It’s only natural that we love coastal style in Aotearoa. Here’s how to bring the beach indoors without a shell, anchor or piece of driftwood in sight
1. Heritage blue
This blue and white bedroom has a classic coastal vibe evoked mainly through colour and texture. Linen is key to this look, as are blue stripes, which carry subtle nautical associations. The bed has been dressed casually in a classic striped blue linen duvet cover and pillowcases, with blue linen scatter cushions, white, fringed and textured euro pillowcases and a linen throw to make it feel relaxed and inviting. A jute braided rug and mirror add some contrasting texture and natural colours, while soft, floaty linen curtains let air and light filter into the room and block out the bright coastal sun. White shutters are another classic option.
Walls & floor
A tongue-and-groove wall effect is a simple way to add an instant coastal update. Not only does this texture bring extra visual interest, it also elongates a space so it appears taller. Sanded and oiled, whitewashed or white-painted floorboards are another great way to create a coastal look with your existing surfaces. There are also plenty of great vinyl options available that will mimic this look if you’re working within a budget.
Pale neutrals, milky white or soft, sandy colours are always a great choice for a beachy backdrop. Muted greens and washed-out blues add a little more colour while still evoking a calming, coastal feel. Natural tones and textures found in the beachside environment should be your palette for this look.
2. Modern monochrome
This more contemporary version of a coastal room is all about contrast. The stylish black surfboard and framed prints evoke summer and look striking against our white tongue-and-groove wall. A white slipcover linen sofa has been laden with a casual mix of contrasting cushions, and a cotton rug anchors the space while adding more dynamic pattern. The real hero of the room is the amazing fish scale coffee table, which adds some unexpected texture while bringing a hint of wildlife into the space.
The type of artwork you choose for your coastal space can be key to creating the right vibe for you and your home. There are lots of great downloadable prints available at very affordable prices from Etsy – try searching for palm trees, surfboards, beaches and water scenes.
For a larger wall, buy a group of prints and hang them together in a cluster. You could also print off some of your favourite beach holiday snaps and add them into the mix. We’ve used black and white pictures to match our modern palette, but you could choose vintage-style images for a retro theme, or nostalgic, sepia-toned imagery for a heritage feel.
When choosing soft furnishings, stick to your colour palette but look for subtle variations in surface texture, pattern and shape. Open-weave rugs in natural fibres are the perfect way to introduce laidback texture into a coastal room. Natural jute is always a great choice, as on the previous page, but here we’ve used a softer cotton rug that adds graphic detail, as well as some fun fringing. On the sofa, a jumble of cushions in shades of black, white and grey each add a little something extra to the space.
Although the coastal look is all about the ocean, creating a connection to nature through plants and flowers will make your coastal space feel more relaxing. Finally, choose a few small decorative elements such as this wall hanging to top off the look.
Shop the heritage blue look:
Abalon mirror, $329, from Freedom. Hunter bedside table, $199.99, Bambury white linen throw, $99.99, Hampton linen curtains, from $99, Hampton duvet cover set, from $199, all from EziBuy. Home Republic Cleo white euro pillowcases, $49.90 each, Home Republic Malmo linen cushions in sky and denim, $69.99 each, Pineapple lamp, $179.99, all from Adairs. Suva chair, $349, Forst jute rug, from $299, both from Nood. Glow blue tumbler, $12.90, from Citta. Walls and floor painted in Resene ‘Alabaster’. Books stylist’s own.
Shop the modern monochrome look:
Surf print, $6.11, from SaraxLara on etsy.com. ‘A day at the beach’ print, $10, from Sydney & Pop. Cuttle wood wall hanging, $179, from Little Additions. Montauk linen sofa, $3900, cotton bridal rug, $779, Rajah scaled coffee table, $1595, Coca Mojo fish scale cushion, $179, black cross (on table), $65, palm mug, $39, all from Republic Home. Carbon rail Mini Mal surfboard, $950, from Fibre Surf. Aloha cushion cover, $89, from Kawaiian Lion. Black stool, $495, Papaya Noah ceramic coasters, $59 for 4, Papaya Camille tall vase, $79, tray, $110, Loobylou Atua candle, $65, all from Indie Home Collective. Bouclair vase, $24.99, Rain ecru cushion, $59.99, both from Spotlight. Living & Co bamboo lantern, $8, from The Warehouse. Beatrice black cushion, $29.95, from Freedom. Planter, $8, from Kmart. Suva chair, $349, from Nood. Wall and floor painted in Resene ‘Alabaster’.
Words and styling by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.