Welcome to my Great Barrier Reef abode

I’ve just moved into a sweet little apartment with breathtaking views across coconut palm trees to distant islands and the Coral Sea.

She’s right on the edge of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the heavenly views eclipse her somewhat “vintage” interior. I can’t resist spending time on my balconette each day, with a pot of tea or glass of rosé, soaking up those tropical vibes.

Great Barrier Reef Townsville The Strand coconut palm trees

Townsville is centrally located in Far North Queensland, four hours by car from Cairns in the north and three hours from the iconic Whitsunday Islands further south. My little apartment is on The Strand - Townsville’s tropical esplanade that runs along the seabord of the Coral Sea.

As a furnished rental, she came with furniture and décor that seemed to be as old as she is. Because I’m only here for a short time, I didn’t go all out spending big $$$ to replace the outdated décor with new things. With a passion for minimalism, I wanted a simple yet stylish interior that was also welcoming.  So with less than $500 I gave her a mini makeover.

White coastal interior Townsville Great Barrier Reef

Using feng shui basics, I opened up the energy and created a sense of flow by intuitively editing and shifting around the existing furniture.

  • Armchairs now face the magnificent ocean views instead of the television.
  • The kitchen area now has a dedicated dining zone.
  • The king sized bed is centred properly in the bedroom.
  • Excess furniture and outdated décor now lives in storage.
Great Barrier Reef Townsville white coastal interior decor
Televisions dictate and limit the arrangement of furniture placed around them, and rarely look attractive. I removed it and now use the space for books, flowers and lighting, which give so much more atmosphere and personal style, as well as inviting contemplation of the views.

Great Barrier Reef Townsville white coastal kitchen decor style


Even though it’s temporary, a rental is still “home” and needs to feel welcoming. The key is to choose pieces for maximum impact yet with minimal expense.
1. Deep cleanse
The only way to create a stylish yet inviting home is to curate and cleanse before anything else! Consciously curate belongings to create visual and energetic space, then cleanse thoroughly before adding back in only those things that have meaning, purpose or beauty.
2. Nice and neutral

With a powder blue wall and Hamptons style bed, I chose snowy white bed linen to keep things simple. Heavy dark blue curtains blocking the sunshine were replaced with neutral toned curtains. I removed outdated artwork and kept the walls almost bare, to not detract from the stunning sea views.

Great Barrier Reef Townsville white coastal Hamptons bedroom style 3. Comfy cushions + throws

To accentuate the blue bedroom wall, I added blue patterned cushions to the white bedlinen. As the existing leather armchairs in the living area are quite plush, I chose not to add cushions to them, avoiding an overly cluttered look. A simple faux sheepskin adorns the leather rocking chair in place of cushions.

Great Barrier Reef Townsville white coastal Hamptons bedroom style 4. Beautiful books

Piles of gorgeous books draw the eye in and invite relaxation. In place of the television, I now have piles of beautiful books I’ve collected over the years. Books are also fabulous next to the bed as an antidote to watching screens before bedtime.

White interior decor French style white flowers
5. Personality plus

Your own personal stamp is a must for creating heart and soul in the home and avoiding that “I bought everything at IKEA” look. I have personal shell collections from France and the Great Barrier Reef, a framed family photograph and always in the bathroom, my collection of Chanel parfums and toiletries.
White interior decor seaside style shell collection

6. Green goddess

As the symbol of freshness and living energy, greenery and blooms are essentials in the home. Faux or real doesn’t matter and my choice for this apartment is a selection of feminine, faux blooms - peonies, hydrangeas and orchids.

White coastal interior style Great Barrier Reef white flowers7. Illumination

My apartment is bathed in natural sunshine, but at dusk I want softly inviting light to usher in the evening. Candles and lamps are must-haves for creating ambience and a sense of ritual at the close of each day.

Great Barrier Reef Townsville white coastal interior style
8. Window magic

I chose to keep the existing fluid, floaty white curtains in the main living area to flutter about prettily in the sea breezes, but ditched the heavy dark blue curtains. In the bedroom, block out curtains are essential for a good night’s sleep. Neutral tones are soothing and don’t distract from the view.

Great Barrier Reef Townsville white coastal Hamptons bedroom style
9. Pretty scents

The final touch to any room is fragrance! Candles and fragrance diffusers are subtle ways to freshen and lightly perfume the environment, and I use them everywhere!

White interior seaside style white peoniesDECORATING A RENTAL FOR UNDER $500

As my little abode is home for only a year, I shopped at discount stores like Kmart to stock up on things to add the feminine, coastal touch I wanted but won’t be fussed on letting go of when I leave.

In total I spent just under $500 on curtains, cushions, faux blooms, printed wall art, bed linen and candles.  The difference this tiny investment made was well worth the sense of style, beauty and simplicity it brought to my abode!

Great Barrier Reef Townsville white coastal beach house style See you soon | À bientôt


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