How To Create Ocean Inspired Colour Schemes

The ocean and coastline offer us food, entertainment and inspiration for easy living. We’re influenced in so many ways by our surroundings, especially when those surroundings are as spectacular as our rocky coasts and beautiful beaches. It’s easy to see why we want to bring that energy into our living spaces. Whether you want to create a nautical nook, a beach-style room or a complete seaside cottage, there are a few things to keep in mind to achieve your goal.

Before you begin your project, create a colour board either by collecting photos and pieces of things that you find appealing, or creating a scrapbook on Houzz or Pinterest to refer to. This will help guide you in your decision making when purchasing large and small pieces for your space.

Once you’ve decided on your colour scheme it’s easier to stay on track. A floor plan helps, too – draw out the space to scale and place the major pieces where they make the most sense; you’ll realize what size rug you’ll need and how much room you have for side tables, plants and other accessories. It’s a layering process, so once the major pieces have been purchased and placed, you can fill in the empty spaces with accessories to make your room come to life.

Beach and ocean themed rooms are so much fun to accessorize. You can go totally rustic dragging in anchors, lobster pots, nets, buoys etc. Or, if you want to keep it a little more refined, a rattan basket filled with nautical striped throws, a table laden with bowls of shells or beach glass, a sculptural piece of driftwood in a corner, or pictures of beach holidays in wooden frames. The options are endless.

The best place to find the most authentic accessories is, of course, at the beach. You will, however, need to be mindful of how you display them. A large bowl that mimics the texture of a weathered sea urchin is perfect for similar coloured beach rocks; a glass cylinder lamp offers the perfect display case for seashells; beach combing treasures become art when displayed in a large glass vase. Keep an eye open for unusual pieces, be creative, have fun and as always – love your space!

Colour Scheme

Think of the colours you see as you relax on a sandy beach or amble over the rounded beach rocks. The sand (white, beige, brown, grey), beach rocks (so many colours), driftwood, beach glass, weathered wharves, summer sky, moody clouds, blue/green water.


So many wonderful textures to play with: sand, seagrass, driftwood, sea shells, knotted rope, cotton fabrics.


Lanterns, nautical styled fixtures, oversized candles.


Woven wicker, distressed weathered wood, textured cotton upholstery and cushions, sisal rugs, storage baskets, trunk- styled coffee tables.