26 Ways to Make Your Home Feel Like a Modern Coastal Paradise

Modern design and coastal design may seem like a bit of an odd couple. After all, modern design is known for its crisp lines, bold shapes, and sleek minimalism. Coastal design—with its vibrant colors, beachy prints, and kitschy décor—is known for just the opposite.

But, combine the two, and you end up with something truly special. “Modern coastal design is a fresh, simplified take on traditional coastal décor,” Ariel Schuster, sales and design consultant at Artaic, says. “It leans into the visceral experience of being in a coastal environment without being so literal.”In other words, you end up with an aesthetic that feels like the beach, so much so that you don’t need décor telling you where you are.

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Modern coastal design blends the sleek minimalism of modern design with the beachy feel of coastal design. The result is typically a space filled with clean lines, coastal colors, and subtle nods to the beachy surroundings.

“Modern coastal design evokes the feelings of that beachy lifestyle without the obvious kitsch,” Kate Shaw and Betsy Moyer, co-founders of the experiential design firm Retreat, say. That means fewer surfboards, fewer ocean photographs, and fewer fish-lined patterns. On the whole, you can expect to swap statements for subtleties. Focus on suggesting a sense of place to your guests rather than shouting it at them the moment they walk through the door.

The journey to creative inspiration can be an infinitely fulfilling one. When we are in alignment and our creativity is flowing, it seems as if all the world is opening up to us and revealing its beauty.

When creative blockages emerge, however—due to stress, self-doubt or simply becoming stagnant in our own routines—inspiration can seem increasingly elusive. This month, we’re diving deep into the creative journey and sharing our steps to reawaken inspiration—just in time to greet spring.

Of course, balancing two conflicting aesthetics is always a challenge, but there’s no need for overwhelm. Instead of getting intimidated, scroll down to see some of our favorite modern coastal interiors—and bookmark your favorite modern coastal design ideas from the bunch.

Simplify Your Palette

A modern coastal bedroom, filled with white and off-white pieces and two modern brass table lamps.
JULIAN PORCINO
If you want to craft a space that feels both coastal and modern, a great place to start is with your palette. Though classic coastal spaces are often filled with deep blues and bright oranges, modern interiors demand a more minimalist approach.

That doesn’t mean forgoing color entirely, but if you’re trying to craft the sleekest space possible, it might mean keeping your base color soft and subtle.

Coastal interiors are full of texture, and that’s because the spaces they’re evoking are also full of texture. Classic accents—like seagrass rugs, driftwood pieces, and seashell mirrors—come directly from the ocean, and woven pieces nod to some of the plants you’d find along the beach.

By bringing these few elements into your home, you can make your space feel cozy and coastal, even if your walls are lined with exposed brick as seen above. Feel free to share your projects in the comments section.

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