We Toured 9 Coastal Homes and These Were the Defining Interior Design Features

Coastal style is undoubtedly one of the most popular interior design styles in Australia. This breezy look is the definition of calm and it suits our laid back lifestyles and climate perfectly, particularly for those who do actually live on the coast. 

Whether it's incorporating nautical-themed decor into your home or embracing linen, there are many different ways to introduce the style into your home. 

Below, we look at 9 different key coastal style elements that we have seen in many of our The Makers home tours that will help transform your abode into a beachside-looking haven. 

9 Coastal Interior Design Ideas

1. Whitewash walls

White walls are an easy way to help bring coastal style into your home. White paint helps to increase brightness and create a crisp aesthetic that we often see in waterside abodes. Emica Penklis kitchen and dining area in her minimalist home is a perfect example of this.

2. Furniture with slipcovers

Go into any coastal-style house and the chances of you seeing a sofa similar to the one in Justine Cullen's waterside home are very high. Sofas, armchairs, and dining chairs with slipcovers (preferably in neutral or blue shades or with a nautical stripe pattern) look crisp and fresh and the design plays into the easy-going nature of coastal style.

3. Jute rugs

Coastal homes almost always have a summery feel so the idea of laying down a rug might seem strange. You will find jute rugs tend to be the way to go in coastal homes because they look natural, are durable, provide texture, and are a neutral tone, as seen in Natalie Fitch's coastal home in Avalon.

4. Shiplap panelling

Shiplap panelling was originally used to waterproof ships. Many coastal homes incorporate this style of panelling into their design because it adds texture, a laid back aesthetic, and a rustic look to a home that also feels very coastal. Courtney Adamo has employed it to many aspects of her Bangalow home from the kitchen island to the ceiling and walls in her bedroom. 

5. Sheer curtains

Sheer curtains are a great way to ensure privacy while still allowing a room be soaked in natural light. In the minimalist coastal-style bedroom of St. Agni Co-Founder Lara Fells Byron Bay retreat, the sheers help to keep things feeling light and fresh. 

6. Linen 

When it comes to fabrics used in coastal homes, linen reigns supreme. Be it in your bedding, bath towels, on an armchair, or your table setting design, this material creates an instant summer feel that's conducive with coastal style. Lisa Danielle embraces this fabric choice in her charming Byron Bay home.


7. Nautical-themed decor

It may seems obvious, but introducing nautical-themed accessories into your home is a surefire way to make it look more beachy. This doesn't necessarily mean filling your space with a mishmash of items, but rather a thoughtfully placed surfboard or shell plate. A perfect example of this is in Kendall Sargeant's Venice beach home where she has placed an oar in her bedroom. It's a decidedly coastal accessory but doesn't look gauche.

8. Natural light

It's pretty rare that you come across a coastal home that is dark and dingy. One of the key aspects to this style is for things to feel light and airy and one way to achieve this is by having plenty of windows in your home. Zoe Dent's large living space in her Northern Beaches home was actually divided into four rooms. By knocking out all the walls she opened up the space to let the natural light flood in.

9. Blonde timber 

Light blonde timber flooring and furniture is a popular choice for coastal homes as it's reminiscent of driftwood and sandy tones. Daniel Boddam utilises a blonde timber palette in his Byron Bay abode. The overall look is natural and relaxed - both of which are hallmarks of coastal style.

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