How To's Define Your Style: Coastal + Contemporary 11/01/2021 Share Can you define your style? It can be easy to name off colors you love and narrow down your favorite pieces of furniture, but can you give your style a name? Throughout a series of blog posts, we will be diving into various design styles to help you learn how to define your own personal style. Today we are talking coastal and contemporary styles! WHAT IS COASTAL STYLE? Coastal style is the art of bringing the outdoor seaside elements inside a home. This style has been around for a long time because many waterfront and beach homes were being decorated similar ways. However, key details have changed over time as it has evolved in different regions and been recreated by homes not located near water. Source: Bright Bazaar WHAT DETAILS DO YOU SEE IN THIS STYLE? COLORS FROM THE BEACH Coastal design is inspired by the beach so these interiors incorporate different hues of blues and greens, along with light and airy neutrals. Navy and brighter colors are sometimes used in pops here and there but mostly kept to a minimum to keep with the soft and natural approach to the style. A CLEAN AESTHETIC A clean aesthetic and minimalist vibe are typical of this style to create a calming atmosphere. To achieve this, open floor plans are commonly used to create an airy look. SKIP THE NAUTICAL DECOR Coastal style doesn’t mean displaying anchors and seashells to set a theme for the room. Instead, a mixture of textures inspired by beach items like driftwood, sisal, grasscloth, capiz and glass are used on furniture and decor to create a subtle beach environment. Ceramics in earthy colors, woven shades, jute rugs, glass vases and capiz chandeliers are also commonly used. LIGHT WOOD FLOORS Look for wide plank wood floors in many Coastal style homes in blond woods, white oak and anything white-washed or weathered to achieve an airy look but also very durable. LOW-MAINTENANCE PLANTS Since this style has a very laid-back vibe, low-maintenance plants are a must. Palms, snake plants and succulents are typically used because they are easy to care for. BRING THE OUTDOORS IN Coastal style focuses on making the inside of a home feel like the outside so natural light is used as much as possible. Windows are rarely covered up and, if they are covered, sheer or light curtains are used. You will also see a lot of skylights, oversized windows and glass doors. TEXTURED FURNITURE The furniture in this style bring in a lot of texture using rattan, wicker, teak or weathered woods. If a piece is upholstered, look for easy-to-maintain linen or cotton slipcovers or outdoor fabrics in light-colored solids or stripes. Source: Coastal Style Magazine Source: Christina Kim Interior Design WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY STYLE? Contemporary is a very unique design style because it is constantly changing. This style became very popular back in the 1970s when it combined elements from different styles that were modern and current with that time. Ever since, this contemporary style has evolved by using the best trends of the time and incorporating them into a style that is current, yet timeless. Source: Alexis Bednyak Design WHAT DETAILS DO YOU SEE IN THIS STYLE? SIMPLE AND CLUTTER-FREE Less is more when it comes to Contemporary spaces. Intentional blank walls and a few minimalistic wall decor items help showcase the room as a whole. This helps create a clutter-free space and draws more attention to the few items in the room. LAYERS OF SIMPLE COLOR Contemporary styled spaces typically have a neutral color scheme. Black is very commonly used to define a room but also bright and bold colors can be added as layers in the decorative items. Fabrics and decor patterns are generally solids and bolder patterns (think geometric patterns or animal print) are kept to a 2-color maximum to avoid a visually cluttered space. BIG AND UNIQUE PLANTS Greenery is treated more like art in this style. The bigger and more dramatic the better. They are usually grounded in a simple, minimalistic container with an interesting and unique plant to create contrast. LIGHTING THAT HIGHLIGHTS DECOR Lighting is very important in any design style, but especially in a Contemporary space because they help highlight the few decor items used. Spotlights, track lighting or any kind of directional lighting are commonly used to highlight paintings, sculptures or furniture. Metal and uniquely shaped ceiling fixtures are big focal points. GLASS, WOOD AND METAL TEXTURES Since there isn’t a ton of color in Contemporary spaces, texture plays a huge role. Various textures work together to create a bold space that is full of contrast. Think a big mixture of metals, glass, exposed wood, and stone. When it comes to textiles, heavily textured fabric complement the use of other textures used. UNIQUELY SHAPED FURNITURE Contemporary design is simple for the most part so furniture often has minimal extra details but still kept unique with the overall shape. A lot of different textiles are used on furniture but patterns are usually kept pretty simple. A bold, solid color can be found on furniture to make a statement as well. LARGE WINDOWS AND HIGH CEILINGS The architectural details in a contemporary space is what will ultimately set apart this style from the rest. Think geometric shapes on wall trim, large windows and high ceilings. The use of bold lines are commonly used whether they are straight or curvy in decor and architectural details. Source: Leroy Street Studio Source: Chango & Co. WHICH STYLE ARE YOU? The good news is that you don't have to just be one style! Some people can easily fit themselves into one category but some people love and use a little bit of all different styles. We hope this gives you a better look inside the coastal and contemporary styles and taught you how to distinguish the two and what details you can use to better achieve your desired style! This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions and recommendations are our own.