Is coastal decor still on trend? Interior designers decide whether this style is a classic or cliché

Interior designers weigh in on whether this relaxed design style is still on-trend

Is coastal decor still on trend?
(Image credit: Dmar Interiors/Bethany Nauert Photography)

All design styles divide opinions, and as trends come and go, it can be hard to know what's considered 'on-trend' or completely out of style. Schemes that were once celebrated and sought-after are now considered dated and bland, and those that were once avoided are now considered tasteful and fun.

Coastal decor is one design style that people have mixed feelings about – at its core, this aesthetic is all about creating a soothing atmosphere and introducing natural materials to a space, but when the aesthetic is interpreted incorrectly, it can begin to feel gimmicky and contrived.

So, is coastal decor still on-trend? We've asked interior designers to weigh in on the interior design style, and find out whether you can introduce coastal decor into your home in a timeless, sophisticated way.

 Is coastal decor still on trend? 

White living room by Corine Maggio of CM Natural Designs

(Image credit: Project by Corine Maggio of CM Natural Designs / photograph Jessica Glynn)

Coastal decor focuses on creating relaxing spaces that echo the serenity of coastal landscapes, as well as the colors and materials that come with it. You might be wondering, can this ethos really go out of style? 'Coastal design and decor will always be on trend because it is a timeless look. It is versatile and can be adapted at any budget,' says Cassie Scaldaferri, of Cass Design Co.

'At the core of this style is a serene vibe where it is comfortable to relax, which is always an endearing quality for a home. Coastal influences have been seen in homes throughout the years and its qualities seem to be standing the test of time,' she adds. Design is personal, so each person's interpretation of coastal decor will differ, but as long as the atmosphere of the style is captured effectively, coastal interiors should, in fact, feel quite timeless.

Coastal decor dining room with a rattan chair and woven placemats

(Image credit: Cass Design Co/Mary Raynor photography)

Michelle Woolley Sauter, of One Coast Design, also believes coastal decor is still very much on-trend, 'and it always will be,' she says. 'Coastal decor has enduring appeal due to its timeless aesthetic and universal charm. I love to create interiors for coastal homes because each one is different, and that is one of the many beautiful facets of coastal homes,' Michelle explains.

Michelle Woolley Sauter of One Coast Design
Michelle Woolley Sauter

Michelle Woolley Sauter is One Coast Design's principal designer and owner located in Charleston, SC. Michelle brings a mixology of classic and coastal to all her projects! Her motto: 'Bring Coastal Home'.

coastal decor living room

(Image credit: Dmar Interiors/Bethany Nauert Photography)

When it comes to coastal decor, it's perhaps less a question of whether or not it's still on-trend, and more so of whether it's the go-to style right now. 'We believe coastal decor isn't as popular within the current trend cycle. While it may not completely go "out of style," it seems less mainstream at the moment,' says Kailee Blalock & Taylor Troia, founders of House of Hive Design Co.

'This doesn't imply that incorporating it into your home is unwarranted; rather, it suggests that it might be more challenging to come by and is receiving less emphasis in the interior design industry,' they explain. 

It seems coastal decor is still considered to be on-trend, and when done right, it's the basis for a truly timeless scheme. 'There was certainly a trend for a while where there was far too much signage describing the coastal lifestyle,' says Mollie Ranize, lead interior designer and founder at Dmar Interiors. 'Instead, I would urge homeowners to be a little less obvious with their selections and a bit more broad stroke with the decisions.  A soft blue paint color, for example, can go a long way,' she adds.

Mollie Ranize, DMAR Interiors
Mollie Ranize

Mollie Ranize is the founder of Dmar Interiors, a nationally recognized design firm based in sunny Southern California. She has been known for her 3T Method for 20+ years: designing Tasteful, Tailored and Timeless interiors.  

coastal decor kitchen

(Image credit: Dmar Interiors/Bethany Nauert Photography)

The key to making coastal decor feel current and not too trend-led is to mix in elements of other design styles and introduce a blend of old and new pieces. 'Coastal style elements can be mixed with different styles, from more classic interpretations to modern and minimal,' says Cassie Scaldaferri. 

'By mixing with different styles, a coastal aesthetic can easily be infused in a way that feels current for you. To ensure a more current look, it’s more about color palette and materials versus using coastal-themed items,' she advises. 

The design elements call for soothing neutrals with pops of ocean-inspired hues – think blues, greens and even subtle coral tones. Paired with the addition of light-toned weathered woods and natural materials such as cotton, linen, jute, and rattan, you can create that coastal style in a tasteful way.

Coastal decor

(Image credit: Cass Design Co)

Collected, eclectic style is proving popular in 2024, so taking an element of this into your coastal decor can make your overall design feel more on-trend, and gives that sense of a lived-in space. 'There's a rising trend in decorating with vintage and thrift shopping. We believe that a unique approach to infusing coastal decor into your space is to veer towards de-modernization,' adds Kailee Blalock and Taylor Troia. 

'Instead of buying new "beachy" pieces, seek out vintage pieces that exude the coastal vibe. Doing this will give the coastal look while adding character and authenticity to your decor,' they suggest.

House of Hive
Kailee Blalock and Taylor Troia

Co-founders of House of Hive Design Co., Kailee and Taylor launched their San Diego-based interior design firm in 2023. With a combined experience that spans over a decade, they specialize in highly custom interior design for luxury clients, with a signature style that holds a traditional foundation. Renowned for coining the term "Bookshelf Wealth," House of Hive Design Co. embraces the use of collected and thrifted items to create personalized, story-telling spaces. 

Coastal decor bedroom

(Image credit: Cass Design Co)

It's clear the key to ensuring coastal decor feels on-trend, and most importantly, timeless is to introduce natural materials that feel intentional and reminiscent of the style, rather than incorporating decor that feels too beachy. 'Recovering furniture pieces in neutral fabrics and adding beautiful toss pillows in coastal tones will keep things updated and fresh,' reminds Michelle Woolley Sauter.

'Textural area rugs made of natural fibers will give you a coastal look without breaking your budget. By blending classic coastal elements with modern design principles, individuals can create spaces that feel timeless and for today, ensuring their coastal decor remains stylish for years to come!'

So, the general consensus agrees that coastal decor is still on trend, it's simply a case of tasteful execution. 'In my extensive experience in construction and interior design, coastal decor has consistently emerged as one of the most timeless styles,' says interior designer Janette Mallory

'It remains at the forefront of design trends, skillfully evolving to mirror contemporary preferences while retaining its intrinsic appeal,' she adds. Although it might not be surging in popularity right now, there is always a place for this design style. With the right choices, you can create a scheme that feels fresh, relaxed and timeless.

Molly Malsom
Content Editor

Molly joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as a content editor. Her undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to the best places to source pre-loved homeware.