Most of us spend way too much time poring through Pinterest and dreaming about that home we’ll have someday. You know the one: for you, it might be a simple cottage by the sea, and for someone else, it might be a totally tricked-out personal oceanfront hotel. Whatever your preference, if you’re dreaming of a beach house or a lake house, you have a love for the water and for the relaxing atmosphere coastal or waterfront living brings.
You don’t have to wait to win the lottery to start creating your dream beach home. While you might not be able to change the physical location of your home and its proximity to the water anytime soon, you can still bring a coastal vibe to your home through the thoughtful additions of budget-friendly coastal décor:
If you’re looking to totally revamp your current walls into walls that say ‘beach house,’ consider painting them. Long known as one of the easiest and least expensive ways to change the setting for your décor, having beachy hues on your walls provides a backdrop and vibe for the home. Classic colors are white and navy, sandy beiges and white for an open and airy look, and shades of sky blue or mint green as a nod to the water.
Cost: About $65 for paint, primer, rollers, and brushes - and it could cost even less if you purchase a gallon of the paint and primer combo.
2. Add natural textures
From bamboo placemats to sisal rugs and pieces of driftwood or collections of rocks and shells, it’s wise and easy to incorporate elements from nature in your coastal décor.
Cost: Anywhere from free to the limit you’ve set your budget. Most home goods stores sell inexpensive placements and rugs. You can either purchase glass beads or shells and jars to display them in at your local dollar store or simply wash out your jam jars and collect your own rocks and shells and interesting bits for free!
3. Toss pillows
Placing a pillow on a rocking chair, bench, or sofa not only provides instant coziness, but it can also help change the look of a room. This mint and navy pillow provides plenty of color to remind you of the water while this grey and white throw pillow goes with any neutral palette and still reminds you of the beach with its depiction of coral.
Cost: About $35 each
4. Appropriate art
Unless you are dead-set on buying art only from the finest art galleries in town, art these days is pretty affordable. Whether you create a slightly askew gallery wall or you choose to hang select pieces here and there, artwork that displays your love for coastal living definitely informs the space and comes in every color of the rainbow available to match your tastes and style. All you need to do is grab hold of some frames (mats optional) and voila! You can spray paint frames you currently have, head to a thrift shop or dollar store, or shell out a bit more for frame-and-mat combo sets. These digital prints are the quickest, easiest, and prettiest way to incorporate a coastal vibe into your space:
- Beige Starfish Trio
- Aqua Watercolor Palm Tree
- Blue Watercolor Shell
- Coral & MInt Take Me To The Sea
- Navy Blue Nautical Anchor
Cost: About $6 a print
5. Scour thrift stores and yard sales
A naval barometer, 50s kitsch California and Hawaiian items, old postcards from tropical places — all of these can be found at yard sales and thrift stores by anyone who loves bargain shopping and hunting!
Cost: Depends on the bargain (and your negotiation skills), but generally inexpensive
6. Hang sheer curtains
Depending on where you live, your climate may not allow for you to hang sheer curtains year-round, but you can still replace your blackout curtains with sheers once the warm weather rolls around. Light and gauzy, sheer curtains evoke the feeling of balmy breezes (plus, they let more sunshine in!)
Cost: About $6--$10 a panel at discount stores
7. Install shiplap
All the rage in the design world, shiplap is one trend that won’t fade — it’s been around for years! Installing shiplap onto an accent wall in your current home is relatively affordable and easy — you can choose where you want to have it and the amount that you want to stay easy on the wallet. Likewise, painting over the fake wood planks that were so popular in the 1960s and 70s will create a similar effect — just be sure to paint them in a light color.
Cost: About $100 to cover a 10x10 wall if you DIY
8. Use white
Whenever you can, use white as the backdrop for your other nautical accessories. A white slipcover instantly updates a worn couch and brightens up a room, giving a nice, airy feel to your space.
Cost: $35--$100, depending on the brand you purchase and the size of your sofa (which is so much more budget-friendly than splurging on a new couch!)
When you’re at the beach or the lake, you want to relax, right? There is nothing relaxing about clutter, so go ahead and pare down. Not only will you feel lighter, but your home will feel lighter, too.
Cost: Free, and you might even bring in some cash if you sell your not-so-loved things!