Just because you’re living on the coast doesn’t mean you can’t score some classic farmhouse style. With the coastal farmhouse aesthetic, you can get the best of both worlds—capturing the laid-back feel of coastal style and the rustic appeal of farmhouse décor.
“The coastal farmhouse aesthetic is best characterized as the blending of nostalgic farm life with the ease of carefree coastal living,” Liz Walton, CEO and principal designer at Liz Walton Home, says. She notes that you should expect to see rustic farmhouse elements—like distressed woods and vintage furniture—living alongside classic coastal colors, prints, and accessories.
Meet the Expert
- Liz Walton is the CEO and principal designer at Liz Walton Home, a Philadelphia-based design firm.
- Kathy Kuo is the CEO and founder of Kathy Kuo Home, a home brand specializing in products and interior design services.
- Karen B. Wolf is the creative principal at Karen B. Wolf Interiors, a New Jersey-based design firm.
- Jade Joyner is the co-founder, principal designer, and chief creative officer at Metal + Petal, an Atlanta-based design firm.
As you draw inspiration from both the seaside and countryside, you’ll want to keep cohesion in mind.
“Since coastal farmhouse involves mixing two design aesthetics, it focuses less on specific detailed elements from the traditional styles, and instead plays into overall themes that can cohesively be mixed and matched,” Kathy Kuo, CEO and founder of Kathy Kuo Home, says. “When combined well, the two aesthetics bring a simple harmony to a home.”
This may sound like a tough design feat to pull off. But, stock up on coastal farmhouse design inspiration, and you’ll be striking a balance between the aesthetics in no time. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 29 stunning coastal farmhouse design ideas worth adding to your mood board.
Set the Scene With Pale Hardwoods
Hardwood floors make a classic addition to any home, and since wood is such a prominent element in both farmhouse and coastal décor, it’s a great way to set the scene in your space.
To keep things versatile, Karen B. Wolf, creative principal at Karen B. Wolf Interiors, recommends choosing pale hardwoods, in particular. The light wood should play well with coastal decor’s beachy vibe while complementing farmhouse decor’s rustic feel.
Fill Your Space With Rustic Pieces
No farmhouse interior is complete without a handful of rustic pieces. So get ready to spend some time at your local flea market. “Quite simply, the coastal farmhouse aesthetic is the marriage of warm, rustic, and vintage with light, bright, and airy,” Walton says.
Start by stocking up on rustic pieces, and once you’ve built a foundation, you can use other elements—like your palette and your accessories—to balance it out.
Keep Your Patterns Simple
Coastal décor is known for its crisp palette and simple patterns. And since farmhouse décor won on the furniture front, it makes sense to defer to coastal décor on prints. Walton notes that you’ll see a lot of “simple stripes and patterns” in coastal farmhouse design. Think: classic stripes, subtle plaids, and the occasional delicate floral.
Mix and Match Your Nods to Nature
Nods to nature are common in both coastal and farmhouse décor. The key, Walton says, is to keep your references balanced, so pair a few barnyard paintings with some woven coastal décor or place a few ocean photographs on your favorite rustic table.
“Nautical décor—paired with images of fields and flowers—helps distinguish the coastal farmhouse aesthetic,” Walton notes. “Artwork of your favorite local beach spot or farm in a distressed wood frame helps to capture the essence of earth and sea.”
Favor Classic Coastal Colors
The coastal aesthetic is immediately recognizable, thanks to its iconic palette—filled with crisp whites, soft neutrals, deep blues, and earthy pops of color. What’s nice? Many of these colors suit farmhouse décor, so the aesthetics pair pretty seamlessly.
“Coastal farmhouse is all about bringing the beach in, so that even when you're not sitting by the water, you feel like you are,” Wolf says. “The design is marked by clean lines and a beachy chic color palette—light airy blue, white, and sand.”
Paint Your Front Door
When it comes to décor, our interiors tend to get all the love. But since the front door is a home’s first impression, it deserves some attention, too. So once you’ve settled on a coastal farmhouse palette, let your front door in on the fun. Snag one of the Dutch doors that have become so popular in farmhouse décor, and paint it a classic coastal color.
Introduce Beachy Elements
As you furnish your space, be sure to sprinkle in a few beachy accents. After all, a coastal farmhouse home isn’t all that coastal if it doesn’t make you feel like you’re at the beach. Add pops of kitsch with shells, anchors, and bits of driftwood, or keep things more referential.
“Stick with gentle nods to the sea,” Wolf says. “And allow the color palette and the materials you use to project the coastal vibe you're going for.”
Learn to Love Distressed Wood
In many décor schemes, distressed wood could be considered a flaw. But in coastal farmhouse décor, it’s a core feature.
“Some of the hallmarks of coastal farmhouse are distressed woods, left natural or painted white,” Walton says. So if a piece’s paint job starts chipping, leave it as is. This worn-in texture is part of the aesthetic’s charm.
Load Up on Light
Coastal homes should feel bright and light-filled—and coastal farmhouse homes are no exception to this rule.
“Lighting is an important factor in maintaining a bright and welcoming space, which is a key feature for a coastal farmhouse design,” Kuo says. Let in all the natural light you can, then, layer in a few fixtures that will brighten your space even more.
Keep Your Neutrals Warm and Earthy
Coastal farmhouse homes are often filled with neutrals. But these neutrals are specifically warm and earthy—like the sandy beiges and rusty browns you’d expect to find on a beach or farm. “Sandy earth tones are the perfect building blocks when designing a coastal farmhouse-inspired space,” Walton says.
Keep this in mind as you outfit your space, and return to this principle any time your décor scheme feels unwieldy: are the colors in your space adequately warm and earthy? If not, can you swap them with shades that are?
Add Pops of Vintage Where You Can
Coastal interiors tend to be pretty modern, but once you’ve introduced a few farmhouse elements, you can get away with bringing some vintage pieces into your space. So consider springing for a couple of antique statement-makers. Walton recommends pairing a crisp white sofa with a vintage coffee table to “bridge the gap between beachy and shabby chic.”
Make the Most of Indoor/Outdoor Spaces
Indoor/outdoor spaces—like covered patios and screened-in porches—are a staple in many homes. But they take on additional significance in coastal farmhouse design. “Being on the coast feels freeing—think wide skies, salt breezes, and sand between your toes,” Wolf says. “So the hallmarks of coastal farmhouse design are elements that lean into that sensation.”
If you’ve been blessed with an indoor/outdoor space, look for ways to make it even more luxurious. Could you outfit it with a few comfy rocking chairs or a cozy chaise lounge?
Keep Your Palette Light and Airy
When crafting your coastal farmhouse interior, you may notice some overlap with classic coastal design—and with modern farmhouse design, too. But one thing that sets the coastal farmhouse look apart is its light, airy palette. “A muted color palette sets the tone as opposed to one that’s deep and dramatic,” Walton says.
Start by making your biggest, boldest pieces light in color. “I like to start with neutral colored walls,” Walton says. “A warm white or soft beige paint color sets the tone for a warm and inviting space.” Then, sprinkle in those coastal colors and earthy neutrals we talked about earlier.
Leave Your Structural Beams Exposed
Consider leaving the wood beams lining your ceiling exposed. This accent is a classic in farmhouse interiors. And by leaving your wood distressed—or by painting it white—you can make it coastal-friendly, too.
Stock Up on Sheer, Simple Drapes
Drapes reliably bring a room together. But since light is a big part of coastal farmhouse design, you’ll want to keep your curtains sheer and simple. “I’d recommend sheer white drapes to accentuate the natural light,” Kuo says.
Snag a Slipcovered Sofa
Nothing says coastal like a slipcovered sofa. (Really, two of the interior designers we spoke to recommended snagging one.) What’s nice about the cozy accent is that—though it’s obviously coastal—it’s versatile enough to pair with your farmhouse favorites. Walton recommends pairing yours with a rustic coffee table to keep things balanced.
Fill Your Home With Personality
Coastal homes can get pretty kitschy—and that’s part of what makes them so fun. And even if you don’t want to go all-in on kitsch, there are plenty of ways to add personality to your space. Walton recommends “layering your favorite artwork or family treasures.”
You can always sprinkle in family photographs, beloved books, and beachy souvenirs, too.
Layer Different Textures
Coastal farmhouse décor is big on natural materials. So opportunities for texture abound.
“Wicker, rattan, and light weathered woods work nicely in statement pieces,” Kuo says. “I also incorporate character through decorative accents, like jute rugs and throw pillows.” Balance these classic coastal accents with farmhouse-worthy elements, like distressed metals and rustic woods. And get ready for your space to feel loaded with texture.
Use a Picnic Table as Your Dining Room Table
Putting a rustic picnic table in your dining room may seem like a classic farmhouse move. But since picnicking on the beach is about as common as picnicking in the grass, the bold accent should suit both of the aesthetics you’re taking cues from.
Pair New With Old
Coastal décor may skew pretty modern, but farmhouse loves to blend old and new. “The classic farmhouse style incorporates the mixing of old and new material to give a clean, traditional look,” Kuo says.
Instead of copying farmhouse design outright, consider drawing inspiration from it. Could you balance crisp white cabinets with an antique picture frame, or could you complement a shiny backsplash with a few vintage pots?
Favor Matte Finishes
“Coastal farmhouse décor is very casual, low-key—almost ‘shabby chic,’” Jade Joyner, co-founder and principal designer at Metal + Petal, says. One great way to maintain this feel? Favor matte metals. Just like you don’t want your hardwoods to look too perfect, you don’t want your metals to look too shiny. And if you don’t want to spring for all antique everything, flat, matte finishes may be the way to go.
Edit Your Accessories
There are tons of great coastal farmhouse pieces out there. And it can be tempting to stock up on, well, all of them. But, resisting this urge can help you craft a space that feels clean, curated, and clutter-free.
“Some people tend to go overboard with the beach theme and fill the home with shells and shrimping nets,” Wolf says. “Less is more in this case.”
And Walton agrees: “I often see crowded bookcases and consoles, which are distracting and messy," she says Less is more when styling, so take time to edit your accessories.”
Soften Your Space With a Textured Rug
Keep your space feeling cozy by adding pops of soft texture wherever you can. One great way to do this? Snag a woven rug. “A neutral-colored area rug will go a long way in making a space feel more spacious and inviting,” Walton says.
Paint Your Walls
A fresh coat of paint will reliably transform any interior. So set the scene with a light, coastal-farmhouse-friendly shade. “If you are considering making a space more coastal farmhouse, start with paint,” Walton says. “A fresh coat of a warm white or sandy beige will immediately brighten your space.”
One reason coastal farmhouse homes feel so inviting? They look genuinely lived-in. Instead of tucking away your most weathered and worn-in pieces, put them on display.
“Coastal design can be rather tailored,” Joyner says. “But coastal farmhouse décor is a lot less refined.” So proudly flaunt your tarnished metals, your chipped paint jobs, and your most distressed woods.
Build Your Space Around Beloved Items
Trying to craft a coastal farmhouse interior—but unsure where to start? Kuo recommends starting with a single piece, and building your space around it.
“I suggest starting with an element of inspiration, whether it’s a piece of artwork or a furnishing you love,” she says. “From there, focus on what may complement that item that fits in the aesthetic—you can always start small with a few decorative elements and slowly transform your space piece by piece.”
Don’t Take Things Too Literally
When drawing inspiration from truly iconic aesthetics—like coastal décor and farmhouse décor—it can be tempting to go all-in on the theme. But try to reference the décor schemes, instead of mimicking them outright.
“I think it's easy to take the farmhouse coastal look too far,” Joyner says. “Don't let it become your house theme. Just nod to the style.” Instead of hanging an ocean painting, stock up on blue accent pieces. And favor rustic wooden pieces over literal barnyard doors.
Focus on the Way Your Space Feels
When designing your home, don’t just think about the way it looks—focus on how it feels, too. “Coastal farmhouse design just feels cheerful, bright, and happy,” Wolf says. “When done correctly, the home gives you instant vacation vibes and allows you to sink into that laidback, coastal mood.” So stock up on chairs you want to sink into, blankets you want to snuggle up with, and rugs you’re excited to walk around. When you’re spending every day in a space, little luxuries like these count for a lot.
Take Your Time
You don’t need to transform your home overnight. Curating a space takes time, and when you’re balancing two striking aesthetics, it’s worth it to take your decorating process day by day—and to outfit your space piece by piece. And if possible, try to have some fun with it.
“Designing a coastal farmhouse space should be fun, so take your time,” Walton says.