Just the sound of waves crashing on a shore, and the high-pitched cry of gulls, evokes a coastal scene and all its pleasures - which, unless you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, are usually only enjoyed on holidays.
But conjuring seaside style at home is easier than ever, no matter how close to the beach you live.
Perfect for summer, this look is a perennial favourite, and taking the plunge may only mean a lick of fresh paint (pick a brilliant white or a bright blue) and a few appropriate accessories, such as a sailing boat ornament or a cushion with an anchor emblem.
Before you know it, you will be decked out and shipshape.
“The term ‘nautical’ can inspire many aesthetics, from the traditional images of anchors, lighthouses and buckets and spades, to the more subtle material influences, such as stripped wood, wicker baskets and natural floor coverings like seagrass or jute, for that unspoilt beach retreat look,” says Clotilde Passalacqua, country interior design leader at Ikea.
“Take inspiration from the colours of the seaside and use soft, pastel blues for upholstered furniture or soft furnishings. These will work well paired with driftwood browns and can combine to create an air of serenity in the home. Whatever your choice - a simple splash of stripes or all the kit for a full captain’s galley - it’s time to make waves with your decor.”
Blue’s a classic colour choice for channelling a nautical vibe, and white is its perfect contrasting partner.
“The pairing of white and blue hues never fails to make us smile. Fresh, bright and intrinsically linked to summer, it’s a classic combination which brings a tranquil vibe to any home,” says Claire Hornby, creative stylist at Barker & Stonehouse.
“For a new take on this much-loved look, add a touch of urban cool to traditional nautical styles, by teaming rustic finishes with contemporary shapes and clean geometric prints. This will ensure your scheme is visually interesting and gorgeously tactile.”
If your space is confined, stick to smaller items and dress your home with decorative cushions, patterned throws and rugs in a white and blue colourway, suggests Hornby. Paint stair risers in different shades of blue for a colourful focal point in a hallway.
Let your style take flight with a backdrop featuring the UK’s most iconic seaside birds; Gulls Wallpaper in British Lichen, £50 a roll, by Mini Moderns.
Get a rustic effect with the rough-hewn charm of the reclaimed wood Samson Coffee Table, currently reduced to £325 from £400, Barker & Stonehouse, who also have super silver Nautical Portlight Mirrors, currently £100 each down from £120, and an appropriate blue and white Frankie Rug, £149.
Coastal Home, whose name says it all, is overflowing with suitable products, including a blue Fisherman’s Pendant Light, £34.99, and a Welcome Aboard Life Ring, £24.95.
Stunning cushions never fail to have impact; my favourite’s an Admiral Ivory/Navy Indoor/Outdoor Pillow, RRP 75 euros (approx £53), from Dash & Albert Europe (see website for UK stockists). Just as appealing is Jan Constantine’s new Seaside Collection, which have crab, lobster and compass designs, also £75 each.
Jolly up a display with a handsome Seaside Boats Pitcher, £20, decorated with colourful yachts, from ceramicist Dee Hardwicke. Alternatively, be the captain of your look with a Shamrock Decorative Boat, £95, John Lewis, and let your imagination set sail.