We all know that clichéd beach house look. Think jars overflowing with seashells, starfish paperweights, driftwood furniture in every room and of course blue, blue and more blue. But, thankfully, nautical style doesn’t have to be the default setting for a seaside home!
Styled by Katie Sargent of Katie Sargent Design, this particular beach house, tucked above St Andrews beach in Victoria, stays clear of any coastal or Hamptons cliches. Full of one-off furniture mixed in with pieces from the local high street, its stunning interiors go hand in hand with its dramatic outlook onto the Bass Strait.
So as the mind behind such a beautiful retreat, we had to ask Katie what her top tips are for coastal decorating without the cliché. Below she shares all, so you too can get the look at home.
- Identify the pieces you love that you already own. A mirror, an inherited sideboard, a favourite piece of art. It doesn’t matter how daggy you think it is, it will work. It might not be the feature of your, but it will work somewhere. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed by the pieces you love.
- White and blue is perennially beautiful, however there are so many colour and texture options. White on white divine, just make sure there are multiple textures. Don’t be afraid of colour. Start small and build in confidence.
- Don’t be matchy, matchy. Don’t match your curtains and cushions and throws. Mix it up and don’t be afraid of pattern clashes. Just have a look at the work of interior designers Kit Kemp, Kelly Wearstler and Anna Spiro. They are bold and although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, you cannot deny their interiors are bursting with interest and character.
- Don’t match armchairs and sofas. Mix it up and don’t be afraid to put different styles of furniture together. If you have two sofas, have two different styles of sofa. Or if they are the same sofa, upholster them in different fabrics.
- Embrace the chaos – there will be sand, shells, towels, buckets and spades. These items can be stored in baskets around the house and add character.
- Don’t limit yourself to seascape artwork. Just because you’re near the beach doesn’t mean you need to fill your home with artwork depicting boats, sand, fish and the sea! Mix it up.
- Pops of black furniture in a beach house actually looks quite stunning. A black coffee table, or table lamp, or art frame. Same goes for tan or chocolate.