From no-frills, full-of-heart bungalows to elegant seaside retreats, these coastal homes boast nonstop inspiration.
Photo: Mark Williams; Styling: Nathalie Williams
Churchhaven, South Africa
The Style: Despite being only four years old, this cement beach cottage in Churchhaven, South Africa, boasts a nostalgic appeal that's perfect for its idyllic location. "We really wanted to achieve the feel of a house from a bygone age," explains Helen Untiedt, who uses the home as a weekend getaway with her husband, David. "It was also important to us to create something with low environmental impact—using only natural materials." They called in sustainable expert John Barrett, who designed a modest abode with just enough solar power and clean-burning propane to run a water pump, kitchen appliances, and a few lamps. Here's how he built a retreat that honors the environment, as well as the home's seaside locale.
The Coastal Touch: Keeping in line with the couple's desire for the use of natural materials, the walls and floors are formed from a mixture of white beach sand and cement, creating a soft, off-white back-drop for the vintage-chic interiors. "And you know the greatest thing about it?" enthuses Helen. "It never needs repainting. You can simply wash the walls down to freshen them up. It's not just an eco-friendly solution; it's pretty maintenance-free, too."