top of page

How to do Coastal Design the Right Way

Surf, sand & sky are the key  to creating a Sophisticated Coastal Holiday Home

Kai Maui.jpeg

In this part of our Coastal Design series we take an overview of the style. Living here on the south coast in Dorset, we here at Cocobolo are definitely immersed in the 3 main elements that are the cornerstones of the style . Surf, sand and sky. 


As with every design style, there are rights and wrongs. We'll take you through how to create a friendly, relaxed version in your home or holiday apartment and how to avoid the cliched versions we sometimes come across. An overabundance of beach themed knick-knacks are the first things to avoid so throw out the old lifebelt and look for inspiration from the natural environment .


If you think of how you feel when you're at the beach a sense of relaxation, light, wide horizons, textures and fresh air. All are represented in the coastal style. 

Canford Cliffs beach in Dorset

How to start: Build from a neutral base

Avoiding reflective or shiny surfaces and sticking to natural textures that offer a relaxing and easy-going feel. Stick to whites, creams or light sandy tones as the basis. However, this doesn't mean you can't add colour highlights (we'll address this later).


The flooring in a coastal style is going to be hard (practically, it's also a great idea to be able to sweep up any sand!). Textures however should be soft. So think of weathered light timbers in flooring and furniture elements (more on those later). Relaxation comes from soft furnishings- of course we'd say that! 


Zinc, a brand within The Romo Group, give us an easy route into the look with their range 'Beach' which favours matt rugged textures in relaxed and wash-out neutrals. Soft chenilles, clever embroideries and on trend bouclés all enabling you to effortlessly build a calm, tranquil beachy feel . In Jan 2024 Zinc launched a slew of new ranges including some excellent indoor/outdoor performance fabrics .Also check out Misia's Estival range (we have the sample book here)

Romo's Zinc Beach fabric collection

Let there be light!

Window dressings in a relaxed, informal sense in natural fibres. Think cottons, linens, with or without a textured feel. (There are some great ones from Casamance which we'd love to show you). Let light through for open living spaces. There are clever ways you can get this look but also add some blackout if required. More on that to come later.

Flowing fabrics, textured rugs and soft comforting sofas and chairs that offer an informal interior which beckons you in and invites you to sit, relax and take in the scene.

Linen curtains for Canford Cliffs coastal interior

Pick your palette


Beach and coastal style can be quite a daunting look to take on and achieve . Simplicity often is. We're here to help guide you through with our series of articles. If you want something more in depth, more personal, then we have the solution for that too. Get in touch

Adding to your palette and adjusting according to your taste: warm whites and pale blue-green shades reflecting local coastal headlands; true blues and crisp whites for a Mediterranean feel; coral tones paired with sky blue for a more exotic coastal style reflecting holiday destinations overseas. Lifting your cares away and lending a sense of wellbeing, a change of mindset to one of relaxation is the goal. Check out Horto, the new indoor outdoor fabrics from Villa Nova


Curtains from the new Danxia range by Villa Nova

All at sea still ?


So far we've set out a few basics you should use to achieve a coastal style interior emphasising lighter tones in shades of white, beige and sea greens and blues. As we move along with our series of articles, we will look in more details at layers of texture and other key elements. We will also cover some architectural features that are prevalent in many newer homes here on the south coast, namely apex windows. Check back in soon for the next instalment. Can't wait? Contact us now and we'll help you with your project .


Outdoor Daybed Jul21.jpg
beach 1
Beach 2
Beach 4
Beah 3
Beach 5
bottom of page