Create a coastal retreat
By Stephanie Williams
Running a successful interior design business between Sydney, Brisbane and Byron Bay gives designer Louise Walsh an expert eye for coastal style. We spoke with Louise to discover how to incorporate a coastal vibe into a space – regardless of the location.
When creating a coastal interior start with fresh whites and natural tones, Louise says, “Layer cooler colours and earthy textures which provide a calm and natural aesthetic. Source furniture which echoes the relaxed nature of seaside living, whether it be through their oversized comfort, casual fabric selection, organic shape or earthy texture and tones.”
Shiver Me Timbers
“Weathered, stained or bleached timbers work beautifully as a flooring solution,” Louise shares, “but equally, natural stone tiles such as travertine create a calming base palette.” To bring warmth and texture into a scheme use plenty of soft furnishings, well-proportioned art and feature lighting with plenty of natural texture.
Living by the beach is all about casual comfort so your furniture and furnishings should reflect this. Louise says, “Fabrics such as washed linen, brushed cottons and worn leather are comfortable and work beautifully with distressed oak timbers, natural stone and petrified woods. The combination of old and new will give your interior a ‘lived in’ feeling, further enhancing a relaxed environment which is what coastal living is all about.”
“I’m often inspired by a sunset over the ocean or a stormy sea and this creates the base palette for a scheme,” Louise says, “coastal colours such as light blues, greys and aquas are popular but don’t feel you have to stick to an obvious beachside palette.” When choosing a colour scheme, Louise suggests widening the scope. “Try playing with colour combinations such as deep blues, magentas, earthy browns, taupes, shades of white and other colours which soothe and inspire you,” she says. “Always use colour combinations with restraint and don’t try too hard, getting caught up in kitsch coastal decorative pieces. Keep it clean and keep it natural.”
LOUISE’S KEY BEACH BUYS
TRIBAL AND SHELL SCULPTURAL PIECES (Try St.Barts or Orient House)
For more tips on styling read this month’s The Listing magazine.