Seaside Is Out & Moody Coastal Is In: Why We Love This Edgy Trend

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Kelsey Clark

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Published on March 3, 2022

When you hear the words “coastal decor,” your mind likely turns to seafoam green walls, starfish decor, and seashell wallpaper. But we’d like to introduce you to its emo twin sister: Moody Coastal. Like a surfer with a full sleeve, this look is natural and ocean-inspired with a hint of edge.

Similar to the California cool look, moody coastal is all about subtle, understated nods to life along the coast without leaning too literal — no kitschy anchors or fish art here. Instead, it blends natural elements like driftwood, capiz, coral, coco beads, and tropical greenery with contemporary silhouettes and a high contrast palette.

Ahead, learn more about this trending look and shop our designer selects to get the look in your home:

What Is Moody Coastal?

Modern coastal decor
Modern coastal decor

Shop the look: Mirror // Table Lamp // Cane Chair

The moody coastal look is an elevated, modern take on oceanside style with a much-needed edge. Rather than taking inspiration from high-noon at the beach, this look borrows palette and ambiance from midnight swims, moody waters, and inky, star-flecked skies. It’s elegant, soulful, and a touch mysterious, just like the ocean.

Why We're Loving It

Modern coastal decor
Modern coastal decor

Shop the look: Chandelier // Coffee Table // Accent Chair

This look gives the classic coastal aesthetic the high-contrast edge it desperately needs. Gone are the seafoam greens and pastel blues — it’s all about the bold blacks, deep grays, and inky navy blues. When set against a coastal backdrop and a sea of natural textures, the palette really pops. It brings the tranquility and relaxation of a seaside retreat with the intriguing darkness of an incoming storm.


How to Get the Look

modern coastal decor ideas
modern coastal home decor

Shop the look: Bed // Pillow // Bench

Moody coastal design is far more versatile than classic seaside decor. Because it’s more interpretive and symbolic, it works whether you live in Malibu or Iowa. Here’s how to channel the look in your space:

  • Pair light, medium or dark neutrals with deep blue hues (rather than baby blue or light green).
  • Add touches of slate black for a high-contrast palette.
  • Use weathered or driftwood finishes on furniture and accessories, like linen, woven wood, rattan, cane, sisal or jute rugs, and grasscloth wallpaper.
  • Modern or classic patterns like stripes are still welcome!
  • Hang bold, modern artwork.
  • Feature lighting with black, capiz, or woven details.
  • Consider using a dark color for a major feature (like painting walls or trim slate black, or incorporating a dark charcoal sofa in the living room).

Whether it’s unearthing the latest design trends or unlocking the best floor plan for your space, our designers are standing by to help you create a home you love. Check out our designer’s portfolios to find your dream match. 

Words by Kelsey Clark