ELEGANT COASTAL CHIC DECORATING: HOW TO GET THE LOOK!

Have you every wondered how to bring that gorgeous, sought-after, elegant coastal chic decorating style into your home? Today I’m sharing how to do just that, and how I’ve created this look in our home over the years.

I’m not talking about nautical decor – there is a big difference – and there are so many different coastal styles you can incorporate into your decor as well. Today though, I’m talking about elegant coastal chic decorating, that brings in an elevated and sophisticated, yet relaxed and airy feel to your home. A little upscale and refined, but still laid-back, comfortable and welcoming. A design style I strive for in our home more and more.

Come and take a look at how I’ve created this style in our home, and how you can get the look and have a stunning coastal chic decorating style all your own.

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WHAT IS ELEGANT COASTAL CHIC DECORATING?

Summer living room decor with blue and white Hamptons-inspired pillows.

To me, elegant coastal chic decorating is more than just decorating as if you live near the water. It’s a feeling in your home that is sophisticated, yet still relaxed and calming…and you can live anywhere and still incorporate this style.

That said, nothing is more calming than being near the ocean or a serene, quiet lake. Whether it be waves or calm stillness, water brings us so much peace and serenity when we see it and hear it.

Bringing in that same sense of calm is what this beach-chic style is all about, but also keeping it elevated and upscale with sophisticated details in your home.

Ginger jar and coral styled atop a stack of books as a focal point.

Blue skies, soft breezes and fresh seaside air…coral sculptures, light wood tones, natural textures…anything that emulates sand and sky brings us peace.

Bringing the feelings that these things evoke in us into our home decor, is what coastal chic decorating is to me.

Living room with elegant coastal chic decor in blue and white.

Our coastal chic living room from last summer, is one of my favorite looks ever in layers of gorgeous blue and white prints, coral sculptures, palms and loads of chinoiserie.

Designer pillows | white sofa | striped ottoman | brass lighting | rug

HOW TO GET THAT COASTAL CHIC DECORATING LOOK!

Beautifully styled bookshelves with coastal details like woven baskets, coral sculptures and ginger jars.

Let’s state the obvious here, blue is my favorite color, which you already know. It’s also synonymous with coastal decorating.

Any shade of blue will work with this decorating style, from the softest, palest shade of blue, to the deepest, dramatic navy.

Green is another color you can use when decorating with a coastal chic look. Orange, coral, red and yellow mixed in with any shade of blue would be stunning as well – so very preppy and chic.

Elegant living room styled with a natural woven rug, and blue and green accessories for a laid back coastal look.

Creating a neutral backdrop (see more of our living room a few years ago), is always good to start with, then layer in your blues and greens for a serene and calming look.

If you want to make a bold statement, layer in those pops of vibrant color, like I did a few years back in our summer bedroom, below.

Bedroom styled with a coastal feel in blues and reds is chic and sophisticated.

Rug | upholstered bed | striped duvet | blue floral shams | red floral shams | blue floral quilt

Blue, white and red bedding in stripes and florals with batik and chinoiserie touches.

A crucial part of the coastal chic decorating is layering in natural textures, like natural woven lighting, rugs and baskets, woven trays, frames or boxes.

A framed flag is often something you’ll see in a more nautical coastal decor look, below is our son’s old ‘modern coastal teen bedroom’, which has now been transformed into my chinoiserie chic home office.

Boys bedroom styled with coastal elements - a woven light fixture, glass lamp and framed American flag creates a classic beach inspired look.

Woven light fixture | striped bedding | striped throw pillows | black dresser | framed Ameican flag | glass lamp

Living room styled with coastal elements - woven boxes, driftwood, and agate.

Natural elements such as driftwood, coral, shells, agate…any natural curiosity will do with coastal chic decorating.

Be selective with your pieces and don’t overdo it, style them on bookshelves with simple accessories as shown above, or create vignettes with your collections in multiples, like I have below.

A coastal chic vignette styled with ginger jars and coral sculptures in varying sizes and shapes.

Stripes can be another huge part of creating a coastal chic look as well. I’m a huge fan of mixing prints, so bring on those stripes, geometrics and florals, please!

You can see more of the look below, in our summer living room, a few years back.

Elegant coastal chic living room layered with many throw pillows in varying stripes, tassled pillows and batik prints.

Layering in palms, or any greenery that brings you that ‘beach vacation feel’ is always a good thing with coastal decor.

Coastal styled living room with layers of throw pillows in varying patterns of stripes and florals, layered with palms and hydrangeas.
Coastal inspired bedroom styled with palms, ginger jars and striped bedding in layers of blue and white.

For all of you who know me well, you know of my love for anything chinoiserie, and how touches of it is prevalent around our home. You can read all about how I style my ginger jar collection to learn more.

I also love to create a ‘chinoiserie chic coastal’ look in our home.

Mixing in chinoiserie motifs, like ginger jars, blue and white, and our chippendale bar stools in a light wood tone, lends a coastal look to our summer kitchen as well – especially with the striped fabric I added to the seats.

Beautiful chinoiserie barstools covered in blue and white striped fabric adds a coastal elegance in the kitchen.
Blue grasscloth wallpaper and a white vanity adds coastal sophistication to a small bathroom.

In our kid’s bathroom update, I added a faux grasscloth wallpaper in this gorgeous blue, layered with a white vanity and a chinoiserie chic Hollywood Regency mirror in gold.

Even though this is faux, grasscloth is the perfect type of texture to bring into your coastal decor. I love the real thing, but faux can be beautiful too.

White bathroom with elegant wall moldings and mirrors, brass wall sconces and a traditional grey vanity is sophisticated and lends a coastal look.

And in our master bathroom, although the design is traditional and an upscale hotel feel, the white walls, grey floor and vanity are all a nod to a coastal look as well.

Brass light fixture | grey vanity | brass faucets | towel ring | garden stool | brass knobs | brass pulls | wall sconces

Coastal styled kitchen with blue and white decor and striped rug has an east coast Hamptons look.

Talking stripes again, all you need is a preppy rug to bring that coastal look to any space. Like I did here, in our summer kitchen a few years back.

Throw in some gorgeous hydrangeas in pale blue and white hues and you have an instant east coast Hampton’s vibe happening.

Striped rug | brass hardware | faux hydrangeas | blue ginger jar | white ginger jar | marble board

Coastal chic bedroom decor with layers of blue and white, woven accessories layered with striped pillows and throw blanket.

I’ve used coastal chic decorating many times in our bedroom, this style is something I just love so much, and it truly brings me so much peace.

Details like a woven mirror, tray and lanterns, pillows with coastal elements like stripes and rope detail, bedding in a pale blue, or a preppy navy and white, as shown above and below, are definitely coastal chic.

Grey upholstered bed | beige upholstered bed | rattan mirror | gold starburst mirror | white and navy bedding | light blue bedding | drum chandelier | brass chandelier

Woven accessories mixed with soft blue and white bedding layered in a neutral bedroom is relaxed and elegant.
Coastal inspired entryway decorated in blue grasscloth, rattan chairs, natural wood tones and blue and white ginger jars is elegant and sophisticated.

When we updated our entryway with more faux blue grasscloth, it was instant elegant coastal chic! Layered with sophisticated rattan chairs, striped blankets and light wood tones, it’s one of my favorite transformations we’ve ever done.

Grey console | round wood mirror | rattan chairs | faux grasscloth | gold lantern

Console table styled with coastal elements like framed art and coral sculptures has a curated and collected look.

Above, I used beach-inspired framed art, coral sculptures and hurricane lanterns to create this layered and curated coastal look on our entryway console table.

Mirror | console table | x-base stools | coral sculpture | ginger jars

Laundry room styled with a coastal look - woven baskets and runner, a brass nautical-inspired light fixture and batik printed textiles.

In our laundry room refresh, I created a coastal chic look by adding natural baskets, a woven runner, preppy roman shades, beachy batik print fabrics, chinoiserie touches and a nautical-inspired light fixture.

Baskets | woven runner | roman shade | ginger jar | light fixture

Elegant hallway with traditional moldings, a light blue oushak runner and white and gold lantern have a sophisticated coastal feel.

Pendant lantern | runner | closet pulls | garden stool

I like to think of our hallway and dining room as coastal chic decor – both lean traditional with their wall moldings, which gives the elevated elegance – but the color palettes in these two spaces lend a coastal-inspired feel, similar to our master bathroom. With a combination of light walls, soft blues and neutral tones.

Blue dining chairs | crystal chandelier | rug | settee

Elegant dining room decor with a coastal look in soft greys, light blues and natural tones.

I’ve always dreamed of living in California, with an easy-breezy home to go right along with it.

Although I’ve always dreamt of west coast living, we do plan to eventually move to Florida, we’re hoping to start with a vacation rental home there in the near future… fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I find myself leaning on sophisticated and elegant coastal chic decorating more and more in our home, it brings me so much joy.

One of my favorite brands, Cailini Coastal is a natural go-to for coastal chic decor.

KEY ELEMENTS FOR A COASTAL LOOK

  • Natural, woven textures: rugs, baskets, lanterns and light fixtures, decorative boxes, frames, grasscloth (even if it’s faux!)
  • Nautical-inspired accessories (styled in a simple way!): shells, driftwood, coral sculptures, agate
  • A neutral backdrop is a good place to start: light walls and furnishings can be layered with color
  • Blue tones varying from pale blue to navy blue are always coastal chic
  • Green tones to pair with blues and neutrals for a serene look
  • Bold colors layered with blues for a dramatic and preppy, palm beach coastal feel
  • Framed art of anything sea-inspired
  • Pattern play: stripes, geometrics, florals, batik prints
  • If you love chinoiserie like me, layered elements like ginger jars, blue and white pottery and chippendale motifs add elegance and create a chinoiserie chic coastal look.

Thank you for reading with me today, I hope that you learned a little bit about how to incorporate an elevated and elegant coastal chic decorating look to your home, and I hope you’re inspired to give this timeless style a try. xo

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2 Comments

  1. My dream of living by the beach in a patio home has come true for me. I love your designs and plan on incorporating into my home. What are the paint colors your using? Thank you! Gina

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