Design School 101: Modern Coastal Style

{via Lark & Linen}

It took me years to put a name to my style. And, truth be told, I think it it will continue to evolve. But for now* it has a name and it’s Modern Coastal (perhaps with a side of transitional and some boho chic sprinkled in there.)


Before I had any sort of name, though, I had no direction. Which, by the way, made decorating and shopping challenging to say the least. I was like a distracted puppy running from scent to scent in any home store I walked into. I had a house (and shopping cart) full of gorgeous things; but nothing seemed to make sense together.

You too? Anyone been there?

If yes, then this series is for you. Last week we conquered the TRANSITIONAL STYLE (cliff notes version: a wonderful blend of modern and traditional decor.)

But today, let’s flip the scrip on Coastal Style.

Now, when you hear “coastal style” you MAY immediately think of anchors and oars and seashell EVERYthing. Don’t worry, that’s not the direction we’re headed today. That’s why I’ve thrown “modern” in the mix. Modern Coastal is an updated and more fresh version. It works best when those beachy vibes are conveyed with a measure of restraint, through a feeling or a mood as opposed to an overly themed space.

Sound scary? Keep scrollin’…we’ll walk you through it:

{via Megan Bauchmann Interiors}

Color: Layer it up with neutrals! Tone on tone whites, beiges and “griege” are perfect for modern coastal spaces. Barely there blues and soft pastels work as well; just be sure to stay away from TOO many color schemes. That could end up giving your space a disjointed feel.

{via Lark & Linen}

Lighting: The hallmark of the modern coastal style. Let light in wherever possible. Let the outside (even if it’s not an ocean view) take center stage. Blur the line between exteriors and interiors. All of these elements combined will make your guests feel relaxed and peaceful.

{via Gray Malin}

Window Treatments: Keep them simple. Do nothing to obscure the view. White or natural linen roman shades are a wonderful way to enhance windows without taking away from what is beyond them.

Furniture: Go for casual chic. Light natural woods, clean lines with a few sleek elements thrown in there to contrast to the abundance of organic elements. Furniture should feel casual and welcoming; however don’t sacrifice elegance. Keep things simple and streamlined and somewhat tailored. Soften up sofas with an abundance of pillows and throws that give your eye a place to land; yet enhance the breezy feel of the space.

{via One Kings Lane}

Fabrics: Think crisp and clean. Since the backdrop of modern coastal is largely white and neutral, be sure to mix in loads of texture. Natural fiber rugs (sisal, cotton, jute) and floaty sheers. Pillows are a great way to add playful patterns. While they probably shouldn’t be TOO bold; the occasional unexpected pattern is a wonderful part of Modern Coastal Decor.

Finishes: Matte paint and honed marble are wonderful ways to keep this coastal palette consistent throughout the whole house. Aged brass, matte black and polished nickel lend a modern feel.

{via Studio McGee}

Materials: Natural fibers (rattan is a great choice), some accent shiplap (try not to go overboard here) and light weathered wood are all key elements in a Modern Coastal home. Don’t be afraid to add in some unexpected metallics or leathers here as well.

Truly, I could go on and on about this style. It’s easy and inviting and so very CRISP, wouldn’t you say?

I hope this edition of “Find Your Style” served you well!

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