Before and After: A Dreamy Beach House On Australia's Gold Coast

The vision some people have is simply incredible. When Sarah and Aaron Waters came across this (rather blurry!) 1960s red brick house on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia, they immediately saw its potential. The family have been renovating it since 2008, transforming the property from a dated living space into a breath-taking, white clad, light and airy beach house for the entire family. It's easy to see why Bilinga Beach Abode has appeared in glossy mags such as Adore magazine and often hired as a backdrop for photoshoots. Ready to feel inspired?! 
Facade before (see above too!)

Facade after

The facade has been completely updated with fresh white wood cladding for a true beach vibe. Bi-folding doors also ensure a seamlessness between inside and out.  

Gaaaah! Will you look at this oasis?! 

I love the clear glass fence around the pool. Surprisingly I still come across pools in private homes today without a safety fence. Here's proof that you can have a pool that's safe for children and yet still looks lovely! 

Sitting room before

Sitting room after

Not kidding. Is it even the same house? The amount of work that has gone into the transformation is quite incredible. It's not for everyone. But this snapshot shows that if you do have the budget, time and patience it's quite incredible what you can achieve! 

Couldn't resists including this lovely pic of one of the children on the skateboard ramp - such a cute idea! 

Before Bathroom

I guess this picture was taken when the old bathroom had been ripped out - but it's still fun to see the bare bones before Sarah and Aaron transformed the space into this....

After bathroom

Loving the pink tiles! 

Their other bathroom has had a multi-page spread in Adore magazine, and when you see the pictures, it's easy to see why - it's beautiful! 

Tiles from Tile Trends Tweed, cabinets from Hello Trader

Sadly, I don't have any before pics of the bedroom, but here are the results. Think golden tones and layers of cosy textiles....

I'm seriously blown away by this transformation. It will definitely make me see houses that come on the market here in Malmö from a new perspective! 

Would you consider a renovation project? Or perhaps you've already done one (or are knee deep - or neck high in one right now!) - if so, I'd love to hear about it! 

One question, living by the sea in Malmö, do you think I could go all out Australia Gold Coast with my decor? I'm tempted but then again, I'm not sure we have quite the same winters! Bah! Perhaps subtle 'coastal' nods would work better here! 

You can see more of Sarah and Aaron's beautiful home over at @bilinga_beach_abode,  

Oh and, whatever you do today - take a quick browse through the 'before and after' archive - it's one of my favourites! 

Have a lovely day! 


Photos courtesy of Bilinga Beach Abode
Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 19, 11, 12, 17, 18  Bilinga Beach Abode 5, 15, 16 Villa Styling / Adore magazine 8. Elouise van Riet-Gray for Lana Caves

Thanks so much to my fab friend Sarah Brooks-Wilson for the tip! 

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A Tiny Danish Beach Cabin That's Big On Style!

Hands up who loves a beach house (both hands shoot up)! The salty air, the warm sand between your toes, the relaxing sound of the waves breaking - all on your doorstep! Living in Scandinavia, we're never that far from the sea, and Per and I share a dream to live in a cottage overlooking the water one day. It's a real pipe dream as waterside abodes don't go on the market too often and when they do, let's just say they're a bit of a stretch! But this lovely little Danish cabin has restored my faith! Measuring 20 metre square (215 square foot), the wooden structure (designed by Add a Room) might be tiny - but it sure does make up for it in style - and location! Think understated, monochrome decor (courtesy of House Doctor) morning coffee in the sun and a sunset soak. 

Morning coffee here?

 I'm guessing that this sofa converts into a double bed after sunset.  

... and by day it's a cosy sofa laden with cushions and two Swing reading lights combined to look like a double arm wall sconce (clever hack!).  

A small gas stove works great for cooking a dinner for two. Incidentally, my Mother has been cooking on a gas stove in her garden in London for the past 6 weeks! Her kitchen renovation wasn't finished when they went into lockdown and she had no hob or kitchen sink. It's amazing what she's managed to whip up on it (sometimes under an umbrella!). 

A little trolley on wheels is ideal for small spaces since it can be moved to whereever you need it. In this kitchen it serves as a makeshift space for that all important coffee machine!

I've been scouring the pictures to see if this little cabin has running water (we've already seen proof of electricity!) - and this outdoor bathroom seals the deal for me. It even has a little mirror!  

How wonderful! 

It certainly gives me hope that Per and I might just achieve our dream one day - even if it means dramatically downsizing. 

Could you imagine waking up here? 

Other coastal homes I'll be dreaming about today: 

And, just in case you're miles from the shore and unable to travel right now - here are 15 ways to add a subtle coastal feel to your home, wherever you are!

Ha det så fint! 


Photography courtesy of Add a Room & House Doctor, found via Planete Deco with thanks.

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A Cosy, Stilted Cottage on Fire Island

The best way to get through a Monday? Dream about a beautiful island escape. And this holiday cottage has got my heart all a flutter! Fire island is a thin Atlantic Ocean barrier island off the southern shore of Long Island. Cars are left at the dock and the sandy beaches, dunes and stilted houses are reached by foot via raised boardwalks and sandy pathways. This charming early 20th century stilted cottage belongs to Alex Bates, founder of creative agency Flint & Kent and co-founder of - sustainable, nature inspired products for the home and her husband Andrew Hoffman. Decorated with a blend of vintage finds and white washed walls and floors, the relaxed cottage serves as a perfect antidote from life in New York City. You may have seen this space on Maryn, SF Girl by Bay or the Style Files - but it's definitely not one to be missed - and in my mind, can be enjoyed time and time again - especially on a Monday! Are you ready to look inside?!

How easy would it be to get through the working week knowing that windswept walks along the beach and drinks by the fire await come Friday?! Sooooo lovely!

Looking at the white-washed inside of the cottage you'd be forgiven for thinking you're in Scandinavia (although the US flag on the outside is a bit of a give-away!)  I especially love the dining space with the classic Cherner side chairs, vintage table and wood panel walls. Is there anything that stood out to you?

Read the full interview and see more pictures here - and pay a visit to Alex's wonderful store!

Other charming beach homes include the Caribbean beach house,  a summer retreat on the Greek island of Milos and the cottage, Byron Bay.

Have a wonderful start to the week friends - we're going to nail this one, and it'll Friday before we know it!


// Credits: photography: Marta Xochilt Perez, Art Director Michelle Adams, Design: Alex Bates

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My Scandinavian Home Sunset Beach Gathering!

This gathering was made possible by Granit  - all words and thoughts are my own.

Do you have a favourite beach? One of my all time favourites is Ljunghusen on Sweden's south-western tip. Dunes and powdery white sand stretch out as far as the eye can see and the Baltic waters are crystal clear and a cool, blue-grey. Oh and the beach is almost completely deserted! I've always felt it would be the perfect spot for a beach gathering - and what better than a My Scandinavian Home summer celebration to kick off the start of the Swedish holidays?!

Sarah Brooks-Wilson and I nipped to Swedish brand Granit, who sell an assortment of interior design and functional storage in timeless neutral colours - as well as a local DIY store to pick up everything we needed. 

We decided to keep the look simple to match the surroundings, opting for natural materials such as linen, bamboo, sea grass, wood and glass and soft, muted colours. The table was constructed from a wooden palette (the only heavy item!), which we covered with a linen towel.

In my mind no gathering is really complete without flowers, what do you reckon?! To match the wild setting we filled glass vases and jars with simple blooms such as Baby's Breath and Queen Anne's Lace and tied left over sprigs to bottles and napkins.

The food was kept equally simple - with tapas style olives, charcuterie, salad, bread, cheese and the most delicious orange and sultana loaf baked by Sarah (she makes a mean cake!).

You'd never find a Swedish home without one of these cheese slicers! Incidentally, the irregular shaped plate it's resting on is actually made from eco paper - such a great find!

The light was pin sharp (it's an area famous for artists because of this) and the evening air balmy (we were very lucky in other words - especially for Sweden!). Even so, the sky shifted constantly between dramatic, bruised clouds which threatened to leave us running for the car one minute and a golden sunset the next!

For the awning / wind break we used wooden poles from a local DIY store (make sure they have a spiked end so they are easy to bury in the sand) and 2 metres of sheer white fabric tied on with elastic bands. It honestly took about 2 minutes to put up!

Here's a quick run-down of all of the other items we used in case you'd also like to recreate this for an evening at the beach: 

Get The Look

1. Cushion Ribbed Grey 2. Cushion Ribbed Offwhite 3. Basket Palm Small 4. Carpet Seagrass 90x200cm 5. Wineglass 52cl 6. Candle 7x10 cm White 7.Vase Recycled Glass 30x18 cm 8. Plate Eco 10pcs 9. Blanket Quilted Grey 10. Cushion Linen Lightgrey 11. Cushion Linen Dark Grey 121. Basket Seaweed Small 13. Lantern Rattan 20x24cm 14. Lantern Bamboo 90cm 15. Lantern Glass Jar 16. Light String Ball 80 Lamps 17. Bottle Seegrass 0,75L 18. Plate Tapas 19. Tray Bamboo Ø30 cm 20. Kitchen Towel Linen Dark grey 21. Kitchen Towel Linen Offwhite 22. Cutting Board Beech 30x12cm 23. Towel Linen Large Lightgrey 24. Basket Bamboo Ø20cm 25. Bottle Patent Cork 0,5L 26. Lantern Glass Bottle 27. Bottle Patent Cork 7cl 28. Cheese Slicer Wood/Metal 29. Cushion Chair Lightgrey

* Granit has physical stores in Sweden, Germany and Finland and ships Europe-wide. 

We had a truly magical evening - and now I know how simple it is to set-up, we'll definitely be doing it again soon!

There are only two thing I'd do differently - the first would be to take a wheel barrow or some kind of mode for transporting the stuff down to the beach... and the second would be to ask Sarah to bake even more of that cake!! It was sooooo good!

Do you have a beach near you for sunset gatherings like this? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below!

And speaking of beaches and summer, I hope you don't mind that, as per every year, I'll be paring down to three posts a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) over the next three weeks to enjoy a little down time with my family and make the most of everything the Swedish summer has to offer.

I hope you are able to enjoy a little down time to njuter av solen too!

Skål to sea, sands and sunsets!


Photography / production: Niki Brantmark. Styling: Sarah Brooks-Wilson

Thank you to Granit for sponsoring this post and making our My Scandinavian Home beach gathering possible. As always,  all styling and words are our own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that make fresh content possible.

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