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Your guide to designing an iconic Kiwi bach

Author: Jamie Quinn
The iconic Kiwi bach is a reminder of summer's past: sun-scorched days, salty, tangled hair, and sand between your toes. The traditions and memories created at the beach are essential to growing up in New Zealand.
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Unique Challenges Of Beach Living

Owning a beautiful and relaxing beach house is part of the classic Kiwi dream. However, designing it to be functional and aesthetic requires thoughtful planning. Some bach owners fail to consider the unique challenges that come with having a house close to the shore.

Whether perched on the hillside, nestled in the dunes, or set back from the shore, your house's location impacts the design. Think about the climate, wind patterns, and sun positions throughout the day. The house's position should maximise ocean views and take advantage of natural light and breezes.

Choosing Weather-Resistant Materials

A house near the beach will have higher exposure to the elements. Consider water, sun, sand, and salty air, which can all cause materials to erode quicker than usual, so it’s important to choose weather-resistant materials. Teak, cedar, and stainless steel are popular choices for outdoor furniture and fixtures, as they can withstand the elements while looking aesthetically appealing.

Beach houses often embrace open and airy interior spaces. Think open floor plans that connect the living, dining, and kitchen areas and big windows and glass doors to blur the line between indoors and outdoors. A bach is a family haven; these open spaces create a social and relaxed environment, allowing people to enjoy beach life to the fullest.

While most of your time is spent outside in the sun, the interior shouldn’t be ignored. Whether you choose to hold onto the nostalgia by decorating with retro op shop finds or fully embrace the beach vibe with cool blue tones and driftwood accents, the décor should represent your family dynamic and personal style. The bach should be a respite from everyday life. If your home screams Scandinavian chic, avoiding replicating the same décor at the bach is best.

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Creating Functional Zones In Your Outdoor Area

When thinking about your outdoor space, consider it will most likely take the heavy hitting of those sandy holidays. Design your outdoor area to serve multiple purposes and create functional zones. A large weather-resistant table and comfy chairs to host summer barbeques and family games night under the stars are absolute musts. Think about adding a firepit or outdoor fireplace for cosy evenings by the seas and a shady covered deck with a hammock for those afternoon naps. A built-in outdoor shower with a designated spot to hang wet towels and swimsuits will do wonders for Mum’s peace of mind. Keep in mind all outdoor furnishings need to be sturdy and weather-resistant to hold up to the elements.

Why not embrace the coastal aesthetic in your outdoor space by decorating with a colour palette that mirrors the serene surroundings. Opt for shades of white, soft blues, and gentle greens. Use natural materials like wood, sea glass, and shells to infuse a sense of beachy charm. Consider investing in outdoor furniture made from teak or rattan, which compliments the beach vibe and withstands the elements well.

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Landscaping For Your Dream Kiwi Bach

Design your landscaping to be low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and sustainable by incorporating native plants and landscaping to harmonise with nature. Well-placed plants can also offer privacy and create a sense of seclusion in your outdoor area, allowing you to relax and enjoy the beach in peace.

When designing your dream kiwi bach, it’s important to strike a balance between aesthetics, functionality, and the unique characteristics of beach living. With careful planning, you can create a beachfront haven that offers stunning views and relaxation and stands the test of time in terms of both beauty and practicality.

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