Dreaming of that ultimate beach house vibe? Sand between your toes, salty air in your hair… inside your house? Yes, you heard me right!

I’ve seen too many “beach houses” that look like they belong in the suburbs. Yawn. Don’t worry, I’m here to spill the beans on the 4 must-have interior design features that scream “coastal cool.”

the enclosed front porch to a beach house

Forget seashell knick-knacks and tacky fish decor. We’re going for chic, relaxed, and oh-so-Florida. Ready to transform your home into a beachy paradise? Let’s dive in!

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Natural light

Forget dark, stuffy rooms. Natural light is the holy grail of coastal design. Think big, beautiful windows that let the sunshine flood in, creating an airy, open space that feels like an extension of the beach. I’ve picked up a few clever interior design hacks for maximizing natural light during my travels, and I’m spilling all the secrets here!

Picture windows

These babies are perfect for framing breathtaking views of the ocean, bay, or even your lush tropical landscaping. Imagine waking up to the sunrise over the water every morning! Who needs coffee when you have that kind of view?

French doors

These elegant doors not only let in tons of light but also create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Perfect for those breezy Florida days when you want to let the outside in. Plus, they add a touch of European charm to your home, darling!


If you're feeling extra fancy, consider adding a few skylights to your home. They'll bring in even more natural light and create a dramatic focal point. I have added one to my kitchen for extra natural light and I love it!
Imagine stargazing from the comfort of your own bed! Talk about romance.

wall of windows in a beach house with a killer ocean view

Don’t be afraid to ditch those heavy curtains and drapes. Instead, opt for light, airy fabrics like linen or sheer cotton that filter the light and add a touch of breezy elegance.

Think about it: what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you picture a beach house? It’s probably those bright, airy spaces filled with natural light that make you want to kick off your shoes and relax. From pendant lights that cast a warm glow to chandeliers that add a touch of drama, I’ve got some brilliant lighting hacks (all using natural light, of course!) that’ll make your space shine!

Natural light is the magic ingredient that brings coastal design to life, and it’s not just about aesthetics. Sunlight has tons of benefits, from boosting your mood and energy levels to improving your sleep and overall well-being. So let’s make sure your coastal home is bathed in glorious natural light!

Here are a few more tips for maximizing natural light in your home and making your home more beautiful:

  • Keep windows clean: Sounds simple, but even a thin layer of dirt or grime can significantly reduce the amount of light that enters your home.
  • Trim back trees and shrubs: If you have foliage blocking your windows, consider trimming it back to let in more sunlight.
  • Use mirrors strategically: Mirrors can help bounce light around a room, making it feel brighter and more spacious.
  • Choose light-colored flooring: Dark floors can absorb light, while light-colored floors will reflect it and make your space feel more open.
  • Light-colored walls and ceilings: Similar to flooring, light-colored walls and ceilings will help maximize the amount of natural light in your home.

Remember, natural light is your friend. Embrace it, maximize it, and watch your coastal home come alive with warmth and energy. 


row of colorful beach houses

Coastal design is all about embracing the natural beauty of the beach. That means incorporating the colors you’d find in nature: soft blues, calming greens, warm tans, and cool grays.

  • Blues: From the palest aquamarine to the deepest navy, blue hues are essential for creating a coastal feel. Think of the endless shades of blue in the ocean, from the turquoise waters near the shore to the deep sapphire further out. Bring those colors inside and watch your home transform into a serene oasis.
  • Greens: Think lush palm fronds, seagrass, and mossy rocks. Incorporate these shades into your design for a touch of earthy elegance. Imagine a living room with sage green walls, a natural fiber rug, and pops of bright coral in the throw pillows. It’s like bringing a piece of the beach right into your home!
  • Tans and browns: Sand, driftwood, seashells… These natural elements provide the perfect neutral backdrop for pops of color. Think of a sandy beach with colorful seashells scattered about. You can create that same sense of casual elegance in your home by using these warm, earthy tones.
  • Grays: Whether it’s the misty gray of a foggy morning or the charcoal gray of a stormy sea, this versatile color adds depth and sophistication to your coastal palette. Don’t be afraid of gray! It’s not boring or depressing; it’s actually quite chic and modern when paired with the right colors and textures.

Of course, no coastal color scheme would be complete without a healthy dose of crisp white. Use it on walls, ceilings, and trim to create a bright, airy space that feels fresh and inviting. White is like a blank canvas, allowing the other colors in your palette to shine.

Classic design elements

pretty selections board for a coastal home

Coastal design is all about achieving that perfect balance between tailored elegance and relaxed comfort. Think classic furniture silhouettes with soft, inviting fabrics and finishes.

  • Slipcovered sofas and chairs: These beauties are perfect for coastal living because they’re stylish yet durable, and the slipcovers can easily be removed and washed when life (or the dog) gets messy. Plus, they add a touch of casual elegance to any room.
  • Wicker and rattan furniture: These natural materials are a staple of coastal design. Use them indoors and out to create a cohesive look that’s both stylish and functional. Think a wicker porch swing overlooking the ocean or a rattan dining set for al fresco meals.
  • Linen upholstery: This breezy fabric is perfect for coastal living because it’s breathable, durable, and always looks chic. Linen has a natural texture that adds visual interest and depth to your furniture.
  • Ticking stripe patterns: This classic pattern is a coastal design staple. Use it on pillows, upholstery, or even walls to add a touch of nautical charm. But don’t go overboard! A little ticking stripe goes a long way.

Natural woven textures

One of the easiest ways to bring the beachy vibe into your home is by incorporating natural woven textures like rattan, bamboo, jute, and seagrass.

  • Rattan and bamboo: These materials are perfect for adding a touch of tropical flair to your coastal decor. Use them for furniture, lighting, or even wall art. Think bamboo blinds, rattan pendant lights, or a woven wall hanging. These natural materials add warmth and texture to your space.
  • Jute and seagrass: These natural fibers are perfect for adding texture and warmth to your floors. Use them for rugs, carpets, or even wall coverings. Imagine a jute rug underfoot in your living room or a seagrass wall covering in your bedroom. It’s like bringing the beach right into your home!
  • Woven baskets: These versatile storage solutions are perfect for keeping clutter at bay while adding a touch of coastal charm to your home. Use them to store blankets, towels, magazines, or even toys.

Remember, the key is to use these textures in moderation. Too much of a good thing can quickly become overwhelming.

Construction Materials: Think Natural and Durable

source: foyr.com

When it comes to construction materials, coastal design favors natural, durable materials that can stand up to the elements.

  • Wood: Exposed wood beams, hardwood floors, and wood paneling are all great options for adding warmth and character to your coastal home. Wood has a timeless appeal that never goes out of style.
  • Plaster walls: This textured finish is perfect for creating a relaxed, beachy vibe. It’s also durable and easy to clean, making it a practical choice for busy households.
  • Matte painted surfaces: Avoid high-gloss finishes, which can look too formal. Instead, opt for matte paints that create a more relaxed, casual feel. Matte finishes also tend to hide imperfections better than high-gloss paints, so they’re a good choice for high-traffic areas.

Other coastal design styles to explore

While the classic Hamptons style is a popular choice for coastal design, there are other styles you might want to explore:


This style embraces the seafaring traditions of the coast, with elements like rope accents, shiplap walls, and navy blue and white stripes.


This style is more laid-back and casual, with a focus on light and airy fabrics, distressed finishes, and beach-inspired decor like seashells and starfish.


This style brings the lushness of the tropics indoors, with vibrant colors, bold patterns, and plenty of greenery.


This style is inspired by the sun-drenched coasts of the Mediterranean, with warm terracotta tones, wrought iron accents, and a focus on outdoor living spaces.

From sun-kissed beaches in Spain to the rugged coastlines of Ireland, I’ve seen it all (and you can shop your own favorite coastal finds in different online shops and retailers, too!

The takeaway

Remember, coastal design is all about creating a space that feels personal and inviting. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles, textures, and colors to create a look that’s uniquely yours. And most importantly, have fun with it! Ready to create your dream coastal oasis? Let’s chat! Book a consultation and let’s bring your vision to life.

Your coastal home should be a place where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of the beach. So go ahead and experiment with different design elements until you find the perfect combination that makes you feel happy and at peace.

Keep Dancing, Darlene