Coastal bathrooms evoke a relaxed, beachy vibe with their casual elegance and connection to the serenity of the ocean. Choosing finishes and fixtures with textures, colors, and designs inspired by the sea creates a soothing, spa-like atmosphere. Strategic choices also allow you to maximize the light and views from your coastal bathroom. We’ll explore popular design elements for achieving this aesthetic, as well as functional considerations for bathrooms in seaside homes. With insider tips and expert advice, you can create your own coastal oasis.

Choosing Colors and Materials

The colors and materials you select will set the tone for your coastal bathroom. Cool, watery hues and natural textures connect your space to the calming blues of the ocean.

Cool Tones

Stick to cool, watery colors when designing a coastal bathroom. Shades of blue, gray, and green subtly evoke the sea and sky. Aquas and turquoises in particular make a bold statement. Robin’s egg blue is another trendy coastal color. White is also a popular choice for a light, airy look. If you want more color, look to shades like pale yellow or sea glass green.

Paint vs. Tile

You can introduce coastal colors through paint, tile, or a combination. Paint the walls or ceiling a soft blue or green for an enveloping effect. Use crisp white paint on trim, wainscoting, or shiplap to contrast the cool wall color. Alternatively, blue and white tile can provide color and texture. Mix the two for a custom look, like a painted vanity with tiled walls.

Natural Textures

Coastal design utilizes natural materials inspired by the beach. Texture adds visual interest and ties the look together. Ideas include:

  • Wood finishes like weathered driftwood or bleached oak evoke worn, whitewashed docks.
  • Stone surfaces such as marble, limestone, or travertine mimic rocks along the shoreline.
  • Concrete, stone composite, and porcelain tiles give the look of weathered stone.
  • Shells used in tiles, knobs, and accessories lend organic texture.
  • Woven seagrass or jute rugs and bathmats provide natural fiber textures.

Metal Finishes

Along with natural materials, metal finishes like nickel, pewter, and rubbed bronze help achieve a coastal look. Brass fixtures can develop a patina that fits the aesthetic as well. Avoid ultra-modern metals like chrome. Weathered, dull metals work best for a relaxed vibe.

Creating a Spa Experience

A soothing, spa-like feel helps make your coastal bathroom a relaxing retreat. Consider these elements:

Soaking Tub

A roomy soaking tub serves as a focal point and provides a place to unwind. Freestanding tubs make a statement. Alcove installations maximize space. For a true spa experience, look for tubs with hydrotherapy jets.

Double Sinks

His-and-her sinks foster a spa vibe while allowing two people to get ready at once. Vessel sinks or undermount sinks with ample counter space work best. Include mirrors for each sink.

Comfortable Seating

Seating enables you to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Chaises, benches, or stools let you comfortably enjoy a soak or getting ready. Natural fiber seating complements the coastal aesthetic.

High-End Fixtures

Quality fixtures like rainfall shower heads, handheld sprayers, and polished metal controls refine the look. Digital interfaces add high-tech convenience. Look for simple, clean-lined fixture designs rather than ornate ones.

Heated Floors

Radiant heated flooring provides literal warmth while promoting relaxation. Tile floors work well for radiant heating. Programmable smart controls allow custom heating.

Soft Materials

Plush bathmats, towels, and robes enhance the spa vibe. Natural fiber rugs feel good on bare feet. Shower curtains in breezy fabrics like linen add softness and texture.

Maximizing Light and Views

Coastal homes often boast beautiful light and water views. Maximize these appealing aspects through smart design choices.

Large Windows

Incorporate sizable windows to connect your bathroom to the outdoors. Unobstructed views let you enjoy the scenery while soaking or getting ready. For privacy, use textured glass or placement above eye level.

Skylights and Clerestories

Skylights and clerestory windows placed high on walls usher in natural light from above. Velux and other brands offer solar tube skylights that amplify daylight as well. Locate fixtures and amenities to benefit from the light.

Mirrored Walls or Accents

Strategically placed mirrors reflect views and natural light. Full mirrored walls visually expand the space. Accent mirrors make small baths feel more open while providing a practical benefit.

Clear Shower Enclosures

Frameless glass shower doors and partitions maintain open views. Clear acrylic panels or shower door glass without metal framing provides sight lines. Limit shower enclosures to one wall to keep things open.

Light Colors

Stick to light, neutral hues for paint and tile. Off-whites, pale blues, and warm whites maximize light reflection. Glossy or polished finishes also brighten the space. Avoid dark colors that can make bathrooms feel closed in.

Functional Considerations

Along with stylish finishes, ensure your coastal bathroom design addresses practical needs.


Coastal moisture demands diligent waterproofing. Use water-resistant wood species or marine-grade finishes. 100% waterproof materials like tile and solid surface work best for shower walls and floors. Install backer board and use waterproof grout and caulk.

Proper Ventilation

Bathroom ventilation controls humidity year-round and prevents mold and mildew near the ocean. Exhaust fans, operable windows, and dehumidifiers remove steam and moisture.

Slip-Resistant Surfaces

Select naturally slip-resistant materials or add textured coatings to tub and shower floors. Small bath mats can bunch up underfoot, so stick to only larger rugs.

Durable Materials

Coastal conditions demand durable choices that withstand moisture, salt air, and heavy use. Solid metals, tempered glass, and porcelain hold up better than more delicate materials.

Smart Storage

Take advantage of every storage opportunity to keep beachy clutter at bay. Use waterproof cabinetry and add bins, drawers, and hidden compartments wherever possible.

Easy-Clean Materials

From sandy feet to saltwater exposure, coastal bathrooms need easy-clean materials. Non-porous solid surfaces, tile, metal, and glass withstand cleaning chemicals and resist stains.

Design Inspiration

The following coastal bathroom examples illustrate how to implement popular colors, materials, and design elements.

Beach House Chic

This Hamptons-style bathroom features beadboard wainscoting and shiplap walls for texture. Classic white marble tile and countertops keep things light and natural. Pops of navy blue add a beachy feel through the lacquered vanity and Persian rug. Brass fixtures provide a hint of shine.

Boho By the Sea

Whimsical patterns like dotted fish tile and striped walls bring coastal character. Warm wood accents and rattan furnishings evoke tropical design. An accent wall painted ocean blue contrasts the white tile. Vintage glass and shells mixed with modern amenities continue the eclectic vibe.

Crisp and Classic

Crisp white elements like subway tile, trim, and wainscoting pair with natural marble countertops in this fresh, classic bathroom. Pale blue walls subtly evoke the sea. Chrome fixtures and mirrors keep the look light and open. Touches of woven texture from the bathmat and pendant lampshade add organic contrast.

Weathered Luxe

This sophisticated seaside bathroom utilizes weathered driftwood, limestone, and reclaimed wood. A textured stone sink and vanity resemble coastal rock formations. Jute rugs and linen shower curtains enhance the natural look. Pops of ocean blue in the hand towels and accessories tie everything together.

New England Nautical

Nautical New England comes through in the navy blue wainscoting and classic white shiplap walls. White quartz countertops with matching backsplash tile and chrome fixtures keep the look clean. Porthole-style mirrors above the rustic wood vanity reinforce the maritime vibe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What paint colors work best in coastal bathrooms?

Stick to cool, watery hues like different shades of blue, green, gray, and aqua. Clean bright whites also suit the coastal aesthetic. Softer colors like pale yellow, sand, or sea glass green can provide warm contrast.

What kind of tile is best for a coastal bathroom?

Natural stone or concrete tiles in materials like marble, travertine, limestone, and slate mimic coastal textures. Weathered natural wood plank tile also works well. For colors, choose soft blues, grays, and whites with a weathered or sandy appearance.

What type of vanity should I choose for a beach bathroom?

Driftwood, reclaimed wood, or white painted wood vanities match the casual coastal look. Other good options include weathered oak, concrete, or linen-wrapped vanities. Avoid highly ornate designs.

Should I choose a walk-in shower or tub for my seaside bathroom?

That depends on your priorities. Walk-in showers provide minimalist appeal and easy access. Soaking tubs serve as a serene focal point and provide a place to unwind. If space allows, incorporate both.

What metals work best for coastal faucets and fixtures?

Brushed nickel, rubbed bronze, and brushed brass develop a weathered patina that fits with coastal design. Pewter and aged brass work too. Avoid very shiny finishes like polished chrome that look too modern for the relaxed aesthetic.

What kind of mirror looks best in a beach-themed bathroom?

Consider frameless mirrors for a lightweight, transparent look. Round porthole mirrors and those with rustic wooden frames reinforce the coastal vibe. Avoid heavy frames. Place mirrors strategically to reflect views and light.

What type of flooring suits a coastal bathroom?

For flooring, opt for materials that mimic weathered stone or wood like concrete, marble, or limestone tile. Ceramic or porcelain tile in white, gray, or soft blue is another option. Wide-plank white oak or driftwood look luxury vinyl flooring can also look coastal when properly sealed.

How do I incorporatestorage in my small beach bathroom?

Take advantage of every nook and cranny. Use corner cabinets, shelving between studs, and cabinets built up toward the ceiling. Add sliding Barn doors to conceal laundry machines. Use a freestanding cabinet for extra storage. Mount floating wall shelves.

What colors and materials should I avoid in my coastal bathroom?

Steer clear of bold, dark colors and anything with an overly modern or sleek appearance. Materials like ultra-glossy tile, shiny metal fixtures, acrylic surfaces, and plastic laminate look out of place. Keep things light, weathered, and natural.


Creating the perfect coastal bathroom requires blending just the right colors, textures, and materials to evoke the relaxed feeling of seaside living. Cool blue and green hues, weathered natural materials, and spa-like amenities help transport your mind and spirit to the tranquility of the water’s edge whenever you enter the space. Focusing on adaptable and resilient choices ensures your coastal oasis will withstand the conditions of a beach home without compromising your design vision. With an inspiration board and our insider tips guiding your choices, you’ll enjoy a beautiful and functional bathroom designed to celebrate breezy seaside style.