5 Ways to Achieve Elevated Coastal Design in Your Home

Feb 23
here’s more than meets the eye with this chic coastal home. While it’s beautiful and inspiring all on its own, this tour also comes bearing a few gifts. First, from insanely talented photographer Alyssa Rosenheck, we have a few quick ideas for a Valentine’s Day celebration with effortless beachy vibes. Then interior designer Raquel Garcia is sharing 5 simple takeaways for bringing the elegance of the coast into your home. Now that is a fab Twofer if we ever saw one. Take the full tour right here!

From Alyssa Rosenheck…In every space I style, I strive to blur the lines between the outdoors and the inside. Our natural surroundings are so very important—they are the tone-setter for the energy of a space. Integrating lush greenery, flooding sunlight, natural woods and textiles, and open windows allow the outside environment to come to life indoors.

Wherever I’m working, coast to coast, from the Pacific Northwest to Austin to Connecticut, I ensure to put that city’s natural essence on display throughout a space. And there’s no setting more lovely, serene, and comfortable than the coast.

In a recent styling session with the talented coastal Connecticut-based designer Raquel Garcia, we brought the warm breeze, white sands, and subtle, laid-back elegance of the beach to the dining room for an fresh, airy take on a winter brunch. With stones and shells collected from the shore, natural wood serveware, and smooth white ceramics, you can easily pull together a Galentine’s Day fête that’s beautiful, but not in a way that’s trying too much.

I like to stick to white blooms like ranunculus or fresh tulip bulbs, a few small-scale topiaries, and fuzzy greenery for added texture. The more natural and unfussy the flower arrangements, the better! For more ways to translate the crisp, coastal aesthetic into your own home, read on for Raquel’s top five tips for inviting those beachy, breezy vibes inside all year long. I’m already kicking off my shoes!

From Raquel Garcia…As a child raised by Cuban parents, I have a visceral connection to the sun, sand and sea. My visual sensibilities were shaped at an early age by the Latin American art in gilded frames, Fortuny fabrics and the antique objects displayed throughout my childhood home. 

As a designer I always find myself connecting these two notions as part of my creative process. The inspiration of an island I’ve never visited and the elevated design that surrounded me growing up meet beautifully. With their graceful subtleties, I always try to strike a balance. Organic beauty evoking peacefulness and calm is my main goal.

Mixing the two is what I describe as elevated coastal design. I strive to create something beautiful but also warm and welcoming no matter what the occasion. Spaces should be just that—welcoming, and always. As I design spaces that reflect elements of the shore, my creative choices naturally blend to form a functional, comfortable place that is both striking and laid back at once. 

There’s no time for a home to feel fussy; rather, contemporary design trends allow for you to live your best life right now, in the current moment and full of love. Relish in that luxury! And to help you create your perfect space for exactly that, here are my 5 ways of bringing elevated coastal design into your home.

Color palette
On the beach, gazing into an expansive horizon with luminous light and endless ocean is what drives my color palette. The magnetic pull is something I want to be surrounded by in my everyday life. I achieve this through picking a palette in which I can play with intensity through hues.

Instead of picking a specific color per room, I will pick 3-5 for an entire house. I then custom mix the hue so there is connection throughout depending on where the light hits the brightest during the day.

When I think of texture, I think of the sand. I naturally gravitate towards fabrics that have a natural hand to them. Alpaca, Belgian linens, cashmere and the softest leathers. 

This allows me to play and mix without any one standing out. They all work harmoniously together creating their own rhythm whether it’s the curtain, seat cushion or sofa. Mix it up!

Floors and ceilings
They are one in the same to me, just as the horizon meets the water. I love walking barefoot and feeling soft clean floors without lacquer. You can use water based stains and mix the colors to achieve a natural look rather than something out of a bottle.

The ceiling is never a white white. I usually have a touch of pink in my ceiling paint. It always bounces back a luminous color… Don’t forget these two tips!

Natural Stone
Natural Stones are my sea shells. They’re perfectly imperfect… meaning a stone is never too precious if there’s a water mark. It’s natural and made by the earth. I love natural stones for this reason versus a granite or a man made stone with no character. It’s okay if it’s not perfect!

Mixing metals and finishes
Think: brass, lucite, polished nickel… Together, they create the mix that wears well with time and really makes it your own.

What better way to incorporate all these patinas as the new neutrals? There’s nothing worse than looking back on a project and seeing what was on trend. Mixing metals is a classic way of being confident in your choices so that they’re timeless.

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