Modern Coastal Style – Queensland, Australia

I spent today doing one of my favorite things to do when I am back home in Australia, and that is to wander through display homes.  There is no shortage of display homes here on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, as the coast is continually being developed. What was once a vacation only destination for people living in Brisbane and other major cities is now a bustling place for young and old families who have decided living by the sea far outweighs the conveniences of the city.

Every time I come back home to Australia to visit my family, I notice more canals being dredged, old surfer shacks being turned into high-rise apartments, 70’s style brick homes being rendered, repainted and renovated, and a growing number of new housing developments taking over what was once wasteland or bush (forests).  If you have never been to this part of Australia, think Miami, Florida without the glitz.

As I wander through the display homes on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, I am reminded how much I love the design of the newer homes here; or maybe  it is because the sky is constantly drenched in sunlight, that everything looks better (….just not great for taking photos).

With a similar (moderate to warm) climate as Los Angeles and South Africa it is no surprise the houses are designed to reflect the casual, relaxed outdoor lifestyle and climate here.  The houses are very much centered around outdoor living and usually incorporate a large roof covered indoor / outdoor living space; and an open plan living space situated at the back of the home to appreciate the outdoor pool, water feature, canal or ocean.  Tiles, wood flooring and more recently, polished concrete is the preferred choice of flooring, with carpet usually being reserved just for the bedrooms. Many homes are designed so that you can see right through the home to the back garden, water feature or pool when standing at the entrance way – a feature I particularly love.  This is made possible by the vast glass walls and doors that usually run along the back of the homes.

Here are a few homes and spaces I visited today that caught my eye.

Image Right: The entrance has views right through to the back of the home.

Image: This house wraps around the swimming pool in a C shape. Large glass folding doors open up the indoor dining space to an outdoing lounging space and an outdoor dining space. Maybe an overkill of living spaces but, nonetheless I love it. Live in or outside – the choice is yours.


Image: If all the living spaces in the previous image were not enough, how about adding an separate entertaining / bar area to gather with friends? Oh how I would love one of these rooms.


Image: Polished concrete floors and walls blend beautifully with the other natural elements like glass and wood.


Image: The roof on the house extends over a large portion of the outdoor deck, giving the impression that the living room extends further to the outdoors.


Image: I love open plan living spaces. A small louvered wall and two way fire place work as a perfect partition between the great open plan living space which incorporates two living rooms, a kitchen, a dining space and outdoor dining space.  Perfectly accommodating the relaxed way of life here on the coast. This view is from the back of the house looking towards the front.


Image: A popular feature in the new homes is a horizontal glass window in the kitchen that runs along the counter height.  Definitely adds a pleasant touch to the kitchen – allowing light to flood in and the garden to visually appear inside. A feature I have also seen in the mid-century homes in California.


Image: Also popular is a bath with a view (of a garden). Perfect if you have a high walled fence.



Image: For homes where there is not enough space for a swimming pool, you will often see a water feature of some description.

Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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5 Responses to “Modern Coastal Style – Queensland, Australia”
  1.' Misty says:

    I like all the interior of those houses above Jill they are all lovely. I really appreciate an open space style I always do :)

  2. I wish I could have one of these houses. They are beautiful and very modern.

  3. Hi,
    I liked your display homes and i liked your blog design.

  4. Stylish Bathroom designs.

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