The Modern Coastal Keeping Room

Creating a seamless transition from room to room is one of our favorite facets of a perfectly finished space, and this beautiful Modern Coastal Keeping Room was the perfect opportunity to work that creative design flow. With a bright, open area encompassing the kitchen, dining room, and keeping room, writing a gorgeous color story and weaving in those fresh coastal details made this entire space feel synchronous, polished, and complete.

Coastal Reflection

If you’re just joining us now, we’re taking you through our custom design of this light-filled home, owned by an absolutely wonderful couple who also happen to be lifelong beachcombers. Their true “happy place” is by the water, and they wanted some special beach items and maritime charm written into their custom design story. Since this is actually an inland home located on a lake here in North Carolina, keeping the design clean and unique allowed us to create an inspired, fresh take on that beloved and time-honored coastal style. We started with their gorgeous kitchen (you can take a tour here!) and today we’re moving right along to this cozy coastal-themed keeping room.

modern coastal sitting room - catherine french design

Open Water

There is undoubtedly MUCH to love about an open floor plan- it’s wonderful for family living, entertaining, and very functional for daily life. We also enjoy it from a design standpoint because it gives us an opportunity to think outside the box. Defining spaces and creating flow happens on a different level when you don’t have walls to separate areas, and that gives us a chance to really dig into some strategic space planning. One key element that comes into play is line of sight. When the space is open, you can see everything all at the same time- and that means creating visual lines that make sense, from one end of the space to the other. We love this long, gorgeous look from the back of the kitchen, through the dining space and all the way into the keeping room- highlighting the blue and white color story and showing hints of those coastal elements that tie it all together so well.

Beautiful modern nautical keeping room - cat french design - durham nc

Blue in View

With the keeping room nestled up to both the kitchen and dining room, this space is not only open and airy, but ALSO has the potential to feel incredibly cozy- the best of both worlds. To make the most of this design dynamic, we defined the spaces with luxe layers and custom pieces to make each space feel unique, but still keep them all interwoven with the larger area as a whole. A sofa table was the perfect choice to help define and establish the keeping room space from the kitchen. This sleek, color-rich piece in blue is eye-catching and transitional in just the right way, pulling in the surrounding blues from the kitchen island and the dining room chairs. Clean, subtle coastal touches finish this spot beautifully, tying in the coastal details like the rope and wood accent and the sun-bleached starfish.

navy console and accents in this coastal siting room - durham nc - cat french design

Sand and Surf

Layering in crisp fabrics and textured rugs gives the keeping room space lots of satisfying visual depth, while still maintaining that light coastal feel. The crisp blue-toned pillows against the clean white couches are one of our favorite pairings in this room. We love how the color combinations and especially the variety of textures throughout this room subtly echo the natural elements of a layered beach landscape. This fabulous tufted square ottoman in a deeper neutral hue centers and grounds the room, adding even more texture to the palette. This homeowner has a deep affinity for layers, so we completed the room by layering in large rugs to play up that texture combination. We dove deeper into contrast by bringing in some wood tones, with a sleek beautiful rich wood barrel side table and custom decor above the mantle.

layers of coastal decor in this keeping room - cat french design - chapel hill nc

Modern Coastal Comfort

If you’ve followed us for a bit, you know we are all about function as a part of great style, and that means comfortable AND beautiful are always at the forefront of our design mind. We love creating perfect design “moments” that become much-loved places for homeowners to truly enjoy in day to day life. This cozy reading nook was a moment came together beautifully. A long-lined deep armchair in a crisp striped fabric paired with a slim floor lamp is everything clean and cozy- one of our very favorite design combinations. We love seeing it in the photo below, with the textures of the rug and complementing stripes in the double ottomans nearby. Tucked in between the fireplace and a big gorgeous window, this nook echoes the feeling of the entire room. Just like a perfect day at the beach, it’s a spot so lovely we may never want to leave.

blue stripped swivel chair - cat french design - durham nc

We can’t get enough of this gorgeous modern coastal design, and we’ll be sharing more rooms from this beautiful home here on the blog this month! If you’d like to check out some of our other projects, head over to our Portfolio Page to see some recent and classic CFD designs. Thinking about a design project for your own home? We’re here to help- reach out to us at or on our website via the Contact Page. For more in-the-moment happenings of this busy team, catch up with us on Instagram @catfrenchesign or follow us over on Facebook!