The Ultimate Guide To Beach Cottage Style


Beach Cottage Style is discovering how to turn your home into a comfortable coastal style retreat. Following this simple guide will help you easily create a home that you love, even if you don’t live near the beach. When it comes to home decor, people always focus on trends, but before you start wondering about the latest trends and techniques, I can assure you this decorating approach will be a breeze. It’s all about creating fresh, clutter free spaces that are cozy and livable. Your home should reflect who you are and what you love. If you are reading this, then most likely you love the beach!

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When I think of the beach, I automatically think about the sun, sand, sky, sea. pale yellow being the sun, tan and white represent the sand, light grays and blues represent the sky and the color aqua represents the sea. These are colors inspired by nature that are easy to incorporate into your home to give it that serene coastal feel. 

I am always amazed at how paint can change a room instantly. Choosing paint can be daunting for some because there are just so many colors! It doesn’t have to be, just keep it simple. Remember the colors of the beach and use that as your paint palette like in the sample below. You don’t have to use these exact colors, try creating you own palette and use this example as a guide.

Here is a guide to help you find the right style for your home.

  • Paint: First you’ll want to lighten up living spaces with fresh coats of neutral paint keeping the rooms light and airy, and always, always paint the trim in white. White trim adds nice clean lines to the room and naturally compliments and enhances the wall color. Paint ceilings in light tinted blues to make the room feel light and airy like the sky.
  • Flooring: Add a sisal rug to lighten up dark floors and make the room feel larger. If you have dark wooden floors, consider painting them a creamy white to lighten up the space and give the room a finished look. If your walls are painted white you can keep the dark flooring to add contrast.
  • Furniture: Next, add time honored furnishings such as a light slipcovered sofa that will keep the room bright and fresh. You can also find potential in things that you already own, for example try adding a fresh coat of paint to old furniture instead of buying new.      
  • Accessories. Add natural materials such as wicker and seagrass baskets for decorative storage. They are great for hiding clutter and warm up any space.
  • Decor: Consider adding subtle nautical decor such as lanterns, sea glass bottles, and coastal wall art. Display your personal collections of sea shells to add unique character to your room. Use memorable beach and vacation photos and have them framed. Surround yourself with the things that you love that make you happy, and remind you of the beach. 

Here is a room by room guide to beach cottage style.

The Kitchen

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, it should nourish you and feed the senses. If it is small and dark then I suggest painting it white to enlarge the space. If you have dark cabinets that are paintable, consider lightening them up by painting them in a cool coastal blue. Not only does it give your kitchen a breath of fresh air, but it will look fabulous against clean white walls.

Then update the hardware on your cabinets with nautical knobs such as seashells, and starfish as shown below. Next, choose window treatments in natural colors such as linen, flax, driftwood or bamboo. Add a sisal or sea-grass rug to tie the rooms together. Style your kitchen with open shelves, aqua or ocean blue colored dishes and accents, and large coral and shell displays.

Joyindecor Ocean Cabinet Knobs

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The Dining Room

This is the place where family and friends gather together to share a fabulous meal, formal dinner parties, or where crafting and homework is done. Make this a warm and welcoming space filled with lovely things to look. For furniture ideas, start with a large white or light oak table and lots of comfortable seating such as slip-covered or upholstered chairs. Mix and match fabric chairs with rattan or wood. If you have an open floor plan kitchen/dining room combo, you’ll want to stick with like colors in the dining room to tie the two rooms together and make it feel like one cohesive space. 

Upholstered Parsons Chair w/Cover

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The Living Room

Less is more when it comes to the living room. Beach cottage living is creating a cozy, open and inviting space that reflects you. Opt for flexible seating plans such as a large overstuffed sofa with surrounded by one or two comfortable armchairs. Add in some upholstered poofs or an ottoman with pop of color to add visual interest. 

There is no need to overcrowd the living room with furniture or too many things. A couple of nautical paintings and  artwork here and there and a striped rug will make the room feel very coastal. I personally love the look of a white white slip-covered sofa. It’s so versatile and easy to change up the look in any season. Add a large coffee table or sea grass storage ottoman in front of the sofa. Decorate the top with a large sea-grass tray and place sea glass bottles, flowers, candles and nautical shells. Curtains, drapes and pillows with the same or like colors will add texture to the space and define the room. When displaying collections, group items together for a more unified look.

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It’s easy to create those dreamy coastal bedrooms we all see on Pinterest. Remember to stick with the nature’s color palette to create a soothing environment for rest. Furnish the space with things that are warm and soft to the touch. The main focus of the bedroom is the bed itself, so you’ll want to choose bed linens that add visual interest such as a nautical pattern or stripes. You can also use neutral coastal colors such as aqua, coral, yellow or sea blues, just be sure to use lots of fluffy pillows, textures and patterns. 

Choose colors textures and lighting that feel soothing and calm such as a sea glass lamp. Keep window treatments simple with curtains light enough to allow in a cool breeze. Heavy curtains and drapes way the room down. Try bamboo shades to add an appealing textural element to the room. Adding ship-lap to the walls gives them an instant nautical look. 

Nautical Floor Table Lamp, Aqua

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If your bathroom is already a neutral color than its easy to give it a beachy look. If not consider painting it in an ocean blue color. If you bathroom is small then paint it white and add sea-blue candles and accents.  Then, accessorize your bathroom with apothecary jars filled with seashells, sea glass beads, or add starfish, anchors and nautical art to the walls. Add soft and fluffy navy, white or tan bath rug. Update lighting with nautical style wall sconces and vanity lights, and add a nautical bathroom mirror.

 Set of 3 Seashell Handle Clear Glass Apothecary Jars

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I hope you found this article inspiring, see my blog page “Cottage Decor” for pictures and more inspiration or follow me on Pinterest and check out my board, “Beach Cottage Home” for more design inspiration.

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