Here in Australia, many of us are lucky to be blessed with coastal living. And there is something so unique about the way Australians embrace coastal style. Maybe it’s our appreciation for the outdoors, or simply our relaxed lifestyle, but modern Australian coastal design is a unique take on a timeless interior aesthetic.
Not only are we creating more minimal, airy spaces in our Australian coastal homes, but we are also being increasingly thoughtful about where and how our furnishings are made. Many Australians are also now looking into ways to make our nature-inspired spaces more ethical and sustainable. There's something really special about making your home feel every bit as great as it looks, with the extra goodness that comes from knowing the kind and planet-healthy provenance of the pieces you've used to style it. Even if you don’t live by the ocean but want to bring that relaxed coastal feel into your interiors, here’s how to do it – consciously.
Your colour palette is one of the biggest factors to consider when creating a coastal interior. Colours should be soothing and tranquil – think shades of white, sand, greys, aqua and blues. Your palette doesn’t have to be a cold bright white, however. The modern coastal style works well with milky or off-whites, sandy tans, soft greys, and even muted blues and greens. Imagine a beautiful beach scene and pick out the natural colours of sky, sand and sea you would find there.
To create a relaxing and tranquil look, it's important to keep a soft, neutral base and work with only a few accent colours. The best way to create a coastal feel is by introducing colour with furniture and décor while leaving the background of your space a light white. Deep ocean-themed hues work marvellously as accent colours, but keep the ratio of dark to light at a minimum. Our favourite accent colours are aquamarine and classic navy, of course - but dark dusty pinks work equally well, as do stormy greys. Our beautiful coastal cushions by Seacova above, and wall hangings from Mountain Tide are the perfect example of bringing texture and colour to create a feature wall in your gorgeous coastal home.
Unique and even hand made pieces that are made to last are not only important for a coastal style, but for conscious interiors as well. Modern coastal furniture usually takes the minimalist approach with clean shapes and simplistic elegance - often with an almost Scandinavian influence. This approach is also perfect for the conscious consumer as coastal interiors usually only incorporate pieces with a purpose, to leave spaces open and clutter-free.
While it's important to keep shape and style in mind when buying new furniture, it is just as important to consider how, where and from what they are made. For a conscious home, choose upcycled or recycled furniture (or upcycle it yourself!), and if possible, source furniture that has been made locally to reduce the overall carbon footprint of shipping and transport. Even more crucial though is to ensure your pieces are made ethically, with not only the environment in mind but also the people and communities who make them.
Modern coastal design often fuses light or bleached wooden elements together with soft, upholstered sofas and chairs. To achieve a truly authentic coastal style, choose furnishings made from natural fibres such as linen, hemp, and cotton. Fortunately these materials are also far more eco-friendly than synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon, and they do a brilliant job of adding natural texture to a minimal and modern coastal interior.
While coastal décor adds character, it’s important not to go overboard (pardon the pun) on beach trinkets and shell sculptures. Just a few pieces that give a nod towards the ocean will create a coastal look in your home, without letting it slip into kitsch territory.
Stripes, embroidered and hand dyed accent pieces are a great way to draw a coastal interior together - but try to stick to your coastal palette to avoid being too colourful. Pillows, cushions, rugs and linen are perfect accessories to add coastal character to your home, and layering different tones of the same hue gives depth and emphasis to your overall look.
Incorporate variation in texture with natural and eco-friendly fibres such as jute, rattan, and seagrass, which work beautifully with ethically made soft blankets and cushions, such as our Blue & White Cotton Throw and Soft Mohair Throw.
Once you’ve created your conscious coastal interior, make sure you add that one last essential accessory; natural daylight from big beautiful windows. Let those beautiful sun rays pour in, lay back, and relax…
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What are your thoughts on creating an ethical and sustainable modern coastal interior? We would love to hear your reflections on this in the comments below!