Updated: Aug 19, 2021
When a colleague of mine bought an apartment by the beach a few years ago the first thing that came to mind (other than my joy that she would be living in a place beside the ocean) was rust.
I had heard horror stories from friends about having to replace white goods and television sets every couple of years after being corroded by salt. While the salty air may be good for the soul it can take its toll on furnishings and appliances.
Generally speaking, salt needs moisture to cause corrosion and the Queensland coastal lifestyle delivers both.
My friend immediately asked me for styling tips and advice on how to decorate her new apartment and keep the corrosion at bay.
In keeping with the coastal chic theme, I suggested wood. Wooden stools and chairs around her kitchen bench and wooden side tables in the lounge and bedrooms. We opted for a neutral oak look.
We’ve started to see a shift in attitudes toward sustainability in our homes since the start of COVID which has made the use of more raw and natural materials like timber more popular.
Unfortunately, there were already signs of rust appearing on some of the kitchen cupboard handles as well as in the bathrooms.
Most people think that stainless steel does not rust. But it does! It just depends on the amount of chromium in the steel. When exposed to high humidity and high salinity environments stainless steel can corrode.
You can buy rust removers and there are plenty of D-I-Y recipes on the internet that you can give a try to reduce the amount of corrosion. But it’s fairly easy just to swap them out with something more suitable for the environment.
I recommend using glass kitchen appliances where you can, I’ve recommended glass-door ovens such as V-Zug appliances to clients for this reason.
You can still use good quality stainless steel appliances and treat them with rust proofing from the start, but it’s something you need to continue to maintain.
Everyone loves to enjoy a sea breeze but too much airflow through your apartment when you live right on the water, can leave a film of salt on everything.
Good ventilation is also key to removing moisture in the home. I would also suggest using de-humidifiers that can be put somewhere out of sight.
When it comes to the outdoor furniture it can be hard to avoid that salt air. One of the best ways to protect it is to keep it covered when not in use. So, if your beach abode is a holiday home or weekender make sure you cover it up before you leave and that includes the barbecue too.