Unique Outdoor Coastal Style Decorating Ideas

Posted by Inbound Pursuit on

The coastal aesthetic is not just for the inside of your home. While you may not see the need to beautify a home that already has a to-die-for backdrop (i.e. the beach), a coastal home needs outdoor decor just as much as any abode. And if you're living in the middle of the city, decorating your backyard with coastal decor will make it feel like you're just a few steps from the beach.

With all that said, how do you decorate the outside of a coastal style home? What outdoor coastal style decorating ideas make the most sense? And more importantly, what types of decor do you need to tie the coastal design all together?

In this article, we will answer all of these questions and more. But first, let's talk about why you should decorate your home with outdoor coastal decor:

Why Outdoor Coastal Style Decorating Ideas Are A Great Idea

The old adage "It's what's the inside that matters" applies to many things, but not when it comes to coastal style homes--or any home, for that matter. The outside of a home matters just as much as the inside. After all, it's the first thing that people (including yourself) come across.

So, if you want to embody the coastal aesthetic both inside and outside your home, you need to pay attention to outdoor decor as well.

What's more, is that coastal decor extends way beyond indoor living spaces. If you have a backyard, decorating it coastal style will give you your own tropical paradise--even if you're miles away from the nearest body of water.

With all this in mind, let's move on to the most awaited part of the article: how to decorate your outdoor spaces coastal-style.

The Top Outdoor Coastal Style Decorating Ideas

When decorating your outdoor space with coastal decor, it can be easy to make it look tacky. While there are many, many outdoor coastal style decorating ideas to choose from, it's important to pick the best of the best and not overdo it. Otherwise, you could end up with a space that looks like it was decorated by someone who couldn't decide on what theme to follow.

That said, take the time to pick out only the best decorating ideas to turn your vision into a reality. Luckily for you, we have a handful of the most creative coastal decor ideas to turn any outdoor space into a beachfront paradise.

Build A Coastal Oasis Cabana In The Backyard

Okay, building a cabana in your backyard may seem like a huge project, but hear us out. A cabana is a simple outdoor hut with open walls and an elevated floor. It is basically a roof with one wall, or sometimes just a roof with four pillars supporting it. It's a common sight in beaches and coastal villas; a place where you can relax in the breeze without being directly under the sun.

If you have DIY skills, you can build your own cabana from scratch with some lumber (pale wood works best). The roof can be made of dry vegetation (straw, heather, palm branches, etc.) or be covered with a durable cloth. You can also add extra shade by installing soft, flowy curtains on every side of the roof.

Don't have the time nor the skills to put up a cabana in your backyard? Not to worry, you can always seek help from a contractor or purchase a pre-built one. However, if you want to customize the design of your cabana, it's best to talk to a contractor who specializes in these kinds of structures.

After you build your cabana, the next step is to decorate it with coastal accessories. Here are a few coastal elements that you might find appealing:


Decorative paddles are a staple in any coastal style home. Thus, installing a pair to your cabana is an easy way to add coastal flair to the space. There are many styles, sizes, and colors to choose from, and they are fairly easy to install. Here's our instructional guide on how to hang decorative oars on the wall for your reference.

Driftwood Decor

Coastal design is not complete without driftwood decor. These rustic pieces are just what you need to bring the whole coastal theme together, whether indoors or outdoors. Try hanging driftwood decor on your patio, cabana, or even just your backdoor.

You can even create your driftwood decor by picking up pieces of driftwood from the beach. You can turn them into coastal art, hanging garlands, or maybe even abstract pieces that are up to the viewer's interpretation. Sky's the limit!

Anchor Decor

Place anchor decor in your cabana for an extra nautical touch. If you want a rustic-coastal theme, pick a decorative anchor that looks a bit more authentic. Or if you want your anchor decor to match your modern cabana's aesthetic, look for anchor art that is made from pale wood or stainless steel.

Combine all these elements above and bring your cabana to life. Each time you enter you'll be transported to a tropical paradise!

Invite Feathered Friends Over With Beach Birdhouses

Who doesn't want to wake up to birdsong outside their window? Adding a birdhouse to your backyard is the best way to attract feathered friends to your home and, in turn, make your outdoor space feel more attuned to nature. But don't just pick any birdhouse--go with a beach-themed birdhouse that matches the rest of your coastal design aesthetic.

Create Your Own Custom Beach Signs For The Front or Backyard

Having a beach sign in your outdoor space is one of the best ways to add personality--and coastal flair--to your home. Beach signs can range from simple messages like "Beach House", "Gone Coastal", or "By The Sea" to full-on quotes that express the feeling of beach at the beach.

If you can't find the exact beach sign that you want, you can always get custom nautical signs. This is a great option if you want your sign to say your family name or perhaps the road where your house is at. Alternatively, you can also create your own quotes like:

  • "Life is better at the beach."

  • "Beach life is shore perfection."

  • "There's no place like home except for the beach."

  • And other unique sayings

Spruce Up Your Deck or Patio With Coastal Decor

A patio or deck is an extension of your indoor living space. That said, decorating it with a coastal design is the perfect way to bring cohesiveness to your indoor and outdoor space. Here are a few coastal elements that you can add to your patio or deck:

Nautical Candle Holders

Add illumination to your outdoor space with some beautiful, beach-style candles. If they come in ocean or beach-themed scents, all the better! Don't forget to put them in nautical candle holders to maintain the coastal vibe.

Take a look at these awesome beach candle ideas for more inspiration!

Signal Flags

Signal flags are used by sailors at sea to communicate wsith other ships. They are common sights in homes with the coastal design because they easily remind one of the seas, especially for people who like to sail. Hang decorative nautical flags along the exterior wall next to your patio to add some nautical flair to the space. Just make sure they are secure enough to not fly away in the wind!

Need more sailing decoration ideas? Check out our previous article!

Natural Textures

The coastal theme revolves around elements from nature, such as wood, water, organic fabrics, and sand. Obviously, you can't put water or sand on your patio. So, the next best thing is to decorate your space with woods and natural textures (e.g. rattan, nautical rope, wicker). Some great examples include wicker outdoor seating, nautical rope ornaments, and rattan wall art.

Invest in a Nautical Serving Tray

One of the best parts about having a coastal-themed backyard is inviting guests over to appreciate it. So, make your outdoor gatherings extra special with a nautical serving tray that you can use to serve guests ice-cold lemonade on hot summer days.

Use a Beach-Themed Color Palette

If you have the option of repainting your exteriors, why not go for a coastal-themed color palette this time? The coastal design usually uses white, light blue, and beige as base colors, then dark blue, red, and green as accents. It's all up to you, though. If you want a modern coastal home, we recommend using light shades for accents against a pale, neutral base.

On the other hand, if you want a color palette that's a little bolder, go for a dark base color (e.g. navy blue) and some vibrant accents (e.g. sailor red and palm tree green).

Distress Your Fence

When it comes to wooden elements in the coastal design style, you will mostly see distressed or washed-out wood. This is done to mimic the rustic appearance of wood that you would find on piers, beach houses, and establishments on the coastline. So, if you want your fence to go with the rest of your theme, consider distressing its wood.

There are a number of ways you can do this. The easiest method is to sand it down until some of the paint or the outermost layer of the wood comes off. Alternatively, you can add layers of paint on the wood (white, yellow, brown) and rub it vigorously with a candle while the paint is still wet. This method will leave you with a multi-layered, weathered look. Or if you want a more aged and scratched look, rub the paint with a dry brush instead.

Final Thoughts On Outdoor Coastal Style Decorating Ideas

No coastal home is complete without outdoor coastal decor--yes, even if you live hundreds of miles from the nearest beach. By implementing even just a handful of the tips that we've mentioned above, you can turn any outdoor space into a beach-themed oasis.

Turn your home into a nautical paradise inside and out with some great coastal decor from Uniquely Coastal. From nautical birdhouses to coastal wall art, we have everything you need to make your coastal interior design dreams come true--and for the right price!

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