Home improvement: Dream of living by the sea but stuck in town? Why not bring a little bit of the coast to your home?
- Credit: Archant
Just the sound of waves crashing on a shore, and the high-pitched cry of gulls, evokes a coastal scene and all its pleasures - which, unless you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, are usually only enjoyed on holidays.
But conjuring seaside style at home is easier than ever, no matter how close to the beach you live.
Perfect for summer, this look is a perennial favourite, and taking the plunge may only mean a lick of fresh paint (pick a brilliant white or a bright blue) and a few appropriate accessories, such as a sailing boat ornament or a cushion with an anchor emblem.
Before you know it, you will be decked out and shipshape.
“The term ‘nautical’ can inspire many aesthetics, from the traditional images of anchors, lighthouses and buckets and spades, to the more subtle material influences, such as stripped wood, wicker baskets and natural floor coverings like seagrass or jute, for that unspoilt beach retreat look,” says Clotilde Passalacqua, country interior design leader at Ikea.
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“Take inspiration from the colours of the seaside and use soft, pastel blues for upholstered furniture or soft furnishings. These will work well paired with driftwood browns and can combine to create an air of serenity in the home. Whatever your choice - a simple splash of stripes or all the kit for a full captain’s galley - it’s time to make waves with your decor.”
Follow these expert decor tips to ensure your transformation is plain sailing...
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Blue’s a classic colour choice for channelling a nautical vibe, and white is its perfect contrasting partner.
“The pairing of white and blue hues never fails to make us smile. Fresh, bright and intrinsically linked to summer, it’s a classic combination which brings a tranquil vibe to any home,” says Claire Hornby, creative stylist at Barker & Stonehouse.
“For a new take on this much-loved look, add a touch of urban cool to traditional nautical styles, by teaming rustic finishes with contemporary shapes and clean geometric prints. This will ensure your scheme is visually interesting and gorgeously tactile.”
Pick up on the shades of sun-bleached whites, soft sand and creamy corals, for a mellow interpretation of coastal cool.
“Coastal style’s always a hit for the warmer seasons. This summer the look is all about depth, and there’s a whole new choice of textures and prints which could command attention,” says David Roebuck, sales and marketing director at Direct Blinds.
“Bold block colours have secured their part in the look, with blues ranging from pastel to deepest azure taking centre stage, but always set against a backdrop of sandy yellow, stark white and driftwood brown. For a bold finish, that confident pop of red is a real nautical must-have.
“Base materials are stone, glass, wood - light or painted white and distressed for a ‘sea air-weathered’ look - along with rope and other coarse woven fabrics, like hopsack. As the aim of this look is to bring the outdoors in, windows should contribute all they can to the finished design, by framing and maximising natural light.”
Embrace a pared-back modern take on the trend and opt for a fashionable monochrome palette enlivened by metallics.
“The key to the coastal look is keeping it simple and fresh,” says Tim Tatlock, buyer at Topps Tiles.
“Be inspired by the seashore and pick from a range of shades, such as traditional deep blues or soft, sea-spray pastels. Or for a clean, more streamlined look, pair with crisp white painted walls and flooring. Compliment decor with elements from the coastline, such as seashells, weathered pieces of driftwood, or wall prints depicting sea and sailing scenes.”