Layering with white and colour for Coastal vintage style

Wed 8th, May, 2013

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Helloo, yes Beach Cottage lovelies you did read colour in that heading.

Let the layering up for coastal vintage style begin!

I recently got this email from reader Marie

Sarah, I have been following your blog for a few months now and have made small changes to go coastal, so far so good, its quite awesome the difference it has made even though I am many miles from the coast.  I have been finding vintage things from op-shops and adding them to the furniture I already have.  Just wondering how you go about colder weather coastal style though?  I bought new (reduced in a sale) white bed linen from a local store but its very white, too white especially as it’s not Summer – any ideas?  I am on a small budget. I love how you show pictures from your actual house rather than magazines to show what you have done, it makes it more achievable for me when I look around at my house!  Thanks, I hope you don’t mind me emailing you as I know you are busy.

With this in mind, I snapped a few pics with my phone as I layered up the bed as the weather cools down here…I love emails like this and I am going to start popping them on the blog a lot more, seeing as I do get quite a few of them and it’s inspiring to me to see readers who have made the move to make little changes to coastal things up without spending a lot of money, I thought you might like it too.

A lot of people don’t like white on it’s own though, I have definitely learnt this the last few years from the comments and emails I have had (unlike me, the more white the better) but if you go with the basics in white and keep the budget pretty low on those it’s quite easy to add pops of colour with other bits…plus it’s super easy to change things out and change your look if you keep a lot of it neutral like the walls, floors and window dressings.


So this is what I love to do in our old cottage for a bit of layered up nautical!

1. Texture  I love to add different textures and I love a cable knit throw here there and everywhere, crochet, quilting, cottons…mix ‘em up and love ‘em.

2. Layering – easy to get some interest and comfort with layers of different fabrics, colours and feels.

3.  Rugs – I also like to bring in rugs, I have large coir rugs from IKEA for main areas that are winter-time friendly keeping out the draughts from the  floorboards plus just feeling warmer and I like to add smaller rugs here and there (like beside the bed here)

4. Pops of colour for Winter?  Yep all the way with those, very easy to add in cooler weather because you can add layers of different hues of  a colour.  Keeping the palette to 2 or 3 is good and obviously blue is nice for a coastal vintage feel or a beachy look, I like more on the aqua side but pale blue, navy blue and royal blue all work too.

5. Cushions – love me a cushion-scape, and a few different cushions can add a whole new look to your room for not much…I love to have lots of different cushions in this old cottage, different shapes (always on the lookout for round ones) are cool, different fabrics, I always include a neutral nautical stripe and for cooler weather it’s nice to add a few wool and cable knit cushions without having to change anything else in the room…

And of course, if all else fails, just prop around some old and worn tan cowboy boots and an old white-washed oar, always good for a bit of vintage style with a coastal twist.

That’s it from me for and my layering…

.  See you soon, I have a few more Pottery Barn bits and bobs to blog, and the giveaway, plus the iPad Mini winner to annouce…




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36 Responses to “Layering with white and colour for Coastal vintage style”

  1. Marilyn Schroeder says:

    White with naturals like brown leather, coir matting, taupe and latte coloured accessories (rugs, cushions, table napery) is a look I love no matter what season it is. Added decor touches can be drawn from our wonderful indigenous art – paintings and artefacts.

  2. IrishMum says:

    Love your cowboy boots! Yee-Haw!

  3. Looks so cosy, I’d never get up!

  4. Lark says:

    I love that Ikea rug, too! I have had it in my living room for quite a while and I plan on replacing it with the same one when I need to get a new one. They last forever.

  5. Candy says:

    I have a vintage brown leather chair for hubby, white slipcovered furniture then I use pops of pale aqua throughout the house. In winter, a pale aqua stripe quilt on white bedding, some off white throws in fleecy fluff and cable knit here and there. Lots of pillows…a round one in pale aqua is a favorite. Wide stripe ones are a must. Area rugs to warm wood floors. A vintage guitar on a stand in LR. Soft lighting is a must. I love my cottage! Sarah, you inspire me a lot!!

  6. Megan S says:

    Oh Sarah it’s so wonderful that you have written about the addition of a little layering and colour! Your home’s level of whiteness is my ideal but , while my husband likes white a lot he does like to have a little colour here and there. We mostly achieve this by the paintings on our walls but occasionally he thinks there could be a coloured cushion or two!
    Am loving your Pottery Barn posts as I’ve been too busy with other projects to get there but am planning a trip next week :)

    • sarah says:

      thanks I have another PB barn post on the way with more of their goodness!

      yes that is one of the reasons white works well for me – it can be changed up a lot – loving yellow with white too at the moment x

  7. Bridgette says:

    loooove your crochet throw on your bed YUMMO

  8. Patricia says:

    I love all of your suggestions, for adding a few layers of texture and colour. I have liked WHITE decor for many years now and did not even know that it had a name or was popular. White bed sheets/linens, white bathroom towels are so inviting to me. LONG LIVE COASTAL, BEACHY DECOR! No matter if the trends change, I won’t. Never say never….

  9. Love aqua with white!!! If you have a minute, pop over to my blog & see my new bathroom – all aqua and white. LOVE those colours :)

    (ps love to see a little more colour in your home, too xox)

  10. Rukmini Roy says:

    Love it. There is something about browns and aquas that totally work…like gin and tonic stuff…
    Im really liking this touch of color here Sarah… you actually make everything look great, so yeah! Cheers to you :)

    Have a good day!

  11. Home alone…kids all out and husband with one on the sports run… you know the drill Sarah…what am I doing!?
    Moving furniture and pulling blankets, throws and cushion covers out of all the cupboards…Wednesday night 6pm- not sure if the timing is great…but you’ve inspired me to *add a little almost winter colour*!

    Loving the blues on the bed!
    Melissa :)

    • sarah says:

      oooh gosh, the timing is terrible…been there!

      errrrm I am about to pull this house to pieces and have a move around too, but not tonight lol

  12. merilyn says:

    love it sarah! … as usual great photos
    I especially love that colour and those polka dots on the doona …
    and I see those boots are ready for the cooler days to come. however we have had 29 in Adelaide today
    had our bar-be on the deck … just sublime and no wind! liv’n the dream! lol m:)

    • sarah says:

      wow living the dream for sure girlfriend! that’s warm for now – I must say it’s been beautiful up here too…the boots aren’t quite necessary yet though it’s cooler at night for sure – which is very comfortable after the hot nights x

  13. Jennifer says:

    Dont worry Sarah you re not alone ! Im an all white freak too :) and for winter I love to have nice flokati rugs on white tiles and white throwover layered on a white quilt … ahhh all that white just make me feel calmer
    xxx hugz

  14. alison says:


  15. Alice says:

    <3 Such a lovely room…I alternate between two quilt covers (both striped – love stripes!) The cooler months I tend to use my beige and red stripes. In the warmer months it is neutral and blue stripes. To this I have added a white linen Table cloth (wedding gift) folded in half at the end of the bed to break the stripes and introduce a different texture. I also have a small cushion I made with a light brown coffee sack and white embroidery anglaise… Again for texture. I was gifted an amazing quilt in crisp white and will try it out this winter as an extra layer. It is more girly( and country/shabby chic) than what I go for but it passed the husband test (hooray!) so I will be trying it out soon!

    I need a nice pair of boots and I spot that lovely bedside table that inspired my wardrobe and Ikea cupboard transformation hee… hee…

  16. suzanne says:

    love the colouring where did you find that great crotched throw.
    You always get it right. Amazing!!!!!

  17. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    I love how you have layered for winter those colours are my absolute favourites ,blues,aqua and navy with white and taupe thrown in,when I paint my bedroom ,or my husband gets around to it I plan on pale taupe walls ,navy and aqua,and taupe quilt and some white thrown in ,blue is my favourite colour for my room but I want to make it look like it has had a makeover,and I already have the quilt tucked away ,can’t wait till it is done.I love your room and the light in there is amazing!

  18. You nailed it with the texture and layering. I’m horrible with rugs though! I know I NEED them, but I can’t find any that I love and if I do love them, they are too expensive. I’ve considered making/painting a floor canvas…Have you ever made one? I fear that my littles ones would have it ruined in a week. “Cushion-scapes”? Ha! You come up with the funniest things…in a good way. Your bedroom is gorgeous…loving that chunky feather-bed-quilt-type-down cover with the polka dots. That is definitely a bed you get a running start down the hallway and land in!