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Vintage Coastal Home Decor Ideas

By Rachel

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Last Updated on January 21, 2024 by Rachel Granholm

These vintage coastal home decor ideas are soft and calming!

Living in Minnesota, though we do have over 10,000 lakes which are stunning in their own right, I don’t really consider this a ‘beach-y’ state. But, I did find some simple, toned down ways to bring the ocean to the Midwest by using seashells from Florida and a plethora of vintage decor. Join me for some beautiful vintage coastal home decor ideas!

The ocean is my very favorite place on this Earth. The beaches in St. Petersburg, Florida and Maui, Hawaii are a few of my most special places. Being at the ocean is where I feel a sense of complete peace. It’s a place of awe, wonder, and glory.

Coastal Decor

As much as I love the ocean, I’ve never actually decorated my home in a coastal theme before. Inspired by some of my other blogger friends, I thought I would give it a go and show you my process.

For my coastal decor, I chose to keep it really simple and minimal. I did not purchase anything new for these coastal vignettes so I picked from items that were either in my home decor bin or that were already being used elsewhere in my home.

If you think you don’t have anything ‘coastal’ to use, you would be surprised as to what you can put together to make your home feel like you are at the ocean.

a vintage blue jug displayed with other vintage pieces in a coastal vignette

Decorating in Coastal Decor Style

Since this is my first time decorating in this style, the very first thing that I did was envisioned being at the ocean. What sights, sounds, and smells are present there?

Picturing being surrounded by beautiful scenery and the ocean air helped to get my creative juices flowing.
Things to consider for coastal decor:

  • colors (think whites, blues, greens)
  • textures (linens, baskets, pampas grass, faux greenery)
  • natural elements (sand, shells, sea glass, dried grasses)
  • height elements (vases, jugs, pots, vintage books)

After considering those decor elements, I pulled together my colors, which in turn helped dictate the rest of the decor.

Playing off of the calm and serene nature of the ocean, I chose to use white milk glass, green jadeite and vibrant blue hues through a few different pieces of vintage decor.

a vintage jadeite saucer with shells and a milk glass cup for coastal decor

Vintage Coastal Home Decor Ideas

Since my house is relativity small, I chose to style two different vignettes in the coastal style. Here, I will walk you through my process of creating each one and the elements I chose to use.

Coastal Display 1

I styled this vignette on top of my white cabinet. To start, I used the same white eyelet runner for the base that I’ve been using all summer. It’s so light and airy and I just love how delicate the pattern is.

Then, I simply started mixing in decor pieces and playing around with the placement until it looked pleasing to me. On the left, I placed my thrifted blue jug that looks stunning with this display. Can you see the faint bubbles in the glass?! It reminds me of ocean waves!

The vintage book underneath it helps to add dimension. Then, I stuck a branch of flowing faux greenery in the top, the same one that I used in my summer patriotic display. This greenery is reminiscent of the whispy beach grass that graces the sand dunes in such a lovely way.

a teal blue jug with faux greenery

In the middle of this display, I used some of my favorite vintage pieces. On the jadeite saucer I placed a small milk glass cup and rounded it out with a collection of seashells that I have brought back from Florida over the years.

One of my favorite things to do at the ocean is look for sand dollars that are still intact. I’ve found some amazing ones and those are showcased in one of my milk glass bowls.

Then, to complement the blue jug, I placed my vintage blue spritzer on the right. It’s very simple but I just love the airy feel of it all.

a collection of vintage decor pieces in a coastal display

On the right side of the cabinet, I stacked some vintage books in various shades of blue to give the lamp some height. The offset diagonal placement of the books was intentional to create some interest and dimension.

Then, I set my jar of sea glass towards the back. I have actually, believe it or not, collected all of my sea glass from the North Shore here in Minnesota off of Lake Superior! I have spent probably close to 100 hours scouring the rocky beaches and shoreline of the lake hunting for this glass. It’s just so fun!

Anyways, to round out this part of the display, I set another milk glass cup in the front of the jar to make it all feel blended and cohesive.

a small coastal style display with vintage books and seaglass

Honestly guys I wanted to add more…more layers, more texture, more things. But, I didn’t have anything left to use and didn’t want to go out and purchase anything else.

I’m sticking with my favorite motto that ‘less is more’ here and leaving it simple, clean and calm.

a coastal display with sea glass and vintage books

Coastal Display 2

The second coastal display that I created is actually in a basket! This basket, which I found thrifting earlier this summer, has turned out to be one of the most practical and used pieces of decor.

To start, I needed a location for this basket to sit. I chose to set it on the fireplace hearth to bring in some color to a neglected area. The light wood tone of this basket reminds me of beach sand and the weaving on it is so pretty!

a vintage basket filled with coastal decor

For the base of this display, I used a teal colored vintage book.

Then, I added a few stems of faux greenery in the back for depth and texture. The jadeite plate adds height to the back of the display and ties in with the decor on the cabinet.

For something different and for a pop of color, I used my vintage yellow enamel teapot. It’s bright and sunny at the ocean so yellow is a natural fit!

In front of the teapot is a small blue glass hobnail creamer, helping to tie in to the other blues on the cabinet vignette.

a vintage jadeite plate used in a basket vignette

The small milk glass pedestal bowl holds more seashells from Florida! I love the pink hues of these shells. They bring in that natural element and help to tone down the blues and greens.

For some softness, I placed a white and blue striped linen napkin in the front.

vintage decor in a basket for a coastal vignette

This compact vignette is small but mighty! There are beautiful elements and textures that complement the coastal theme and I love how it turned out. With just a few items, a basket and some creativity, the possibilities are endless!

One more thing. Don’t feel like you need to use shells or sea glass or anything remotely related to the ocean to be able to decorate in the coastal theme. Cindy from County Road 407 had a post last week about decorating with coastal decor and she didn’t use a lick of ocean-themed items!

So if you don’t have any of those ‘beach-y’ elements, no worries! Go see what Cindy did to get some more ideas on how to achieve the look!

sunset with beach grass in Florida

Sunset on Pass-a-Grille Beach in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Closing Tidbits on Vintage Coastal Home Decor Ideas

I hope these vintage coastal home decor ideas are an encouragement for you! All of the pieces that were used here today are not specifically ‘coastal’. But, when a few items in the realm of coastal are intentionally chosen and used together, it creates a lovely, ocean-like display.

By infusing both vintage and modern elements together, you can create a soothing ambience. Find joy in decorating and in bringing the peace of the ocean into your home, no matter where you live.

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Leave me a comment! Do you decorate coastal style? What types of decor do you use? I love hearing from you!

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a collection of vintage home decor collected together for a coastal display

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more.

Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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17 Comments. Leave new

  • Lora Bloomquist
    July 28, 2022 6:21 pm

    Love greens, blues & yellows this time of year. And the pinky shells are such a pretty addition to your beach vignette:)

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 29, 2022 7:32 am

      Thank you! Those colors are very calming to me and that’s exactly what I was going for. It’s like the quiet before the loud of fall and Christmas.

  • Meagan Trento
    July 31, 2022 2:28 pm

    Loving that blue glass vase! Perfect for coastal decorating. You did such a great job mixing coastal inspired accents with your vintage style.

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 31, 2022 5:36 pm

      Hi Meagan!
      Thanks so much!! I know..that blue jug is one of the best thrift finds ever. I had fun with this one…glad you enjoyed it!

  • Hi Rachel! Love this post. First I LOVE the ocean. Second, that big blue bottle is AMAZING. I also spy a few pieces of Jane Ray jadeite. Good finds my friend! I see the thrifting gods have been with you. Thank you for sharing your finds and decor. I always find inspiration when I visit your blog.

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 2, 2022 9:02 am

      Thank you!! The ocean is just the best thing that ever existed. I appreciate you reading and leaving such a lovely comment, friend!!

  • Cindy@CountyRoad407
    August 3, 2022 3:35 pm

    I love your ideas for using vintage goodies in a coastal theme. And thanks for the mention of my post too. That was a surprise! Glad you shared this with us at Farmhouse Friday. Link up again!

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 3, 2022 3:41 pm

      Hi Cindy!
      Thank you and you are welcome! Thanks for stopping by today!! Hope you are staying cool!

  • I love these shades of calm blues, greens, and whites, Rachel! They are all so pretty. Mixing in shells and sea glass with your vintage goodies is totally genius too. It feels like the perfect way to display collected treasures from near and far. Big hugs, CoCo

    • Rachel Granholm
      August 12, 2022 8:25 am

      Thank you!! It was for sure a totally different look for me to create but I had so much fun putting it together!

  • Rachel,
    I love your coastal decor and what a lovely sunset. We do have lovely sunsets here in Florida. Congratulations, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you stop by. https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2023/06/gardens-and-flowers-on-thursday.html

  • MaryJo Materazo
    June 19, 2023 10:39 am

    I love your vignettes Rachel. You did a fantastic job. You’re so lucky to have sand dollars! I would
    Love to add some to my seashell collection. Have a great day! XO- MaryJo

  • Moving closer to the coast and can’t wait to try some of these tips. Thanks!

  • […] post I wrote about decorating in a vintage coastal theme was a first for me! Without making my home look like I live at the ocean, I used simple decor […]


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