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  • Writer's pictureLarry Witt

Why Blue & Grey Work For Coastal Interior Designs

As a designer who regularly works on both the East and West coasts, I’m often asked what color combinations work best for seaside homes. Although it’s always ultimately up to the client, I do love working breezy greys and cool blues into coastal designs.

Luckily, I’ve had many clients who also love this color combination and have also had the chance to experiment with a variety of styles and saturations within this color palette. If you are looking to add a bit of a coastal lifestyle to your home (whether you live in the city or on the beach), take a look through some of my favorite blue and grey designs, all of which accentuate different beachy styles and moods.

Bright Turquoise Blues & Deep Blue-Greys

Blues pair wonderfully with other blues, so if you want your design to include brighter blues, such as this Beverly Hills design, then try staying within the blue family when it comes to adding in other “coastal” colors. Of course, adding in a true grey won’t hurt your design, but for an extremely cohesive look, think about using a deep grey-blue. The grey-blue will act as a soft background color to the brighter hue and offer more flexibility when adding in other colors, such as midnight blues and crisp whites.

Dark Blue And Misty Grey

If you love the classic white and blue look but are also a fan of moodier colors, going with darker shades might be your best bet. A misty, matte grey merges beautifully with cobalt blues while offering enough wiggle room for additional splashes of colors outside of the cool-color family, such as red, yellow, and orange. While keeping the overall color scheme a coastal palette, this combination also looks trendy and is versatile in style when it comes to the decor and furnishings.

Patterned Blues & Greys

Coastal color palettes can also look stunning when created through the use of bold, layered patterns. If you are going to incorporate a lot of pattern into your design, however, you’ll want to keep the walls simple - such as with a subtle light gray or light blue. Simple walls will also help establish a balance between color and pattern, so if you are using two or three different prints you’ll want to distribute them evenly throughout the space, making sure there isn’t too much of one color or one print in any certain area of the room and reinforcing a balanced and harmonized interior.

If you love patterns but don’t know where to start, I’d suggest beginning with the largest pattern - whether that be an area rug or sofa. From there, you can work to add in smaller bits of patterned flair that complement the larger focal point.


Coastal designs are timeless, as the style is clean and refreshing while the color palette is subtle yet powerful. You can do so much with this style as well, such as merging it with a romantic farmhouse look, keeping it minimal it for a more modern touch, or spicing it up with a few different styles for an eclectic look. Incorporate the fresh look of a beachy design with whichever design you enjoy best, however, remember to keep a few of these tips in mind:

For your home’s main area, usually a large kitchen or living room, natural light is key. Coastal designs boast natural light, which also gives them its warm touch. So, if you are looking into moody blues and greys, make sure the colors will accentuate your home’s natural lighting instead of dimming it down.

Another beloved characteristic of coastal design is the uncluttered, easy-breezy flow of the home. When in the design process, keep an eye out for furniture that is too big or even too small (and not functional) as these will hinder the balance and movement you feel in your space. The aim, especially for this design style, is to make sure your every day living is comfortable - just as if you were in a vacation home - which brings me into the last point: Go easy on the decor and accessories!

Furniture that is just too large to function might be an obvious no-no in your coastal design. But equally so, an abundance of knick-knacks, decor, and accessories can also get in the way and, for some, create a claustrophobic feeling. If you absolutely love all of your decor and accessories, then of course, by all means, integrate them into your coastal design, but remember to keep things balanced. In this case, disburse smaller decor items throughout the entire home, so you don’t feel as though too much is going on in one area. If you are able to display your decor on high wall-mounted shelves, this will immensely help declutter your home while still having the items you love as part of the design.

Most importantly, have fun bringing this look into your home! Blues and greys are such classic colors, you won’t have to worry about this color palette going out of style, and as I explained, there are so many ways to incorporate this relaxing look into your interiors. Experiment with different hues of blue and grey, try out a few different beachy looks, and play around with the layout of your furniture until you find the perfect coastal style that makes you feel at home!

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