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The New Coastal

By Bernadette Gray

Summer is the time for relaxing at home, doors flung open to let the outside in, lounging with a cool drink in hand. Take your summer relaxation to the next level this season and inject some coastal style into your space. We spoke with Amanda Pike, the director of Sydney design firm, Pike Withers, and the creator of beautiful coastal spaces at Qualia, Lizard Island, Bedarra Island Resort and Capella Lodge for her lowdown on the elements you’ll need for your own coastal oasis – even if you’re nowhere near the sea.

What are the small edits I can make to my space?
We associate summer with relaxation and fun and your coastal style home should reflect that. Keep the overall background palette light and bright (which might mean repainting walls white) then introduce natural finishes and fabrics. You can then either accent with a splash of bright colour (but only a splash!) or a range of muted tones and textures on cushions. Sofas should be comfortable and generous. Purchasing some rattan furniture, wicker baskets, sisal rugs or even some wicker light fittings is generally an inexpensive way to introduce natural elements. Also think about large glass bottles and vases for that aquatic feel. Try and de-clutter spaces to keep them fresh and airy, it might be more about what you take out than what you put in!

I’d like to renovate my property to incorporate a coastal vibe – what elements should I focus on?
If it’s a major overhaul then we would incorporate as many direct links to the outside as possible such as internal courtyards, indoor/outdoor bathrooms and kitchens benches that continue on to an outdoor entertaining area. It’s about trying to blur the line between indoors and outdoors as much as possible. When planning master bathrooms think about resort hotels and how they often open up and use the wardrobe area to create a relaxed luxury and sense of space. Rather than having a series of small spaces, try to open them to create a greater volume to the house and maximise ceiling heights where possible.

In terms of finishes, we would select natural products in matte finishes. Marbles and granite’s that can appear quite glitzy when polished can take on a much softer, more textured look if they are sandblasted. They also work really well as an external finish allowing you to maintain that link between indoors and outdoors.

Other elements to include might be timber floorboards, a fresh coat of white paint to walls, soft sheer linen curtains or white shutters. The use of decorative tiles in the bathrooms and sandy/ taupe coloured carpet in bedrooms add comfort while white painted ship lap, recycled/weathered timber and woven wall coverings all contribute to a coastal vibe.

What’s your favourite furniture piece to use as a basis for a coastal interior?
Italian furniture company Gervasoni (available through anibou.com.au) has some great indoor and outdoor pieces, many of which have been used in coastal resorts around the world for their particularly relaxed vibe. Some of their outdoor tables incorporate natural teak and glazed ceramic bases that work really well in a coastal environment,as well as statement pieces that are both easy and stylish.

Feature image – Palm Beach House by Pike Withers
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