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.
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.
BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN
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.
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.
KEEPING CLEAN AND TIDY
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.
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 – www.facebook.com/pg/sydneybeachhomes/
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 coastal-style.blogspot.com.au demonstrates this beautifully.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org