Bringing Classic Coastal Style Home: Marissa Herr's Top 5 Tips to Get Her Signature Look

With cozy blues and beach-inspired whites, the classic coastal style is an ode to easy-going beach life. The traditional beach cabin is all about pairing pastels and whites with bold navy blue and timeless, nautical-inspired colors. Old meets new with modern lines and antique wooden accents.

Marissa Herr has documented her home décor journey since her family moved into their dream home. She shares on her Instagram blog "all things DIY, decorating on a budget, and easy, affordable home updates" Below, you'll find some of her top tips for pulling off a classic coastal style home, AKA her signature design aesthetic.

1. Be Intentional

Beach homes are often smaller due to their location, so you must use each square foot to the fullest. Marissa is "super intentional about every single decorative piece" she brings home and avoids "clutter and endless spending on [unnecessary] things."

There are a lot of coastal décor pieces out there. Still, Marissa recommends starting "with one piece you can't live without that you'd regret leaving the store without" and then “[l]et that one item be your starting point and design everything in your room around that vibe and color palette."

2. Define Your Color Palette

While whites and blues are typically found in the American coastal décor color palette, there is a lot of personalization available within the color scheme. Marissa recommends sticking to a defined color palette, which can come from a single statement piece or be decided before you start shopping.

The colors found in Marissa’s home are inspired by her late twin brother. She reminisced that "his eyes were crystal blue, and the beach was his favorite place to be."

While she keeps the anchoring pieces of her living room like her sofa and Branna rug around for the long haul, Marissa makes subtle changes throughout the year like introducing pillows of various prints and seasonal coffee table accents to periodically breathe new life into her space.

3. Add Layers and Textures

Make your home extra-cozy by adding accents to each room. Marissa loves accent pieces like "throw pillows, blankets, candles, [and] baskets." Of course, these pieces should go with the rest of the room's style and color scheme. When coordinated effectively, decorative accent pieces can help bring a whole room together.

Rugs are another great way to bring multiple furniture pieces together and give a room a bit of character. Floor coverings and accent pieces are all about "bringing layers and textures together in a way that when you enter a room, your eyes dance around [the space]."


4. Break the Rules

When it comes to coastal décor, there aren't many rules. Beach cottages can be as eclectic as you want without breaking the style. Marissa believes that "folks can tend to overthink their design way too much and end up not doing anything." To overcome this, she recommends "have fun and break the rules."

Feel free to blend the modern and antique. Bring in some modern furniture with a vintage light fixture, for instance. Marissa remembers when she updated her bathroom for only $250. She told us, "I went outside my comfort zone by choosing a very bold wallpaper print and blue vanity color!" In the end, she confesses, "I love how it feels connected and cohesive with the rest of the home based on the color palette but that when I step inside it's like I'm transported into a chic palm beach style boutique bathroom!"

5. Keep Evolving Your Style

You don't have to strictly stick with a single style when you decorate your home. Instead, feel free to let the interior designer in you evolve. While Marissa usually goes with light and airy choices, she's recently started to "find ways to bring more earthy elements and balance that with my love for blues and brightness!"

Taking risks is part of styling your home!


As Marissa says: "Home is certainly a feeling, and so I want it to evoke feelings of joy, calm and lightness." The pieces in your home should bring you comfort and joy – apart and when put together. 

While classic coastal décor is a decently defined style, that doesn’t mean you can’t branch out and take risks while decorating your own home. Marissa takes tons of risks while decorating her home, as she did with the bathroom, and encourages readers to do the same.

Your home should be a place of calm for you to retreat to at the end of a long day. As Marissa reports, “our first goal for our home is to be a reflection of everything the outside world is not, calm.” Coastal décor is absolutely calming, so she made a good decision there!

Learn More

If you’re looking to try the coastal style in your home, take your décor one step further. Elevate the look with layered rugs.

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