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Modern coastal style

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Author: Gill Greenwell, Posted: Monday, 26th July 2021, 12:00

Modern coastal interior design lampshade living area Image: Cream Cornwall

As many of us will be holidaying by the English seaside this summer, I have been thinking about how we can capture some of the magic of time spent by the sea back in our own homes. Traditional coastal style can get a bad rap, often deservedly so, but approached the right way you can create a stylish, beachy-inspired interior, wherever you live. Here are my top tips to help you nail this tricky trend.

Easy living
I fell in love with coastal style when I first visited Australia – the Aussies really do know how to do chic beach house interiors. Essentially, it’s all about simplicity and relaxed, easy living spaces with a laid-back vibe. Forget obvious nautical themes, no portholes, anchors or seagulls please. Instead go for a neutral palette, natural timbers, and plenty of texture, paired with a few well-chosen vintage pieces.

A muted palette
For a sophisticated look choose muted coastal inspired colours – we live in a northern clime so think stormy seas and wind-swept dunes. A watery palette of soft whites, misty greys, and washed out blues works well. Add in a pop of contrasting sandy yellow for a Skandi feel.

Alternatively, Australian interiors expert Darren Palmer suggests black as an accent colour to avoid a scheme that looks too bland.

Keep it natural
Natural materials create a relaxed look – think weathered or bleached timber floors covered with wool or cotton rugs in a subtle pattern, or softly coloured stripes. Search out vintage items of furniture and paint them white or grey (Annie Sloan chalk paint works best). Look for pieces made from wicker, bamboo or rattan for a natural feel. Fit shiplap timber cladding to the walls for added visual interest – this works particularly well in bathrooms.

Focus on texture
Texture is a key element of this laid-back style. Classic white or pale grey linen for soft furnishings (ideally with removable covers) always look timeless. Add in some soft coloured wool cushions and throws, or an on-trend chunky knitted pouffe.

I love Ian Mankin’s striped cotton ticking for simple roman blinds. Woven lampshades and plenty of baskets for storage will complete the look. Check out the driftwood lamp-bases at Not on the High Street.

It’s all in the detail
Keep your accessories subtle. Bunches of soft coloured dried flowers, soft white or blue coloured stoneware, recycled glass vases and lamp-bases always look chic. I love my coastal inspired artworks framed in pale wood and white, and my artistic sister-in-law has even used old navigation charts as wallpaper in her kitchen.

If you stay away from the obviously nautical, your coastal inspired decor will look stylish, and not clichéd.

Other Images

Image:Cox & Cox

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