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Coastal Style on a Budget

The wonderful thing about coastal design when you are on a budget is that it's a style that relies on simplicity. Less is more here. It's casual and uses nature as it's inspiration. It's easy to create this style with thrift store finds and items from nature, a little bit of elbow grease and some creativity. Lacking creativity? Don't worry. This article will guide you in the right direction!


A coastal home is meant to feel like an extension of the outdoors. Its lends itself to kicking off your shoes, likely with sandy feet, grabbing a book and curling up on the sofa, pulling out a board game and gathering around the coffee table. It's meant to feel like a haven of rest and serenity and to cause you to feel like you are on vacation year round.


The main elements of coastal design rely primarily on color and texture and nature.


First, lets talk color.

White is the predominant color used in coastal design. This is because white reflects light and mimics the brightness of the outdoors. It creates a clean pallet that your colors will pop off and shows off everything in the room, which is great when you are working on a budget. As you can see from this example from Sherwin Williams above, the color in coastal and beach styles revolve around the colors you will see at the beach. Imagine yourself at the ocean. You are standing in the sand...maybe its tab like the California beaches, or maybe its closer to a white sand like in Florida....the water colors range from pale tourquoise to dep navy depending on where you are and the season. There are palm fronds, soft beige grasses, blue skies, and shells in a variey of muted washed color.


Coastal style revolves around these colors. By bringing them indoors, that relaxed feeling you have at the beach comes back home with you.


Next, is texture.

Texture is an a very important element in coastal design. Besides offering you one of your color tones, it mimics the textures of nature. Grainy sand, wispy pampas grass, shaper beach grasses, shells that are both smooth and rough....do you see what I mean? Texture is important. Using natural fibers such as Wicker, rattan, sisal, jute, and woven seagrass mimics nature and lends a warm welcoming feel to your space. Baskets are a dime a dozen at your local thrift store and you can find rattan and wicker furniture very affordably there and on facebook marketplace. A sisal or jute rug is an excellent way to ground your space and a nice chunky woven blanket add further texture and a relaxed feel.

As far as patterns for relaxed beach styles, think soft toned solids, stripes, pin stripes. Soft and clean lines will be more than enough. Like color, this is another facet of the style that leans minimal. If you must have some prints, try a simple, repetitive, pattern for the rug. Artwork could be watercolors or any beach or cloud motifs.


Next, let's talk about nature.


The great thing about this part when decorating

on a budget is that most often its free! While you don't want to go overboard (remember, simplicity is key) these elements can have a huge impact in speaking within a coastal home. A piece of driftwood placed on a shelf or mantle, a large shell on an end table, or a bowl of them on the coffee table, some pampas grass or a couple palm fronds in a neutral vase.....bring the outside indoors! There are alot of articles and blogs online about creating your own decor from nature.






It's really that simple! Here's a checklist to get you going!


  1. Get out the white paint. Start with a white pallet.

  2. Go thrifting. Whether your local thrift shop or facebook marketplace, look for used furniture that you need and don't worry about the color. Paint is the greatest asset you have when on a budget. White, soft blue or pale turquoise, or a soft green will blend thee items seamlessly into your home. White and soft sand colored upholstery is most desirable for a coastal home. Consider a slipcover if you have a perfectly good sofa but its the wrong color!

  3. Go to the beach. Look for pieces of driftwood, gather some shells, grab some pampas grass or a couple palm fronds. While harder to find, seaglass is beautiful in a glass jar.

  4. Places to put what dollars you do have now or get in the future: a natural fiber rug, a few beautiful pillows, a nice chunky textured throw blanket.

  5. My last secret for coastal design is this: Mirrors. Remember, its all about the light. Mirrors reflect light as well as offering a watery pool feeling to the space. These are also easy to find at the thrift store. Paint the frame or glue shells on it if you want a more elevated feel.

Just remember, it's an easy simple style and doesn't take alot. Have fun and share your project with us when you finish! We love to share in the joy!





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