Being by the water is one of life’s greatest privileges. Whether you live by the coast or not, having a fresh coastal-style home is an excellent way of feeling energised, inspired and relaxed. But what is Australian coastal style, and how do you create it in your home? Sally Oulton, from Coastal Vintage, gives us some essential tips to help you find everything you need to create the perfect Australian coastal home.
Established in Noosa in 2013, Coastal Vintage is a coastal home decor and vintage shop that has become a go-to destination for everything coastal. With around 100k followers across social media, their pieces have found their way into homes all around the world. They’ve even featured onboard cruise ships, inside hotels and resorts, and on TV shows and movie sets, appearing in the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean, Elvis and the upcoming Disney Nautilus series. So who better than Sally to advise on creating a beautiful Australian coastal theme.
How did Coastal Vintage come about?
After a decade of sailing around the world, I was looking for a way to combine my love of the sea with my new life on land and was drawn to the idea of an online coastal homewares store. With a family history of buying and selling antiques in the UK, it struck me that no one was specialising in vintage and antique coastal wares. Being Australian and living by the sea in beautiful Noosa, my focus is on décor pieces that suit the modern Australian coastal style space. It is a very different style from my UK relatives; however, the thrill of finding and sourcing old pieces runs very much in the veins.
How would you describe the modern Australian coastal style, and how has it evolved?
The Australian coastal style has definitely become more contemporary and less literal, with more natural elements to represent the colours of the coastal landscape. There is also a much broader interpretation defined by individual tastes that incorporate Hamptons, Country, Scandi, Boho and Mediterranean elements into our coastal spaces.
In your opinion, what are the key elements of the Australian coastal style?
The key elements that define the style are:
- Beachy/sandy colours, whether in floors, soft furnishings or paint colours.
- Rustic elements including cane, rattan, worn or bleached wood and rustic handwoven textiles.
- A relaxed vibe with faded tones, imperfect finishes and natural vistas, inviting you to unplug and unwind completely.
- A mix of natural timbers; from the flooring to furniture to decorative pieces, giving a more natural feel than matching wood tones.
Is colour important, and how can you use it to create your personal space?
Yes, it can be depending on which coastal style you like. White is popular, but I love seeing blues and light greens being used to decorate rooms not only with paint but with a few selected old pieces such as old coloured glass floats and bottles, old pieces with patina, painted oars, a vintage maritime piece or two, wooden bowls and baskets, and of course white pieces of shells, coral and driftwood.
What is the number one advice you would give to someone who wants to create a coastal space?
Have a few eclectic hero pieces and have that point of difference. Use natural colours and textures paired with pops of colour and pieces that instantly make you feel relaxed or invoke the nostalgia of a simple era in time.