When Vanessa and Troy built their new home in Syd­ney’s north-west, they in­dulged their love of coastal chic style.

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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.

Up­cy­cle style

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.

Open up

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.

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