coastal and nautical style header for blog with title and background of coastal bathroom

Ocean Dreams: Coastal Style & Nautical Style For Your Home

Ahoy there! As the days grow longer and the warmth of the sun becomes a tender caress rather than a fleeting glimpse, it’s not just the flowers that are budding—so are our dreams of sandy shores and salty breezes.

Does the thought of donning flip-flops and feeling the sea spray tickle your face have you practically packing your beach bag? If so, you’re not alone. But what if the beach could come to you?

So, anchor’s aweigh! Let’s embark on a delightful journey through the world of nautical and coastal style decor. Whether you’re craving a salty sea breeze or the soft whisper of beach grass, we’re here to help you steer your home’s style towards that dreamy shoreline aesthetic.

Grab your compass and let’s chart a course to where the coastal winds will take us—right through your front door!

Decoding styles: Nautical versus coastal

When it comes to dressing your nest in ocean-inspired attire, knowing the subtle differences between nautical and coastal style decor can make all the difference. 

Both styles can imbue your home with the essence of the seaside, but each has its unique wave to ride.

Nautical Style: Sailors’ Delight

The nautical style is like the charismatic captain of a ship: bold, clean, and slightly preppy.

It’s inspired by seafaring life, so expect to see plenty of navy blues that rival the deep ocean, crisp whites reminiscent of a sailor’s uniform, and a dash of vibrant reds or yellows to mimic signal flags fluttering in the wind.

This style often includes classic maritime elements like anchors, ship wheels, and the quintessential Breton stripes that could put a smile on any sailor’s face.

Metal details—think brass and copper fixtures—add a shipshape polish, echoing the robust, utilitarian equipment found on deck.

a navy striped nautical living room

Coastal style: Beachcomber’s Paradise

On the flip side, coastal style whispers of a gentle stroll along the beach. It’s the laid-back cousin with a preference for soft, soothing hues mirroring the sand, sea, and sky.

When it comes to colour theory for a coastal-style living room, imagine a palette of sandy beiges, serene blues, and soft greens, creating a calm oasis that soothes the soul.

Coastal style decor favours natural, weathered textures like driftwood and wicker, and materials that float a breeze through the room, such as cotton, linen, and other breathable fabrics.

The vibe here is less about the journey across the sea and more about the tranquillity of beachside living—think less ship and more shore.

So, whether you’re aiming to capture the disciplined charm of a sailor’s life with nautical flair or seeking the relaxed, airy vibe of a beach house with coastal touches, each style offers a unique way to bring the spirit of the sea into your home.

Let’s anchor down into more specific ways to bring these styles to life in your living spaces.

coastal style living room

Setting Sail with Nautical Style

Think of nautical style as the savvy navigator of home decor—sharp, thematic, and effortlessly stylish. It’s about steering a course towards polished precision with a nod to maritime traditions.

Anchors Aweigh: The Colour Palette

Dive into a palette of navy blue as deep as ocean depths, paired with crisp white, and accented with bold reds or sunny yellows. This scheme is visually striking; evoking a sense of high-seas adventure and crisp order.

a traditional nautical style bedroom

Captain’s Orders: Classic Elements

Deck out your space with essential nautical elements like anchors, ship wheels, and coiled ropes. Stripes are crucial—they bring the sailor’s uniform into your home with style. For a dash of authenticity, add model ships or framed nautical charts.

Deck Details: Furniture and Textures

Choose furniture that reflects the functional, clean lines of ship fittings—dark woods or painted pieces with brass accents.

Opt for sturdy, comfortable upholstery like canvas and leather, ready to withstand an imaginary sea spray. Brass fixtures or lantern-style lamps should light your space like a beacon.

This streamlined approach ensures your decor isn’t just nautical-themed, it’s ready to command attention and sail through any stylistic storm.

Drifting Towards Coastal Style Calm

Envision coastal style as the laid-back cousin of home decor—relaxed, airy, and infused with the spirit of the seaside. It’s about creating a space that whispers of sunlit beach days and soft ocean breezes.

Beachy Keen: Soft Colour Schemes

Embrace a palette of soothing neutrals—think sand-beige, sky-blue, and seafoam green. These hues craft a serene backdrop that mirrors the tranquil beauty of the beach, inviting calm and relaxation into every corner.

coastal style livng room in light colours

Sand and Sea: Subtle Decor

Adorn your space with elements that evoke a gentle day by the sea. Opt for soft textiles, subtle beach-themed art, and decor like glass bottles and seashell collections.

These touches should suggest a beachside vibe without overwhelming the senses.

Tidal Textures: Materials and Fabrics

Incorporate materials that reflect the textures of the coast—weathered wood, light wicker, and breezy linens.

These elements bring the outdoors in, creating a seamless flow that feels both natural and stylish. Furniture should be inviting and comfortable, perfect for sinking into after a day in the sun.

With these elements, your coastal style will not only breathe life into your home but also bring a bit of the beach’s soothing essence indoors.

From Port to Starboard: Room by Room Guide

Sail through your home with a clear course, applying nautical and coastal designs in each room to create a cohesive and immersive environment.

Living Room

When it comes to living room coastal style, consider anchoring your main gathering space with a bold, nautical coffee table that commands attention like a ship’s helm. Surround it with sofas and chairs in soft, sandy hues for a coastal feel.

For a splash of seafaring flair, consider navy or striped upholstery on accent pieces. Incorporate gauzy, light curtains to emulate coastal breezes, and add a statement rug with nautical motifs or in natural, sandy textures to tie the room together.

a living room with coastal influences


Create a serene escape in the bedroom with a nautical-inspired bedframe, such as one in dark wood or painted navy, topped with crisp white and navy linens that echo sailor uniforms.

Enhance the coastal vibe with wall art depicting beach scenes or abstract ocean views. Consider adding a soft, plush rug in jute or sisal to mimic beach textures, and use beach-themed lamps or lantern-style lights to maintain a gentle, relaxing ambiance.


Transform your bathroom into a nautical haven with striped shower curtains and towels that evoke the neatness of a ship’s cabin.

Opt for a vanity in weathered wood to suggest coastal erosion by sea and salt. Accent with nautical accessories like a brass mirror or ship’s wheel décor, and integrate coastal elements such as seashell containers or a sea glass mosaic as a backsplash or decorative accent to merge both themes gracefully.

a bathroom with beachy vibes

Setting the Scene: Accessories and Accents

Deepen the thematic experience with carefully chosen accessories that echo the maritime and beachside elements of your decor.

Cushions and Throws: Go for cushions detailed with maritime symbols—anchors, compasses, or helm wheels—and pair them with lightweight, neutral throws that add a layer of coastal comfort.
Rugs: Choose floor coverings that enhance the theme: a deep blue or striped rug for nautical sharpness, or a soft, sandy-toned rug for subtle beach vibes. Position these strategically to define spaces and add warmth.
Wall Art: Curate a mix of framed nautical maps and sailor’s knots with serene paintings of the coastline or photographic prints of the beach at sunset. This combination can help bridge the themes and add visual interest to your walls.

nautical style decor

Your Coastal Retreat Awaits

Embracing nautical and coastal styles invites a fresh, airy feel into your home, making it a haven of peace and style. These themes offer a unique blend of adventure and tranquillity, perfect for creating living spaces that refresh and inspire.

As you prepare to shop for new decor, remember to keep an eye out for pieces that reflect both the bold spirit of the sea and the calm of the shore.

Visit Corcoran’s or explore other favourite decor haunts to find unique items that capture the essence of both styles.

Your coastal retreat, whether it’s full of sailor’s vigour or beachcomber’s ease, is just a few thoughtful choices away. Set sail on your decorating journey and enjoy the voyage to a beautifully styled home.

Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.

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