Interiors: Get the most from the coast

COASTAL CHIC: Breaking wave mural, from �122, JW Walls. BELOW: Coastal citronella buckets, �3 each, Tesco (instore only); set of wooden beach hut hooks, �29.95, The Vintage Gift Company; beach huts cushion, �19.99, Dunelm Mill.
COASTAL CHIC: Breaking wave mural, from �122, JW Walls. BELOW: Coastal citronella buckets, �3 each, Tesco (instore only); set of wooden beach hut hooks, �29.95, The Vintage Gift Company; beach huts cushion, �19.99, Dunelm Mill.
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That seaside look is guaranteed to banish any lingering winter blues - and it couldn’t be easier to create, says Gabrielle Fagan

Coastal style is on the horizon again – a sure sign that summer’s really on its way.

Coastal citronella buckets, �3 each, Tesco (instore only).

Coastal citronella buckets, �3 each, Tesco (instore only).

The look returns with the predictability of the tide but it’s always welcome because it’s just the thing to blow away the cobwebs and give rooms a bright and breezy outlook.

Even better, you can splash out and evoke a beside-the-seaside retreat or simply take a modest paddle cost-wise and go beachcombing on the high street for a few well-chosen pieces.

“The maritime trend always finds favour because it conjures an atmosphere of relaxed informality which is ideal for summer homes,” says Paul Clarkson, head of home buying at Sainsbury’s.

“You can recall memories of the beach with this breezy, seaside-inspired trend whether it’s striped textiles, wall art or even crockery in nautical shades of blue, white and red for a relaxed beach hut feel.”

Set of wooden beach hut hooks, �29.95, The Vintage Gift Company.

Set of wooden beach hut hooks, �29.95, The Vintage Gift Company.

So come on board for chic coastal style...


A blue-and-white colour scheme is the classic interpretation of coastal – and it’s an easy-on-the-eye, crisp, clean look.

If you want to guarantee blue skies, no matter what the weather, you could paint a feature wall in a deep blue. Dulux’s Sea Blue silk emulsion, £19.59 for 2.5 litres from Homebase, couldn’t fail to lift your spirits on grey days. If you want to sail further away from home, but your budget will only stretch to a coastal day trip, you could evoke the beauty of foreign surfing shores with a breaking wave mural. Lowers 00217, from £122 from specialists JW Walls, would delight surfer dudes.

Beach huts cushion, �19.99, Dunelm Mill.

Beach huts cushion, �19.99, Dunelm Mill.

SEASIDE CHIC: One of my favourite papers is the colourful Boat Stamps self-adhesive wallpaper, which looks like a treasured collection lifted from a philatelist’s album. It starts from £25 for half a square metre from Purlfrost.


Plump, squashy sofas covered with loose cotton or linen throws in neutral shades or sun-bleached blue and white stripes, white painted floorboards, and a few maritime accessories will have you smelling the sea no matter what your location.

“More timeless than a trend, coastal chic is a popular and widespread theme that’s a perennial favourite,” says Sarah Quilliam, head of product design at window specialists Hillarys.

“This year’s look combines cool blue tones with calming taupes, and those who feel a little more adventurous could add accents of coral, turquoise and green.

“Roman and roller blinds in muted or stripy fabrics, or pale wooden venetian blinds, are a great way to help create a casual seaside atmosphere and are far more suitable than heavy drapes that would block light and retain heat.”

Fusion Ocean Blue striped rollers, from £56, measured, made and fitted, (61cmx76cm) from Hillarys, call for details.

SEASIDE CHIC: Create a special coastal corner in a room for daydreaming and summer chilling. Display holiday photos or a collection of seashore finds on a cupboard or open shelves, and add an easy chair covered in a striped fabric.

A large white-painted rowing boat-shaped shelving unit, £79.95, from online interiors company Homehomehome perfectly suits a sail-away style. A neat white wooden show cabinet, £45, from John Lewis could be ideal for showing off small beachcomber finds.

Count the hours down to a holiday with a Tu whitewash beach clock, £12, from Sainsbury’s online and in store.


There’s no need to push the boat out to get this look, as there’s a wealth of irresistible seaside accessories around.

“Create an eclectic finish with a selection of interesting vases and bowls filled with a combination of fresh flowers, shells, or pebbles,” says Carole Brown, marketing director at Dunelm Mill.

“Natural textures work well with crisp white and blue, so feature woven baskets, driftwood lamps and wooden furniture.”

It’s all too easy to go overboard on cushions, which are now almost being regarded as ‘room art’ by designers, and there’s a raft load with a seaside theme.

Dunelm Mill’s Beach Huts cushion, £19.99, is a winner with its photo image of brightly-painted shelters and blue sky backdrop.

Alternatively, would-be seafarers might prefer those decorated with anchors, such as Tesco coastal cushion, £6, only available in stores. Or plump for Sainsbury’s Tu Anchor cushion, £10 (available in selected stores), or Matalan’s Harbour Yacht cushion, emblazoned with a lifebelt, £8.

SEASIDE CHIC: As this is a kick-off-your-shoes relaxed style, clutter will be a distraction. Get ship-shape and stow it all away in blue and white striped Coastal Rope handled storage baskets, £22 for a set of three from Sainsbury’s. Available in selected stores only.

Keep to the theme with a set of Wooden Beach Hut hooks, numbered one to three, £29.95 from The Vintage Gift Company. Dunelm Mill’s Brighton Beach hut collection of three storage tins, £4.99, would bring order to a kitchen.

Conjure instant atmosphere with a large round sriftwood mirror, £145, from Coastal Home, and set the scene with a print of a path leading to the beach: the Listen/Dream canvas by Gill Copeland, £62, from Roman At Home.