Ocean Inspirations for your Home

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When drawing inspiration for your next decorating project the source may be as varied as a blooming peony or a rusty nail. Because of its wonder, beauty, and vastness the ocean frequently inspires me and countless other designers, but today I have singled out some very specific ocean elements, some that might get overlooked, and wanted to explore how we can draw inspiration from each one.


drift wood inspiration for interior design ocean ideas

Sometimes I would play the song “Driftwood” by Travis on repeat when I was in college. While that may be a throwback to 2002, I feel like actual driftwood will never go out of style. Being dried out, faded, and weathered from the sun makes this little piece of ocean life a perfect source for inspiration when re-doing your next space, especially if you enjoy muted, earthy tones. Apply a weathered finish to kitchen cabinets and infuse wicker and rattan in furniture and rugs to really set the tone.

Red Coral

red coral interior design inspiration

While there is a ban on selling red coral for personal possession, we can still get the most out of this beautiful sea creature by using it to inspire a room. Whether you deck the walls in draped red fabric or use it as framing for photos in an otherwise monochromatic space, red is a sure fire way to add a little punch to your interior décor. My favorite part of red and other coral is its asymmetrical form and interesting texture. Red can get to be too much as flat paint on a wall so I like to incorporate it as textured fabric in rugs or pillows or textured wallpaper.

Black Crab

black crab room inspiration

Of all the things I see when I visit the tide pools, finding a crab is probably the most exciting. While out exploring, I find that black crabs are a lot more common to stumble upon that the larger (more delicious) orange variety and they also happen to be perfect inspiration. Various shades of black and hints of brown can make up a beautiful and sophisticated interior that can learn toward ultra-glam, or cozy-chic like the bedroom above.

Sand Dollar

sand dollar interior design inspiration

Perhaps even more exciting than stumbling upon a crab is finding a sand dollar washed up on the shore on an early more jog. One small and simple sand dollar can be a fantastic source for getting inspired. The variation of gray tones and hints of purple can lead the way to an interior that is soothing and beautiful. Paint the walls white and pull in warm-gray furnishings, or paint the walls gray and layer furniture and accents in other gray tones. Gray is also a perfect palette for adding a variety of other tones and textures.

Aside from the standard sea glass and seashells, what are some things about the ocean that inspire you?

Image Sources- Driftwood (upper left) eHow, (lower left) Creative in Chicago, (right) House Beautiful via Design Manifest; Red Coral (upper left) Search Dictionaries, (lower left) Elle Décor, (right) Elle Décor; Black Crab (upper left) Monson Madness, (lower left) Celerie Kemble via Art and Lair, (right) World Market; Sand Dollar (left) Squidoo, (upper right) Owen's Cultured Stone, (lower right) Kelly Hoppen via November Peonies.

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Brittany is an interior designer and stylist constantly searching for creativity and inspiration in the world around her. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California where she finds plenty of both. Her interior design studio services a variety of clients throughout California seeking her simple and collected aesthetic. Brittany believes that a house becomes a home when it is beautiful, comfortable and, most importantly, reflects the personality of the people who live inside.