East Coast vs. West Coast Coastal Interior Design [2023]

Posted by on

Eeeeeeeeee!!!!   I've been dreaming about living on a beach for as long as I can remember and the time has finally come!  My husband got transferred from Waterloo, Ontario to Tampa, Florida!!!   It's so surreal.

In honour of this exciting adventure and moving to a coastal town (we're looking at Sarasota right now), I thought I'd discuss the nuances of coastal interior design; specifically the differences between East Coast Coastal and West Coast Coastal design.

[Pin for later!]

East Coast and West Coast Coastal Living Room


Overall coastal interior design is inspired by calm, casual beach vibes and seaside elements such as water, sand, sun, driftwood, seagrass, rocks, pebbles and shells, etc. However, there are some distinguishable differences when it comes to East Coast vs. West Coast interior design that I plan to identify for you below.  


East Coast:
  Bright and airy color palette of light and deep blues, greens, turquoise, whites, greys and some beige.

West Coast:  Warm neutral color palette sometimes paired with blues, greens, pastels or unexpected colors.  However, colors mainly focus on whites, creams, beiges, grays and other colors found in nature.

East Coast vs West Coast Coastal Interior Design Living RoomsEast Coast Design Source | West Coast Design Source


East Coast:
  Traditional patterns such as stripes, florals, trellis and sometimes ikat or nautical.

West Coast:  Exotic patterns such as tropical, African mud cloth and Southwestern.


West Coast vs East Coast Coastal Interior Design Decor

East Coast Design 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | West Coast Design 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


East Coast:  East coast coastal interior design infuses traditional furniture pieces with newer ones to create classic coastal interiors that are elegant and timeless. 

West Coast:  Comparatively, West coast coastal design incorporates contemporary furniture and natural elements. The furniture style is less formal and focuses on minimalism with sculptural details. 

East Coast and West Coast Interior Design Living Room

East Coast Design Source | West Coast Design Source

East Coast:  The materials used in East coast coastal interiors are a combination of natural fabrics/textiles and synthetics that exude  sophistication.  Expect to see a variety of materials such as; rattan, sisal, wool, cotton, linen, velvet, glass, ceramic bone, brass/gold, etc accented with white hydrangeas and other beautiful florals and greenery. 

West Coast:  West coast interior design is much more focused on natural materials to create a casual environment.  Since the West coast has a warmer climate year round, expect to see light fabrics such as cotton and linen, as well as bleached wood, live edge furniture, earthenware, lime-washed walls, bleached wood and live edge furniture accented with plenty of greenery, pampas grass or a variety of dried stems.

East Coast Coastal Bedroom and West Coast Coastal Bedroom

East Coast Design Source | West Coast Design Source


East Coast:  In East coast coastal interior design, you'll see modernized versions of traditional lighting for ceiling fixtures and lamps, as well as some some sleek brass/gold, black or even white sconces or picture lights as accent lighting. 

West Coast:  West coast coastal interiors often use statement lighting often made of natural materials as the focal point of this minimalist design style. However, modern light fixtures in brass/gold and/or black may also be used to make a statement or for accent lighting. 

 Dining Room Coastal Interior Design

East Coast Coastal Source | West Coast Coastal Source


East Coast:  The East coast coastal design vibe is a combination of southern charm and sophisticated elegance. Think of places you'd see in The Hamptons, Cape Cod or Charleston.

West Coast:  West coast coastal vibes embody a laid-back, relaxed vibe that is also refined. Think Malibu, LA and Monterey. 

Coastal Living Room

East Coast Design Source | West Coast Design Source


So that's the gist.  Which coastal style do you resonate more with?  I feel like I'm a mix of both and look forward to decorating our new home once we arrive in Florida. 

If you'd like help creating your coastal inspired interior, we'd LOVE to help you. Check out our virtual interior design services to learn more.


Virtual interior design services


To view some of our  projects and learn how clients felt about the services we offer visit our portfolio here and testimonials here.

And if you're more of a DIYer that likes to take the glory when it comes to decorating your space check out my DIY Interior Design Course. I teach my step-by-step interior decorating process so that you can complete your project as smoothly as possible while avoiding potentially costly mistakes. 


Interior Decorating Course for DIYers 2023

Searching for paint colours?  Click here to get 20 expertly curated paint colour schemes.

paint colour schemes for home 2022


And if you’d like to see more of our favourite home decor and furniture, make sure you visit our furniture and home decor shop to see some of our favourite pieces to incorporate into your home interior.


furniture and decor shop

Thank you so much for reading East Coast vs. West Coast Coastal Interior Design. If you'd like to see more interior decorating related content, be sure to join our
 Design Tribe.  We send interior decorating tips regularly, along with exclusive offers.  We'd love for you to join our community. 

email list

Until next time.....happy decorating!


Certified Interior Decorator, eDesigner & Founder
Orangetree Interiors

P.S.  Painting your house any time soon?  Get our FREE Perfect Paint Colour Checklist & Coordinating Paint Colours Guide!


paint colour checklist


Happiness Podcast



2023 interior design trends beach style interior decorating beach style interior design california coastal coastal diy interior design do-it-yourself interior decorating do-it-yourself interior design east coast coastal interior decorating interior decorating advice interior decorating course interior decorating ideas interior decorating tips interior design interior design advice interior design course interior design styling interior design tips interior design trends online interior decorating online interior design virtual interior decorating virtual interior design west coast coastal

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published