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By Britne White
Photos by Matthew Gane
LIVING A COASTAL LIFESTYLE vs. LIVING ON THE COAST
For most, falling in love with the coast is effortless. It’s common to be captivated by the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the never-ending palm trees, and the breathtaking sunsets. However, the lasting impression comes from the peace and tranquility it brings to those lucky enough to experience it. So, we must ask ourselves, are we living a coastal lifestyle or are we merely living on the coast?
A coastal lifestyle starts with coastal design and a homeowner’s desire to bring the outdoor environment inside the home. Investing in the interior is also an investment in yourself – your state of mind, motivation, attitude, stress level, and overall happiness. That’s a big deal.
GETTING TO KNOW COASTAL DESIGN
Coastal Design is known for its natural sunlight, abundance of plants, natural textiles and fibers and, most importantly, its ability to make us feel like we’re sitting in a hammock between palm trees, sipping margaritas, breathing in the luxury of our endless tropical vacation. Like any design style, Coastal Design isn’t just about aesthetics but rather how it makes one feel. Recently, six local interior designers and coastal-driven business owners came together to help transform lives by first transforming spaces.
Within the coastal style, there are sub-styles that share the main characteristics of Coastal Design, which allow for creativity with memories, personal preferences, and the overall vibe of a space. The most popular coastal styles are Florida Coastal, Tropical Island Coastal, and Mediterranean Coastal, none of which will ever go out of style.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
When thinking of the Florida Coastal design style, relaxation and comfort, a lot of natural light, warm whites and ocean hues with strategic pops of color, tropical plants, reflective surfaces, soft furnishings, and nautical décor all come to mind. This style perfectly represents Florida’s most valuable and beloved features and qualities. In a nutshell, it represents the nature that surrounds us.
TROPICAL ISLAND COASTAL
Inspired by Bahamian, Hawaiian, and Polynesian cultures, the Tropical Island Coastal style features bright, tropical patterns, tropical plants, natural elements like teak and driftwood, along with cultural and nautical décor. This style is known for its funky, energetic vibe and typically represents the memories of the tropical vacations taken or envisioned.
Easily the most elegant of the three styles, Mediterranean Coastal design brings in a crisp, rustic touch while maintaining organic qualities. Inspired by the coastal areas of Greece, Spain, and Italy, this style features an abundance of natural light with bright, sunbaked colors such as terra cotta, tropical plants, different dark woods, black iron, metal, and carved details and accessories. Notice the contrast in colors, materials, and textiles.
GOIN’ COASTAL — A WORD FROM THE PROFESSIONALS
St. Augustine is full of coastal inspiration. If the breeze and beaches aren’t enough, check out what local Interiors Designers have to say about Coastal Design:
“The wonderful thing about a coastal look is that just about anything can fall into that category. It can be as funky and loose as a ‘surfer shack’ vibe, with crazy mismatched furniture, or as stylish as a sleek modern beach house. The key to either space, and everything in between, is creating an interior that’s relaxed, informal, and textural: furniture upholstered in Sunbrella for wet bathing suits, tables you can put your feet on or set a drink without worrying, a mix of antiques and modern furniture like the house has been in the family for generations, keeping it simple.” – Heidi Hall Jones (Punch Jones)
“There is just something about the beach that feels so tranquil. We believe that your home should reflect the same tranquility and serenity you feel when visiting the beach.” – Kaitlyn Bokowski (Seaside Furniture Company)
“Designing a coastal home can often be accomplished through the use of colors, patterns, and textures. It should evoke feelings of calm, comfort, and relaxation. When choosing colors and tones, try pulling colors like blues from the ocean or neutral tones that can be serene and soft, like the sand. Sticking with a very neutral or white color palette can allow for lots of layering in more vibrant colors and natural textures. You don’t have to be too literal when decorating for a coastal home. Serene abstracts, retro beach scenes, sea glass vases or lamps, vintage pieces, or woven accents can be used as the perfect touches to help curate your coastal home.”
– Summer Hyers (dhd home)
BRITNE WHITE, owner of Inviting Interiors, has been in the Interior Design & Construction industry for the past 10 years. She was raised in St. Augustine and is truly in love with her surroundings. Whether it’s by creating spaces or writing articles, Britne’s goal is to enhance the lives of others.