Coastal Boho Style 101

One trend I’ve been loving these days is coastal boho style. When done right it’s an effortless blend—breezy, relaxed, with plenty of natural elements inspired by the ocean. To me this style is all about easy living in welcoming, airy spaces with plenty of personality. It’s more laid back than classic coastal design, but retains a soothing color palette and inspiration from nature.

If you’ve been drawn to trying out a coastal boho look, but aren’t quite sure where to start, I’m here to help! In today’s blog post I’d like to share with you the basics of coastal boho style and how you can achieve the look in your own home.

What is Coastal Boho Style?

As the name suggests, this look is influenced by classic coastal and boho design. It’s a seamless blend of the two into something a little more chic, a little more well-traveled. Let’s go over the key features of both styles, and how they manage to merge so well. 

While coastal design can veer in many directions, a few key elements are a neutral color palette, use of natural materials, clean lines, and varied textures. Coastal style is all about light, airy, relaxed spaces inspired by sea, sand, and sky. Coastal design can range from relaxed cottage style to formal traditional style.

Boho style reflects a more worldly, eclectic approach. Traditionally boho style veers toward maximalism with plenty of color, texture, and natural elements. Like coastal design, inspiration is drawn from nature; however boho style goes beyond the sea and draws from the desert, mountains, and other landscapes. It’s also inspired by a love of travel, and incorporates global trends. Today’s modern boho style is more subdued than in the past, and brings in elements of Scandinavian design. It’s still an aesthetic that allows you to express the quirky side of yourself, and hints at the world traveler you are, or that you desire to be!

Coastal boho style is simply a marriage of the two designs in a harmonious way. It’s a relaxed aesthetic that draws on the neutral color palette and natural materials in coastal design and the eclectic free-spirited elements of boho style. Coastal boho works so well because both aesthetics share a love of nature, texture, and relaxed, effortless style. 

3 Key Features of Coastal Boho Style

The Color Palette

The coastal boho style color palette typically starts with a neutral background, with muted colors layered on top. We lean more on the coastal side of this trend with the color palette. 

A harmonious, soothing range of blue, white, and earth tones should be your starting point—think greys and whites inspired by driftwood, gorgeous sand tones, and blues reflecting the changing colors of the sky.

To add more of the boho theme you can step outside of this palette a bit. A pop of color that stands out from the typical coastal palette adds surprise and visual interest, and nods to the spirit of traditional boho style. Keep it restrained though, and inspired by nature. Think sage green, a soft rose shade, or terracotta. 

Be inspired by what landscapes surround you. Keep your palette mostly blue if you live by the sea. If you’re near the desert, let the soft pinks and oranges of a sunset be your inspiration.

Have a look at my coastal color palettes for inspiration, any of which would work as a starting point for a coastal boho style.

The Use of Natural Elements

Incorporating natural elements is a must with coastal boho style. After all, we’re merging two design styles inspired by nature!

Here are some materials and elements that introduce a coastal boho vibe into your home:

-rattan or wood furniture

-natural fibers such as wool, cotton, and jute

-ceramic, stone, or terracotta

-woven materials such as these grass baskets

-an abundance of greenery 

Using the natural materials above along with a neutral color palette is your foundation for a beautiful coastal boho home. But don’t forget to add layers and texture! It’s what gives this style interest and personality.

Texture, Texture, Texture

With natural materials and a neutral color palette, you have the freedom to really experiment with layers and textures. And you should! This is where you can really express your creativity and your uniqueness.

Draw inspiration from nature. Look around you, and you’ll see that nature is full of texture and layers. The ripples on the sand created by the sea. The spirals on a shell. The ridges on a piece of driftwood. There’s so much life and movement in these natural elements. Keep this in mind as you’re creating your coastal boho home. How can you create the same life and movement in your home? Here are some ideas:

  • Add interest to furniture. Think distressed finishes or whitewashed or reclaimed wood like seen on this St. Lucia Nighstand. Emphasize the natural beauty of wood pieces by highlighting the texture. 
  • Layer rugs for a casual, relaxed look. Start with a neutral jute or sisal rug. For a look that leans more boho, choose a faded oriental rug or a rug with a Moroccan pattern to layer on top. Or you can keep the look more neutral by layering rugs of the same material, such as sisal, or by sticking to a limited color palette.
  • Use multiple textures in your textiles. Keep the colors limited but have fun with tassels, baubles, and textured patterns in your throws, pillows, and upholstery. Thick-woven textiles in neutral colors reflect the coastal boho look—like a chunky pom pom throw, a squishy wool rug, or tassled pillows.
  • Pair different houseplants together for a cohesive yet layered look. Houseplants create a warm, inviting feel that’s perfect in a coastal boho home. Mix leaf sizes and shapes but keep the colors restrained for a cohesive feel. See my guide to houseplants here for inspiration.
  • Tie it all together with your decorative accents. In a coastal boho home, you can bring in well-loved items from your travels to show your personality and to show off where you’ve been around the world! : ) I like to use woven baskets, lanterns, and artwork with texture and pattern, such as this loving heart wall art made with natural straw.

 

I hoped you’ve enjoyed learning about coastal boho style! If you love the airiness of a neutral color palette and natural materials, but want to show a little more of your eclectic personality, then this style is for you! Use the guide above to help create a coastal boho look in your own home.

Have any questions for me about coastal boho style? Let me know in the comments!

meet shannon

Creator of coastal retreats for families to feel good in, lover of beach walks, and sustainable living.

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