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Looks We Love: Coastal Cool

Ripples Cusp Mini Pendant by UMAGE

Looks We Love: Coastal Cool

Gone are the days of sailor stripes and anchor-themed kitsch for channeling the spirit of the sea in your home. Here, our favorite ways for a surf-style vibe, even if you’re lacking the ocean view.


In a perfect world, we could all live by the beach. Opening your windows each morning to the salty spray, drifting off to sleep to the sound of the waves—there’s just something about seaside living that is inherently relaxing.

The coastal cool look doesn’t have to come from sea-themed kitsch, or even an ocean view. Everything from a color palette to textures to straightforward aquatic references can bring in a bit of maritime modernity that lets you live everyday like summer in the Hamptons.

Whether you’re priced out of waterfront property or simply living somewhere landlocked, there’s no reason to deny yourself the delights of the beach while riding the modern tide. Here are a few of our favorite ways to live as cool as the coast:

Coastal Color Scheme

Probably the simplest jumping-off point for this makeover is to choose your colors. Envision your ideal beach, and identify the palette that represents the oceanfront best to you. You’ll likely find that natural tones dominate, from white to beige to soft browns from the sand, accents of green from seaweed, a range of blue to represent sky and surf. Warm, bright tones may be at home in small doses, but the overall palette will trend toward neutrals and naturals. Keep the look from getting too nautical by eschewing formal navy blues and white stripes, and instead move your major color choices away from any extremes.

Suggestive Silhouettes

The key to keeping your coastal look cool and not corny is to hint at the theme without going completely overboard. Rather than covering your walls in dehydrated starfish and sand dollars, choose items that represent the seaside in a more abstract way. Feel free to mix your styles in your décor choices, too; a key item or two (like a vaguely coral pillow motif or urchin-esque chandelier) mixed with sleek modern pieces gives your style a chance to shine without looking overdone.

Laid-back Layout

Beach living feels easy, so bring that idea into your space by keeping lines organic and flowing like waves. Pay attention to the arrangement of your furniture and accessories: Open interior areas by decluttering and stripping your furnishings down to only what’s necessary. Think wide expanses of clear floors you can just imagine tracking sand onto, and comfortable pieces that inspire relaxation without formality.

Go Natural

Unfussy fabrics and treatments will go a long way toward making your coastal look work. Try to stick with natural materials like woven grass area rugs or wall coverings, unpainted woods, simple metal finishes and organic fabrics for the easiest-looking results. You can even mix in stone, shell and driftwood—as long as the silhouettes remain modern and not too literal, you won’t fall into a caricature. If organic materials are impractical, there are certainly options out there that are both environmentally friendly and on track with a natural look.

Open Up

A wide expanse of sky lends a freeing sensation to many a beach and spirit. Capture the feeling of sunny breezes by letting in lots of light whenever possible. Airy window treatments, coastal lighting fixtures and visually lightweight materials like clear glass let light bounce around your rooms and prevent spaces from feeling too heavy or closed off.

Got your own ideas about coastal cool? Share your own looks with us using #loveyourlumens on Instagram.

Some brands are excluded.

Alessi, Artek, Arteriors, Artkalia, Bambrella, BDI, Bernhardt Design, Blomus, Blu Dot, Calligaris, Cane-line, Carl Hansen, Cherner Chair Company, Chilewich, Copeland Furniture, Driade, dweLED, Ethnicraft, Fermob, Fine Art Handcrafted Lighting, FLOS, Fredrick Ramond, Gan Rugs, Greenington, Gus Modern, Heller, Herman Miller, Hinkley, Hubbardton Forge, Huppe, Iittala, Kartell, Kebe, Knoll, Lafer, Lafuma, Lechuza, Loll Designs, Loloi, Luceplan, Lyon Beton, Magis, Marset, Midj, Minka Aire Fans, Modern Fan Company, Modern Forms, Modloft, Modloft Black, Moooi Carpets, Nanimarquina, Nelson Bubble Lamps, Nomon, Petite Friture, QLOCKTWO, Roll & Hill, Secto Design, Teckell, Toulemonde Bochart, Visual Comfort, Vitra, Vondom, WAC Lighting, ZANEEN design. Some eligible brands may include items that do not qualify for this promotion. This list is subject to change at any time. All open-box, clearance, light bulbs and some sale items are also excluded from this offer. Cannot be combined with any other offers or past orders.

Discount does not apply to furniture, clearance or open-box items.