Inviting Coastal Living Rooms

Coastal Lowcountry Living Room
Photo: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Create a coastal living room with the different colors, decor, and special touches found in these beach houses.

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Coastal Lowcountry Living Room

Coastal Lowcountry Living Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Materials that connect to the location are key to character building. Sisal hints at the marsh grasses in an elegant way and is also durable, easy to clean, and ideal for layering. The alligator skull speaks to the local wildlife, while palms in antique glass and fern-patterned pillows are additional nods to the room's Lowcountry vibe and provide a carefree polish.

Layering a vintage kilim over a natural sisal rug acts as an attractive barrier against water, sand, and other elements.

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Colorful Living Room

Choose a Sunny Palette

Crisp whites combined with punches of bright colors immediately transport you to the coast. In this living room, aqua accents in the pillows, throw, and rug mimic the ocean’s dazzling blues, and the pops of bright orange are inspired by the magnificent hues of the setting sun. Whitewashed horizontal shiplap planking evokes the feel of old Gulf-front beach houses.

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Nautical Living Room

Give Your Living Room a Sense of Place

Coastal and nautical touches abound in this family room beginning with the seashell-print pillows. Coastal artwork over the fireplace flanks shelving that is filled to the brim with shell frames and boxes.

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Tropical Living Room

Accessorize With Local Pieces
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Tortoise and conch shells accessorize the living room, while starfish adorn the mantel. Books on South Carolina’s coastal area lie stacked on the coffee table and topped with shells. Vases of palm fronds simply picked up from outside complete the tropical decor.

Walls covered with horizontal reclaimed cypress boards lend a subtle texture and aroma. Where the walls are neutral, eye-catching cushions, throws, and painted furniture keep things upbeat.

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Traditional Beach Living Room

2009 Southern Living Texas Idea House Living Room
Laurey W. Glenn, Robbie Caponetto / Styling: Matthew Gleason

Give a brand-new beach house lived-in personality with walls covered in horizontal shiplap planking. Whitewashed for a casual look and coated with polyurethane to protect the finish, planked walls evoke the ageless character of old Gulf-front beach houses.

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Casual Living Room

Casual Living Room
Photo: Jean Allsopp

This beach house's living room mixes different furnishings for a relaxed feel. A wicker armchair and caramel colors have a "please touch, no fuss feel."

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Subtle Coastal Living Room

Nautical Coastal Home Decor: A Touch of Blue
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Although a gray-blue coastal palette is dominant elsewhere in the house, the homeowners didn’t want to overplay the blue tones in the decor inside the living room. The slate surround of the fireplace, cream-colored sofa, and light blue runner on the table reinforce a neutral color scheme with sparing use of nautical blues.

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Serene Getaway

Beach Home Decorating: Bring the Outdoors In

In this tailor-made, serene indoor getaway, wicker lounge chairs surrounded by lush plants and coastal shrubbery transport you to the coast without you ever having to set foot outside your home by decorating. Don’t forget the beach towels and refreshing beverages!

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Nantucket-Inspired Living Room

Nantucket-Inspired Living Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This family wanted to bring the casual beauty of Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts to their Texas home on Galveston bay. The wicker furniture and red, white, and blue fabrics evoke the casual beach feel perfectly.

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Coastal Motifs

Beach Home Decorating: Pick Coastal Motifs

Adding just one seaside reference, such as a palm-patterned rug, is all you need to give a subtle nod toward the region.

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3-D Shell Frame

3D Frame
Laurey W. Glenn / Syling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Prop a photo from your vacation in a glass vase, and surround it with seashells to hold it up. This is an easy way to make a simple snapshot something see-worthy!

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