When designing a coastal inspired bedroom for a client, I typically begin with a palette of both color and texture that is truly reflective of the coastal feel and the client. Here in Southern California, the coastal areas are rich and varied, with colors like blue, green, creme, grey and even yellow and orange, as well as textures like sand, sea grass, reeds and driftwood. Coastal interiors are hands-down my favorite interiors to design as there is such a wide variety of elements, colors and textures available to re-imagine and infuse into the home and I do prefer to use the power of suggestion when designing a coastal home, rather than a literal or ‘kitschy’ interpretation.
Coastal-inspired spaces are light and airy and evoke an effortless, care-free feeling whether casual or formal, so we want to keep the eye moving in the space by allowing it to travel freely around the room. Consider using glass-topped tables, furniture with legs and see-through backs to keep the eye moving around the room, which will be perceived as larger and more expansive than if you incorporate heavy, block-like sofas and other furniture. If you do use visually heavier furniture, keep it to one or two key pieces.
Using reflective surfaces and accessories like mirrors will also help move light around the room. Any room that is lighter is also generally perceived as being more open, spacious and, generally, happy! If considering use of some of the darker coastal colors, like grey or green, keep them as accent colors or use in just one area to reduce the impact on the light, flowing feeling typical in a coastal-inspired room.
When considering wall color, use a tone of soft white or a light tone of an actual color. White will help move light around the room, whether it’s from a natural source like a window, or from a light fixture. A light tone of a color will provide a similar effect. If you want to make the room darker, this can always be accomplished through drapery, however I have found it best to have the option to go from light to dark through the simple pull on a drapery panel.
Using stripes is another way to keep the eye moving and infuse a space with a familiar coastal design element. Using stripes on the walls or drapery will help make any space look larger by drawing the eye up and into the space, also contributing to the open, spacious feeling.
Keeping these tips in mind will not only help you begin designing a coastal-inspired bedroom, it will help you create a retreat you can enjoy for many years to come.