Lighting Your Coastal Living

From Cabo to Martha's Vineyard and Venice Beach to Hawaii, we've got the fixtures to light your version of coastal living.  

“Coastal Style” has a variety of interpretations depending on where you are in the country. In Key West, coastal colors are vibrant. In Nantucket, the land of white-on-beige, the complete opposite is true. In Hawaii, beachy patterns are botanical and in Martha's Vineyard “coastal” has a nautical feel with stripes, stripes, stripes! Mediterranean villas say “beach” with palm trees, and bohemian California bungalows say it with seashells and wind chimes! Whether tailored and classic or casual and organic, “coastal style” accomplishes two things: it evokes feelings of summer vacation and it blurs the lines between indoors and outdoors.

In the Houzz article “So Your Style Is: Coastal” author Lisa Frederick explains why this style is so popular and how to achieve it. She says, “Coastal style is at its best when it sets a mood rather than hitting people over the head with its beachiness (oars! fish! life preservers!). Although seaside motifs feel apt and appropriate, you don’t need to scoop up every piece you spot with a sand dollar on it; a coastal space simply evokes the easy, carefree feel of boating and beachcombing.”  

Here are our recommendations for light fixtures that will have you saying summer no matter where you live.

Archetype Pendant

While this room has a few coral motifs, it is overall bright and unadorned so that the views outside can take center stage. The Archetype Pendant, designed by Michael Vanderbyl, lends itself nicely to the idea that less is more. 

Archetype Pendant

Archetype Pendant

Tokay Floor Lamp

Another example of a room that allows the outside to shine is this room featuring the Tokay Floor Lamp, also designed by Michael Vanderbyl. Its classic silhouette and tailored, pleated shade have a nostalgic feeling, which is what a beach house is all about. 

Tokay Floor Lamp

Tokay Floor Lamp

Soleil Ceiling

The Soleil Ceiling fixture works well with coastal style because the crisscross design is reminiscent of the metal cages that protect industrial ship lighting. The series by Jiun Ho also includes a largemedium and small version.

Pacific Heights Grand Table Lamp

While the fixture itself doesn’t scream nautical, these Pacific Heights Grand table lamps by designer Barbara Barry are simple and reflective, which Frederick identifies as common themes in coastal style. “When they're done right, crisp white rooms are arresting in their purity and simplicity,” says Frederick. “Layers of cream, beige and khaki evoke the subtlety of shifting dunes.” The polished finish acts like the reflective surface of a mirror. “While coastal interiors aren't known for shine and shimmer, a few carefully chosen accents can help to diffuse light even further.” 

Pacific Heights Grand Table Lamp

Pacific Heights Grand Table Lamp

Alhambra Series

The surprising Alhambra Table Lamp and Alhambra 18" Sconce by Brooklyn artist, Fiyel Levant, for Boyd Lighting is a fresh take on middle-eastern motifs. Arabesques and curlicues cover each side of the oval Alhambra Table Lamp with two different complimentary patterns, yet as if by magic, different patterns emerge when the base is lit. The sconce features a slightly different pattern. Why does it work? It reminds us of Morocco.

Grasse Sconce

Designed by Jamie Drake, the Grasse Sconce works well in this yacht because of its color and material. As we know, white is a key color in coastal interiors, and the hand blown glass reminds us of sea glass. We recommend the turquoise Grasse for a bolder punch of color if your version of coastal style is more tropical versus New England. Another reason the sconce works in this space is because it balances all of the wood. “Break up organic surfaces with contrast, says Frederick.

Bauhaus Table Lamp

According to Frederick, weathered wood is a must-have, and the cerused oak on this Bauhaus Table Lamp makes it a perfect fit for coastal interiors. “Picture driftwood: worn smooth and bleached out, with a salt-kissed patina,” she says. “That's the look you're after.” Designer Doyle Crosby achieves this look by applying gold or silver pigment to the wood, which fills and reveals grain lines. The result is casual elegance. 

Bauhaus Table Lamp

Bauhaus Table Lamp

In addition to weathered wood, organic materials like the alabaster on the Baguette and Bento sconces are a perfect complement in coastal interiors. “Organic materials… bring a natural warmth and texture to coastal interiors,” says Frederick. 


“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
— Jacques Cousteau