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modern coastal living room ideas beige sofa with coastal cushions

How to Pull Off Modern Coastal Interior Design at Home

It’s not often I’m gobsmacked or lost for words. But the modern coastal interior design I’m showing you today had me close to speechless.

Thankfully I took some time to compose myself after I saw the imagery. I gathered my thoughts, prayed for the strength to come, and here we are. I’m now ready to talk you through some style pointers and show you how to achieve this look at home yourself.

This modern coastal interior design scheme comes to you courtesy of my mates at Metricon. It’s their brand new LookBook theme, called Coastal Bungalow, and it is giving me life. The great thing about Metricon’s LookBook is that it’s broken up into over 20 popular interior design schemes. So you can jump on the website, figure out your fave style, and then get ideas for your own space.

I’ve covered off a lot of their LookBook styles on the blog before, but this is perhaps my fave. Let’s talk through what makes it so special and how you can achieve it.

coastal bungalow interior design round blonde timber table with white legs

A Mix of all the Best Coastal Styles

What’s so impressive about this look is that it plucks the best bits from all the coastal styles. It gathers the iconic moments from seaside coastal, surf shack, Hamptons, nautical and tropical schemes. It then pops those design nuggets into a decorative blender and serves up the delicious treat you see before you here.

You get the colour palette of the Hamptons scheme. You get the leaf motifs from the tropical trend. And you get that light and airy feel you see in beachside homes. Don’t forget a few striped moments from the nautical look either. But then there’s grit in places; gorgeous rustic moments you tend to see in that all-white bohemian style that’s huge right now.

I’ve gotta say, that’s truly what makes for a good interior design scheme in my books; that blend. When you go with just one style and stick to it rigidly, that’s how your home feels – rigid! This home showcases the best of a few vibes that all play so nicely together. And I’m 100% on board.

modern coastal living room with light grey sofa and navy throws

“The predominantly white foundation has been carefully paired with a number of other calm and inviting tones, and it makes for a look that is equal parts cool and equal parts warm”.

coastal cushions in ocean blue tones on beige sofa coastal bungalow style

The Colour Palette is Everything

Soothing is the word that springs to mind when I cast my eyes over this modern coastal interior design scheme. I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say how calming it feels.

What’s been done with the colour palette here is exceptional. The predominantly white foundation has been carefully paired with a number of other calm and inviting tones, and it makes for a look that is equal parts cool and equal parts warm.

Beige, charcoal, honey, camel and chocolate tones are the more neutral shades worked into the mix here. Against the milky white tones they all intermingle wonderfully, don’t you think?

It’s not a completely muted palette though, thanks to the use of blue as an accent colour. The team at Metricon have explored the full range of blue tones here, using the sea as inspiration. In a more classic coastal scheme muddy green tones might be brought in. But this is not a classic coastal vibe, so they’ve been left out to keep it feeling contemporary.

modern coastal bedroom with dark carpet and sheer curtains

 A Sense of Light and Space

The other thing that stands out for me here is the sense of space. And I don’t mean that every room is jumbo (even though many of them are large). I mean that there’s a feeling of air flow going through the rooms. This is partly because the colour palette is so well-thought-out, but it’s also because of a few other carefully considered elements.

Sheer curtains, for example, do a lot in giving rooms an ethereal feel. They cast an amazing light across the space, there’s no denying it. And that diffused light makes the room look and feel different when you’re in it.

All of the traditional coastal themes (be it classic, Hamptons, boho etc) all have that sense of crispness and airflow to them, and it doesn’t happen by accident. It’s really well planned.

modern coastal kitchen with round rattan pendants and palm tree

Furniture Selections are Key

On top of that, the furniture selections have been made with that airy feel in mind. Tables, sofas, chairs and bedsides are all lifted off the ground on thin legs. For the most part, beds are ensembles, which don’t take up much visual real estate. They also help soften the room because sharp corners are reduced.

Instead of chunky timber beds, the team have opted to use headboard instead, and chosen them in colours and materials that tie into the modern coastal interior design look and feel.

You’ll also notice that pendant lights have been used as well, which again gives that sense of airflow. To have something that appears to be floating above a bedside or kitchen benchtop makes the room feel more soothing and spacious. And the ones in these rooms – as you can see – are spectacular.

Hopefully you’re beginning to understand how much thought and work goes into pulling off a scheme like this. It takes a keen eye to pull it all together, but I have every confidence you can do it!

coastal styling with fake plant and glass dome and fish ornament

“What I love about this modern coastal interior design scheme is the literal nature of the decor. In the past, we’ve been encouraged to steer clear of literal seaside accessories, but this look makes them work.”

modern coastal interior design beige sofa with coastal cushions

Ocean-Inspired Decor is A-OK

What I love about this modern coastal interior design scheme is the literal nature of the decor. In the past, we’ve been encouraged to steer clear of literal seaside accessories, but this look makes them work. I put that down to them being used sparingly.

Pop a timber fish in a vignette but surround it with less literal coastal moments. A fake plant is a great idea (get some fab ones here), as are blonde timber and glass ornaments.

You’ll also notice that the cushions are wonderfully seaside inspired too, and I’m obsessed. Not only do the blue tones pop against the creamy base palette, but the less colourful cushions are packed with texture. They’re so tactile I want to run up and rub my face in them.

Other classic coastal materials like wicker and cane are used in this scheme too.

“Rattan and cane furniture pieces are a key way to bring texture into this theme,” says Metricon’s senior interior designer Jacinta Evans. “Their light and textural appearance add interest while remaining light and airy”.

coastal bungalow bedside drawers with coastal styling on top

A few Textural Surprises too

It would be practically criminal of me not to point out the surprise inclusion of different wood tones in this home. You don’t see a lot of it in coastal interior.

In a classic coastal scheme of the past, it was blonde timber or glossy whites. The Hamptons theme also rocks white like never before, pairing it with dark brown timbers. And in the bohemian theme, you tend to get a more reclaimed, weathered timber moment.

In this look, timbers with warm honey tones play alongside their blonder siblings. They also feel a little raw and industrial in places. And then you get a pop of dark timber thrown into the mix too. It’s a little ‘come one, come all’ which I find really refreshing. It means you don’t have to go out and replace existing furniture to inject some modern coastal interior design into your space.

I also appreciate that the lines in timber pieces are a nice combination of clean and fluid. You go from straight, sharp-edged timber bedsides to a fluid timber tray on top. I’m loving the variety.

fabric pendant light hanging in coastal bedroom over timber bedside table

You Must Tell Me Your Thoughts!

Jacinta sums up the ethos of this look perfectly when she says, “You can leave all the stress and pressure of modern life behind when you open the front door to this perfectly modern coastal look”, and I couldn’t agree more!

Now, I’ve banged on like never before about this modern coastal interior design scheme. So it’s time to tell me what you think of it. Are Metricon onto a winner here with their Coastal Bungalow LookBook theme? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts. I’d love to get your take!

This post includes images and/or videos of Metricon display homes and events, reproduced with permission.  © Metricon Homes Pty Ltd 2016.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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11 Responses

  1. Its really lovely….where do most of the furnishings come from Chris? Particularly the sofas, coffee tables and rugs….

  2. Love it! I spotted Sibella Court’s “Bowerbird” book on the coffee table. She (and her books) is inspirational.

  3. Yes, i think they are totally onto a winner here.I love it all! The colours, textures , mixes of different wood it all works together so wonderfully! Just divine!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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