Trim Take: Classic Coastal Style

title image: Surfrider Hotel Malibu

You may have heard the exciting news that Jen and I are starting Trim Design Co, a boutique online interior design company specializing in an eclectic, collected aesthetic.  Every one of our designs incorporates vintage finds, artisanal pieces, and emerging brands. And while we embrace a global and deeply personal style, we believe in the power of careful editing to achieve a clean and light space that centers and welcomes you.  As a team that’s one half millennial and one half Gen X, we work together to hit that sweet spot: designs that are neither too trendy nor too traditional, but always “so you.”

Every Monday for the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you our Trim Take on a popular interior design style.  We’ll share inspiration images, a how-to guide on bringing this look into your own home, and a shoppable mood board.  To read Jen’s Trim Take, head over to her blog Persimmon Design.

This week I’m going coastal (couldn’t resist sneaking in a pun) and sharing my advice on how to pull off the coastal look without going overboard (so many puns!) and ending up with a home that feels like a Sandals resort.  

The Trim Take on Classic Coastal Style

                                   source: Holy City Chic                                     source: edbdesigns
                                source: cityfarmhouse                                                   source: Studio McGee    

You don’t have to live in a beach house to love and design with this relaxing, beach-inspired style.  Characteristics of classic coastal design include neutral color palettes paired with blue and green accents and natural materials like wicker, linen, and rattan.  If coastal is your jam, you’re drawn to happy, laid-back spaces filled with natural light and design details that evoke nature such as driftwood and seashells.

Here are some suggestions to pull off this style:

  • Start with a white, bright, and neutral foundation
  • Bring in natural materials and texture with natural fiber roman shades, woven baskets, sisal and jute area rugs, rattan and cane furniture
  • Mix in your accent color in solid or patterned prints and be sure to include varied shades to soften the overall design and create interest.  
  • Include some plants like large palm leaves or a fiddle leaf fig to bring a sense of serenity and calm to your space.
  • Finally, create depth by including something dark, like an indigo rug or a piece of dark wooden furniture.

Related Styles to Explore*: Boho Chic, New Traditional, Modern Farmhouse

*Stay tuned for an upcoming Trim Take on each of these styles.

Here’s a mood board I created of a modern coastal living room:

NEWModern Farmhouse LR.png

The key to pulling off a modern and sophisticated coastal look is to balance  quintessential coastal materials like rattan, wicker, cane, and jute with plenty of clean-lined, classic pieces.  This keeps the space from going too Margaritaville or boho beach house. Not that there’s anything wrong with a boho beach house, but it might feel a little odd on a daily basis, especially if you don’t live near the beach.

For this design, I kept the walls a neutral white, and chose warm neutrals for my furniture.  My big coastal statement is the oversize rattan pendant, which can be used for indoor and outdoor spaces.  I also selected Franco Albini style ottomans which have been turning up in lots of eclectic modern designs lately, but still pull coastal to me.  Finally, I added art with a coastal theme- a lovely dusky harbor scene. To contrast with all the neutral and create depth, I went with a blue rug and then I pulled that blue through the design in the pillows and wall art.  I chose lamps and tables with brass hardware to keep things warm and played up the hint of blush in the art by incorporating a blush pillow and a jar of peonies. The final touch is a fiddle leaf fig tree, because no design is complete without a little life, especially a coastal design!

So what do you think? Does this read as coastal to you? This is how we do coastal over here at Trim, so if you like this look, stay tuned for more inspo and details leading up to our big launch!   If you want to incorporate this style into your own space, scroll down for a shoppable round-up of furniture and decor inspired by this look!

Get The Look: Shop this round-up of coastal-inspired favorites!  


  1. Sebastian Sofa in Parchment, One Kings Lane
  2. Dusk Pillow, Shoppe Amber Interiors
  3. Phoebe Stacked Table Lamp, McGee & Co.
  4. Vintage Bamboo Rope Stool, Kibster
  5. Penelope Chair, McGee & Co.
  6. Newport Grasscloth Cocktail Table, Society Social  (customizable color-choices!)
  7. Blue Armless Settee, Joss and Main
  8. Alysha Rug, Lulu and Georgia
  9. White Garden Stool, Safavieh
  10. White Marble Top Coffee Table, Chairish
  11. Pacifica Pendant, Serena and Lily
  12. Willow Round Lamp, Jayson Home
  13. Vintage Sun Mirror, Jayson Home
  14. White Juju Hat, Chairish
  15. Vintage Draped Wicker Coffee Table, Chairish
  16. Torrey Pillow Cover, Serena and Lily
  17. Apartment-size Sofa in white, Apt2B
  18. Rattan Chair, Caitlin Wilson Design
  19. Indigo Pillow Cover, Danielle Oakey Shop
  20. Cascade Harbor, Art Print by Alison Jerry Designs, Minted
  21. Diving Ladies, Art Print (digital download), Jenny’ s Print Shop
  22. Ceramic Wall Hanging or Wind Chime, Minimalist2015

There are loads of amazing sources for coastal furniture and decor, so I am sure my list is far from complete.  I hope you’ll use the comment box to share your favorite sources that I missed or to leave feedback or questions.  I love hearing from you!  That’s all from me for now. You stay golden!


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