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Coastal Inspired Bathrooms:
10 Ideas To Get The Look

by | Apr 20, 2009 | Bathrooms, Decorating Inspiration

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Coastal Inspired Bathrooms: <br>10 Ideas To Get The Look
2008 Coastal Living Idea House Jean Allsopp

You all know I am in love with coastal style. Besides the fact that I love the lifestyle that it represents (which is the key to an authentic style), I love that there are all kinds of interpretations of “coastal.” I think our homes should be unique and not a carbon copy of someone else’s home.

Whether you live on the east coast, the west coast or have lived or traveled abroad, you may interpret your style differently. Be authentic! My “coastal style” tends to land loosely over on the British Colonial side, due to my love of European travel, experiences near the sea, the love of tropical islands and furnishings I’ve inherited or gathered over time. If you are not familiar with that look you can read about it here.

I think I am undergoing a bit of a style metamorphosis, where I am wanting to freshen everything up a bit, but still keep what I have. In my new house, being that it is actually in the Puget Sound area and within view of a lake, I am excited to take the coastal look up a notch and have some fun with it.  I think I am also having a serious case of spring fever and am craving a breezy warm sunny day on the beach.

Coastal Inspired Bathrooms: <br>10 Ideas To Get The Look
Coastal Living (photo: Erica George & Tria Gloven)
via Coastal Living’s Daily Catch blog

In most of the rooms in my house, I always work with what I have in the way of furnishings. I will incorporate new things and mix up or reinvent old things, but I don’t start over and buy all new furniture. But bathrooms are a great place to try something fresh because if your bathroom is in decent shape, a makeover usually just involves some paint, a shower curtain and some accessories.

Coastal Inspired Bathrooms: <br>10 Ideas To Get The Look
Dash and Albert

When I peeked over at Coastal Living’s website this weekend, I swooned because one of their blogs showcased just what I was looking for, inspiration for my bathrooms!

Coastal Inspired Bathrooms: <br>10 Ideas To Get The Look
Coastal Living (photo: Erica George & Tria Gloven)
via Coastal Living’s Daily Catch blog

I’m especially excited to work on my powder room, because it is so small! That means I can easily make an impact. I have always wanted a designated guest bath, so I am wanting this bathroom to be special.

I am also looking forward to working my son’s bathroom because I can make it fun for him. As the only child left full time at our house (both of his sisters have flown the coop to college), I can finally play up his boyishness with a bathroom he will love. And what is not to love about being a boy on the coast?

Here are 10 Coastal Style ideas:
(featured in these images)

  1. Create a nautical style rope to hang towels
  2. Use weathered shutters to make a subtle statement
  3. Tasteful map wallpaper (or artwork) in small doses brings in the sense of travel and adventure by sea
  4. A vanity painted blue gives a bathroom an instant nautical boost
  5. Tropical plants are the perfect “green” touch for a bringing the island feel inside
  6. Striped rugs (I love Dash and Albert) give a great coastal feel to your floor
  7. Think subtle touches like red stripes on towels rather than tacky tourist accessories
  8. Lighter walls in pale colors look airy and refreshing
  9. Remove heavy curtains and go with bare windows or breezy sheers or shutters
  10. Wainscoting adds coastal cottage texture in interest to a room

I’m so ready to kick off my shoes and dig my toes in a sandy beach! And bringing a little coastal ambience inside is the next best thing to actually being there.

Need more coastal inspired ideas?

Coastal Cottage Kitchen Inspiration

Dreamy Seaside Cottage Living

Beach House Love

Our Little Escape & Coastal Drive Bys

Authentic Coastal Style


  1. Jeri

    We have the sheers…and not a lot else :) I love the blue cabinets! The plants really add a lot. The blue is so refreshing! I shall have to go check ’em out today! Thanks,

  2. JoAnne

    I love the blue vanity. I tried blue on the walls of our guest bath and I just don’t like it. I think I will try blue on the vanity and white on the walls. That combo looks so light and refreshing!

    JoAnnes inspiring blog post..And with that…

  3. Pam D

    So much of my home is blue and white, but now I really want to make the bathroom those colors too. I love all the photos and ideas here… I have to wait on re-doing the bathroom, since my wood floor in kitchen is the big splurge this year, but I will keep these in my idea file! The one picture of the room with the shutters is the exact layout of my master bath, and gives me a lot of ideas. Plus I love the blue and white stripe you showed and the blue cabinets. Fun to dream about at this point! Thanks

  4. Pam D

    Forgot to say… british colonial coast is my favorite too! Not so much the kitch, or typical touristy type but more like they show in old films of New England homes by the sea… lots of sheers blowing in the wind at open windows, a ship model on the mantel, etc. :)

  5. songbirdtiff

    Wonderful tips. I would LOVE to live on a beach somewhere. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen, so it’s nice to know I can bring the beach to me. :)

    songbirdtiffs inspiring blog post..Dinner Bell (TMBG)

  6. speckledpup

    I am redoing two bathrooms…yes I said two. And am looking to do one as a coastal bathroom. I would welcome any additional pointers via email.
    I’m a redoing virgin….so I will take all advice given.

    speckledpups inspiring blog post..oh yeah, we totally did….

  7. Sherri

    I have wainscoting in my master bathroom with the walls painted a sunshine yellow. I love it! It sure is an eye opener in the mornings.

    Sherris inspiring blog post..Jack Frost – Ultimate Party Pooper

  8. teresa

    Oh, I would love a “beachy” bath =)
    I like how they used a rope for the towel bar in one of the pictures- I keeping that idea to use someday-
    Thanks for all the tips.
    Have a wonderful day.

    teresas inspiring blog post..Saved-

  9. Sue

    My boys had a coastal bedroom and I got great inspiration from a boating and fishing supply store, including ropes, fishing lures, paddles… great stuff! Unfortunately, after a few years they decided they want a sports theme now. :-( Coastal was much more my taste. But I guess it IS their room.

    Can’t wait to see more pictures of the new house!

    Sue @ My Party of 6s inspiring blog post..Motivational Momma – Next Up – Jean from STIMEYLAND!

  10. Vee

    That first photo really catches my eye. I like the roping used for a towel hanger. Your son is going to love his very own bathroom.

    Vees inspiring blog post..*Bunny Tales

  11. Hasley

    My husband and I just “redid” our bathroom for under $200. He put in a new vanity. I was in charge of fresh paint and new shower curtain, towels. So satisfying to get a “new” room by working together and not relying on contractors. (He works in an office, so I’m SUPER proud of him!)

    Hasleys inspiring blog!

  12. Puna

    Ahhhhh, these bathrooms look so fresh, so white, so clean…

  13. Misti of Studio M Designs

    I do love these bathrooms! My boys opted for skateboard stuff, my vote would have been coastal…anyday.

    Melissa- I am having my very first Mr. Linky party on Thursday and I would love for you to join in! We are celebrating our “Childhood Bedrooms”. Feel free to add pictures if you have them or just a great description will do. Hope to see you there!


    Misti of Studio M Designss inspiring blog post..Craft Time: A Cheesy Green Idea

  14. martha

    A few years ago I wallpapered my son’s bathroom with old maps from National Geographic magazines. Easiest thing ever, and most commented on in my home. The teenagers all thought it was exotic, while I thought it was classic. The colors and theme made everything else fall together nicely.
    (I used wallpaper paste, then a clear polycoat. Should have put a line of silicone caulk around shower and mirror, but it’s ok.

  15. Gina

    I love those pictures! The last one is so pretty-they all make me want to run (or-in my case-drive a long way) to the beach. Today I’ll settle for the lawn chair and a glass of lemonade!

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Motivate Me Monday: My Strength is not Enough

  16. JanMary, N Ireland

    I have a coastal cottage here in Ireland, and I was just thinking at the weekend, I need to add some more coastal touches to the bathrooms! Thanks for the inspirations. (I have just posted the first pics of my new kitchen makeover on my blog if you are interested)

    JanMary, N Irelands inspiring blog post..Home FROM the holidays! (and new kitchen reveal)

  17. Susie

    Coastal Inspired rooms are always so clean & fresh looking…I had a coastal bath in my last house…thought I wanted something new in this house, but I miss it very much.


    Susies inspiring blog post..A beautiful day…

  18. LexyB

    Ah – I need a dose of coastal style now that chilly old Autumn is taking hold down in Australia. thanks

    LexyBs inspiring blog post..Take a seat …

  19. Elizabeth

    For 10 years our ensuite bath has had plain white builder tile, fixtures and soaker tub. I spuced it up this year- on a budget. Aqua blue walls and white, sandy beige and blue towels and accessories really added some coastal/lakeside appeal. I posted pics of the re-do on my blog. Thanks for sharing the photos and ideas, I may add one or two more.

    Elizabeths inspiring blog post..2 year old sings The Lord’s Prayer~~very moving and cute too

  20. Bill

    These are definitely some great tips! As a new homeowner, there’s definitely a budget to adhere to, but with your creativity I know now that you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to get some really nice looking authentic results!


    Bills inspiring blog post..Billishirts for kids!

  21. Kim

    I’m always inspired on your blog! The shutter were just stunning! It does seem like being near the water makes you want to lighten and brighten everything a bit. Enjoy decorating your new home!


  22. julia

    Hi Melissa!!
    So wonderful to stop in and get inspired for spring and summer!! Love these bathroom ideas, they truly do look beachy which I absolutely adore!

    julias inspiring blog post..because we can…

  23. J.J.

    OK, so I thought I’d come back and report that I have now started on my bathroom! woo hoo! It is about time. We have only lived in this house for 2 years, and have had it basic white on white with a splash of black tile. Time to put in some color!

    J.J.s inspiring blog post..Holy typewriter ribbon, Batman!

  24. Shannan

    I am in the end stages of a coastal-inspired bathroom for my kiddos. I am loving the way it’s turning out! I’ll be sure to send you the link to some photos when we get it finished. Thanks for this inspiring post! I love every photo you shared.

    Shannans inspiring blog post..Yo. Yo. Yo. – Revisited

  25. Sweet Cottage Dreams

    Ooooo…loving that bathroom with the beadboard all the up to the top – the shutters are fab!! I am doing the same wall treatment in our bath. It is a slow project with all going on – but it will end up being a coastal theme, too. The boys’ bathroom is already coastal. I love the colors of the beach and the theme has always been top on my list.

    love ya,

  26. Rosie H

    Great idea I have just finished decorating the whole house apart from the bathrom , I have Japenese style lounge and bedroom and funky kitchen ! but really wanted a “Beachy” bathroom and have scoured the internet for inspiration , really like your ideas, have put down sripey rug from Ikea that loks great, have got shells , little light house etc , even little bottle with a message in it al I need now is the ocean and I am done , thanks for the inspiration (ps love the window shutter idea am going to try making my own )



  1. The “I Don’t Like to Paint” Pity Party & Poll - [...] I need to paint this cabinet in my son’s bathroom when I do the Coastal bathroom makeover. [...]

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