How to Make Dark Furniture Look Beachy (11 Insanely Simple Ways)


Beach style interiors are anything but dark and stuffy. To achieve beachy looking surroundings at home, you’d have to incorporate lighter, inviting colors that mirror the outdoors.

Dark furniture is quite formal, especially leather sofas, and it does not create an airy and open concept that is required to bring a coastal feel to your home.

If you’re aiming to pull off such a design, you’re most probably wondering if your dark furniture can fit into this equation. The good news is that there’s no need to go shopping for new furniture to accomplish this look.

However, the question that remains would be how can one create this beachy look with dark furniture? There are many ways to do that, and I will cover them in this article.

While it is not the go-to color for furniture when designing your home in a coastal style, you can still make dark furniture look beachy by painting it. Otherwise, combine it with this type of décor by pairing it with suitable lighting, wall art, floor and window coverings, accessories, or plants.

Find a way to arrange the furniture pieces strategically around the room and, if they’re paired with the right setting, your home will take on a brand new, beachy feel.



A great place to start when it comes to making dark furniture look beachy is by adding more light fixtures to the room. This is a simple and easy process that can hugely affect the appearance of your surroundings.

You can create a more lively interior by placing ambient lighting, for example by installing a mix of overhead lights and lamps.

A beachy interior aims to keep things natural, adding a cozy and easy vibe. Dark furniture is bound to give your living space a sense of weight and leave it looking dull, however, lighting can dramatically change that.



Dark furniture works well with brightly colored cushions or pillows, and throws as they add texture to the interior.

Dark blue or black sofas can be paired with lighter, patterned blues and greens for cushions to give an eye-catching pop.

To create a comfy look, you can drape a throw on to the arm of your couch. Throws are inexpensive and are easy to work with. To design the beach theme you want, go for a brightly colored throw featuring patterns in order to clearly bring out the contrast. This will help the couch look more lively.



Curtains drastically change the way a room looks based on how long or wide they are. This ultimately means their colors and patterns play an important role as the curtains can take up quite a lot of space in a room.

To tone down the dullness of dark furniture, you can add brightly colored drapery to create emphasis points around the room.

Be sure to work with only colors that accentuate your desired coastal look. The darkness of your furniture should determine how bright your drapes need to be.

If you’re not interested in curtains, you have the choice to install light-colored shades or bamboo blinds that provide more of a beachy look.



Artwork does more than compliment the dark furniture in your living space, it becomes the focal point and harmonizes your interior.

You might hang a painting in the center of your wall and work with the painting’s colors in a way as to create a coastal theme throughout the space.

To ensure the art pieces do the job, select ones with bright colors and intense detail. Place them higher up the wall from the furniture to ensure they draw one’s eyes up.

Placing ornaments around the room is another great way to compliment your dark furniture. You can add small sculptures of your choice on tables and shelves, or you can decorate with glass vases that contain seashells or pebbles.

By making these accessories a part of the room, you’re getting rid of the monotonous feel that dark furniture displays.



These are another unifying, go-to strategy for working with dark furniture to bring out your desired beachy look.

Adding a carpet that blends well with your furniture pieces is actually not that complicated. It’s all about choosing the right colors and placing the carpet in a strategic spot.

Depending on how you decide to decorate the rest of the space, you could go for a coastal-style area rug that’s patterned or with solid colors.

Some people choose to work with white or off-white but a colorful rug will still get the job done. Either way, this will most certainly result in a modulated balance between your furniture and the carpet.



As mentioned earlier, the idea is to make the room feel more open and airy, and dark furniture does exactly the opposite by cramping the space.

Painting the walls a bright, neutral color helps to strike a balance, making the room more spacious yet maintaining the beauty and originality of your dark furniture.

The brighter the color of the walls, the more reflective they are, increasing the impact of natural lighting in the room. A lighter color on the walls will also add warmth to the interior.

White is generally the reliable wall color but to achieve the beachy feel you could paint the walls a light beige, turquoise, or warm blue color, depending on how dark the furniture is.



Another way to drown out the distressed mood that dark furniture brings is to pair it with a few plants in the room.

Channel the beachy vibe in your space by adding a fiddle-leaf fig near the sofa or put any smaller plant on the table.

You can pair these plants with light-colored pots for maximum effect and mix up their sizes and order.

Not only will the plants bring the room to life while matching well with the dark furniture, but you’ll gain a free air purifier! Plants grow well in the living area where there’s bound to be more natural lighting.

If you’re not too keen on having plants growing inside the house, you can purchase artificial ones and place them where you would normally have the real ones. They will still create the same effect and are easier to maintain.




This is a space where you’ll mostly find your darker pieces of furniture like bed frames, headboards, dressing tables, etc. Since bedrooms are usually smaller than the living and dining areas, bringing a bright coastal feel is a bit more tricky.

Placing plants around the bedroom won’t work because they will simply cramp the space and make it even more unappealing.

This can be solved by pairing your dark furniture with brightly colored sheets and bedding to help strike a balance in the room. Bedding should be in colors inspired by the sea, sun, and the beach.

Light, solid colors or patterns work best to take away the attention from the dark furniture. 



Installing light-colored flooring instantly breathes life into a room that would have been more dull if the dark furniture was paired with dark flooring.

Light-colored hardwood floors are a great choice because they blend in nicely with dark furniture to create a subtle, calm contrast. It might not be the first option that comes to mind when thinking of a beachy feel for a living space but such floors pair well with dark furniture.

Bamboo flooring is an alternative option to work with when dealing with dark furniture. It has an organic look to it, giving a coastal effect, and also comes in various shades helping you ensure you pick a tone that goes well with your furniture.

Both of these types of flooring are easy to maintain, durable, and will never go out of fashion.



Another way to enliven your space with dark furniture is by complementing it with brighter, similar pieces of furniture. This helps create a more balanced tone in the room, ultimately changing its entire ambiance.

To create the beachy vibe you can add wicker as your complementary piece of furniture. It’s the perfect piece for an indoor or outdoor setting as it provides a subtle accent.

You can also purchase smaller pieces like an armchair, a side table, or a coffee table to complement the other larger pieces in the room. Only do so if you have enough space in the room or you’ll risk making it look and feel cramped.



A more permanent way to update your dark furniture to give it your desired beachy look is by painting it.

You can create washed-out hues by painting the whole piece or just the legs, for example. The washed-out effect is when the piece looks a little faded from time but still retains some of its original color.

The furniture painting task is not too complicated, and if done well, it could drastically change the way your room looks.

So if you’re ready for a furniture makeover, you’ll just need to gather a couple of supplies to be able to complete this DIY project. Apart from a high-quality paintbrush, white paint, and another paint color of your choice, also some clear glaze, and a spray primer with a cleaner will be required.

Because paint needs a clean and non-glossy surface for best adhesion, you should first clean and prepare it to be painted over.

The clear glaze acts as a sealant and will give your painted furniture some shine, depth and dimension by introducing a different color.



After all, don’t get too worried or hesitant when trying these ideas out. If, for example, you’re not happy with the complementary furniture, you can try out another idea. You don’t need to incorporate all of them, only pick the ones that work well with your interior.

There’s no cookie-cutter way to make dark furniture look beachy. It’s all about ensuring your interior ultimately has enough lighting and great contrasting. Lastly, remember that these dark pieces of furniture are not your enemy, work with them.