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1. DO MIX WOOD FINISHES. A little worried about your dark espresso floorboards competing with your raw timber kitchen island and bleached table? Don’t be — follow the lead of top beach clubs around the world who mix and match all kinds of different timber types, stains and finishes in a space. The ‘collected look’ is far more natural and less contrived than if everything is a perfect match.
2. DO HANG CURTAINS AND BLINDS IN THE SAME ROOM. When creating the coastal aesthetic it’s more important to consider what will work best for the shape and position of each window, rather than to ensure your entire room has matching window treatments. Try using the same shade or fabric to create a cohesive look.
3. TRY UNUSUAL FURNITURE PLANS. Coastal style is about laid-back, easy living. If a living room full of armchairs is better suited to the way you relax than a sofa and coffee table, use them. If you’d like a wicker chaise and bookcase in the dining area, go ahead.
4. DO WHITEWASH WALLS. All-white walls will make interiors seem lighter and brighter, and are the answer to everything coastal.
5. GO NATURAL. Bring the essence of nature into your interior with the same tones and textures for furniture and collectables in materials such as rattan, bamboo, linen, leather, cotton, wicker, jute, hemp, wool and wood.
6. TRY SHIPLAP PANELLING. Tongue-and-groove panels are a great look for walls that will add instant texture, dimension, and a feeling of craftsmanship to create a rustic, laid-back environment.
7. OPT FOR NO RUG. If you are fortunate enough to have fabulous timber flooring or just don’t like the look or feel or a floor rug, forget it. Some of the best coastal interiors in the world feature bare boards.
8. DO MIX WHITE AND WOOD. Use that foolproof coastal combo of brilliant white walls mixed with world weary timber surfaces, picking out items that are beautiful and using them decoratively rather than obsessively.