House designs

Five key aspects for coastal beach house designs

Australia is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Every year, thousands of people come from all over the world to walk along our beaches and bathe in our oceans. However, it is not just people from overseas who are drawn to the coast. Over 85% of Australia’s population live within 50 kilometers of a coastline, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

With such a high volume of population living near the ocean, Australian architectural firms have become well versed in creating luxury beach homes. But that doesn’t mean that beach houses have all become overly complicated, billion-dollar projects that rely on the use of exotic materials. Many of Australia’s best award-winning coastal homes use only a handful of basic concepts, executed with simple but appropriate materials.

Photography: Peter Bennetts

Here are five simple principles to keep in mind when creating coastal beach houses.


The trend for open plan living is huge in Australia – and the world – right now. Moving away from multiple separate rooms, all with a singular purpose, open-plan living encourages one or more large, flexible spaces that can be used for multiple applications.

Open concept beach house designs, when combined with other simple elements, accentuate the available space, creating homes where occupants feel free to roam.

Photography: Peter Bennetts


What’s the point of living near the beach if you can’t see it from home? Glass allows us to do this, especially if it is installed in a large span capacity. However, long span glass windows present a particular set of challenges that must be taken into account. Adequate window glazing is essential as it will allow you to enjoy those breathtaking views while keeping your home cool. It is an energy efficient and innovative use of glass.

Photography: Peter Bennetts


Additional window hardware – like shutters, shades, or louvered windows – can also shield us from the harsh sun, but has the added benefit of allowing the soothing and delightful ocean breeze to permeate the space. While a home by its very nature is designed to protect us from the elements, we can still feel the sea breeze in our homes. Installing louvered windows to ensure proper ventilation means our living spaces can become oases of fresh, salty air.

Image: Modern House


When it comes to building beach houses, the weathered wood beach hut is a much sought after design aesthetic. Inspired by driftwood, using wood planks or wood siding in an interior or exterior application adds a touch of naturalness to any coastal beach house design. If you are unsure of the durability of wood in coastal areas, consider an alternative siding material with a wood-look finish. You will get the design of the beach house without compromising on durability.

Photography: Derek Swalwell


Living near Australian beaches means being surrounded by some of the most beautiful natural surroundings on offer. So, take advantage of it by choosing materials that will blend in with the surroundings. After all, sticking out like a sore thumb spoils the interest of living so close to such a pristine environment. Luxury beach houses designed by architects can also be durable. Make sure you properly assess how you are going to get the most out of your beautiful location by thoroughly researching the best materials to complete the area.

Photography: Christopher Frederick Jones


The above principles apply to all coastal beach house designs, new or old. By keeping these five simple ideas in mind, you can achieve the best possible results and ensure a timeless, functional and aesthetically beautiful beach house for generations to come.

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