Ave House, Lima, Peru. Photo: Juan Solano


Who doesn’t dream of a mansion by the sea?

New Holland Books has ramped up the envy meter with an array of breathtaking properties at some of the world’s most desirable coastal locations with coffee table offering, Coastal Homes of the World. The book also features delicious traditional dishes and cocktails from these exotic destinations.

The Starfish chats to author, Monique Butterworth, about this unique peek into some fabulous seaside haciendas.

What prompted the book?

For many of us, living by the sea is a fabulous dream and simply not reality. Award-winning architecture and lavish interiors will always entice but water is very much a part of who we are. There’s something about the sea that attracts and mesmerizes us, the ocean connects with us and being by the sea makes most of us happier, healthier, less stressed and more peaceful.

I think that feeling is the same whether you’re in a rustic beach shack, a humble seaside cottage or the full-blown architectural extravaganza. It’s essentially about the sound of the surf in your ears, sand between your toes and a view to die for.

You can take architectural inspiration from many of these homes, which bring the outdoors inside or take certain elements of design within the interiors, which could be adapted by your own personal style to bring a coastal element or feel to your home. From the more traditional Hamptons style to the contemporary; modern; minimalist; ecological; bohemian; rustic; cottage or bungalow; Mediterranean, Scandinavian or Asian – coastal homes are much more than whites, blues and neutrals.


Ocean Deck House, Bridgehampton, New York, USA. Photo Matthew Carbone


What do these homes have in common?

Aside from being by the seaside, all of the homes have that ‘dream’ element or ‘wow’ factor that only coastal homes can. The stunning views are a given but it’s the entire ‘package’ of the soothing sound of the ocean and fresh, salty scent of sea air. It is that relaxed ‘on holiday’ feeling yet, still retaining elements of style.

Whilst most of the homes selected are innovative – they’re all striking coastal projects – reflecting the countries diverse style, landscape and environment.


Norway. Photo: Steve King


Did it take much research to find all these gorgeous properties?

I wish I could say my research was first-hand but thanks to technology I was able to conduct many months of research virtually – contacting architects all around the world and gathering Coastal Homes for your viewing pleasure.

Do you have a particular favourite?

It’s so hard to pick just one. Seascape Retreat at Pigeon Bay, Canterbury in New Zealand really appeals because it’s the ultimate romantic escape. This stunning beachside cottage, accessible only by helicopter or 4-wheel drive, is really just built for two. Consisting of just three rooms – a lobby, living/sleeping area and bathroom – the open plan layout with walls of glass overlooks the ocean. The cottage is integrated into the escarpment and the views are breathtaking.


Coastal luxury in New Zealand. Photo Annandale


On a blustery, cold winter’s day I can see myself curled up in the suspended Eero Aarnio Bubble chair, in front of the fire with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand. Alternatively, the outdoor lounge area with fireplace and spa pool is equally appealing. Just add Champagne.

What Australian homes are included in this book?

Our vast coastlines, harbours and waterways – both man-made and natural – are dotted with coastal homes ranging from the obscenely ostentatious to simply stunning design and innovation to the humble, yet beautiful. It was tough choosing the six homes featured but I wanted to show various home designs that respond individually to the key elements of their location; exhibit different design aesthetic, style and features. Stunning views aside, I think all six homes exude easy, low-maintenance, eco-friendly living and don’t take themselves too seriously.


Azuris, Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia. Photo Francesco Giovanelli


The six homes are Alinghi at Agnes Water, Queensland; Azuris on Hamilton Island, Queensland; In Sydney, New South Wales, there’s Link House in Chiswick, Freshwater House in Freshwater and Bronte House, Bronte. And in Victoria, there’s Sea Ranch at Wye River.

There are a few yummy cocktail/food recipes as well – what made you decide to add these?

Well, if the budget doesn’t quite stretch to a few luxurious weeks in one of these stunning abodes, at least you can whip up a cocktail or a dish that takes your tastebuds there.


Key Lime Pie – a Caribbean favourite!


Are some of these homes available to lease?

Fortunately yes, you can live the dream without winning lotto, although that would help! Links to the houses for lease below:

Boutique Homes www.boutique-homes.com

  • Casa Altiplano, Jalisco, Mexico
  • Tulum Villa, Yucatan, Mexico
  • Casa Kalika, Punta Mita, Mexico
  • Dezanove House, Galicia, Spain
  • Elia Villa, Mykonos, Greece
  • The White House, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
  • Seascape Retreat, Pigeon Bay, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Seacabins, Island of Manshause, Norway
  • Amanzi Kamala, Cape Sol, Phuket

Rosewood Hotels www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/jumby-bay-antigua

  • Frangipini, Jumby Bay, West Indies
  • La Casa, Jumby Bay, West Indies
  • Lazy Lizard, Jumby Bay, West Indies
  • Mariposa, Jumby Bay, West Indies
  • Oleander, Jumby Bay, West Indies

Villa Azul Celeste, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico www.villaazulceleste.net

Casa Kimball, Dominican Republic www.casakimball.com

Alinghi, Agnes Water, Queensland www.alinghi.com.au

Sea Ranch, Wye River, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria www.searanch.com.au


Coast living in Thailand


Planning to stay at any of them yourself?

Oh, I wish! If money was no object, it would be a toss-up between the Ocean Deck House, Bridgehampton, New York and Amanzi Kamala, Cape Sol, Phuket, Thailand.

Ocean Deck House is pure architectural porn for those like me who love to entertain. I can only imagine what fabulous soiree I could plan there! Then I am also drawn to Amanzi Kamala’s ridiculously stunning cantilevered glass bottomed swimming pool, which draws the eye to view. It’s a pool you just wouldn’t ever leave.








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