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Top design tips to turn your home into a beachside beauty

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I was lucky enough to sit down with some of Melbourne’s top interior designers and pick their brains on how to turn a home into a beachside beauty.

Instant beach vibes

● New cushions, a lick of paint, fresh linen, fresh flowers and bowls of citrus can work wonders

● Room fragrances such as candles or diffusers: choose melon, amber and peony, coconut and lime, or grapefruit and watercress for a fresh summer scent

● Invest in hardy plants and weather-proof fabrics; consider marine-grade stainless steel because coastal elements can wreak havoc on furnishings

● Add a new rug

● De-clutter each year

● Rearrange the furniture layout of key rooms

The Real Estate Stylist. Photo: Tom Blachford
The Real Estate Stylist. Photo: Tom Blachford

Colours

Tip: soft blues are taking over – but also think pink

Sara \ “We’re all about the softer hues at the moment.Don’t be afraid to add a little charcoal or black to bring in some depth. Touches of duck-egg blue and navy can create a cool and tranquil space. Soft pinks tie in nicely with black and white.”

Anna \ “Trash the yellow and blue [combinations] of yesteryear. Navy is perfect for beach house accessories.”

Richard \ “Opt for colours that you love. Try to avoid fads by selecting colours that are light and airy or contrasting sheets with a hint of colour.”

Textures

Tip: soften the look with natural textures such as timber

Sara \ “Whether it’s the flooring, wall panelling or a pendant light, [timber] always brings a softness and raw beauty to a space. Team this with knitted rugs, metals and living plants for a contemporary feel.”

Anna \ “Natural textures are perfect. You can use Atolya linen as throws, beach or bath towels.”

MIM Design. Photo: Sharyn Cairns
MIM Design. Photo: Sharyn Cairns

Furniture & accessories

Tip: avoid clichés and reinvent

Sara \ “Forget the shells, stripes and oars. Keep things simple and sophisticated with linens and large-scale artwork. Add layers and softness with throw rugs, woven baskets and books.”

Miriam \ According to Miriam, four fail-safe accessories are:

● A good throw: cuddle up when it’s cold, lie on top when it’s hot and decorate your couch when not in use

● A great vase: fill with seashells from beach walks or flowers from the local market

● A quality, thick towel: for drying and keeping the sand off

● A beautiful woven beach bag: hang as a display when not in use

Anna \ Lightshades and cushions made from old sails give new life to old objects and provide a brilliant beach-house vibe, she says. Craypots can be repurposed as side tables or light fittings.

Finishes

Tip: think low maintenance and timeless

Miriam \ From bathroom tiles to vanities, mirrors and joinery, Miriam aims for refined materials with an artisan sensibility.

“Generally I select these finishes in soft hues and whites,” she says. “I like to use authentic materials, such as natural stone and quality timber. If you develop a maintenance regime, they’re a better product in the long term. If you’re opting for timber, choose a colour that hides dirt and scratches. If stone’s your choice, make it bulletproof with a sealer. When it comes to paint, select ‘wash and wear’ finishes that are durable and easy to clean. For carpets, I opt for natural fibre such as wool, which is simple to clean.”

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