The beautiful NSW coast is a fantastic part of Australia – and an enviable address. Those of us lucky enough to call it home know that we’re onto a good thing. The joy of coastal living is, of course, the coast – so you want to live in a home that does your location justice while also catering to your individual lifestyle.
Whether you surf or sail, ocean swim or take beach walks with the dog, your home should facilitate the way you interact with your natural surrounds. Smart design that utilises hardy and sustainable materials can do this, allowing you to relax in personalised living spaces that effortlessly connect you with your environment.
In addition to your personal preferences and requirements, there are a few key elements that make for a modern coastal home that truly celebrates its position.
First, if the building’s position allows, it should provide views of the ocean and coastline. If you have such natural splendour on your doorstep, failing to invite it into your home would be akin to keeping the Mona Lisa shut away in the linen cupboard! The best architects will maximise your coastal views through smart design and layout, as well as extensive use of glass, not just in windows, but also in doors, walls and ceilings. In addition to making the most of your views, this also has the ecologically and economically beneficial effect of reducing energy consumption by maximising natural light, as well as heat gain during cooler times of the year.
Secondly, these views should be visible from the building’s open and inviting living spaces. By reducing the use of unnecessary walls, open plan living enables greater natural light penetration throughout the home, helping to make it feel like an extension of the outdoor environment.
Thirdly, is an almost invisible design element, but one that people have traditionally travelled great distances for – the restorative sea breeze! Architects with expertise in designing coastal homes can incorporate smart systems that reduce the need for artificial ventilation and, again, enable you to bring the outside in – though in a subtler way than simply throwing the windows open!
Invigorating though the sea breeze may be, it can also pose challenges – and this is where the next smart coastal home design element comes in: the use of construction materials that can withstand the elements.
Coastal conditions place unique pressures on building materials, so it is important to design new residences that can handle the corrosive salt air and wind. Experienced coastal architects have the know-how to design homes that make the most of the natural environment while withstanding the rigours of both the elements and the practical realities of coastal living.
From the salt air, to surf boards and sandy paws, your home needs to be able to handle what you and your family’s lifestyle throws at it. By using high quality, durable, and – where possible – sustainable materials that require minimal maintenance, the right architect can design you a home to be lived in, not just looked at.