• Inside Homes  • St Kilda Project: Masculine Design for a Beachside Apartment
dark coastal living room with dark grey carpet and black window frames

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 open plan living and dining room with dark grey carpet and grey sofa

coastal living room with charcoal grey sofa with chaise and rectable coastal coffee table

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 master bedroom with dark grey carpet and white walls adairs bed linen in oatmeal

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.

globewest navy blue armchair in living room with grey carpet white walls and coastal canvas artwork

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.

coastal bedroom with grey upholstered headboard and coastal abstract art above bed

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

  • Jan


    Very clean lines in the apartment, roomy and moody.

    23 March, 2019
  • Jan


    What window treatment would you use in the bedroom?

    23 March, 2019
  • ANNA


    love the serene quality for all its moody colour scheme , its very restful and clean

    23 March, 2019
  • ANNA


    Am loving how even Moody blue can be serene and restful

    23 March, 2019
  • Kerry Clayton


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

    26 March, 2019
  • Leanne walton


    What a fantastic job you’ve done Chris It looks fantastic.

    26 March, 2019
  • Michelle


    Luv it all… especially the bed

    14 April, 2019
  • Michael


    This looks incredible, thanks for the inspiration Chris.

    13 July, 2019

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