15 Tips for a Beach-Themed Living Room on a Budget

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Coastal Living Room Ideas and Inspiration

Ready to spruce up your living room for less? You can start by leaning into a light and breezy look known as coastal style. It's less about luxe decor ideas, and more about creating a relaxed and comfy space filled with cool tones and year-round summertime vibes.

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Coastal living room ideas should be calm and clutter-free with beach house feels and maybe even some nautical accents. The good news is you don't have to live at the shore to make this aesthetic work. Just embrace the lightness of it all and ... relax.

Not sure where to start? Here are some budget-friendly design tips that will help you turn your space into a tranquil refuge.

15 Tips for Beach Themed Decor on a Budget

1. Just go with jute.

When adding a rug to your coastal living room, welcome natural textures like jute to tie the look together. Not only are jute rugs affordable, but they also have the ability to instantly add a cozy feel to your space. If you're not in the market for an area rug, jute ottomans and placemats are also options worth considering, and they won't break the bank either.

2. Keep your window coverings simple.

Who needs frilly, fussy window treatments when you've got views for days? The first step to turning your living room into a coastal oasis is to take down any heavy or dark curtains. We recommend replacing them with sheers, Roman shades, or perhaps nothing at all, if privacy allows for it. The decor scheme is all about embracing natural light and airiness.

3. Add tile to your fireplace surround.

If you've decided to give your living space a makeover, don't forget the fireplace. Dress it up in vibrant blue tile with a kaleidoscopic pattern à la this light-filled setup. The reclaimed wood mantel is the perfect finishing touch, but if you really want to complete the scene, throw in a couple of rattan accent chairs and tree stump side tables for good measure.

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4. Forage for beachy decor.

Where's the best place to find inexpensive decor that will fit right into the overall scheme? The beach, of course. Bring your coastal cottage dreams to life by scouring the sandy shores for seashells, driftwood, starfish, and pebbles. Style them on top of seaside-inspired coffee table books or in large wooden bowls, as seen in this setup by Farmhouse Living.

5. Embrace the color greige.

Traditionally, coastal decor revolves around color palettes made up of white and blue shades, but we think it's high time you consider greige — a combination of beige and gray — instead. The earthy hue, reminiscent of the shoreline, will immediately up the cozy factor, as proven by this soothing space from Kerri Rosenthal.

6. Expose existing features.

If you already have structural ceiling beams in your living room, or want to add some during the renovation, think about keeping them exposed. The raw wood will add a natural touch, and a medium or dark finish can provide a welcome dose of warmth, as it does in this beautiful coastal space from Studio McGee. Plus, you can save yourself the cost of having to remove or paint the beams.

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7. Keep it light and easy.

Want another way to showcase exposed beams in your coastal living room? Or just want to give them a quick and affordable update? Paint all the walls, ceiling, and beams bright white. The color change will instantly open up your space and provide the perfect empty canvas for all of your Pinterest-worthy coastal decorating ideas. Go for light-colored furniture and a simple chandelier to finish the airy look.

8. Let comfort reign.

When it comes to creating a coastal living room, put comfort at the top of your list. Invest in a sectional sofa that you can sink into, a couple of lounge chairs, and maybe even one or two floor poufs or ottomans. You'll want the maximum amount of comfy seating to sit back and relax with your family and friends. Pro tip: If you don't have the budget for new seating, modular furniture is easy to thrift.

9. Focus on wall art.

This coastal-farmhouse setup by Bre from Brepurposed shows how to keep things simple, but still beach-themed nonetheless. The coastal wall art sets the tone, while the wooden fireplace mantel and accessories, jute rug, and woven seagrass belly basket bring a pop of warm, natural beauty to the all-white backdrop.

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10. Play with shades of blue.

White and neutral tones are classic colors for a coastal living room scheme, but so is blue. Add some throw pillows, a rug, and textiles in navy blue as a visual reminder of the ocean, like Chango & Co. did in this gorgeous boho beach house.

11. Mix and match.

Whether your space is small and cozy or large and airy, like this stunning living room design, start with a white or off-white base. Next, throw in a mix of home decor including black accents, a dash of cognac-colored leather, gray textiles, and bleached wood to create a coastal look that's dynamic and timeless.

12. Bring nature inside.

Coastal design can be modern and chic when you incorporate statement pieces like the live edge wood coffee table that the Emily Henderson team selected for this living room makeover. If you're super DIY-savvy, you can even make your own. We also like the wood tongue and groove ceiling and the matching accent walls that are sprinkled throughout, breaking up the sea of white. The finished result is a contemporary scene that screams relaxing beach getaway.

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13. Opt for light linens.

When you're on the hunt for fabrics to go in your coastal retreat, think linen and cotton. Follow the lead of this coastal escape by Pinteresting Plans and opt for cool colors such as white, gray, beige, and blue, of course. From area rugs and throws to pillows and curtains, there are always bargains waiting to be discovered, so don't make any impulse buys — be sure to take your time and shop around.

14. Give access to the outdoors.

Want to feel the breeze blowing through your hair on a warm summer evening? Arrange the seating area in your living room near doors or windows that open up to the outdoors. Set up your living room or seating area near doors or windows that open up to the outdoors. Sliding or French doors will contribute to the coastal ambiance, and will allow you to go in and out with ease.

15. Be inspired by the ocean.

The ocean is one of Mother Nature's most awe-inspiring creations, so it only makes sense to celebrate its beauty in your beach house. Take a page from this living room design and fill your space with decor — like wall art, pillows, throws, and vases — flaunting shades of aqua, blue, and green. Balance the cool pops of color with warm finishes and organic textures such as reclaimed wood, jute, and sisal.

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