Get the look: A coastal interior (with white shutters)

Fiona Duffy 15/06/2018 17:06:27 DIY and How-to Guides

Make waves with your interior design by bringing a simple, serene, seaside look to your home with these easy-to-achieve decorating tips to complement your white shutters.

Pic: Design by Black Band, Photo by Tessa Neustadt

Colour Scheme

A palette of neutral colours as your base will start you on your coastal vibe, letting accents of blues, corals or seaside-inspired shades in your accessories do the talking. Whites and soft greys on walls and woodwork provide a simple backdrop to work with. For living areas and bedrooms opt for warmer hues, and for bathrooms, kitchens and rooms that don’t need a ‘cosy’ feel, cool tones will give a fresh look.

Pic: California Shutters

Window Dressing

Do you dream of having a sea view, but in reality you look on to a neighbours garden? White shutters will subtly break up a less than favourable view without compromising on light entering the room. Tilt the slats at an angle and nobody will know it’s not a sandy beach you can look out to. In coastal interiors, maximising light that enters the room is a must, and finding the right window dressing that allows light to flood through, gives privacy, and provide near-blackout (in bedrooms) doesn’t have to be difficult to achieve. Again, classic white shutters provide all of these and have the advantage of complementing a coastal look with their fresh colour and clean lines. Layering light, linen or pinstripe curtains above your white shutters will soften the look further.


Rustic, worn and practical are the the considerations for coastal-look flooring. Keep in mind beach walkways, the wooden decking you see surrounding beach huts, and try to recreate the look inside your home. Popular choices are distressed white floorboards and lime washed oak flooring which are stylish and full of charm. You don’t necessarily need floorboards for this feature. There are now porcelain tile and laminate options with this look that are less maintenance and more durable. Introducing large jute rugs or striped runners up stairs bring warmth to the space.

Pic: John Lewis


Upgrading your light fittings to nautical-inspired wall lights and pendants will pull the look together and create a focal point in the room. First consider the metal finish that will pair well with your colour scheme. For a more contemporary look opt for tarnished silver light decor, and for a more rustic vibe choose antique brass. Then think about the space you’re lighting. Bulkhead wall lights are a good option if you’re lighting a particular zone, a dining area in an open plan space for example, whereas fisherman pendant lights in the ceiling are a good option to throw light around the whole room.

Pic: Loaf

Textures & Materials

Incorporating a good mix of the right textures and materials is how you can give your coastal interior life. When accessorising, think tough rope frames and door stops, rough driftwood pieces collected from the beach or made into candle holders, and detailed seagrass baskets, all will remind you of being at the beach. Striped or pinstriped linens will bring a nautical look to cushions and curtains. If yours is a bigger project, consider installing a shiplap wall which will provide a strong focal point and give the illusion of a wider room. White washed or distressed furniture styled against it completes the look.

Get more coastal interior ideas for your home