colour to it (more on that next).

Love this kitchen? You are going to want to check out our white kitchen ideas then. 

14. Pick out some coastal tableware 

Coastal inspired tableware from John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

If you are after a quick, budget-friendly way to bring in a bit of that seaside charm, pick out a few pieces of of tableware. This collection from John Lewis is just the right amount of seaside without becoming too twee. Note how there is a healthy mix of your obviously sea inspired motifs (starfish, crabs, etc) and non-maritime prints too, to keep the look fresh and modern.   

15. Bring elegant coastal decor to your bathroom 

Coastal style bathroom with striped towels and blue bath tub

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Bathrooms are possibly one of the easiest rooms to incorporate the beach house interiors trend as the colours just lend themselves so well to the space. Just look to add a few key pieces – coastal style towels, classic motifs like fish and anchors, anything that's made of shells. Just don't go over board (ha ha). A porthole style mirror or some rope baskets for bathroom storage can be all it takes to add that relaxed, on-trend feel. 

16. Pick a cool blue for a coastal style hallway

Little Greene Bone China Blue Mid

(Image credit: Little Greene)

A subtle beach house interior is perfect for a hallway because it brings with it all the hallway must-haves: a soft, pale wall colour that reflects light, bags of natural materials to make it feel welcoming, practical surfaces (think: wooden or stone flooring) and cute, but uncluttered accessorising. We love this very low-key take. Bone China in Mid Blue paints are by Little Greene. Find more pretty hallway paint ideas in our guide.

17. Take the beach house look into your garden 

Hammock in a garden by a lake

(Image credit: Nordic House)

Don't limit the beach house look to your interiors, get those vibes going in your garden too! String up a hammock, throw down some striped picnic blankets, dot some lanterns and festoon lights around, dig yourself a lake and there you go. 

18. Create an outdoor living room

Outdoor coastal inspired living room by John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

You could take it even further and set up an outdoor living room. This concept of creating an entirely new living room in your garden has been really popular over the last few summers and they do look particularly gorgeous. You can get garden furniture that's as nice as actual living room furniture now – the John Lewis St. Ives range is a case in point. 

If you want more inspiration on outdoor living ideas, check out our feature. 

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.