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moody coastal interior design living room with grey sofa blue armchair st kilda apartment

St Kilda Project: Masculine Design for a Beachside Apartment

I’ve been quite fond of masculine coastal interior design for quite some time. So when I got the chance to roll out the scheme in a client’s apartment recently I was beyond excited.

So often, coastal interiors get the all-white treatment. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but isn’t it nice to tweak the look a little? I always like to take a classic interiors theme and make it my own, and this job in St Kilda was no different.

The main consideration I made when rolling out this masculine coastal interior design scheme for my client was the colour palette. Things has to go decidedly darker. Not the walls, as you’ll notice (because this is a rental apartment), but the furniture choices like sofas and beds got they charcoal treatment.

The flooring was such a dark grey colour that I had to work with it. The all-white coastal interior wasn’t going to bode well here, as the carpet would have stood out too much. it would have just been too large a contrast between the light and the dark. And so I had to think moodier with the colours I used across the rooms, but also the textures.

dark coastal apartment living room with grey sofa and coastal coffee table dark coastal living room globewest round side tables grey sofa

Thinking Moodier with Textures was Key

In this apartment you’ll notice the coffee table, dining table, and side tables were all in a coastal-inspired timber, but not quite the smooth blonde varieties you’d see in a typical coastal home. Black metal legs against the rustic timber tops definitely helped the spaces feel more masculine than feminine, and so they work wonderfully here.

Creating wow-factor in rooms was a little trickier because this apartment is a rental. That meant no carpet changes or paint changes. It also meant things like wallpaper and pendant lights were out. Large-scale heavy artworks were also out of the equation. But that doesn’t mean gorgeous focal points couldn’t be created.

In the living room, dual canvas art sits side-by-side and speaks to the colours in the floor rug and cushions. The base colours are grey and white in this space, and so accessories were where colour could come into play. I was inspired by colours you’d see in the beach outside this apartment. So muddy blues and greens were brought in with some dusty yellows here and there.

coastal bedroom design with soft grey linen bedding from adairs and abstract coastal art above bed coastal bedroom with sage green adairs cushion and linen bedding

The Bedroom had to feel a tad more Soothing

In the bedroom, I brought in a soft grey bed frame and adorned it with the best in linen bedding. The idea here was to create a soft and soothing place of rest, but not to take it in too feminine a direction. Minimal bells and whistles when it came to the bed styling. No detailed stitch patterns, no florals, no tassels; you get the idea. The bedsides were also kept dark in tone and clean in profile. It still gives off that masculine coastal interior design vibe but in a relaxed way.

Artwork in this home all took cues from the beach outside. Muddy blues and greens were at play again here, and I went with abstract designs for most rooms. This is a fairly modest apartment, so art has to make a statement but not swallow the rooms up. In rooms that aren’t massive, abstract art was the way to go. Large graphic photographs or patterns would have overwhelmed the spaces too much.

Suppliers for this apartment furnish included Globewest, Calibre, The Rug Collection and United Interiors for furniture and artwork. I did a minimal but considered decor shop for the spaces from stores like Freedom, Target and Adairs.

coastal living room dark grey sofa coastal abstract art st kilda apartment coastal coffee table decorating coastal living room design melbourne

Gotta bring in your own Memories, Always!

The apartment was styled rather sparsely due to the fact that the client is likely to move at the end of the 12-month lease. And this now gives him an opportunity to bring in his own treasured possessions and layer them over the top. Every home needs your own little keepsakes in it, and the client has a few he can now work in seamlessly.

If you’re wanting to find out more about my interior design and decorating service, click here and we can have a chat.

Photos featured in this post were snapped by the talented Kirralee from Grandview Photography.



Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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14 Responses

  1. Love this! Our home is very much grey black and white with timber and although I like it I have always struggled to find a style that fits, we are in the process of buying new living room furniture and having kids and a cat feel that a cream/white coloured lounge is asking for trouble! Masculine coastal might just work!! I do not was shell type decor so I could work with this!! That’s goodness I found your page! You have given me hope and I little more idea

  2. Hi Chris, I’m loving the look of this room – especially the nesting tables and coffee table – what brand are they? I’m going loopy trying to find something similar in NZ with no luck.

  3. I live the texture and serenity that you’ve given the apartment, your style is quite unique, not too little not too much. Beautiful.

    1. Hey Jan. Thanks for your lovely feedback. The windows already have roller blinds on them. If it wasn’t a rental apartment I’d do sheer curtains over the top.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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