How to inject a subtle ‘beachy’ vibe – without the nautical stripes!

When we started thinking about interior design in the flat, we wanted one theme to shine through. The beach.

Tired of the obvious nautical themes, we instead decided to throw a subtle nod to the beach in recognition of our location and our shared passion (we’re both beach lovers and surfers!)

Here’s some of the ways we injected a beachy vibe without those nautical stripes…

A sea-inspired colour palette

Think sand, sea and driftwood…

This palette began in the hallway, with a calming neutral shade on the wall that, to me (Steph) looked reminiscent of shades of sand. Complimented with the oak-effect laminate flooring, the minute you stepped into the property, you were greeted with warmth.

In the bedrooms, we embraced feature walls. In terms of natural features (skirting boards/cornicing), there weren’t any. So we could use colour to create a bold statement in each of the bedrooms, giving each space it’s own identity.

In our bedroom, we opted for a cool blue. This was calming, light and made you think of warm summer skies or tropical oceans.

In the second bedroom, we opted for a sea-green. This was much bolder which was perfect for a room that was used more for storage and workouts rather than to sleep in.

The bathroom though, set this theme alight.

We chose teal brick-effect tiles around the bath and shower, using extra tiles to create a splashback by the sink. This colour was perfectly complimented by the wooden drawers of our vanity unit which, to us, hinted at beach driftwood.

Every detail of the bathroom was thought about in relation to those tiles! From the wooden toothbrush holder, to the diffuser, to the towels (which, admittedly, did have a nautical stripe!) It’s those little details which set the tiles off and fully implemented our theme. Which brings me onto the next point…

The little details

In my mind, you can’t just settle for colour to bring out a theme. It’s all about the little details.

Which is why I spent days trawling online for handles that would inject our theme into wardrobes and cupboards throughout the flat.

It became incredibly pleasing when anyone visiting would notice and compliment these.

We chose real pebble handles for our hallway cupboards (sourced from Dunelm) and rope coil effect handles for our wardrobe and cupboards in the bedroom.

These just set the rooms off and gave an unexpected talking point. Plus there are so many handle options out there, that it’s sort of a no-brainer…

Plants are also brilliant additions to rooms to make the place feel more ‘earthy’ and natural. Having greenery inside rather than out makes you feel more connected to the planet, improves your oxygen and air purification and makes you feel happier (proven fact). In our next place, I think we’ll have plants in nearly every room…


Artwork is obviously the easiest way to inject a theme into your property.

Thankfully, after dropping numerous hints on my personal blog, a very brilliant friend decided to buy us the perfect piece as a moving-in present.

This shoal of fish made from wood and painted white is from Sand and Seagulls. We had quite a long, bare wall in the hallway as we walked in so decided that this would be the perfect place for it. Placed there too, it immediately welcomes visitors with an image of the ocean – something which remains in their mind as they walk through the rest of the property.

We also bought a print from the Beach Boutique; a whale chart which I’m still absolutely in love with. Again, it pulled out the colours of the flat, and our theme perfectly and also ended up in the hallway, reflecting the fishes on the opposite wall.

Hopefully, anyone that came into the flat felt that our proximity to the sea had inspired our interior design. It certainly made us happier, returning from a long day at work, to feel like the place we loved had somehow merged into the home we loved.

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