7 Tips for Creating a Chic, Coastal Oasis in Palm Beach

Coastal decor has made appearances in homes for many decades, especially in homes that are located in cities known for their waterfront splendor, like the Palm Beaches. But the usual seashell motifs and shades of blue you might be imagining have modernized quite a bit over the years into something more chic and pleasant. We’re talking colors that draw on shades of sea and shore, calming neutrals, pops of color, and a ton of fun textures. 

If you've ever dreamt of bringing that effortless coastal charm into your own home, but never were sure how to achieve the look, we’ve got you covered with advice and tips from Krista W. Alterman, the creative director and founder of KRISTA +  HOME.

Photo Credit: Jessica Glynn 

“Coastal as a design style has changed,” says Krista. “Gone are the days of salmon or mint green walls, seashells everywhere, and nautical prints. It is possible to have a coastal home that is chic, but not overly decorated with obvious references to the beach.” To Krista, coastal means fresh and clean, white and bright, and light and airy. 

She’s been designing for 18 years now, first on TV as the host of two HGTV series “Splurge & Save” and “Save My Bath.” She later studied interior design at Parsons School of Design and started her own design firm, which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary. The award-winning,  full-service interior design firm based in Palm Beach County serves clients across South Florida. 

“All of our work delivers a special feeling — a vacationing spirit, a respect for both modern and historical elements, and a livable yet luxurious energy,” she shares. 

Continue reading below for some of Krista’s best tips, plus where to shop locally. 

Photo Credit: Eve Greendale

7 Tips on Achieving Modern, Coastal Charm


  1. Avoid Typical Motifs 

“Keeping thematic elements like shells to a minimum is key to an overall chic outcome,” says Krista. The last thing you want to do is decorate using the “costume” coastal décor you’ve seen before and relate the cliche coastal idea to. “When accessorizing, think more organically,” suggests Krista. “A beautiful piece of driftwood is a better choice than a  seashell.”


  1. Think Contemporary 

“Adding contemporary elements to a coastal theme keeps it feeling new and up to date,” says Krista. “I like to mix styles to keep things interesting and fresh.” A great example of this is lighting. She suggests selecting something contemporary; not every element in the room needs to be coastal.  

Photo Credit: Jessica Glynn

  1. Add Greenery 

One of the best ways to breathe new life into space is through fresh flowers and greenery. “I love clippings of fresh palms from your yard in beautiful vases,” says Krista. “Fresh flowers can also add a beautiful pop of color.” Some suggestions include white and blue hydrangeas, green echinops, and sea holly.  


  1. Use Light and Airy Fabrics 

Light and airy fabrics work well for coastal décor. “I love to use linen whenever possible,” says Krista. Alternates include organdy, cotton, and chiffon. Another idea is to use shades of blue instead of white when choosing paint colors and cabinetry finishes, says Krista. “It really makes a statement.”


  1. Incorporate Elements of Texture 

“In Florida, it just makes sense to use our beautiful surroundings as inspiration for home design,” says Krista. “I love the concept of bringing the outdoors in — and using organic elements like seagrass, rattan, jute, and other natural fibers and woods wherever I can.” 

She also believes there are many great options available today that include an element of texture, like rattan, rope, and other woven fibers. “I also believe that coastal furniture should be extremely comfortable and bathed in fabrics that are cool to the touch (linen is better than velvet),” she says. 


  1. Layer and Texturize 

Make sure to add layers and texture! Krista says to incorporate a mix of wood finishes,  metal, glass, and linen and to use natural stone on countertops whenever possible. “Take pictures of your beautiful surroundings and use those images as inspiration for your color palette,” advises Krista. “Crisp whites, warm sands, bold navies….just look outside to find the perfect hues.”


  1. Accessorize with Coffee Table Books

Books whose subject matter is part of the theme are a  smart choice, just make sure they are beautiful and sophisticated, says Krista, who suggests adding books to coffee tables, shelves, and nightstands. “One of my absolute favorites is PALM BEACH, by Aerin Lauder,” says Krista. It is available at Assouline Palm Beach in The Royal Poinciana Plaza. 


Photo Credit: Eve Greendale

Not sure where to shop for design inspiration? Check out these local retailers in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach that have quintessential decor, furniture, and accents to help you create your coastal oasis at home.  

AERIN Palm Beach 

33 Via Mizner, Palm Beach, FL 33480


Ballard Designs West Palm Beach

2916 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach, FL 33405


Callidus Home & Decor

223 Sunrise Ave., Palm Beach, FL 33480


Excentricities, Inc. West Palm Beach

1810 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach, FL 33401


HIVE Home, Gift & Garden

424 Palm St., West Palm Beach, FL 33401


Kemble Interiors Inc & The Kemble Shop

294 Hibiscus Ave., Palm Beach, FL 33480


Le Serene Home & Design

206 Brazilian Ave., Palm Beach, FL 33480


Mecox 

3900 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach, FL 33405


Palm Beach Home Style 

3412 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach, FL 33405


Serena & Lily Palm Beach

101 N. County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480


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