Style guide

Trending: Coastal living room interior design

There are so many ways you can make your coastal living room come to life and achieving this look is simple with my handy guide.

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Coastal living rooms are all about bringing the seashore into your home. Since my living room is the main space where I unwind and kick off my shoes (and I assume it is for you too!), it's easy to see why I find the easy breezy vibe of coastal décor so popular for the lounge.

What is the coastal trend? 

The coastal trend is a new interior trend characterised by creating a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Inspired by the seaside, the colours chosen are usually light, with lots of white and pale blue to mimic a typical beachy palette. 

Made popular through TikTok, the Coastal Grandma trend has certainly revived a love for coastal-inspired décor and fashion.

Coined Coastal Grandma Chic, it’s characterised as imitating the lifestyle of an affluent older woman, most likely living in a coastal town.

It also describes a beachy and romantic aesthetic – so if this sounds up your street, be sure to read on to find out how to get the coastal look.

How do you get the coastal look?

To get the coastal look, try using soft fabrics like linen or cotton for your furniture. You can also opt for rattan furniture, perhaps in your choice of dining room chairs, or a blanket basket, if you want something more casual.

If you’re going for an eclectic look, try mixing up different styles like mid-century modern with a rustic wood table or retro chairs with modern lamps. 

As coastal living rooms tend to be airy and open, make the most of natural light and let the sun stream in through your windows.

So you don’t lose any light throughout the evening or the early morning, think about linen or cotton curtains to hang at your windows.

As these are both breezy materials, the light should still seep through even in those quiet hours of the day. Making the most of your windows means you can enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. 

Dress your coffee tables or storage tables with lovely table lamps with a warm light bulb. Our Driftwood Iona Round Lamp Table would work perfectly with this aesthetic.

As coastal living rooms are all about a sense of warmth, this will certainly tick this box. 

Transport yourself to carefree beach days and choose an earthy colour palette – think creams, tans and browns – to complement the natural elements of your setting (woodwork, plants, etc.)

Another way to bring the outdoors in is by hanging an oversize mirror on a wall that faces a window so it reflects the outside scene into your room. Why not give it a go?

What colours should you use in a coastal living room?

I want to share the best ways to create a coastal look in your home.

Let’s take a look at my top tips:

  • The colour palette for a coastal theme should be light, bright and airy and reflect the colours found naturally by the sea. Blues, beiges and whites combined can create a calming but interesting scheme, perfect for a living room. 
  • Using whites and sandy beiges across walls and the floor will help create that spacious feel and elevate any natural light in the room. These colours will also help break up any blue tones which can be quite overpowering when used in abundance.
  • For the blue, a less-is-more approach is best. Stick to one statement piece of furniture like a sofa or sprinkled throughout on smaller decoration pieces such as vases or picture frames. This will immediately set the tone without feeling like it’s too much.
  • Vary the shades of blue you use, from a cool aqua to darker navy – just make sure you don’t have too many shades at once as this will feel too busy.

What textures and materials work in a coastal living room?

Textures and materials can add a lot to a room’s overall feel.

Continuing the natural theme throughout the room can be done through texture and material choice. If you want to echo the jagged cliffs and varying seashell textures, the best approach here is to go for light wooden materials with imperfect finishes and jute rugs that will add a depth of texture to the home. For soft furnishings, linen is a great material for both cushions covers, blinds or curtains as it carries that light and airy theme across the room.

Naturally, these materials offer a variety of textures and add pockets of interest around the room.

What is the difference between coastal and nautical décor?

Coastal and nautical décor are both coastal-themed. In fact, they have a lot in common.

Both styles are inspired by the sea, and they often feature colours like blue and white. But equally, they each have their own unique traits.

Nautical home décor

Coastal home décor

Coastal décor is designed to bring the feeling of the beach into your home.

It can be simple, by introducing a few key elements – like a sea sponge and starfish – or it can be more complex, featuring more elaborate pieces like lanterns or driftwood.

Overall, coastal décor tends to feature more natural textures like wood, rattan furniture, or plants than nautical décor does.

Another difference between coastal and nautical styles is that coastal styles tend to rely on fewer bold colours than nautical styles do.

Nautical décor is also inspired by the ocean, but it’s more focused on boats and ships than it is on beaches themselves.

If you’re looking for nautical-themed décor ideas for your home’s interior design – think about adding more nautical elements such as anchors, ship wheels or ropes. Try adding navy blue-coloured accessories to compliment. 

Coastal cowgirl

For a twist on the coastal aesthetic, the new coastal cowgirl trend brings a fusion of beach vibes and country ranch charm.

Creating a relaxing, laidback atmosphere, the trend often starts with a neutral colour palette, accented with pops of vibrant, outdoorsy-inspired colours like teal and coral.

The coastal cowgirl trend blends the light, bright and airy colours of the sea and the earthy, more dramatic colours of the countryside. Blue tones specifically are a must for this look, with blues mimicking both the ocean and denim.

Add country coastal character to your space with natural materials such as jute and wood, and rustic or distressed detailed furniture for a less-than-polished appearance.

Complete the look with woven rugs made from organic materials, and leather or cowhide elements for an authentic cowgirl-esque finish.

Feeling inspired by the coastal trend and fancy introducing it into your living room? I’d love to see your room creations over on our socials, so don’t forget to tag us with @scssofas and use #myscshome.

If coastal isn't your thing, check out the Forestcore trend here.

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Victoria Foster

Written by:

Stylist & Visual Merchandiser

at ScS

12th January 2024

Victoria is a stylist and merchandiser based at our in-house photo studio. Having been part of the ScS family since 2012, Victoria styles stunning home sets with the latest trends to showcase newly launched ScS products. With over 25 years of experience in styling and merchandising, she loves to keep an eye on the latest trends in the interior landscape. Victoria's favourite interior scheme is the Boho trend and loves to layer a mixture of different textures in her home. Her styling top tip is to always create a focal point in a room. Whether it’s a feature wall, a piece of artwork, or a bright patterned rug, having a focal point can help to drive the decisions on the rest of the rooms layout.