When Vanessa and Troy built their new home in Sydney’s north-west, they indulged their love of coastal chic style.
About me Hi, I’m Vanessa and I live with my husband Troy, our sons Jordan, 21, Harley, 14, and Carter, 8, our dog Bambi and three cockatiels. We’ve decorated our home in north-western Sydney with a coastal theme that has some Hamptons style – I find it very calming and relaxing.
“OUR FIRST HOME was a new-build in the Blue Mountains, and after that we restored a heritage-listed miner’s cottage in the Hawkesbury. The style of each was very country, so when we moved into this house on a new estate in Sydney’s north-west – to be closer to work and central to schools and public transport – we purposely refrained from rushing into a new style until I was certain about what I wanted.
Fast-forward five years and a few family seaside holidays later, I decided to incorporate natural elements, trinkets and souvenirs from those trips into our decor. They form special memories and I wanted them to be where I could see them and reflect on happy times.
Made to order
Our home was a new-build, so over the last eight years we’ve updated the colours and design to match the coastal theme. The walls are now Taubmans Ashwood, with Dulux Mole Grey in both full and half strength featuring in certain rooms. It ties in so beautifully with the white and navy accents throughout the house. We also renovated our kitchen and laundry from the original project-home standard, creating more space and storage, and updating the finishes. In the kitchen, we removed the pantry to open up the space and added Caesarstone benchtops.
Coast to coast
The intent behind styling our home has always been to achieve a relaxed vibe and create a calm space. For me, that means recreating that feeling of being on the beach or near the water. I’ve always admired classic Hamptons style so I thought I would naturally head in that direction. I was surprised to realise my style is actually more ‘coastal charm’. There’s a lot more texture, for example – I love to use a mix of different cushions, throws, tiles, rugs, fixtures and furniture.
Complementary colours underpin the scene but it’s the textures of fabric, wood, shells or metal that bring it to life. I collect shells and green glass – vases, bottles, fishing floats – and I’ve upcycled lots of our original country-style furniture for that reclaimed timber look. I like to use white and navy nautical themes in my accessories and soft furnishings, too.
We chose white plantation shutters for all the windows – they are universal and transcend many styles, and never date. It’s one of the best investments we’ve made. Our kitchen and dining aspect catches the springtime sunrise and I love to open the shutters and windows to let the fresh air in. And the kitchen is definitely the most used room in the house; ours is a busy family, and this is where my husband and I come together with our three boys most days. The outdoor area opens up off the kitchen and adjoining sitting room, and the glass stacker doors make this one huge living space, perfect for late spring and early summer days.
More to come
Our big goal is to build our dream home up on the Fraser Coast of Queensland. Until then, I can conjure up that coastal feeling in our home in the suburbs with no beach nearby, to help us feel closer to where we long to be.
We describe this house as our ‘beach home away from the sea’. We still have more work to do – for example, we chose Doussie hardwood to give our floors a warm feel, but now I’d love to refloor the house, or sand it back to give it a lighter, shiplap look. But I’ve learned that the styling of any home – as cliché as it sounds – is a journey... and it doesn’t end!”
The heat is on
A custom-made mantle frames the fireplace. Armchair from Fantastic Furniture. Southampton 1-light pendant, $299, from Beacon Lighting.
DETAIL Front door DIY The homemade driftwood garland and Ikea faux plant hang off a whale wall hook from TK Maxx.
HALLWAY Fresh approach A refurbished chair on a jute rug creates a handy perch in the entryway.
OUTSIDE Classic red brick The house is a modern take on Georgian style.
GREAT IDEA Vanessa taped together three Ikea rugs to fit the space.
LIVING ROOM Cool hues
Vanessa mixes different shades of blue and neutral textures.