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Article: The Ultimate Guide to Coastal Color Schemes

Color

The Ultimate Guide to Coastal Color Schemes

By Alan George


The allure of the seaside has long captivated the hearts of many, with its soothing waves, golden sands, and the gentle rustling of coastal breezes. It is no wonder that coastal color themes have become increasingly popular in interior design, as they allow us to bring a piece of this tranquility into our homes. These color palettes, inspired by the natural hues found along the shore, have the power to transform any space into a serene and inviting retreat. Coastal color themes draw from a range of elements, from the soft blues of the ocean to the warm, neutral tones of the sand. By understanding the key components of these palettes and how to effectively incorporate them into our living spaces, we can create an atmosphere that embodies the essence of the seaside.

 

living room waves beach sunshine color influence1/138

The Influence of Nature

Nature's stunning coastal landscapes provide an endless source of inspiration for color palettes. Soothing hues reminiscent of crashing waves, sandy beaches, and bright sunshine set the ideal backdrop for a relaxing waterfront aesthetic.

 

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Timeless Neutrals

Soft, comforting neutrals form the foundation of most coastal color stories. Clean white, warm beige, and weathered gray evoke a sense of casual elegance and tranquility. These neutrals allow vibrant accent colors to pop.

 

bedroom neutral cozy whites beiges grays driftwood tones3/138


coastal calm bedroom creams and driftwood neutrals
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Living room with colors influenced by crashing waves, sandy beach, bright sunshine
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Living room with colors influenced by crashing waves, sandy beach, bright sunshine4
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Vibrant Accent Hues

Splashes of color pulled straight from seaside vistas enliven coastal spaces. Think sunshine yellow, ocean blue, sandy tan, vivid coral, and lush green. Used judiciously as accents, these bold hues capture the vibrancy of waterfront living.
 

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Living room with pops of ocean blues, sandy tans, lush seaside greens - interior design
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Choosing a Unifying Color Scheme

With nature's bounty as your guide, settle on one unifying approach to coordinate your coastal color scheme throughout the space.
 

cohesive beach house color palettes monochrome analogous complement9/138


color scheme inspiration board for unified seaside looks
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moodboard monochromatic analogous complementary coastal palettes
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Monochromatic Serenity

Monochromatic palettes focusing on variations of a single hue like blue or green provide a subtle, peaceful atmosphere. Layer in shades, tints and tones for tonal depth.
 

coastal inspired moodboard312/138


seafoam green living space soothing blues in bedroom olive sitting room
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Sitting area in olive tones - monochromatic414/138

Coastal Harmony

Try an analogous palette of adjacent colors like turquoise and seafoam for effortless cohesion. These near neighbors share similar undertones for harmonious flow.
 

Bathroom with turquoise and seafoam tilework15/138


Bathroom with turquoise and seafoam tilework
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harmonious beach bath turquoise seafoam aqua green adjoining tones17/138

 

Living room with cohesive blue-green shades318/138

Complementary Bold Contrasts

For a look that truly pops, embrace the vibrancy of complementary colors like navy and coral. This high contrast combination creates a vivid focal point when used judiciously.
 

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living room navy coral contrast dining emerald crimson pop
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Seaside Inspired Neutrals

Neutrals anchoring your color scheme should whisper "relaxed waterfront living." Play with pale and saturated versions for visual interest.
 

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Sun Kissed Whites and Creams

Like sunlight glinting off gently lapping waves, creamy whites and pale ivory hues imbue spaces with warmth and an airy feel. Use for living room walls, upholstery and accessories.
 

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Dining room showcasing driftwood inspired taupes227/138


crisp white tan and driftwood gray for relaxing oceanside neutrals
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living room neutral whites and creams beach bedroom tans and grays
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neutral seaside living spaces with white tan gray tones
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white living tan bedroom gray dining in coastal neutrals
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Driftwood Grays and Taupes

Weathered grays and taupes mimic sun bleached driftwood for that quintessential beachy vibe. Rich charcoal grounds while pale driftwood whispers sophistication and are great options for dining room furniture. 
 

light gray hallway taupe dining driftwood sofa in living32/138

 

living room gray driftwood couch charcoal pillows taupe dining33/138

Sandy Beiges and Tans

What could be more coastal than colors pulled straight from the shoreline? Tan, khaki and greige suggestive of beach sand provide an earthy, grounding resonance.
 

Bathroom with warm sandy tones434/138


living area with tan walls khaki chairs greige bedroom sandy hues
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sandy beige living khaki chairs tan greige accents in bedroom
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warm tan khaki living room suite greige sandy accented bedroom
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Refreshing Ocean Blues

From slate to turquoise, shades of blue are central to any coastal palette. Use varying intensities to create an ebb and flow of color.
 

tranquil blues reminiscent of the ocean in beach home interiors42/138


soothing blues in baths living bedrooms drawing from the sea
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azure ocean shades in calming seaside interiors44/138

Soft Powder Blue Accents

Channel clear blue skies and placid shallows with pastel powder blue. This tranquil teint works beautifully as an all over bathroom wall color or accent trim.
 

Bathroom with powder blue walls, white wainscoting345/138


Bathroom with powder blue walls, white wainscoting246/138


Bathroom with powder blue walls, white wainscoting447/138


Living room with light blue sofa, nautical pillows48/138


breezy powder blue bath white wainscot light blue sofa49/138


powder blue accents in serene beach house bathroom and lounge50/138


powder blues and whites in relaxing seaside bath and living room51/138


soft blue touches in coastal bathroom pale blue living accents52/138

Deep Navy

Make a statement with deep, dramatic navy suggestive of midnight ocean depths. This bold neutral is perfect for an accent wall or robust furnishings and textiles in a living room.

 

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Living room with moody navy accent wall
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Living room with moody navy accent wall
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Living room with moody navy accent wall
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Dining room with navy dining chairs3
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Bedroom with navy upholstered headboard
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Turquoise Tropical Flair

Vibrant turquoise infuses maximum energy and Caribbean flair. Use this saturated aqua shade as a brilliant bedroom accent against neutrals for an instant coastal pop.
 

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Master bedroom with vibrant turquoise accents 361/138


Bathroom with aqua tiled shower362/138

Verdant Coastal Greens

From soft sage to vibrant emerald, shades of green evoke lush tropics and provide an ideal counterpoint to blues and beiges.
 

verdant coastal greens flow thru home from living to bedrooms63/138


rich olive sage and seafoam green tones in beach interiors
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lush seaside inspired greens in living dining bedroom bath hall
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beach house in tranquil earthy green shades like olive sage seafoam
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Subdued Sage and Olive Tones

Muted sage and olive impart an organic, earthy essence. Use these muted greens as neutrals for hallway walls, floors and large upholstered pieces.
 

muted earthy sage olive tones create soothing seaside feel67/138


olive sofa sage accents and hallway for laid back beach look68/138


organic olive and sage neutrals for serene coastal vibe69/138


relaxed olive green sofa sage pillows in living green hallway70/138


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Living room with olive green sofa, sage pillows
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Vibrant Emerald Touches

When you crave drama, turn to deep, luxurious emerald green. This saturated jewel tone suggests dense tropical foliage when used as an accent in a dining room.
 

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Dining room with statement emerald chairs
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emerald dining chairs pop in artwork enliven coastal living
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 Living room with pop of emerald in artwork279/138

Tranquil Seafoam Highlights

Soft, ethereal seafoam satisfies your craving for serene coastal color. Use this delicate pale green as an all over wall color or highlight accent.
 

Bedroom with serene seafoam walls480/138


Bedroom with serene seafoam walls
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tranquil pale seafoam green tones throughout peaceful seaside bedroom living
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Coral and Shell Pinks

Ranging from faded blush to vibrant tangerine, pink and coral hues derived from seashells and sunsets infuse coastal interiors with energy.
 

beach inspired pink to coral accents in coastal interiors84/138


blushing pinks and vivid coral hues like seashells and sunsets
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Delicate Blush Undertones

The palest pinks and blush tones make an understated accent when paired with bright white. Use for trims, fabrics and accessories.
 

Bedroom with blush and warm wood tones86/138


Bedroom with blush and warm wood tones
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Bedroom with blush and warm wood tones
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Bedroom with blush and warm wood tones
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blushing pinks add delicate undertones in living bed bath
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bathroom with blush accents on neutral sofa blush
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Living room with blush pillows on neutral sofa3
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Vivacious Sunset Hues

Spice up your palette with vibrant corals and orangey pinks reminiscent of spectacular ocean sunsets. A little goes a long way with these spirited accents, especially in a bedroom.
 

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Bedroom with coral duvet on white bed
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saturated sunset corals and oranges enliven beach bedroom living
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Living room with sunset colored accent chair
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Muted Terracotta Warmth

On the deeper side of the spectrum, muted terracotta and baked clay provide an earthy, Southwestern influence perfect for kitchen floors or accent walls.
 

Kitchen with terracotta tile floor105/138


Kitchen with terra cotta barstools2106/138


Kitchen with terra cotta barstools3107/138


Living_room_with_baked_clay_accent_wall108/138

 

rustic terracotta kitchen floor terra cotta living accent wall barstools109/138


spanish style kitchen terra cotta floor living room terra cotta accent110/138


warm muted terra cotta tones in beach house kitchen living bar
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Bringing it All Together

Now you're ready to harmonize your beachy color selections into a cohesive, well balanced interior.
 

beachy vibe achieved thru unified colors textures and patterns112/138

 

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harmonized seaside spaces with seamless color texture pattern blend
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Balancing Neutral and Accent Shades

Start with a base of comforting neutrals like soft white, warm tan, or weathered driftwood. Then layer in pops of bold color like turquoise, coral or emerald green.
 

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weathered wood turquoise accents white with coral green116/138


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Living room in crisp white with coral and green
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Living room in crisp white with coral and green4
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Living room in beige with blues and yellows
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Incorporating Textural Variety

Prevent your coastal palette from looking flat by incorporating a range of textiles, woods, and materials that vary in sheen, weave and pattern.
 

layered textures like jute rug driftwood linen and ceramic123/138


mix of textures sleek driftwood mirror metal frames
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woven jute rug ceramic vases nubby linen pillows glossy books
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woven rugs weathered woods sleek ceramics and soft breezy linens
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Living room with woven jute rug, ceramic vases
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Living room with woven jute rug, ceramic vases3
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Living room with woven jute rug, ceramic vases4
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Living room with linen pillows, glossy books2
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Living room with linen pillows, glossy books3
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Living room with linen pillows, glossy books4
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Creating Seaside Inspired Ambiance

Finalize your color story's sense of place by incorporating natural materials, maritime accessories and furnishings that reinforce that relaxed oceanfront spirit.
 

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Living room with porthole mirror, life preserver decor2
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Living room with porthole mirror, life preserver decor4
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Living room with ocean themed furniture2
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