Decorating Dilemmas: Linda’s Coastal Living

Helping Linda decorate her green and blue coastal living room

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I have a rectangular living room with windows and a slider on one long wall. I love the wall color which is a soft yellow. The sofa is a denim blue, a swivel chair is peridot, and the other chair and ottoman is a combination of the blue, peridot, and turquoise (very small print). Right now, the curtains are a turquoise and hang very poorly, and the rug is a “dead” looking seagrass. I am trying to bring this all together, but cannot decide which color/type of curtain and rug to do so.

There is one lamp, with a silkscreen by Jane Seymour of a bird which I also love. It is on a round Ballard Essential table with a Ballard tablecloth in off-white. There is a lot of the table décor and two prints in turquoise and blue/greens. The other tables and lamps are inexpensive pieces, and the floor is a medium brown wood-type laminate.

How can I pull this room together? I love a relaxed, casual, cottage/coastal look.

Thank you so very much!


Dear Linda,

We are excited to help you solve your dilemma. To start, we love the casual vibe of a demin sofa so we are going to build your rug and curtains around them. We have several rugs that will give you the blue color story, but we like that our Isla Rug has small accents of soft yellow and will work great with your wall color. The Venice Ikat print is a very denim friendly print that we can make into custom Pinch Pleat Drapes. We can tie it this all together with fun throw pillows, like our Meyers PillowBeach House Pillow, and the 20×20 custom pillow in the Suzanne Kasler Sky and Blanc Stripe.

Once you have this in place, we feel adding some new items will give you that coastal cottage look. We love large art for the wall. It will make your space have more impact. The Blue Footprint Art in the 30×40 will be great on one wall. Also, the Metal Anchor will be fun paired with the canvas.

The Morgan Cocktail Table in antique white with baskets should sit right in the middle of the rug. Then, place the Compass Side Table next to the sofa or chairs. Lastly, consider tucking one of our Curved X-Benches in Minsk Glacier under your wooden console table. Use our Striped Jute Bag for magazine or throw blanket storage.

We hope this helps you solve your dilemma. Going with blue as your “anchor” will keep your room casual and comfortable.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Helping Linda decorate her green and blue coastal living room

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.