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House Rules: A Coastal Retreat for Mikaela & Eliza

Who doesn’t love a weekend away in a coastal setting? Rest, relaxation and long walks on the beach – there’s no better way to recharge and reconnect with nature. Just as the House Rules teams did for Mikaela & Eliza, you too can bring some coastal zen into your own home. An added bonus: You’ll feel like you’re on holiday, all year round.


A coastal-inspired home should be calm, sophisticated and homely. With our lives becoming increasingly hectic, the idea of creating our own private sanctuary is more important than ever. Think big, roomy furniture, cool tones and natural elements that combine to create a serene environment that is guaranteed to lower stress levels.

The living area should be the heart of the home. Start with a generously sized sofa that’s relaxed and unfussy, then layer in different sized cushions and a chunky woollen throw rug for a down-to-earth look. The more cushions, the better. A modular sofa is a great choice as it can be moved around and adapted to suit the space. A large dining table will also bring people together and put the emphasis on family time.

Bring nature in to nurture

Bring the outdoors in with large sliding doors and skylights to maximize views and create a light-filled space. If you live in an apartment, place greenery near doorways or balcony openings to blur the line between indoor and outdoor and create the illusion of more space. Botanical prints and seascapes will also create a feeling of being “at one” with nature.

Teams went big on timber and DIY for this renovation, impressing the judges with a hanging herb shelf in the kitchen, driftwood pendant light sculpture above the dining table and sandstone shelf in the entry. If you love this look, but lack the time or skills to DIY, choose furnishings and homewares that are artisanal or crafted from natural materials to introduce rustic charm into your home.


Don’t be afraid to move away from a strict white on white theme and bring some colour into the mix, provided it reflects your personality and make you happy. As a guide, blacks and charcoals add sophistication and moodiness, while crisp greys, soft blues and turquoise are quintessentially coastal. Equally, the sage green wall colour chosen for Mikaela’s bedroom was a bold, but ultimately winning move by Shayn and Carly in the early room reveal, creating a subtle, earthy contrast against the white, flowy drapes framing the bed. If you love bright, punchy colour restrict it to cushions and artwork.


Macramé and handwoven rugs are a continuing trend in home décor and will add layers of texture and interest – particularly as wall art. Equally, a macramé ottoman or fringed basket will bring depth and a touch of boho to a coastal-inspired home. The style trick here is to know when to self-edit, so pieces don’t compete or make a room feel too cluttered.

Want to create your own coastal retreat? Shop this House Rules renovation.


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