Coastal style doesn’t have to mean nautical stripes and bare white walls. We’re believers in the idea of coastal maximalism, a look reminiscent of vintage beach resorts, Cotswold cottages and morning walks to the sea.
In this 1940’s summer house for instance, the palette is inspired by wild foliage, sea glass, English lavender and sunshine, which coincidentally are the colors of our most wanted wallpaper ever, Ravenswood.
Ravenswood is a watercolor botanical and we think it adds just the right touch to this maximalist’s beach cottage.
The colorful foliage and ravens in the wallpaper are rural and sophisticated at the same time. The Dream colorway (there’s also a dark charcoal version called Mystery), is all soft teals and purples with touches of orange, brown and gold. Which means that seriously, almost anything goes!
Tip 1: Paint your baseboards or other trim something other than white for a true maximalist vibe. Here, vintage doors are painted a shade similar to the aqua in the wallpaper, for a fresh look.
When creating a maximalist coastal home, you can definitely use pieces you already own, be that a sofa or a casual piece of handed-down furniture. Beach houses shouldn’t be too precious. Go for comfort as well as style. Remember, you’re going to want to curl up on the couch and not worry about the bit of sand still in your flip-flops.
You can level up comfort to comfort + style when you accentuate your space with colorful upholstery – or slipcovers – to heighten the coastal vibe. Above, the couch is covered with SmithHönig’s Ashes of Roses fabric in Flame. But if you love your solid colored sofa, consider piling it with a mix of new and vintage pillows and a cozy throw.
Tip 2: Not sure where to start when mixing color and pattern? Find a palette or a pattern you love, whether that’s an inspiration room on Pinterest or a specific wallpaper, fabric, rug, or piece of art that makes you happy.
Look closely at this inspiration piece. Find the less obvious colors and use those as you dive deeper into your design. Consider adding pillows, ceramics, baskets or painted furniture in the shades you discover.
Look closely at Ravenswood Dream, for instance. Perhaps you’ll play with the corals? Or the tans? And remember the first rule of maximalism…there are no rules! You don’t have to stop at one color.
Sunny and bright, this colorful mix will definitely enliven a beach cottage or turn your new build home in the ‘burbs into a beachy bungalow.
Ready to mix more pattern into your space? (Yes , please! Remember, more is definitely more.)
Tip 3: The most important thing to keep in mind when mixing patterns is to vary the scale and shapes. Perhaps a rug in a bold coral stripe? A pillow or window treatments in a smaller plaid or other geometric?
Now that you’ve created a colorful foundation, you’ll want to start accessorizing.
We love the idea of organic and found objects displayed in a coastal home, along with art and meaningful personal items.
Seashells are obvious choices. An abalone shell as a key catcher in your entryway for instance, or holding your summer jewelry on a dressing table. Other options might include sea glass, feathers, driftwood, stones, and other items that connect you to the great outdoors.
Tip 4: When accessorizing, mix opposites: rough with shiny, old with new, thrifted with luxurious.
Add art, a shelf full of beach reads, maybe a natural jute rug or a whitewashed coffee table.
Painted furniture is a beach house staple. We use Velvet Finishes furniture paint for our own projects, partly because the line was created by our co-founder, Kellie Smith, but mostly because with VF you can get right to painting. There’s no sanding! (and we hate sanding). The VF colors are gorgeous, so consider redoing an existing table, desk or shelf to enhance the cottage vibe.
To recap, start with a palette or pattern you love, mine it for color options, add paint and pattern and get playful with your accessories. Find and collect things you adore! You’ll always find the perfect spot for them.
Let Ravenswood inspire your coastal moodboard. Shop Coastal Maximalism.