by ·

Images of the beach. Endless sweeping sand, lapped by blue waves that lull us to sleep at night, as we listen to their low roar through transparent muslin panels. There is something elemental, primal even, about our relationship with the sea. It’s a life-giving foundation and as such, breathes life even into our surroundings at home.

As infinite as the sea is, though, a little goes a long way in terms of design. We like to interpret beach life with unfussy interiors, wind-scoured color and natural decorative elements. Caribbean yo-ho-ho and shipshape nautical don’t really row our boat. Here is a sample of what we mean:

Dinning Area
Photos from Tim Clarke’s book, Coastal Modern.


Elements of style: a light touch, comfortable surroundings.

Think about raw wood surfaces with clean lines, sturdy and comfortable textiles, as much natural lighting as possible, and dried interesting objects from the sea (shells, coral, sea glass). The look is relatively easy to achieve and intensely subjective. Your space will feel entirely personal whether you pull it off yourself or help a client articulate his vision.

“There is no single design style, era, color scheme, size or shape that typifies coastal modern, because the style is about a way of living and a way of looking at the world,” says Tim Clarke in Coastal Modern. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Beach Living
Sea Inspired Designs
 Photo courtesy Iron Fish Art;

Do you live near the beach? What elements of the sun and surf speak to you?

Photos reprinted from COASTAL MODERN: SOPHISTICATED HOMES INSPIRED BY THE OCEAN Copyright © 2012 by Tim Clarke. Photos © 2012 by Noah Webb. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.


Leave a comment