Coastal home designs and styling tips

Coastal design and styling take inspiration from the laid-back coastal lifestyle, complemented by the colours and textures of our seaside environment.

Australia has always had its own unique coastal housing styles, influenced by classic beach house designs, traditional Queenslanders and, more recently, the Hamptons look.

With the increase in people working from home, larger houses and a stronger focus on lifestyle, many families are attracted to the relaxed vibe of coastal-style living. So, it’s no surprise that the coastal aesthetic is seeing a huge rise in popularity.

Here in Queensland, where our climate is well-suited for indoor/outdoor living, achieving a beautiful home with a coastal-themed experience is easily within reach. By understanding the key features of coastal styling and coastal interior design, you can bring a coastal look to your new home.

Coastal design captures the heart of the beachside landscape. It draws inspiration from the natural environment. It takes cues from the coast’s colour palette and textures. It embraces natural light and a clean aesthetic.

If you're looking for a new home that captures that summer feeling all year, read on!

Exterior Features

Weatherboard cladding

The clean lines of weatherboard cladding epitomise beachy style. The use of weatherboard is one of the reasons the Hamptons look is so distinctive. Australian coastal style is a little less ornate and a little cleaner in appearance.

Weatherboard cladding is a classic choice that adds a touch of charm and can be paired with render, brick or stone for a multi-textured appearance.

Render or stone

Rendered or stone materials express the rugged beauty of coastal landscapes, like rocky cliffs and pebble beaches.

Textured render can effectively convey the lustre and graininess of sand. Render can be used to create a variety of different looks, from coarse to fine. Stone-look wall panelling, cladding or accents can add an organic effect that complements weatherboard or render.

Facade materials and colours

It's important to consider how every element of your design contributes to the overall coastal theme. From the facade to the driveway and garden, including natural materials can create a consistent and inviting street-side experience.

Plantation Homes design studio manager, Di Gaffney recommends choosing natural colour tones such as creams, whites and greys for a soothing coastal mood.

"The coastal design favours a lighter coloured palette with shades of blue and white that mimic the ocean, sky and crashing waves," Ms Gaffney said.

Additionally, using natural materials like timber can add warmth and texture to the overall look.



A skillion roofline features a single-sloping surface that can enhance the visual impact of your home. The distinctive and modern appearance also provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate skylights and solar panels.

Outdoor living

Alfresco areas

In Queensland, outdoor living and summer entertaining play a major role in how families enjoy their homes. One essential feature that captures the essence of outdoor enjoyment is a covered alfresco area.

Carry the coastal theme through to your alfresco area with cladding, render, textures, stone-look tiles and tropical landscaping for the ideal family oasis.



If you've taken a stroll along the beach and admired those stunning waterfront houses, chances are you noticed a common element: a second-floor balcony offering an amazing view of the beach.

Even if you don't have a picturesque view, adding a second-floor balcony to your master bedroom or living room can bring that beachside resort element to your home. It's also a great place to relax on those balmy summer nights.


Outdoor shower

Have you ever been to a resort where you’ve used an outdoor shower under the open sky, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin?

An outdoor shower provides a unique experience where you can enjoy being surrounded by the beauty and tranquillity of nature. They're also ideal for washing off the salt water after a day at the beach!

Coastal interiors

Interior coastal styling brings the outdoor elements inside, regardless of the home's location, delivering a resort-like atmosphere all year round.

When choosing a home design to embody this style, you'll want to consider things like open plan living areas, placement of windows and doors, flooring, cabinetry and other surfaces like benchtops.

Stone, wood, rattan, and wicker are common in coastal interiors, complementing each other to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Natural light

The goal of modern coastal home design is to create seamless indoor-outdoor experiences. Abundant natural light is essential for achieving an open, inviting and airy atmosphere.

To achieve this, Ms Gaffney recommends including plenty of windows, glass doors and skylights where possible.

"Natural light is a key element for coastal design. Large opening doors and windows that let the outside in play a crucial part in achieving the coastal design vibe. These essential features will bathe your living space in natural light, breathing life into every corner," Ms Gaffney said.

Timber flooring

The inclusion of natural tones and textures plays a key role in creating a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Timber flooring is an ideal way of infusing this aesthetic into your design.

One of the best things about timber flooring is its natural beauty and warmth. Timber has a unique natural grain that adds character to any room.

New home builds will rarely include solid timber flooring due to price and complexity of installing solid timber floors on concrete, but most good home builders will offer hybrid flooring and engineered timber flooring, both of which give you the timber look you are after and can be easier to maintain.


Plantation shutters

Plantation shutters are a fantastic window treatment for bedrooms and living rooms. They add a touch of organic charm that perfectly matches the contemporary coastal home theme and also contribute to immersing a space in light.


Think of all the textures you experience during a walk by the ocean: grainy sand, crisp grasses, smooth pebbles, rippled rocks and soft foam waves. It's a wonderful mix of textures to recreate in your home.

Natural fibres like jute, sisal, seagrass or rattan can be incorporated into furnishings to enhance the luxe coastal home look. Rugs, window treatments, lampshades, wallpaper, linen and furniture all offer opportunities to feature stunning natural textures.

Design studio manager, Di Gaffney shares her favourite tips for bringing all the elements of coastal interior design together.

"I love to accompany a pale colour palette with light woods, driftwoods, jute, cotton and linen. Focus on natural fabrics and layer them throughout the space for understated elegance."


Pendant lighting

Pendant lights serve as an eye-catching focal point. Apart from providing functional lighting, they contribute to the overall look and feel of the space. When selecting pendant lights, consider the textures they offer, such as rattan, timber, or beaded options.

Tips for coastal building

If you're planning to build beachside or near the coast, there are a few things worth considering before you start your new build or knockdown rebuild project.

Consider how you can capture the sea breeze by orienting the main living area and bedrooms to maximise airflow. Also, how landscaping, doors, windows and shutters can be used to provide protection when it gets too breezy.

Coastal homes in Queensland are regularly exposed to harsh elements like strong winds, salt water and intense sunlight, so choose long-lasting exterior materials. Good options include cement cladding, Colorbond® Steel and weatherboards. These materials offer durability and resistance to withstand the coastal environment.

Landscaping can play an important role in the protection and look of coastal property. Choose native plants that are adapted to the environment and can tolerate salt. These not only add natural beauty but can stabilise the soil and act as barriers against erosion.

Discover the beauty of coastal styling with Plantation Homes

No matter where you're building, drawing on coastal styling and design is an effective way to create a dream home that's perfect for the Queensland lifestyle. Check out the Plantation Homes Visualiser Tool to create your signature coastal look.