We’ve teamed up with the founder and designer of Lexington Company, Kristina Lindhe, to bring you this fabulous guide to how to decorate coastal style in your own home.
“To bring the warm seaside light and glowing beauty of the New England coast into your home you don’t need to live by the sea. With Lexington I’ve created collections with timeless, authentic appeal – it’s more about making every day special rather than themed. Your scheme should celebrate a holiday house escape and transport you to a place hidden by the sand dunes, close to the beach where the colours of the sea bounce into the sky. A place to spend the sunny summer days and a place for rest, reflection and lots of fun, and for me, I take my inspiration from The Hamptons. I love the architecture, the cedar tree houses, the beach house decor and everything around this look. When creating a space designed to evoke coastal life, think about how it feels to be beside the sea.”
“In your interior, keep your walls and floors clean, simple and light. In the Hamptons, walls are mainly white so it works to have these as your base and then you can add accessories to finish the look. Experiment with white paint on the walls or reclaimed cladding works perfectly with a rustic wooden floor.
For the colour palette around the rest of the room, take inspiration from the coast and be inspired by water. Think soft blues but don’t be limited to this, add soothing hues of greys, greens and red – just like the reflections from the sea and buoys bobbing in the water. These can be teamed with deeper classical blues inspired by the colour of the Atlantic Ocean– nature’s never ending masterpiece. Pick these out around the room and have fun mixing them together.”
02.Patterns & prints
“To create something stylish, think beyond the obvious and make sure you work each element into your scheme in moderation. For me, the coastal look doesn’t need to be based on traditional deckchair stripes, for a fresh twist, pair with floral or ikat patterns which have subtle coastal influences. I like to keep stripes for unexpected places like cushions, bedding or carpets, it means that they don’t overwhelm the home and allow you to create a more subtle look. I think that there’s something lovely about beach house inspired cushions lined up on a white sofa; it creates a great place to reflect and relax after a busy day.
It’s important to create a playful look - being by the coast is so much fun and this should translate into your interior! Try a fun slogan on your kitchen towel or on your cushions. I love sayings like “Don’t be shellfish, share a lobster” and colourful seafood prints on oven gloves and aprons. You can even have fun on your table with placemats and napkins; it’s a great talking point when you have family and friends over for dinner in the summer.”
03.Materials & textures
“Make a splash, don’t be afraid to mix textures - try the combination of cool poplin or chambray with a chunky knitted blanket, it’s perfect for when it gets cold or when the seasons change. In the kitchen or dining spaces, swap traditional silver napkin rings for twisted rope and shell or driftwood centrepieces to play with the textures.
You can also bring the outside in and incorporate materials found on the beach: rough natural floor tiles or salvaged wood for floorboards, shelves, table tops or even a headboard works really well. The coastal look is inherently a relaxed interior style - go on scavenger hunts to pick up pieces you find and use these as accents in the home – it makes your style personal and is also an easy way to set the scene. Showcase your finds; fill glass bell jars with shells and search out sea-worn objects such as weights and buoys on the shore for instant character.
Woven rattan chairs and white sofas are a great way to bring a touch of coastal into your home and are perfectly matched when paired with rustic wooden flooring and off-white furnishings. It’s important to incorporate lots of seating – I find myself entertaining outside a lot and it’s great to have enough chairs for friends, family and neighbours who can all join you for supper. To really feel like you live by the beach; move your dinner party into the garden. Eating al fresco is a simple way to feel connected to a coastal way of life. Choose soft cotton napkins, light colours and tea lights for the ultimate way to spend an evening –all you need is good company.”
04.Lighting & accessories
“Light is a really important element when you decorate coastal style. Spaces with large windows, glass doors and skylights allow sunshine to flood in and instantly make the home feel cooler and breezier. You can accentuate the light in your area with mirrors around the room so the sun bounces around your interior spaces.
There is always a place for flowers in the home, bring in coastal inspired flowers and display them in relaxed glass jam jars or vases in various sizes. Be inspired by wild flowers which surround the lighthouses on twisting and turning cliff tops. "
05.Bed & bath
“Carry the beach decor style through to the bathroom with fresh bundles of towels and wild flowers by the bath and keep everything light and simple for a fresh look. I love to team stacks of towels in different patterns and colours – for a coastal look mix in navy, light blue and white and then, as the seasons evolve, you can bring in other colours from nature to reflect the changes outside while still keeping the beach style.
If you’re decorating a bedroom without an ocean view, why not choose a painting of the sea? Either a watercolour of the waves rolling against the coastline or try a photographic Hamptons Beach print - a statement wall piece can really tie together all elements of a room. Frame it in simple white or weathered wood to keep the look refreshingly crisp."
"I think the most important thing with this style, is to choose classic items that last a lifetime, look for quality, you want pieces which last and look loved. With bedding, invest in a design which gets more comfortable after each wash, at Lexington that is exactly what we have tried to achieve from all of our designs – it’s important to design and choose pieces which grow with the house and your tastes and style.”
“Finally, beach house decor is not just for summer, celebrate the change of the seasons and embrace it all year round. Consider shades of earthy browns, and golden hues which can translate into autumn too, reminiscent of cool, windy coastal walks and create a cosy sanctuary away from the harsh weather.”
With thanks to Kristina Lindhe, founder and designer of Lexington Company.