12 Features for the Perfect Coastal Home Design
The perfect coastal home design begins with the foundation and ends with a fabulous patio (and possibly outdoor kitchen). But, we’ll get to all that in just a moment.
If you’re positioning yourself to live on the coast or remodel your coastal home, then surely you want it to last a lifetime. And any contractor worth his salt will start with your land.
You begin with a site inspection to eliminate any water issues. Then, you learn how to build on the land. A few months later, you call your friends and family and invite them over for the summer barbecue to end all barbecues.
Okay; okay. It’s not quite that easy. But, when you’re ready to head to the design board with your builder, here are 12 features you can’t overlook.
Certain types of ground can erode without specialised foundations. Sometimes, water flows underneath the surface of the earth as it makes its way to the ocean. This needs to be detected before any building plans commence. Soil tests can predict whether or not you may be prone to floods.
If you build the home of your dreams on an area that’s prone to erosion, then you’re looking at a massive nightmare. Your outdoor patio, garden, and – eventually – your home can slip away. These sorts of considerations will also fluctuate your homeowner’s insurance premiums.
If you’re building on a bluff or a steep slope, you don’t necessarily want to try to reshape the gradient. Rather, you want to try to step down the gradient and forego a standard “cookie-cutter” style.
You can create unique angles, nooks, and crannies with the slope, instead of reshaping the land to the structure. This is why it’s important that your builder gets to know your land before he makes his way to the drawing board.
Once he’s at the drawing board, it’s important to etch all your reams according to weight ratios. If you distribute the massing of your home, it will reduce its impact on the surrounding earth.
So, on the side facing the sea, it’s wise to position your kitchen, living room or sitting area, and a fantastic deck or outdoor patio.
Then, the side of the house that’s buried into the slope can be used for rooms that don’t need quite as much light, like a den or bathroom. These kinds of considerations will go a long way to properly distributing the massing.
When it’s time to put the hammer to the nail, know that coastal home designs demand strong materials. The steady beat of saltwater against a home can create quite an attack, even against a brand new home.
Over time, saltwater erodes metal and the sand wears away once-glistening finishes. So, any exposed elements, like window frames, need to be built with salt-resistant materials.
Windows pose a particular threat because you never want that seal to be broken. You’ll want to inset the window a little behind the external wall to prevent weathering.
The best metals for coastal cottage home designs are stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminium, and galvanised steel. Don’t settle for anything less.
Now, let’s discuss coastal home interior design. Water is almost as sneaky as air. It seeps in without anyone knowing – initially. But, by the time homeowners discover its there, it’s often too late and the damage has been done.
Sure, concrete flooring isn’t as fabulous as hardwood flooring, but hardwood can easily warp over time. Water surreptitiously sneaks in – whether it’s from a storm or long-term exposure to pockets of moisture – and concrete is nearly impervious to this kind of danger.
Nowadays, you can etch and stain hardwood floors to create all kinds of shapes and patterns. Or, you can install tongue and groove flooring atop concrete flooring so that, worst-case scenario, all you’ve lost are slatted pieces that can be replaced.
There are a few reasons to design a blowout kitchen. First, clichés are often repeated because they’re often true.
As such, the old line about the kitchen being the heart of the home remains accurate. It’s where people are going to gather while you boil lobster, stir up your lemonade, and pour glasses of rosé.
But, should you ever decide to sell your beauty on a bluff, there are three rooms buyers are going to focus on: the kitchen, the master bathroom, and the laundry room.
In a moment, we’re going to talk about the proper tiling for each of these rooms. Just know that they’re well worth the investment for your lifetime in the home, as well as the next family’s lifetime.
After you’ve selected the oven range, the refrigerator, and all the bells and whistles to match, consider creating a smallscale kitchen on the exterior, too. The number one joy of living on the coast is spending time outdoors.
So, when the weather permits, an outdoor kitchen will bring the friends and the fellowship outside – which is where they want to be anyway – while you cook up the lobster feast of their dreams. It keeps everyone together in what’s sure to be a sacred space.
Where should everyone be mingling while you tend to the fine fare? Lounging beneath the cool breeze of elephant leaf ceiling fans and positioned beside your well-stocked patio bar.
When properly designed, an outdoor patio creates an entirely new room in the house. This is where you can set up new seating areas, string endless strands of twinkle lights, and nestle small end tables for people to place their appetizer plates and martini glasses.
Don’t shy away from a fire pit or a portable pizza oven, either. The night breeze will create the perfect environment for such an affair.
Surely these can be used in your marvellous, new kitchen. But, you may want to consider porcelain tiles for the bathroom and other surfaces, too. Like its comrade, concrete, porcelain is water-resistant and durable.
Porcelain can be added to floors, external walls, and backsplashes, to name a few areas. These tiles can even extend to the flooring of your outdoor living space to, again, keep the water from getting through and ruining everything in its sight.
Sheer curtains and draperies are great when the sun is shining and you want to breathe in that seaside air. But, what about when the sun goes down and all the lights are on inside? Then, we need to discuss a couple window treatment options.
The first thing you can do is invest in one-way privacy window film. You know, the kind of windows where you can see out but they can’t see in?
If that’s not your cup of tea, then plantation shutters are another great alternative. They can be cracked open at an angle to allow that midnight air to sneak in while preserving your privacy, or shuttered entirely to create a wall of privacy.
Of course, natural light is always welcome in coastal home design. But, what about those pesky shadows that linger at certain parts of the day?
It’s important to note the orientation of your house to the sun so that, as the sun is passing over, you’re not subject to major influxes of light and shadow. The first thing you’ll need to know is where the house will sit in relation to the sun, wind, and surrounding landscape.
So, rooms that require a lot of light and airy movement, like the kitchen or living room, shouldn’t be positioned in an area that gets a lot of shadows because it’ll make the space feel dark and cold.
If you face them northward, they should have steady daylight throughout most of the day and year. Then, to avoid being cooked in the summer, you can install some type of shading off the side of the house.
Did you know coastal living is actually good for your health? Yup; the experts continue to suggest that folks who live near the coast have lower stress levels and engage in more physical activity, keeping the heart healthy.
Science aside, your coastal home should be built around its ability to showcase great views, from all the important rooms. This includes the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom.
In fact, a balcony off the master bedroom wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. We promise your morning cup of tea has never tasted so great.
Coastal Home Design Plans for You
And there you have it. With these coastal home design features, you’re well on your way to not only a gorgeous home but a sturdy home. Leave a legacy for your children’s children to bask in.
Here at Distinct Building Design, we create custom homes from the upper Hunter to Sydney. With over 30 years in the business, we’ve become nationally recognised for our award-winning designs.
We’d love to take our expertise and transform your plot of land into the new home or rebuild of your dreams. When you’re ready, feel free to book a commitment-free site inspection with us. We’ll take a look at your property and help you kickstart the process of creating your very own dream home.