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Settle into Summer with Coastal Design

Summer is the season of renewal and rebirth. For me the temptation to travel sets in, as I anxiously await the breezy summer days ahead. You don’t have to leave your home to capture that sense of adventure! Satisfy that desire for change by bringing in a fresh coastal design scheme to your own living space. With these fun and simple design ideas, you can bring that beachy fresh feeling, home.

Breezy Windows

The ideal is a roomy, open space, with plenty of natural lighting and windows. If you’re lacking natural light, fake it by adding ambient lighting with floor and table lamps to mimic a bright summer day. Add long, pale blue or white drapery that can billow in the breeze. Mount the panels high and keep the windows otherwise clear to let as much natural light flow through as possible. For a slightly bolder, fun in the sun look, you could also use brighter coloured (salmon or pale yellow) curtains, but be sure to keep the material light and airy.

Weathered Furniture


Wicker chairs or smooth, long benches in gray or pale shades of wood will enhance the soft organic feel.

Gray, or pale weathered wood will give your space that sand swept beach look. Wicker chairs or smooth, long benches in these shades of wood will enhance the soft organic feel.  Painted furniture in white, or seaside shades of blues and greens add a fresh and casual feel. If you’re going for a slightly bolder look, you may use darker-coloured woods as well, but keep them weathered and shapely. Think of the driftwood you might find on the beach.

Wispy Plants

Adding a potted planter of seagrass or other tall, wispy seaside flora adds instant life to the space. The look should be lively and active, even when completely still. Just as sand is always sweeping across the landscape and waves are always kissing the shore, there should be a sense of movement in a coastal design.

Seaside Motifs


A few hand-collected sand dollars or a stylized bottle filled with authentic sand can truly add some beach flair to the final look.

An easy way to bring the beach to you is to add subtle seaside motifs to the space. While it is important to keep the symbolism subtle, a soft seascape portrait or some seashell-embroidered pillows can add that last ocean touch to complete the look. If you’ve been to the beach before, you could even implement treasures you’ve found yourself! A few hand-collected sand dollars or a stylized bottle filled with authentic sand can truly add some beach flair to the final look. Remember, the coastal style is as much about peace as it is about adventure. Keep the style warmly subtle, and you can’t go wrong.

Casual Materials

When it comes to flooring, opt for a lighter touch. Whitewashed woods or more rustic finish, with a worn casual feel are best.  Think salt-kissed patina. Ideally the material is a wide plank board, with an earthy oiled top coat, both environmentally friendly and picture perfect in a more organic coastal design.



Gray or pale weathered wood will give your space that sand swept beach look.

Coastal design is about bright fresh spaces and there is nothing quite like a crisp white wall colour to achieve that look. Add interest with painted beadboard on the walls or ceilings, but keep the colour itself clean and light, again in shades of white, watery blues and fresh greens.

 Coastal design is about casual easy breezy living.  Have fun with the style layering in natural textures and organic materials.  Before you know it your coastal retreat will be a summery sundrenched escape.


About the Author: Melissa Davis is celebrity designer known for her creative work on HGTV programs.

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