Classic Coastal Colors

I just love living in New England with the varied weather (okay, late winter/early spring not so much) and topographies. From the ocean to the mountains, we have it all. I live along a tidal river very near where it empties into the ocean. This is the view about two steps from the end of my driveway.

And this is the local beach about 3/4 of a mile away:

The variations in colors are amazing. But overwhelmingly, when we hear the term coastal colors, we think of blues, whites and sandy shades – think Something’s Gotta Give. I put together a grouping of Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams  coastal colors palettes that I though you might want to know about. It’s currently available in my store for $9 and includes three palettes – Calming Breezes, Sunny Days and Stormy Seas – each with picks from BM and SW.

Of course, these palettes can be used to help select wall colors for the whole house that will all work beautifully together. But, they can also be used to create a color palette for furnishings, finishes and wall colors for your whole space.


Calming Breezes Classic Coastal Colors

Soft and cool – Calming Breezes looks just like it sounds – a fresh soft breeze wafting through. I took the photo below a couple of years ago at the Newburyport Kitchen Tour – I just loved the soft green gray tile on the walls that complemented the counter top marble so well.

 Kitchen Newburyport photo credit Linda Merrill pale gray green backsplash coastal colors


This bed and bedding below is part of my Truro Modern Beach House project.

Truro beach house bedding Linda Merrill design classic coastal colors

Thibaut is one of my favorite fabric houses and this grouping below is a perfect reflection of the Calming Breezes palette.


Imagine sparkling seas with the sun glistening off the waves and the Sunny Days palette just springs to life. Both images below were from various Newburyport House tours (it’s a coastal community so it’s no wonder there’s a lot of coastal colors!)

Living room Newburyport photo Linda Merrill classic coastal colors

Newburyport-Sitting-area Linda Merrill photo classic coastal colors

Thibaut‘s Nara Collection is spectacular isn’t it? (Note, Thibaut is trade only. If you would like information on any of their collection, I can help!)

 Stormy Seas Classic Coastal Colors

And if darker and more dramatic is your thing, this sitting room below (also from Newburyport) was a mix of pale blue wall behind more dramatic colors and textures.

Gia Interior Design living room Photo by Linda Merrill classic coastal colors
Design By Gia Interior Design | Photo by Linda Merrill

And below is a rendering I did as part of a house design. I just love the dramatic dark blue grasscloth walls!

Linda-Merrill-Coastal-Collection-Truro-Blue-yellow-Hall-Classic Coastal colors
Rendering by Linda Merrill

Earlier this year, I was asked by FIXR to participate in a survey of interior designers regarding color and paint predictions for 2020. Click on the link to read the entire report, but I thought the graphic below was interesting:

Fixr 2020 paint color predictions

Would love to know your thoughts!

Classic Coastal Colors

Surroundings by Design CLASSIC COASTAL COLORS PALETTE has three different color palettes: Lights, Brights and Darks with six colors in each palette. Each palette has groups from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, for a total of 6 palettes and 36 individual paint color recommendations. Included are also tips on selecting paint colors and special bonus content! Email me for purchasing information.

22 thoughts on “Classic Coastal Colors”

  1. Hi Linda ~ As someone who lives on the coast, I appreciated this post and enjoyed seeing all of the different color palettes you suggested. It’s hot down here in TX now – hard to believe it’s almost 100 degrees out! Spring went by too fast– and these cooling colors were just the antidote.

  2. Hello Linda, The heat is really settling in over here, along with the humidity, and your Coastal Palettes and accompanying photos were like a breath of fresh, cool air! Your dramatic blue grass cloth is also worth remembering, perhaps in a smaller area if I were afraid to go all-out with it.

    • Hi Jim – hopefully you’ll find some relief from the humidity! It’s just getting hot and humid here, but nothing like where you are. And you’re point about doing something dramatic in a small areas – a great way to dip one’s toe into drama!


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