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Recently, I realized that since I started adding a touch of modern coastal decor to our home, I don’t need to do a lot of seasonal decorating. By sticking with a color scheme that reflects the ocean and sky–including crisp whites, deep blues and neutral hues–everything seems to work together, no matter what time of year it is!
Although there are many versions of coastal style, my favorite is modern coastal interior design, which is light, minimal, and fresh, incorporating a mix of relaxed beach house and classic tailored styles.
Inspired by the organic colors and textures of nature, contemporary coastal decor might include light woods, baskets, natural fiber rugs, woven light fixtures, and easy-care fabrics like cotton and linen.
Because it’s based on natural elements, coastal decor never goes out of style. As design styles and trends change, coastal style can easily evolve and adapt–for example, incorporating lighter wood tones rather than dark, or featuring softer neutral hues rather than saturated colors.
When incorporating coastal design in your home, try to use a light touch. Since beach house style is essentially carefree and relaxed, it’s easy to go overboard with coastal decorating. (Believe me, I’ve gone there and am still editing! 😉) Some things to avoid overdoing: signs, rope, anchors, nautical/boat themes, starfish/crab/lobster motifs, etc.
For a modern coastal look, start with a background of white and off-white, as well as soft colors of the sand and sky, in crisp, casual fabrics like cotton and linen. Then add in some natural elements, including lots of baskets, light woods, and lovely textures through rugs, pillows, and throws:
Modern Coastal Decorating Ideas for Your Home
Below, you’ll find several examples of how you can incorporate fresh, modern coastal decor in different rooms in your home:
Modern Coastal Living Room Ideas
I love this gorgeous living room! The striped side chairs, natural fiber rug, and light wood mantel and shelves add the perfect touch of modern coastal style to this space. Similar chairs here, here, and here. From Pure Salt Interiors:
This beautiful living room, designed by Livingston Interiors, is a great example of modern coastal style. A neutral color palette, light touches of blue, grey-toned woods, and natural elements add a light and airy feeling to this space:
I also love this stunning modern coastal living room from Kate Marker Interiors, with its light wood beams and accent pieces, natural fiber rug, and soft blue and grey hues:
Recently, I’ve been trying out some new looks in our living room, below, as I wanted to make this area a bit more casual and comfy for summer. We moved in the sectional and coffee table from our hearth room / TV area and added a new rug, upholstered ottomans, and different artwork.
Our new living room arrangement is kind of a “test drive.” Since we loved having the sectional in the TV area, I’m not sure how long this space will stay this way.
But I’m really loving the lighter, more casual feeling in here, so if we end up moving the sectional back to the hearth room, I think I’ll be shopping for new furniture for this space!
Baskets are one of my favorite ways to bring a modern beach house feeling to our home. As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many! And the best thing about baskets is they never go out of style!
For more living room decorating ideas, see this post: Modern Living Room Ideas I Love.
In the family room
The family room/great room/TV room is the perfect place to bring a touch of casual coastal style to your home. In the beautiful space below, from Lindye Galloway Interiors, the wood beams, neutral color palette, striped pillow, shelf styling, and pop of classic blue on the cabinetry and in the rug, bring a fresh and comfortable feeling to this modern coastal family room:
This space is actually a sitting area adjacent to a master bedroom; however, I thought I’d share it here because it’s a great example of how to decorate a small living room or family room with modern coastal style. From Pure Salt Interior Design:
I also love this casual living space from Kate Marker Interiors, with its show-stopping light fixture and soft colors of the sand and sky:
Here’s another modern coastal family room from Pure Salt Interiors. I love the soft neutral tones they used in this space.
This beautiful sitting area off the kitchen incorporates soft neutrals, wood beams, and a gorgeous grouping of chairs around a striking coffee table to create a luxurious, yet approachable, coastal living room design. From Pure Salt Interiors:
We have a similar small living room in our home, where we hang out and watch TV most evenings. I like to bring a relaxed, beach house feeling to this space with a round wood coffee table, natural textures, coastal artwork, a blue & white area rug, and slipcovered seating (this is the Gronlid sectional from IKEA, which is no longer available–here’s a similar alternative):
Modern Coastal Dining Room Ideas
The lovely dining room below, from Jill Egan Interiors, shows how versatile and elegant coastal decor can be. From the soft ivory slipcovered chairs, to the large coral decorative piece on the credenza, to the natural wood elements, this space evokes a feeling of casual elegance. The stunning light fixture reminds me of a cascading waterfall!
Artwork is an easy, yet impactful way to bring a touch of modern coastal style to the dining room, as shown in this beautiful space from Kate Lester Interiors:
Another way to add a touch of contemporary coastal style to the dining room is by adding an oversized woven chandelier, as seen in this beautiful space from Brynn Olson Design: (see my lighting post for more ideas)
Soft neutral tones and a white dining table and chandelier lend an elevated, modern coastal feeling to this stunning dining space from Kate Marker Interiors:
For more dining room ideas, see this post: Modern Dining Room Decorating Ideas.
Modern Coastal Kitchen Ideas
Whether you opt for lots of woven elements, glass & brass, light woods, or just an abundance of fresh white, there are many ways to bring a touch of modern coastal decor to the kitchen, as shown in the lovely spaces below.
This lovely California kitchen, from Caroline Kilmartin, has a wonderful, modern beach house vibe, and is a long-time favorite of mine:
A wonderful example of modern coastal decorating, the kitchen below features an abundance of white, striped counter stools, and a gray-blue kitchen island (painted with Sherwin Williams Smoky Candle). From AGK Design Studio, via Home Bunch:
Here’s another view of this lovely kitchen, with a better look at those wonderful director’s chair style stools:
Beautiful warm woods, exposed beams, and coastal style pendant lights make this lake house kitchen feel cohesive and inviting – from Park and Oak Interior Design:
Woven seating, pendant lights, natural woods, and an abundance of white perfectly convey beach house style in this open-concept kitchen and dining area from The Grove Byron Bay
Natural textures and pops of white and blue add a light touch of coastal style to our kitchen:
For more kitchen decorating ideas, see this post: Beautiful Kitchen Design Ideas to Inspire Your Next Renovation.
Modern Coastal Bedroom Ideas
As in the kitchen, there are countless ways to bring a touch of contemporary coastal style to the bedroom. Here’s one of my favorite coastal bedrooms, from Marie Flanigan Interiors. The shiplap and four-poster bed add a hint of coastal farmhouse style to this space:
This might be the space that inspired my love of modern coastal decorating. I love the fresh, relaxed feeling and interesting textures in this boho bedroom design from Amber Interiors:
Something as simple as a striped pillow, woven pendant light, or a tasseled throw blanket can add a beautiful touch of the beach to the bedroom, as shown in this lovely space by Studio Life Style, via My Domaine:
White walls, casual fabrics, natural textures, coastal-inspired artwork, and a hint of stripes lend a light and breezy feeling to this wonderful master bedroom from Amber Interior Design:
Contemporary artwork is a great way to add a touch of modern coastal decor to the bedroom, as shown in this beautiful space from Pure Salt Interior Design:
The coastal artwork above the bed in our master bedroom was purchased locally a couple of years ago, but I found a few similar pieces, which I share on my artwork favorites page.
For more bedroom ideas, see this post: Modern Bedroom Decorating Ideas for a Dreamy Master Suite.
Modern Coastal Bathroom Ideas
The bathroom is one of the best spots to try out a touch of modern coastal style–especially in a small powder or guest bath, where you can get really creative.
Vertical shiplap and a light wood louvered vanity add an elevated beach house feeling to this small bathroom design from Studio McGee:
A dark blue vanity, as well as brass lantern sconces, and a large basket give a coastal feeling to this lovely bathroom. From Mindy Gayer Design:
The light wood vanity, as well as the chrome fixtures and striped rug, create a beautiful coastal-inspired bathroom. From Pure Salt Interiors:
When we remodeled our guest bathroom last year, I wanted to add a touch of modern coastal style to this space without going overboard, so I simply painted the vanity (with Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue) and added a striped rug and towels, a few woven elements, and plenty of white:
For more bathroom ideas, see my post, Beautiful Bathroom Design & Decor Ideas You’ll Love.
Modern Coastal Entryway Ideas
Shiplap walls, a natural fiber rug, and a glorious blue door create the quintessential coastal entryway, located on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. From Barrow Building Group:
A seashell gathered on one of our family trips to Charleston is displayed in a glass case in our entryway–it’s a happy reminder of my favorite place–the beach.
For more entryway and foyer ideas, see this post: Stylish Entryway Ideas for a Beautiful First Impression.
On the Patio
With its casual atmosphere and separation from the rest of the house, the patio is the perfect place to experiment with modern coastal decorating. Here are a few outdoor spaces with a fresh, contemporary coastal look.
This beautiful patio area from Pencil and Paper Co., with its slipcovered furniture, striped pillow, and touches of bamboo, sets the ideal tone for summer relaxing and entertaining.
A beautiful outdoor dining area and covered patio. The oversized woven pendant lights, gray-washed dining table, and unique dining chairs add a modern coastal feeling to this space. From Pure Salt Interiors.
Striped cushions, sleek lanterns, and wicker furniture create a beautiful modern coastal outdoor living area. From Design Works, via Style Me Pretty:
On our covered patio, floaty white curtains, baskets, and an abundance of blue and white bring a coastal feeling to our outdoor space.
For more patio decorating ideas, see this post: Beautiful Patio Ideas for Relaxed Outdoor Living.
coastal decor finds:
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you found lots of ideas to help you bring a touch of contemporary coastal style to your home! Make sure to read my sister post, Modern Beach House Decorating Ideas: 5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Style, for more modern coastal decorating ideas!
If you’re looking for modern coastal pillows, furniture, modern coastal lighting, rugs, or decor, see my page, Modern Coastal Favorites. xo jane