Crew teammateDonna Ball shares with us on this blog post ways to make your home feel more coastal! 

While Maryland is composed of a diverse landscape of mountains, forests, and water, most people associate the state with a coastal lifestyle which is also frequently reflected in the decorating styles of many Maryland homeowners.  The association is likely due to an abundance of water-oriented cities and towns as well as water-related activities that are prevalent throughout the state:  the capital city of Annapolis, also known as Crabtown and home to the U.S. Naval Academy, is all about boating and Maryland crab-eating;  Baltimore, the state’s largest city, boasts the popular Inner Harbor; and then there’s the Atlantic oceanfront getaway of Ocean City with sandy beaches as well as the adjacent Bay for fishing and water sports. 

Water, water everywhere!  So it’s no wonder that one of the most common decorating styles you will find in Maryland homes is coastal and inspired by water and boating.  This water-themed look often manifests itself in two distinctly different approaches:

THE LITERAL APPROACH (can sometimes become borderline kitschy and whimsical)

Characterized by:

–  Use of boat parts as sculpture or wall art (ships wheels and porthole mirrors on walls, boat anchors and propellers in gardens, boat line wrapped around lamps, boat cleats as wall hooks, etc.)

–  Found objects like beach glass, coral and seashells are often displayed as accessories and/or used to create a separate functional accessory such as candle holders, soap dishes, and lamps.

–  Maryland state outline and crabs everywhere (painted on pillows, pallet art cut out in the shape of Maryland, crab designs on everything, everywhere…)

–   This style can sometimes be over-the-top beachy or nautical if too many of these elements are used together in the same space

–   Literal water-themed decorating tends to be more fun than serious and can be imparted sparingly with other styles to bring some whimsy to a space

THE SUBTLE APPROACH (often a more elegant approach that LOOKS and FEELS coastal without obvious references)

Characterized by:

–   Sophisticated use of nautical coastal colors in wall paint, artwork and textiles (deep navy blue like the ocean, neutral sandy tones, and white-on-white color themes all work well).  Light, fresh blue and green accents bring the same outdoor tones inside.

–   Integration of natural fibers and materials such as jute, linen, woven baskets, rattan and glass keeps things feeling light, open and breezy like a Summer day

–   Natural wood tones in furnishings and flooring brings in warmth without feeling too heavy or dark

–   Minimal accessories that are also functional keep the space uncluttered and streamlined

–   Reserved artwork in a soothing color palette and natural materials is consistent with this style

–   It’s hard to have too much of a good thing so this approach is difficult to overdo

–   Can easily be mixed into other styles like Boho, farmhouse, and Scandinavian

Regardless of how you chose to decorate your Maryland home, a few tips to keep in mind…

–   Use mirrors on walls opposite windows and doors to bring in more daylight and double your views

–   A clean, decluttered house is always more appealing

–   Don’t forget about curb appeal


–   Consult with your Realtor before embarking on any major home renovation!  Realtors are a great resource in helping homeowners determine the smartest use of their home improvement dollars

We hope that the decor ideas inspire you! Thank you to our Crew Teammate Donna Ball for the great tips!

Stay with us for more tips on home decor, real estate market updates, and local biz; keep reading the D&C Blog and reach out to anytime with all of your questions!