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From the relaxing sounds of waves softly breaking on the shore, to beautiful views that sweep across blue waters to the distant horizon, and even the myriad lifestyle benefits offered, so many innate qualities of seaside living are treasured by society and yet only a select few are blessed with beachside living. To own property in such an exclusive area, it is only natural that these homes synchronise with the natural beauty surrounding them. Here, Emma Warner Allen delves into the luxurious world of seaside abodes with Kylie Sargent, operation manager of Dennehy Builders.


Written by Emma Warner Allen.

Most cities are founded by water; with their origins stretching back centuries, metropolises emerged where there was good access to shipping trade routes. Despite foundations entrenched in practicality, living by the sea has many other benefits, most of which are no longer limited to the positive pragmatics of coastal living. With a finite amount of coastal land available and ample lifestyle benefits offered by the seaside amenities, those fortunate enough own properties by the water occupy a highly coveted corner of the housing market. Exuding lavish luxury, many coastal residences are carefully designed to incorporate these lifestyle benefits into the house itself – observable in the form and additional features of the home.

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If you are situated in Melbourne, a drive along Beach Road will quickly reveal the amalgamation of styles that have evolved along this city’s coastline. From sleek, compact geometric homes that boast vast expanses of windows, to traditional two-storey Victorian terrace houses decorated with iron lacework, these various styles share key similarities despite the dramatic differences in appearance. These similarities are not limited to urban residences and extend to regional coastal abodes, which highlight other forms of coastal living such as the quintessential Hamptons’ style residences. These commonalities exist to serve a function and help to accentuate the rarities afforded to those with coastal homes, such as passive design principles and large windows to soak up the seaside views, though each should be tailored to suit each different site and the homeowners’ preferences.

Advocating for the importance of creating a home specific to each varying plot of land, “Dennehy Builders produces modern, coastal homes, uniquely tailored to our clients’ land and lifestyles. Our facades are dominated by clean lines, expansive glass and rendered finishes, with feature claddings such as timber, standing seam and stonework,” Sargent states. Selecting an exterior that utilises elements from the natural environment is an excellent way to ensure that your home does not detract from the gorgeous scenery.

In an area often abundant with natural beauty, not only is it desirable to incorporate elements of the surrounding environment into your home, but it is also great to invite the outdoors in. Standing as a testament to this, large windows are an excellent way to not only soak in the exceptional views but also to invite sunlight into your home. Carefully placed windows that harness the sun’s movement across the sky can allow the home to retain its heat, saving you energy and allowing your house to remain at an ambient temperature all year round.


When constructing a home, equal consideration should be given to the home’s façade as to its interior. While kerb appeal is an important factor, when constructing a seaside property aesthetic reasons are not the only element dictating how your home’s exterior should appear. Seaside residences are exposed to the elements far more than their sheltered inner-city counterparts and wind, sun, salt and water all need to be factored in when designing a home to ensure that it not only looks beautiful but is durable too. “The harsher, salty conditions mean that the materials used have to be able to withstand corrosion,” Sargent elaborates.

If you are seeking a coastal home, seek out high quality materials from reputable manufacturers such as, “COLORBOND ultra roof deck, marine grade stainless steel, galvanised steel for [the home’s] structure, and M4 class masonry mortar”, doing so will limit the amount of upkeep and repairs you have to make on your property. Though the building expert recommends regular cleaning and maintenance checks to extend the longevity of your home and prevent any significant structural damage from occurring.

Durable materials are also crucial for those seeking to incorporate any alfresco areas into the home’s floorplan as Sargent advises any “roof gardens, infinity pools and balconies will require – along with the rest of the construction – specialised non-corrosive materials to construct [the residence] if located within 10km of breaking surf or [within] 1km of non-surf coastline” – an important point to note for home’s not quite within reach of the ‘beachside’ status.

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Seaside residences are a rarity that so few of us will encounter in our lifetime, meaning perfecting the home’s floorplan is very important in order to capitalise on such a rare real estate opportunity. Emphasis on the the home’s geographical location can be blended into the its design, and including design elements that will soak in the coastal vistas is one way to make sure your home is truly breathtaking. The construction specialist recommends utilising balconies, roof gardens and infinity pools if the views are worthwhile and it is permitted by council restrictions and regulations.

Perhaps on a more practical note, careful consideration should be given to the sun’s location and homeowners should always contemplate “how best to orientate the building to capture northerly light and any potential views along with lifestyle.” Though, each plot of land and home is different, so Dennehy Builders always recommend taking a personalised approach that is specifically tailored to suit your specific requirements.

Regardless of your needs, wants and lifestyle requirements, those blessed with a coastal location are afforded endless opportunities to create a spectacular home that embraces the stunning surrounds. For those embarking on their own seaside journey, be sure to consult a professional to gain the best possible advice before embarking on this exciting chapter in your life.

Images by Tim Turner | Courtesy of Dennehy Builders