Yogi Bell's Byron Bay home
Yogi Bell's Byron Bay home Lyn McCarthy

Beachside home evokes best of Byron Bay

LUCKY enough to be in one of the most desired, celebrity-attracting regions in the world, this beachside home known as Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses evokes the best of Byron Bay. Owned by professional home stylist Yolanda (Yogi to her friends) Bell, the beachside house was also the first of many professional projects in the region, as well as her new home.

"When I bought the house it was pretty ordinary, albeit in a great location,” explains Yolanda. "The renovation - or, more accurately, the transformation - cost a lot less than most people would think when they see it. The new bathroom was the most expensive element, then the doors, but really, the majority of the change came from my experience as a stylist, imagination, lots of hard work and knowing where to source great furniture and decor.”

So what elements make for a great contemporary house, especially in our region? According to Yolanda, it's personal. "The thing about our region is it attracts genuinely creative people - I know that's what drew me here. Even as a professional stylist I prefer the 'down to earth' approach and that means there is no 'one look'. I love many styles and eras.

"There are people I work with who love beautiful Turkish or Indian antique pieces. Or there are those that have a fondness for Indonesian, English, Irish, French, Moroccan, European antiques, 'boho beachie', industrial, vintage, Scandinavian - the list goes on.

Yogi Bell's house
Yogi Bell's house Lyn McCarthy

"I believe with creativity a combination of all can be used in the one home - as long as it is done cleverly and with conviction.

"Or you can creatively utilise one look, say a mostly white palette, and if it is combined properly, that always works really well, especially in coastal regions such as Byron Bay. This is what I chose for my home, Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses. But if you look around, you'll see there are pieces from all eras and all styles, sourced from every corner of the globe. But ultimately, it's all about how you put it together.”

Breaking down the elements to achieve the 'Byron look'

Light

Light is paramount. This is a sunny region and you want to reflect that. Depending on where in your home you are, you ultimately need to manage the light: let it in where needed while at the same time softening our harsh Australian sun where and when required. Depending on where and what look you want, consider embracing soft flowing curtains, timber plantation shutters, or create natural shade for your home from your garden - whatever works for your space.

Yogi Bell with her dog
Yogi Bell with her dog Lyn McCarthy

Colour

Again, this should be according to your own taste. Utilise as much colour as you personally like, or limit your palette - and in this coastal region, white on white will always work beautifully.

Texture

From worn soft edges of beautiful old timber pieces to cotton or woollen throws, texture is often underrated, but it's at the heart of comfort. It's also important how you combine your textures, but in keeping with Byron Bay's beachside style, casual and comfortable should be your top priorities.

Ambience

Famed for our relaxed, coastal boho style, less formal living spaces are a given. Create lots of spaces to truly relax in, such as large, comfortable daybeds on the verandah; long tables and casual seating al fresco; and light, open-plan living spaces inside. Overhead fans for both ambience and practicality, and plenty of cross breezes, will be appreciated in the long Byron summer months. Mosquito nets are also as necessary as they are atmospheric. GET THE LOOK: SEE THIS MONTH'S NORTHERN RIVERS STYLE MAGAZINE FOR MORE



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