Coastal Interior Design: Tips for Creating a Relaxing Florida Beach Retreat

Curated Decor, Interior Design • April 10, 2023

Coastal interior design is a popular home decor style that evokes the feeling of being near the ocean. This design style incorporates elements such as light and airy color palettes, natural textures, and materials that mimic the natural beauty of the seaside.

Coastal interior design is perfect if you want to create a relaxing and calming atmosphere in your home. Whether you live by one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or in the heart of Orlando, coastal interior design can transport you to your very own seaside retreat.

Understanding Key Components of Coastal Interior Design

As with any interior design style, there are key design elements that will help you create the full effect of a coastal-inspired design including color, materials, textures, as well as furniture, plants and art.

There are also several sub-types of coastal interior design, including styles that lean more beachy, nautical, or tropical. Think about what feeling you want to create in your own home. For example, the beachy style incorporates elements such as seashells, coral, and driftwood. Nautical design emphasizes navy blue and white stripes, anchors, and other nautical motifs. While a tropical style features bold, bright colors, and patterns inspired by the lush flora and fauna of the tropics.

Coastal interior design can be adapted to different rooms in your home, such as your living room, bedroom and even the bathroom bringing in different elements in each for a complete beachy feel.

Tips for Creating Your Own Coastal-Inspired Home

If you’re looking to add some coastal elements into your home decor, here are some easy elements you can consider:

  1. Use natural materials: Incorporate natural materials like rattan, wicker, and seagrass to add texture to a space. Driftwood, coral, and seashells also make great accent pieces.
  2. Play with color: Experiment with shades of blue, green, and sand to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Or consider using bold, bright colors in a tropical-style space.
  3. Add coastal-inspired decor: Incorporate coastal-inspired decor such as artwork, lighting, and textiles. For example, a seashell-shaped lamp or a woven seagrass rug can add a touch of coastal charm to any room.
  4. Create or find a statement piece: Use a large piece of furniture or artwork to create a focal point in a room. For example, a driftwood coffee table or a large piece of coastal artwork can instantly transform a space.

Beyond these elements, adding plants to your home design can make a big impact for creating that coastal feeling and take your coastal style home to the next level.

sea oats by the beach

Incorporating Native Florida Plants

Here are some Florida native plants that would be perfect for adding a beachy vibe to your living space:

  1. Sea oats (Uniola paniculata) – Sea oats are a staple of Florida’s coastal landscape and can add a touch of beachy charm to your home. These grasses have tall stems and soft, light-green foliage that sway in the breeze. They also produce tall, wheat-like seed heads that add visual interest.
  2. Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera) – Seagrape is a Florida native plant that is well-suited for coastal decor. It has large, round leaves that resemble grape leaves and produce clusters of red or purple fruit. Seagrape can be grown as a small tree or a large shrub and is tolerant of salt spray.
  3. Silver saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) – The silver saw palmetto is a unique and striking plant that can add a touch of coastal style to your home. It has blue-green, fan-like leaves with silver undersides that shimmer in the light. This plant is also tolerant of salt spray and drought.
  4. Coontie (Zamia integrifolia) – Coontie is a slow-growing plant with a unique appearance that can add a tropical touch to your home decor. It has dark green, feathery foliage and produces large cones of orange-red berries. Coontie is also the host plant for the Florida Atala butterfly, making it an eco-friendly choice for your home.
  5. Firebush (Hamelia patens) – Firebush is a Florida native plant that produces clusters of bright red, tubular flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Its leaves are glossy and dark green, making it an attractive addition to any coastal decor scheme. Firebush is also drought-tolerant and easy to care for.

When choosing the plants for your home decor, just be sure to choose plants that are suited to your home’s lighting conditions and growing environment to ensure they thrive.

coastal interior design

Coastal Interior Design DIY Project Ideas

Sometimes the best decor pieces in your home are not ones that you find or buy but ones that you create yourself. If you’re feeling crafty, here are some fun DIY projects to incorporate coastal elements into your home.

DIY Driftwood Mirror:

Create a statement piece by making a driftwood mirror.


  • Circular mirror
  • Pieces of driftwood
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil


  1. Measure the diameter of your mirror and mark the center of the mirror with a pencil.
  2. Arrange the driftwood pieces around the mirror to create a frame. Make sure the pieces fit together well and cover the edges of the mirror.
  3. Starting with the outermost layer of driftwood, apply hot glue to the back of the pieces and attach them to the mirror. Continue adding layers of driftwood until the frame is complete.
  4. Let the glue dry completely before hanging the mirror.

DIY Beachy mural:

Paint a beach-inspired mural on a wall in your home.


  • Paint in shades of blue, green, and sand
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencil
  • Eraser


  1. Sketch the outline of your beachy scene on the wall using a pencil. This could include waves, sand, palm trees, and other coastal motifs.
  2. Starting with the sky, paint the background of your mural using shades of blue and green.
  3. Paint the sand using a light shade of sand-colored paint. Add texture to the sand by using a dry brush technique or a sponge.
  4. Add waves to your mural using darker shades of blue and green. Blend the colors together to create a realistic effect.
  5. Add finishing touches to your mural, such as palm trees or seashells.
seashells in front of a mirror

DIY Seashell Garland

Create a garland using seashells and twine.


  • Seashells
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks


  1. Cut a length of twine to the desired length of your garland.
  2. Arrange the seashells along the twine in the desired pattern.
  3. Apply hot glue to the back of each seashell and attach it to the twine.
  4. Continue adding seashells until the garland is complete.
  5. Let the glue dry completely before hanging the garland along a mantel or use it to decorate a coastal-inspired Christmas tree.

Whether you’re looking to completely transform your living space or simply incorporate a few coastal accents, there are many ways to bring the beach to your home. From incorporating light and airy fabrics to using natural materials and adding coastal-themed decor, the possibilities are endless.

And with these easy and affordable DIY projects, you can create your own personalized coastal oasis. So why not give coastal interior design a try and let the calming and soothing vibes of the sea wash over your home? I hope this article has inspired you to bring a little bit of the beach into your living space.

Need some help bringing all the ideas together for your space, reach out to me here to talk about a custom interior design.

xo, Merissa

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