There’s little more Australian than a weekend away at the beach. We’re blessed with some of not only the world’s loveliest beaches, but some of the most attractive places to appreciate them, both the landscape and the beach house designs themselves.
While these winter months might make a beachside retreat sound unlikely, there’s no bad time to plan your next holiday. Whether that’s when it warms up, or if you’re looking for a sunny piece of coastal relaxation to chase to winter chill away, these five beach house designs are sure to impress – and maybe just inspire you to add a touch of the coast to your own home.
Australian beach house designs are always noteworthy for their laid back and relaxed aesthetics, but the Killcare House in NSW’s Bouddi National Park offers a delightful antidote to the ubiquitous minimalist genre. “Our clients wanted to create a sophisticated and unconventional beach house, whilst give it a relaxed barefoot elegance,” explains Alexandra Donohoe Church, founder and managing director of interior design firm Decus Interiors. “They were keen to marry texture, richness and references to beautiful European farm houses and chateaux, which they had visited during their travels.”
The beach house sees a richly evocative interior scheme drawing inspiration from the surrounding natural surroundings. The house has a sense of luxury not often seen in beach house designs – amplified by a palette of lush finishes, including dark timbers, black steel paneling, marble and the integration of leather and hand blown glass. “We deployed little details to keep a clean and uncluttered look, such as the stone upstand in the kitchen, which hides ample storage,” adds Alexandra. “This is then balanced by softer lighter elements seen in the wall colour, stone and flooring – and of course – the ample natural light.”
Barefoot at Broken Head
One of Australia’s most iconic beachfront getaways, Barefoot at Broken Head is nestled in rainforest south of the Byron Bay Lighthouse. A true luxury escape of a beach house, the five bedrooms here are housed in separate Balinese-inspired residencies, connected by charming walkways and private decks. So whether you’re feeling social or looking for a private place to read a book with a nice drink, you can retreat to the space that best suits.
Ideal for large groups (accommodating up 70 people) or honeymooners alike, Barefoot integrates the best of Balinese architectural design with stylish contemporary charm. The ‘beach house’ is actually four separate bedroom pavilions arranged around one central lounge pavilion. This pavilion opens to pristine, landscaped tropical gardens, while a gourmet kitchen and lounge completes the compound. So if a sense of the truly luxurious is what you’re after in a beach house, Barefoot can be booked for your next vacation right now.
The Seaberg House is the result of Kerstin Thompson Architects’ inspired interpretation of the Australian beach house. Breaking from the faux-crusted paint furniture and ‘gone fishing’ welcome, the house – with deconstructed and flexible layout – offers an accurate depiction of the casual coastal lifestyle. The development of this classic design archetype ignores cliché gimmickry and iconography, instead recalling the beauty of the beach house as a structure that is utterly entwined with its surrounding environment.
The standout design feature of the space is the loose and free-flowing structure of the house itself. The main living space and master bedroom act as the core of the building, hugged with clinging exterior outhouses. The spread of rooms over the site mimics the relaxed connotations of the seaside location, while also responding to the malleable nature of modern family life. These rooms are attached only via an overhanging pergola, providing a balance of protection and exposure to the outside when manoeuvring throughout the house.
Arthouse Bay of Fires
Don’t let the name fool you; Arthouse Bay of Fires is a perfectly safe and utterly bewitching piece of beach house design. The architect-designed beach house is nestled in a private and protected natural bush amphitheatre in North-East Tasmania, just 50 steps from the luminous white sands of Binalong Bay. Framed by the bay’s sands, pink granite boulders encrusted with orange lichen and its aquamarine shoreline, the house is a self-contained two-bedroom beach house ideal for a couple’s getaway.
Name for the Bay of Fires that stretches north from its location, the beach house is ideal for those in search of a truly secluded slice of design. Comfy without feeling old, modern without feeling cold, the deserted beaches, clear waters and abundant wildlife will beckon visitors out to explore the surrounds. With an expansive, stylish, light open plan living space leading to a large north facing deck overlooking a landscaped secluded garden and the sounds of the ocean lulling you to sleep, this is a beach house you’ll never want to leave.
When talking about beach house designs in Australia, you can’t overlook the most famous coastal attraction on our shores, and that’s where East Bedarra Island Retreat comes in. The Great Barrier Reef adjacent beach house on Bedarra Island is a private luxury house of unsurpassed natural beauty perfect for a secluded getaway. East Bedarra Island Retreat is the jewel of the island.
The luxury villa was designed with romance and couples in mind – so if a honeymoon or anniversary is coming up, and you’re after a beach house in the heart of Australian beauty, book now. Sitting on the remote east side of tropical Bedarra Island, the house is right on the waters edge – where rainforests meet reef. The Coral Sea is a comfortable swimming temperature year round (winter included) and, being in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is inhabited with colourful reef fish and sea turtles. While there is a gourmet chef’s kitchen, outdoor dining patio, extensive covered deck, marble vanities and rain shower – perhaps the sign of a truly great beach house, is how little time you’ll need to spend inside.