Photos by Emily Green of Emily Green Photo

This is the secret to adding coastal charm to your interiors (hint: it’s not seashells!)

Fortunately for us here in south Louisiana, white sandy beaches reside only a few hours’ drive down the Gulf Coast. Many Baton Rouge residents make the most of this, becoming regulars at spots like Orange Beach, Destin and 30A. Some true beach bums have even invested in their very own vacation homes to spend as much time seaside as possible.

If you love the beach enough to make it your second home, you likely love everything that reminds you of it—sand, shells, sailboats. Therefore, you might be tempted to cover the entirety of said second home in said beach-themed items. However, when it comes to coastal interiors, a less literal approach to decorating might be the best avenue for amping up the charm without sacrificing elegance. After all, too much of a good thing can turn boring, fast. For a timeless seaside space you’ll never get tired of, design consultant Jessica Virgets of The Design Studio of Louisiana offers her tips on implementing the right amount of beachiness in your beach home.

“In my opinion, the key to keeping coastal interiors timeless is to not lean too heavily on overtly obvious ‘beachy’ themes,” says Virgets. “By strategically incorporating subtle textures and colors found in nature into the space, your home will effortlessly begin to exude the coastal essence.”

Natural elements are the key to achieving an easy-going coastal look. Think prickly textures instead of sea urchins or soft palettes instead of seashells. Virgets explains that natural elements can be displayed in anything from rugs to accessories, and even furniture pieces. For example, in a recent beach property project in Orange Beach, The Design Studio team implemented the below driftwood console table in the entryway.

“In this project, bringing the elements of the local environment into the interior was our overall goal,” Virgets explains. “Using raw, organic materials as our guiding light, our team was able to complete this timeless vacation home for our clients.

Of course, natural materials and textures are not the only way to bring the outside in. For this beach house project, Virgets and her team also applied muted shades of blue to reflect the blue waters of the Gulf. Incorporating subtle shades of the shore gives your space the feel of the ocean without diving in headfirst.

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