Our Monterey furniture store offers many different styles of furniture. But because we are located on the California coast and supplying furniture to Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-sea, and Salinas, we always have ample inventory of coastal furniture for our customers who grew up on the beautiful California beaches.


What is Coastal Design?

Simply put, Coastal Interior Design is a style that is inspired by the beach. Watery blues, cool grays, natural materials and whitewashed finishes are staples in this category, and together create an open, airy and casual space. Of course with any style, there are variations in coastal design that will meet more specific interior design styles. It can range from traditional coastal design to modern, and it can vary from Nautical to Mediterranean. It’s a rather large umbrella (…beach umbrella!), but Mum’s Place is here to help define the style and offer inspiration so you can design your own coastal home!


The Elements of Coastal Design


Light colored fabrics and materials are essential. Sheer curtains that will billow with ocean breeze (picture that dinner scene in the 2013 Great Gatsby), crisp white cotton, blue and green sea glass hued accents, natural sandy colored linens, and white washed or naturally finished wood pieces will make you feel like you’re enjoying a perfectly breezy day at the beach. Negative space is very valuable as well. A house that has an open floor plan or wide doorways between rooms are ideal. And don’t forget that less is more when it comes to placing coastal furniture in your home!


You should feel a little like you’re on a vacation at a beach house when it comes to the furniture and accessories. Slip covered sofas not only create easy-to-clean seating (especially when you consider the light colored fabrics) but it also creates a more casual space. Reclaimed wood or driftwood coffee tables or other accents will add natural qualities to those laid-back vibes (and it’s more Eco-friendly). Read more about Eco-friendly furniture here.


We already touched on reclaimed wood, but there are other natural materials and colors to take advantage of. Cotton is a great material to work with because it is lightweight, breathable, and natural. Linen is another great option for similar reasons, but it will also add a great texture to your space. Clam shell accents like the Palecek Loren Fossilized Clam Shell Cocktail Table (above) is a great use of natural materials and an amazing example of making a traditionally beachy material into a beautifully refined statement piece. Wicker baskets and arm chairs combine all the natural, casual, and airy elements!


Coastal Furniture is Supposed to Feel Like a Vacation

What do you do when you go to the beach? Do you lay out in the sun? Do you lounge under an umbrella sipping iced tea? Do you walk along the water collecting sea glass and shells? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you know what coastal style is all about. So when it comes to choosing furniture, go ahead and add the chaise to your sectional so you can lounge after a hard day at the office. Or go (a little) bold and boho with a hanging wicker chair that will be both picturesque and perfectly comfortable to get back into reading that book. As mentioned before, slip covered sofas and chairs are practical pieces that embody a casual lifestyle and encourage you to relax because they are so easy to clean. Doesn’t that sound so stress-free? And don’t worry about using coasters on wood furniture because coastal pieces aren’t glossy. They are instead whitewashed and weathered, so they likely won’t be marked by the condensation on your glass of iced tea, or it if it does, it will just add to the character of this laid-back look.

What if I Love Traditional Interior Design?

Well, you’re in luck! What makes this style so great is that you don’t have to give up your personal style. Coastal interior design is mostly based on colors, materials, and the idea of introducing calming ocean vibes to your room. You don’t have to sacrifice your love of traditional, transitional, or modern design. Simply apply the basic elements of the style to your favorite pieces. When choosing furniture, focus on beachy colors, natural materials, and organic lines.

It Doesn’t Have to be Monochrome

You might be thinking that this style can get a little boring… “White, beige, light blue? Is that what it’s limited to?” There are so many directions you can go with coastal style furniture outside of what’s been mentioned already. You can add pops of color like orange and yellow, inspired by those amazing beach sunsets, or use navy blues and turquoises for a more Nautical look. Or, combine colors like bright blue and green to muster up feelings of that great vacation you took to a tropical paradise.

Uttermost Table Lamp

Want to be Current? Follow These Tips

Stay away from cliches. Coastal Design doesn’t mean anchors, seashells, and stripes, but you still don’t have to avoid them completely. Steer clear from the easy appeal of cutesy seashell lamps by toning down the rest of the room. Go minimal when it comes to the obvious coastal accents. A few simple woven baskets, lamps that lightly resemble shells (like the one above from Uttermost), and a few colored glass bottles on the mantle are enough.

White will go a long way as well, and don’t hinder any natural light from entering your home. Crisp white walls, countertops, and shelving units will open up your space even if square footage won’t allow it.

Now let’s simplify everything down to a couple key notes

Current coastal interior design is minimalist. By using lots of white paint, ample light, open spaces, and a (mostly) muted color scheme, your home will feel easy, breezy, beautiful. Coastal interior design is all about natural elements. All of the colors in your space should be inspired by nature, and all materials should be natural and minimally altered by finishes and dyes. You should feel relaxed and casual in a coastal home.

Cleanable slipcovers, ample seating and lounging space, and toned down accessories are all you need!

Ready to get started?

Browse our accessories page to find our favorite beach-inspired accents, or visit our Monterey Showroom to take a look at our sofas and recliners!

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