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Your Home in North Carolina: elegant coastal decor

Friday, November 18, 2022   /   by Anne Rose

Your Home in North Carolina: elegant coastal decor

Decorating your home in North Carolina, and prefer an elegant feel to a casual beach-y vibe? Coastal elegance is not an oxymoron. With a little refinement of traditional coastal elements, you can create a home that is both comfortable and inviting with these elegant coastal decor tips.

Add Elegance into your Coastal Decor

Coastal decor capitalizes on the use of the organic colors and textures of nature. Blues, sea foam greens, ivory, and beige should be your go-to colors for an elegant coastal interior. Implement this color palette in light woods, baskets, natural fiber rugs, and woven shades, while opting for textures that are more finely finished than rustic in feel.

You can create an elegant coastal decorating aesthetic by simplifying and adding drama to traditional elegant decorating elements. Instead of a crystal chandelier, choose an elegant classic shape that is created with delicate seashells. Add touches of gold or silver in your centerpieces and decorative accessories. Throw pillows with coral motifs and metallic corded edges feel more elegant than informal coastal. Install window treatments that are formal, for example floor length drapes, and opt for coastal colors. Windows are the most important feature to accentuate in an elegant coastal interior. Plantation shutters alone will feel casual; when paired with drapes, shutters take on a more elegant air. For both drapes and upholstered furnishings, choose rich fabrics that still have a light coastal feel - light blue raw silk for example.


"Beautiful drapery panels or custom installed plantation shutters that make a home feel “low country,”" offers Mary Ellen Slugg, operations director at KBT Realty. "White, pale blue and green furniture with wicker, rattan accents, and jute natural rugs. Nothing too “beach” but a soft, pulled together room."

Coastal Furniture with an Elegant Scale

Smaller scale furniture in traditional shapes feels more elegant than large, over-stuffed sofas and chairs or chunky tables and chairs. Look for period-style furniture or antiques that have classic lines. You don't have to sacrifice comfort, just make sure that the lines of your furnishings are defined and gracious.

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A great accent for an elegant coastal room are a few darker pieces of furniture. Dark cherry or mahogany finishes look beautiful in a coastal interior if they are used on end tables, coffee tables, or side chairs. 

Coastal elegance can also be conveyed with contemporary or Mid-century Modern furnishings, and either of these are a great option if you don't love antiques. 

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Elegant Accessories for a Coastal Interior

Keep your interior light and airy with touches of coastal decor, but don’t over do the beach or nautical elements. If your room is too “theme” inspired, the final effect won't be elegant. Make use of gold touches throughout your interior. Gold picture frames, mirrors, and gold accent tables, along with gold vases and tabletop accents are simple additions to your accessories. A simple touch to create an elegant ambiance is adding artwork accent lights. Add softness to your seating with luxurious, overstuffed pillows in elegant fabrics.

Lighting from multiples sources in a room is much more elegant than light from ceiling fixtures or a ceiling fan. Put shades on your chandelier bulbs. Choose table lamps and floor lamps that have a classic feel rather than a rustic one.

Oriental rugs over hardwood floors are an elegant, classic combination. Oriental rugs are available in a myriad of colors and patterns, and coastal color schemes are easy to find. A dark blue oriental rug will add drama and elegance to a room filled with coastal beiges and light blues, for example.

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When you are decorating, strive for a simple and uncluttered look. Display the best quality items you can afford. Instead of casually strewing your decorating accessories throughout each room, carefully create vignettes with your decor. Stack coffee table books. Display a few items on shelves instead of packing them full of mementoes. Arrange a formal grouping of vases instead of placing them around a room.

Use Paint to Create Elegance

The colors of an elegant coastal interior are best set against light walls. White or neutral paints and wallcoverings are a great choice. Layer lighter colors from wall to wall, and room to room. Wallpaper can help you create an elegant setting, especially in traditional and formal patterns. Adding rich, deep colors on an accent wall or decorative accessories can add elegance to a coastal color palette without becoming too dark.

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Elegance is All in the Details

Traditional details go a long way in establishing an elegant ambiance. Install crown molding, traditional hardware finishes in gold or silver, tall baseboards, interior columns, ceiling medallions, and chair rails to make your interior feel elegant. To go with the coastal theme, keep architectural accents to the same color as the walls. In the kitchen and bathrooms, upgrade surfaces to granite, marble or quartzite for an elegant feel. Tile accents with a metallic touch will up the ante in these spaces, too.



"To me, Coastal Elegance doesn't have to cost more," says Nancy Baldridge, KBT listing coordinator. "The Cape Fear area features many upscale, gently-used antique furniture, and accessory shops where an elegant look can be created. It's not about driftwood signs and wicker furniture anymore. Staying minimal but by utilizing quality pieces and a palette of either vibrant or muted colors inspired by nature, a serene living space can be created. Being transported to relaxation is what it's all about."

  home design, coastal home decor

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