Wendy Moore reveals secret to nailing the coastal homes aesthetic

“Coastal style is having a perpetual moment. It’s a look that will never go out of style.” 

Just like nailing your favourite dish, there are recipes to follow when it comes to styling your home. Here are the key ingredients you need to pull off the Australian coastal homes trend in a snap.

With our beach-loving lifestyle and relaxed approach to decorating, Australians have long had a love affair with classic coastal style. It’s a look equally inspired by simple weatherboard beach shacks as  crisp Hamptons estates, but the ingredients are always the same, resulting in calming, laidback and oh-so achievable spaces that don’t have to cost a fortune. This classic look was my instant go-to for one of the homes in last year’s season of Selling Houses Australia.

“Coastal style is having a perpetual moment. It’s a look that will never go out of style.” 

Wendy Moore
coastal homes

How to decorate a coastal home

Australian coastal style is all about carefree living. Surfaces must  be easy to clean, comfortable underfoot and weather-resistant. 

That means lots of light-coloured timbers like oak or blackbutt for flooring and furniture (the sand brushes right off!); an abundance of natural textures in rugs and soft furnishings that reference the natural world – think jute rugs, linen throws and textural rattan; and pops of bright blue referencing the ocean in cushions, ceramics and accessories. 

Furniture profiles are squared off – simple, boxy shapes offset by lots of comfy cushions.

How to create a coastal interior for your home

Updating large surfaces will always have the biggest impact, but if wide-planked oak or the engineered alternative is out of your budget, layer inexpensive jute, cotton or flatweave rugs in a light shade. Paint walls in tones of fresh, warming whites (Wattyl Aspiration and Dulux Natural White are particular faves of mine) and choose large-scale high-impact coastal prints or photography for art.

Edit your collections to bring forward white, blue and natural-coloured textures and ceramics, and peruse Marketplace or eBay for quality secondhand furniture finds. Don’t pull the trigger unless it makes your heart sing – creating a home you’ll love forever can’t be done overnight. Sit with each purchase to make sure it’s right for you.

coastal homes

What is coastal style?

Taking its inspiration from the ocean, seaside dwellings and other nautical aspects, the coastal homes theme should evoke the same feeling of bliss and breeziness you would feel with the sand between your toes.

Coastal style decor should follow colour schemes that emanate what you would find in the natural landscapes surrounding the ocean such as whites, soft blues, greens, beige and natural timber.

“The right colour scheme and carefully chosen decor, you can create a seaside oasis in your own home,” Casey McPhail, co-owner of McPhails Furniture explains.

“Materials like wood, bamboo and wicker help create the feeling of a relaxed feel which is important when opting for coastal style décor. For instance, our Flinders dining suite – it strikes the perfect balance, offering sophistication while keeping the atmosphere light and relaxed.”

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