Home makeover: get the coastal look

Contemporary Living Room in Coastal Home

Billowing material, whitewashed furniture, calming stripes and soothing pastels... Contemporary coastal chic is easier to achieve than you might think. We show you how to use furniture, flooring and accessories to give your home a breezy, summery style all year round.

Think natural
Tables and chairs should be simple and made from natural materials such as teak, bamboo or rattan. Create the shabby-chic style with whitewashed furniture or repaint old pieces in cream and sand back for a sun-bleached look. A hessian rug, natural carpet or wooden panelling will both accent and complement the plain walls and furniture, but add a contemporary just-off-the-beach feel. Indoor palms complete the seaside look.

Get comfy
Sofas and arm chairs should be overstuffed and comfy. Try re-covering an old sofa in cream and add colour with striped cushions in red and navy. A traditional striped deckchair works well as an occasional chair for indoor/outdoor seating.

Beach hut hideaway
For the authentic 'beach hut' look go for whitewashed floorboards and cover with seagrass and jute woven mats or cheerful striped cotton rugs. Let in maximum light with natural calico, pale linen or billowing cotton curtains. Tie them back with rope for rustic, nautical style.

Seaside walls
White tongue and groove paneling will add instant seaside charm to any room. Paint the wall above in a pastel blue and use a pale blue-white on the ceiling to create a tranquil and soothing space. Nothing says coastal chic more than bright turquoise shutters.

Pretty as a picture
Hang framed nautical maps or collect conch shells and driftwood to create a display for the mantelpiece. Check out antique shops for vintage rose patterned china, sepia photographs, old rowing oars and barometers. Prints of shells, palm trees and sail boats look stunning grouped together on a wall.

Stripes are a fast and easy way to beginning your coastal-themed room or home. Try cream and pale blue or green for instant seaside charm. Whether it's a striped sofa, a striped feature wall, or even adding cushions or accessories, it's a simple way to get the coastal feel. If you've already opted for striped features or furniture, keep the rest of the room simple to create that bright and airy feel

Accessories are a cheap and cheerful way to add a little nautical charm to your home. Next time you're at the seaside, look for beautifully-crafted wooden oars, heavy fishermen's baskets or even an unusual coastal painting or print of fish. Should your coastal style be a summertime preference, you can easily change the accessories for a cosy winter.

Maximise light
Coastal style is all about letting in the light so do your utmost to clear space around windows and allow the sunshine to flood the room. Pale or white blinds or voiles, with window frames in a similarly light shade, will emphasise and maximise the natural light in the room, and for a truly beach house feel, consider investing in a timeless set of wooden shutters.

Have you given your home a coastal-inspired look? Leave your tips below...

Decorating with Coastal Colors