Sydney Beach Homes
Sydney Beach Homes

When is a beach home not a beach home?

Well, arguably, when it’s a shimmering monument to the ultimate in sleek  modern minimalism.

Of course, a property like this may will be a beach home in every literal sense if it is in fact a home and it’s located by the beach.

It’s interesting, that the phrase ‘beach home’ generally conjures up in our mind’s eye, everything from shabby beach-chic to Hamptons style classicism, but the trend in pristine, modernist structures has probably now overtaken the quintessential beach home style.

So how do you go about creating your minimalist haven by the sea?

The first challenge is wear and tear, from the less than forgiving coastal elements. We expect to see some worn decking and even a little distressed weatherboard paint on a classic beach house – or at least we accept it as part of the beach-life charm. Sand in the home can be tolerated, surfboards adorning the veranda is all part of the picture.

But none of this sits well in a high-gloss environment, brimming with expensive finishes.

Your builder will be able to advise you of new developments in exterior building materials that are built to withstand the harsh elements of our coastline, while maintaining desired aesthetics.

contemporary home style Sydney Beach Homes

Bringing the outside in, while keeping it out.

There’s a conundrum! When building a beach home like this, we need to pay particular attention to doors and windows, seeking out specialist materials and highly effective seals and closures.

A trademark feature of the contemporary home, especially when you have expansive ocean views is the acres of glass frontage that reveal the coastline in all its incredible beauty and bring it directly into your home.

For these situations, self-cleaning glass is a must, combined with smart glass systems, which allow you to control the amount of heat and light that comes into your home throughout the day. Read more about this in our blog on green technologies.

If you’re living by the ocean you won’t want to keep your home hermetically sealed to avoid sand getting into your living spaces, so work with your builder and architect to take prevailing winds into account when planning your major openings and external space.

Contemporary homes also tend to feature sleek, and often shiny, premium finishes, like polished marble, metals and gloss carpentry  – none of which respond well to the abrasive effect of sand and salt in the air. Happily there are many new and exciting finished to consider that look every bit as impressive, but will maintain their looks for much longer. This doesn’t mean you should eliminate any polished finishes altogether, but use them strategically, knowing they will need more care and attention to keep looking pristine.

You can never have enough storage

Never underestimate the amount of storage a contemporary home requires to maintain a minimalist image. Your builder and designer can help you plan heaps of concealed storage into every room to keep the clutter at bay and create that feeling of serenity a clean and clear environment brings.

If your contemporary home is by the beach, you will need to increase that storage requirement considerably and pay particular attention to the position of your storage.

External storage by every entrance is a must to encourage everyone to shed sandy shoes, towels and all manner of beach paraphanaila before they enter the house. Wet rooms at the entrances, or outdoor shower rooms are also great for making sure that only people free of salt and sand enter the house. In winter, these storage areas double up nicely as boot rooms / cloakrooms.

contemporary interior style Sydney Beach Homes


Whether your beach home is classic or contemporary in styling, the same basic décor principles apply.

Using a single colour palette throughout the home will make it feel bigger, more open and expansive, and allows rooms and spaces to flow naturally into one another. That doesn’t mean every room will look the same. If you create a palette of 6 to 8 shades, you can turn the dials up and down on different shades to suit the purpose of each room without compromising the flow of your colour scheme.

You can also bring in additional highlights of colour seasonally, with accessories to freshen your look from time to time.

Clever use of texture is also a great way of adding dimension to your home and there are some amazing three-dimensional finishes available now in tiling, wallpaper and decorative panelling.

Taking inspiration for your colours from the environment around your home works brilliantly for beach homes and really helps create synergy between your property and its location. Take photographs of your surroundings at different times of the day and use colour charts to create your palette by matching to the tones of your photos. For softer palettes use shots taken in the early morning or evening, go for mid morning for something more dazzling, or use the landscape in winter for a more muted scheme. If darker, more moody palettes are your thing, sunset shots will help you produce some amazing colour combinations.

Light and bright generally works brilliantly in beach homes, but it’s always to good to have some darker tones in there too, to use sparingly throughout, or more boldly in areas where you want to create a cosy, more intimate feel.


Your outdoor spaces and landscaping should reflect the minimalist feeling of your interior.  Gardens will need to maintain a manicured look, so be careful with planting and seek advice from your landscape gardener. An unruly mass of tumbling and abundant blooms may look amazing in a cottage garden, but will look incongruous with the sleek modernity of your building.

Again, explore available materials with your builder and landscape gardener, to create a scheme that is both beautiful and manageable.

So in conclusion, can a contemporary home ever be a true beach home? Absolutely!

Talk to us about your vision for your modern masterpiece. 

At Sydney Beach Homes, we’re fans of a wide variety of architecture and decorative styles, which we’ll be featuring here on our blog from time to time. We thought we’d start with the quintessential Classic Australian Beach Home and offer some tips on how to get the style just right.


Classic Australian beach homes, are typically of weatherboard construction, most often painted in white or soft shades borrowed from the coastal surroundings.

Gables are usually high with tiled or Colorbond roofing.

Go for a mix of ceiling heights internally. You might create an upper level in the eaves with dormer windows in parts of the home, while allowing ceilings in some of your living spaces to soar to the rafters.

High ceilings

Be sure to pay particular attention to windows – beach homes should be flooded with natural light, yet have the ability to shield rooms from the heat of the day. And of course, you need to make the most of any amazing views you may have. Coastal homes often locate the main living spaces on the upper levels to maximise the impact of available views, which also has the additional benefit of keeping the bedrooms cooler.

Louvered windows are a great way of capturing a little coastal breeze and filtering it through your home.



Interiors should harmonise seamlessly with the outdoors, bringing you closer to nature and its soothing effects, while creating a greater feeling of space. You can get creative with folding, stacking or even garage style doors to open your living areas up to blend with your outdoor spaces.

Here are a couple of beautiful examples, that open the home front and back, effortlessly connecting the pool and gardens with the beach.

Bringing the outdoors in

Blurring the boundaries of the indoors and outdoors lends itself particularly well to the kitchen.

Allowing your kitchen bench to extend out through a bi-fold or awning-style window to the outdoor entertaining area, creates a handy and sociable kitchen servery. This is a great way to connect the kitchen to the barbecue area, making it easy to pass food and drinks without continually having to move in and out of the house.


Australian beach homes generally tend to facilitate a fairly active ocean-side lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with half of the beach finding its way into your home.

Thinking carefully about your entrances and the facilities you place there will make your life a lot easier and keep your home a lot neater.

Build in storage areas by your entrance ways, where surf boards, beach toys and equipment, towels and beach bags etc. can be grabbed quickly and easily, and more importantly, deposited on the way back inside without trailing mess and clutter through the house.

Add some shelves, baskets or cupboards to store small items like thongs, sunscreen, hats and shades so you’re always ready to take advantage of an impromptu walk to the beach.

Beachside living can involve lots of larger toys and gadgets too, and they all need a home, so make sure you create ample storage for bicycles, jet skis, kayaks etc. etc. It’s a good idea to install a water source close by too, so you can hose things down before you put them away.

A beach home is the perfect environment to install an outdoor bathroom or shower area. You can make sure everyone is clean and sand-free before they step back in the house. Be sure to make it accessible from the front and the back the property. Having to trail through the house to use the outdoor shower, kind of defeats the object of your ingenious facility.

This clever design (far right) featured in House Beautiful magazine, allows access to an indoor bathroom from the garden.

Outdoor shower


When selecting your colours, both internally and externally, it’s always best to create harmony with your particular environment. There are exceptions, but bright or bold colours can be particularly jarring and will detract from the serenity that is the trademark of a house by the ocean.

If in doubt, you simply cannot go wrong with white. This is the ultimate backdrop for your coastal look. Go for an all-over white on white theme, using contrasting materials and texture to create interest, or blend with sandy and pale ocean colours. White also looks incredibly fresh combined with zingy leafy greens, or if you plan to have a pool, carry highlights of refreshing light blues and aquas throughout your living spaces.

For a twist on the classic opt for deep blues or smoky greys as a base – or sandy coloured natural timber.

Remember, colours that look good on a paint swatch at your local hardware store may look completely different in the direct sunlight. Find place to test your colours and view them over several days under different lighting conditions to make sure you get it right.

Look out for our “Colours of our World” posts on our Facebook page for inspiration –



Typical beach home décor can conjure up images of overly twee, beachy styled cottages that almost look like caricatures, but for us, a practical coastal style really doesn’t mean overloading your home with every little beach related knick-knack you can get your hands on, or find washed up on the beach.

Classic coastal living is about serenity, embracing the elements and taking influence from the beach and the ocean. It’s certainly a casual lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean we can’t weave in a little sophistication too.

By adding just a few carefully chosen beach inspired items to a classically stylish design, these become statement pieces and add a welcome accent to the décor.

These elegant images from demonstrates this beautifully.

Chic coastal style

Beach living really lends itself to natural materials and fabrics, chalky paints, bleached timbers etc.

But don’t be afraid to add some contrast as well to avoid creating a jaded, clichéd beach-house style.

Mix in some contemporary pieces and finishes for a little drama and interest as well as the occasional antique or retro item. Beach house style should be personalised – it’s not one look that you must try to emulate at all costs – it should be very much your look and reflect the personality and lifestyle of you and your family.



The key to creating a beautiful and functional beach home – or any home, in fact, is research. If you don’t have a definite idea of the style you want to create, spend lots of time poring through magazines, making Pinterest boards, collecting colour charts and pulling it all together to see how it looks. Once you have defined your colours, it’s a good idea to always take them shopping with you, as it’s really very difficult to keep a colour in your head. This will save a lot of wasted time, buying and returning things that don’t quite work with your scheme.

We just love to work with our clients’ ideas and help bring them to life, adding our own knowledge and expertise to surpass their initial expectations.

If you’d like to see what we can do together, give us a call…

Contact John or Jono on +61 9939 2592

Or email us on