The coast has long been a source of inspiration for interior design. There are many variations of this theme and this often depends on the country of the coast that is being used for inspiration. The reasons why the coast is such a popular interior design style is because it evokes images of freshness, an enjoyment of the great outdoors, and happy memories from vacations in coastal locations. It is also popular amongst those who live by the coast and want to bring their surroundings into their own home. One variation of the coastal theme that is now trending is the Australian coastal design theme. Here is an overview of the characteristics that define the Australian coastal interior design style and some tips for recreating this look in your own home.
What is the Australian Coastal Design?
Australian coastal interior design is inspired by the stunning and diverse coastline of Australia. Although water is the main inspiration behind this interior design style, the areas of land along the coast are also sources of inspiration. For example, some different types of inspiration may include the Barrier Reef, rocky coves, golden beaches, the waves, rugged cliffs, and underwater life. The idea of using Australian coastal interior design is to evoke the senses in the same way as the sights, sounds, and sensations of the Australian coast. This is done through the use of color, pattern, textures, and natural materials say Homes to Love. In addition to the colors that you use, creating a sense of light and space are important aspects of this interior design theme.
The Characteristics That Define Australian Coastal Interior Design
All interior design styles have their own characteristics that define them. The following are some of the key characteristics that define the Australian coastal interior design theme.
- Materials for This Style – According to Make Your Home Beautiful, you should use natural materials for the coastal look. Wood is the primary material to use for floors, furniture, and accessories. If your interior walls are rendered, have them slightly textured with a matte finish. You can also use stone for a wall feature or for ornamental purposes. Other materials that you can incorporate into your designs are your findings from the beach, such as driftwood, rope, fishing nets, and interesting shells. Before using stones or shells on the beach, you should check if there are any regulations in place in certain areas that can restrict you from doing this.
- Australian Coastal Colors – Interiors Online says that you should use a palette of muted colors as a backdrop. Examples of muted colors include light grays, pastel blues, bleached white, or sandy yellow. To this, you can add accents of bolder colors with feature walls, textiles, furnishings, and accessories. The main colors that you will use are colors that depict the coast. One of the prominent colors in this theme is blue, and you can use every shade of this color. However, blue is not the only color you will see in the ocean. Deep waters have shades of green and the tips of waves are white. Think also of the colors of the coastline, such as the various shades of gray from the rocks and the yellow of the sunshine and the beach.
- Coastal Patterns – Ombre effects that reflect the changing colors of the ocean is one pattern that you may see in Australian coastal interior design. Similarly, you may see uneven strips that also represent the changing colors of the ocean or the variations in shades of the rocks or sands. On the other hand, many people simply use plain blocks of color.
- Feature Walls – You can also add a feature wall to a room. If you decide to have a feature wall, then it is best to use white or muted colors on the other walls in a room. There are several options for creating a feature wall. One is to have a stone wall using locally sourced stone that reflects your surroundings. Another is to paint one wall in a bold color, such as a peacock green or azure blue. A further way of adding a feature wall is to choose a wallpaper that represents the coastal theme, either in terms of the colors or the pattern. Finally, there are specialist wallpapers that depict a scene. Therefore, you can have a wall showing an underwater scene or a seascape.
- Furniture – Natural wooden furniture is most suitable for the Australian coastal interior design style. Lighter wood is usually used with the wood grain and markings running through the wood. Wooden furniture that is painted white also works well in this theme.
- Floors – Wooden floorboards are the most common type of floor used with an Australian. These are either stripped and varnished, dyed in a darker color, or painted with white or gray paint.
- Soft Furnishings – Color, pattern, and texture are added with the use of soft furnishings. Cushions in bold blues or greens, striped patterns, and coastal-themed prints are great for adorning sofas and beds. Throws are another option for sofas and beds.
- Other Accessories – Homes to Love says that you should take a trip to the beach to look for some free accessories. Discarded fishing nets can make a fantastic wall features, while you can use ropes to hang light fittings. Interesting shells or stones can also make unusual decorative features. Miniature boats can make fun accessories, while modern seascapes are a good art option.
- Architectural Features – Open plan living is often the preferred layout for Australian coastal interior design. In fact, open-plan layouts are a property style that is generally preferred in Australia, regardless of the interior design style. If your home is along the coast, then large glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows will allow you to enjoy the coastal views around you. Rendered walls are another important architectural feature as these have a slightly rough look that adds texture, and this is a surface onto which you can paint directly.
Coastal Australian Interior Design by Room
You can either use the coastal theme in every room of your home or simply choose to apply the Australian coastal interior design style to a single room of a property. Here are some tips for applying Australian coastal interior design to the various rooms in your home.
- Living Room – It is possible to create a calm and relaxing living room if you apply the Australian coastal interior design theme. White or muted walls are a backdrop to which you can add more color with accessories, while stained or painted wood floors add an element of sophistication to your living space. Wooden furniture is the most fitting option, with comfort added using colorful cushion and throws. An interesting accessory to consider adding if you have a large living room is a piece of driftwood as a feature. The living room is one of the rooms that you can add a feature wall. If you have a fireplace with a chimney breast, then this is the best wall to choose as your feature wall.
- Kitchen – Decorating a kitchen in this style is an opportunity for creativeness with color. Choose wooden units that are painted in a shade of blue or green with a matte finish for texture. Paint the walls a lighter shade of the same color you have chosen for your units. In the kitchen, aim to use clean lines and to keep practicality and functionality at the forefront of your design ideas.
- Dining Room – A dining room that encourages a relaxed and casual dining environment is best suited to Australian coastal interior design says Boca Do Lobo. A light wood or white table creates a fun look, while splashes of turquoise, yellow, or orange create a fun vibe. However, you can also create a formal dining area by adapting your approach to this room. If you choose a dark wood table and combine white walls with deep blues, you will achieve a more sophisticated look.
- Bedrooms – It is important that a bedroom is a calm and relaxing space where you can sleep soundly and get away from the stresses and strains of daily life. White walls, whitewashed floorboards, and white cotton bedding will create a calming atmosphere. If you find white too stark, then opt for pastel shades of blue, light greens, or pale grays as alternatives. A throw and cushions on the bed will add splashes of color and texture to the room. Any shades of blues or greens will work perfectly in your bedroom.
- Hallway – Keep things simple in your hallway to make the most of the space available. A wooden coat stand and shoe rack give the impression of welcoming the outdoors in, and adding a mirror will increase the natural light in this room, which is an important element of the Australian coastal theme. The hallway is a good place to display photographs of you and your family enjoying spending time in coastal locations.
- Bathroom – The bathroom is the perfect space for applying an Australian coastal interior design theme as you can relax in your bath imagining that you are lead in the shallow coastal waters of the ocean. Whitewashed floorboard, white walls, and white tiled sections will create a clean and fresh look. However, you should not be afraid to use bold colors in this room on areas of the wall that are not tiled. A whitewashed towel cabinet, rope features, and a contemporary seascape will add to the theme while stacking towels in various shades of blues and greens will create a feature in the room.
Extending the Australian Coastal Design Theme Outdoors
The Australian coastal interior design theme is all about bringing your natural coastal surroundings into your home. As bringing the outside in is such an important element of this interior design style, it makes sense to extend the theme into your garden. Gardenia says that it is best to plant native coastal plants and grasses when applying the coastal theme to your garden. However, your choice of plants is not as important as the hardscaping in your garden.
Create a curved footpath through your garden in a boardwalk effect using decking or short planks of wood. Add a rockery or line your borders with stones. Either along the footpath or surrounding the borders, you can a rope fence using evenly spaced wooden posts with holes drilled horizontally close to the top that have rope strung through them hanging loosely. To create a smooth transition and connection between the indoor space and the exterior of your home, add a decking area. This is a space where you can enjoy your coastal theme. A fun idea is to add a swing seat or even a hammock for outdoor relaxation.
Australian Coastal Interior Design – The Final Verdict
The Australian coastal interior design style is one that is influenced by the stunning and diverse coast of Australia. Both the water and the land are inspirations for the different elements of this style. The use of colors associated with the ocean and the coast is a key characteristic of this theme, as is enhancing the light in your home. The aim is to create spaces for relaxing that feel like you are combining your surroundings with the interior of your property. This is a theme that you can interpret in many ways to suit your own preferences and the style of your home. You can use this interior design style throughout your home or just to one room. You can even incorporate elements of the Australian coastal interior design theme into your garden.