By Christine Fuller
There’s no denying that coastal inspired décor is taking the interior world by storm. Whether you’ve seen it whilst scrolling Instagram and Pinterest or fell in love with Andy and Deb’s rendition of ‘Coastal Calm’ on the recent season of The Block, it is a style that brings a light, airy and relaxed vibe to your home.
One thing that I have heard numerous times from overseas interior enthusiasts is “I love Australian coastal homes!” This got me thinking, what is it about the Australian coastal style that perhaps sets itself apart from the typical coastal inspired home?
When we began our hunt for our first home, I hit up Pinterest, spending way longer than I’d like to admit pinning away, cultivating my dream home. What I found, was that there were so many variations of what I one thought was a simple, coastal style home. I quickly ruled out your typical, nautical coastal, you know, anchors and seashell cushions in the blue and white colour palette. This was followed by the Hamptons style, which I love, but doesn’t really reflect me.
I found myself being drawn to that effortless style that casually says coastal, without any of the typical coastal gimmicks. From this moment, I knew exactly what I wanted for our first home together and I haven’t looked back since.
I will be sharing some of my tips and tricks to creating your own coastal calm abode. Believe me, I have definitely made some mistakes along the way, *cough* purchasing a tassel rug that cannot be vacuumed prior to getting two puppies *cough*. Whether you are looking to restyle your home, or you’re a first home buyer like I was, these tips can be applied to homes and budgets of all shapes and sizes.
Tip 1. Choose A Colour Palette And Stick To It
This is so much easier said than done, especially when you are out shopping and stumble across that gorgeous cushion *adds to trolley*. Whether you are shopping for your new home or restyling a space, achieving a calm, coastal look relies on a cohesive colour palette, which means discipline! I saved a handful of colour palettes that I found on Pinterest, before deciding on a gorgeous palette comprising of neutrals and muted tones.
Every time I was out looking for décor or furniture, I would pull up my colour palette inspo from my phone to make sure I was supporting, not challenging my overall goal. Admittedly, there were a couple of occasions where I added a piece that didn’t quite reflect my palette. Muted colours can be hard to come by when it comes to interiors, so I began compromising and selecting pieces with a brighter, less muted base. They looked great in the shop, but when I got them home, it wasn’t what I was after.
The reward of remaining disciplined with your palette is that you lay a beautifully cohesive foundation throughout your home as a base. Once my foundations were laid, I could then expand and experiment with more variations of colours. Some weeks, I love the dusty blues and sandy beige tones. Other weeks, I am all about the peachy pinks and warm earthy tones. I’ve made it easy to switch between a variety of looks by selecting artwork that combines the neutrals, dusty blues and warm tones, so they are interchangeable no matter how I dress the bed or lounge.
Tip 2. Avoiding The ‘Cookie Cutter’ Home
Before I entered the world of Instagram, I too struggled with the concept of creating a home that wasn’t a cookie cutter of every other coastal home in Australia. We went to over 45 open for inspections searching for our current home and the amount of times I saw the same pieces of furniture, wall art and décor was crazy! Now before I continue, I know it can be tricky when you’re on a budget, we experienced this very thing ourselves.
My strategy was to shop around, purchase miss-matched furniture that still works together and try and incorporate one unique piece in every space. For us, this was our dining chairs and coffee table. Since sharing my love of interiors via my Instagram handle @cottagebythecoast, I have also found a bunch of incredible small businesses, specialising in beautiful coastal décor and furnishings. It has been my absolute GO-TO for all those finishing touches and decorative pieces that give your home a point of difference.
Tip 3. Don’t Be Afraid Of A Little DIY.
Not only are DIYs often cost effective, they also create a unique, personalised touch to your home. With time permitting, I am not one to shy away from DIYs and funnily enough, they often are my most asked about parts of our home! Our most recent DIY was our garage-turned-laundry reno. Renovations can get expensive, so we took our time and constructed the lot of it ourselves! I would come up with the design and my fiancé would figure out how we would bring it to life. One thing I wanted to keep was the exposed brick. The sandy tones of the brick and white and wood used in the laundry connected it with the style we have inside the home.
This formerly blank nook became the perfect spot for some custom shelving just days after moving in, and to this day, is still probably my favourite pocket of our home. Coastal interiors should be relaxed, so I love the perfectly imperfect design we executed by staggering the shelves to create a less structured feel. I enjoy a little reshuffle of the shelves every few weeks to keep it feeling fresh!
I also DIY’d the shelf above our bed, as I couldn’t find any that were the depth or length I was after. For someone who struggles with maintaining one look year-round, this has been the perfect solution for me to move wall art and décor pieces around the home, easily restyling the shelf without putting any more holes in the wall!
Whether your aspiring DIY project is big or small, have the confidence to give it a go and you may surprise yourself.
Most importantly, your home should be a place you love and feel comfortable. For me, coming home to a light and airy space is a breath of fresh air and helps me wind down after a busy day. If you create a home that reflects you and how you want to feel when you spend time there, you won’t feel the itch for a refresh each season.
Want to find out more about Christine? Read our interview with her here, and follow her on Instagram for more of those beautiful calming coastal interiors and the adventures of her two cute pups, Lilo & Stitch.
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