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Shop Tour: The Beach Hotel in Newcastle, Australia

by Rebekah Carey

Seasoned stylist and author  is a Novocastrian– which he tells us is what you call someone who hails from Newcastle, Australia. Not only did being a local aid in him being so prepared to design and style the interiors of   (a revamped 1920s space that is now a local seaside-spot to catch shows, meet up for drinks, or to just eat and hang out with friends), his interior design book, , is all about the beauty of coastal-inspired interiors.

The Beach Hotel is an Art Deco landmark in the beach town of Newcastle, with panoramic views across the beautiful Merewether Beach, and Tim was clearly the perfect choice to create a space seeped in surf-culture and colorful nautical-inspired details. The unique commercial space, comprised of three-floors and nine common areas, project took three years to design and redevelop. While there were a few original items that had to stay in the redesign (like a pave mosaic floor and marble-topped bar) the owners of The Beach Hotel pretty much gave Tim free reign when it came to the design of the spaces– a rarity and opportunity for boundless creativity.

Tim infused the space with ample color and patterns, mixing the old with the new, and highlighting original features with vivid colors. He explains, “I wanted to do ‘coastal’ in the most modern way possible, but retain an element of history and heart.” We love his use of vintage props too, some of which came from as far away as the Hamptons. Tim best sums up what makes The Beach Hotel so special, “What makes the series of spaces truly unique, is the original art deco architecture and bold, contrasting paint choices have been used to highlight the organic forms of the curved ceilings, stepped cornices and statement columns throughout. It’s a lively play of antiquity meeting modernity, all wrapped up in a pleasing seaside execution.” What do you think? We’d certainly be happy to belly up to any of these colorful bars with some friends and that gorgeous view! 

Photography by . 

Above image: A feature wall of stylist Tim Neve’s ‘Alpha Delta’ wallpaper (inspired by vintage nautical signal flags) sets a geometric motif, which is replicated in the strong a-line forms of the furniture in the space, the herringbone wall tiles, and even a painted application to the front of the buffet drawers.

Tim Neve Designed Beach Hotel In Australia On Design*Sponge
"The ‘Front Bar’ areas offer casual drinking and dining spaces with a relaxed tropical vibe," Tim shares.
Patterns Abound In The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge
"Even though each space in the hotel features a different colour palette and theme, a pathway of tiles in a striking herringbone pattern guides the patrons through each room, whilst creating a common visual link," Tim continues.
The Front Bar Of The Beach Hotel Features Bright Colors Tour On Design*Sponge
Tim shares the palette and design elements he used in the space, "Even an acidy yellow is mixed into the palette to complete the aquatic rainbow, as a backdrop to the functional bar area, a contrasting choice to traditional wood panelling the hue is applied to. A custom cement bar top follows a curved form, complemented by the mermaid-like scalloped marble tiles."
Vintage Meets Modern In The Beach Hotel Lounge On Design*Sponge
"In the laid-back lounge area, furniture is modelled on retro lounge chairs, but executed instead in modern aluminium, powder coated to be strong enough to last in the seaside environment. With even the space itself being a semi-circle, the curve motif is replicated in the furniture choices, and the multiple vintage globes dotted around the room," Tim explains.
Colorful Vignettes Are Found Tucked In Every Corner Of The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge
Tim shares that he "likes adding the finishing touch to a space more than a vintage styling element - in the lounge bar it's clusters of world globes, each tarnished from use."
The Lounge Bar Features A Fireplace In The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge
Form meets function in the lounge bar Tim explains, "A statement fireplace is the focal point of the lounge room, ensuring the space is utilised even on a cool winter's day by the coast."
Custom Tiles Make The Space More Special In The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge
Tim shares that he even had his "own design of tiles handmade for the space, ensuring an original result on every wall - the hexagon pattern here is aptly titled 'Parasols.'"
Playful Wallpaper And Classic Chairs In The Beach Hotel Tour On Design*Sponge
Tim Neve's 'The Waves' wallpaper and fabric "create a whimsical wall with built-in lounge seating. This corner exudes a playful personality, modernised with the strong forms of the rattan furniture," Tim explains.
Playful Styling Details In The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge
Some playful elements of The Beach Hotel can be spotted in this area, "Accents of flamingo pink enliven the lounge bar styling."
Colorful Curves Are Highlighted In The Beach Hotel Tour On Design*Sponge
"The strong forms of art deco architecture in this building are highlighted with contrasting paint choices throughout," Tim shares about the historic building.
Nautical Details Are Featured Throughout The Beach Hotel In Australia On Design*Sponge
Tim says the design inspiration for the space, "functions in the bathrooms with a deep indigo blue wraps the small room, creating an inevitable emotional response for any visitor to the space. A feature wall of a striking tapestry wallpaper is executed in watery tones. Nautical touches like the wall lamps, and the porthole-like mirrors are suggestive of traditional sailor-style."
Beautiful Nautical Details Featured In The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge
"The tiny styling details throughout each space, like gathered driftwood and real fisherman's tools, create a sense of history and heritage," Tim explains.
Events Can Also Be Held At The Beach Hotel In Newcastle Australia On Design*Sponge
"In the function rooms, classic grey can be dressed to suit any kind of occasion. 'That' chevron motif continues, in a classy mosaic tile that breaks convention by being wrapped around columns. Distressed timber-look wallpaper lines floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, filled with items that pay homage to the sea," Tim adds.
The Beach Hotel Balcony Features Beautiful Tile On Design*Sponge
Tim shares more design insight, "An underutilised balcony area comes to life with the simple application of a striking graphic floor tile."
Tim Neve's Original Design Concepts Of The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge
Tim shares with us two of his original design concepts. This one, featuring the balcony design.
Tim Neve's Original Design Concepts Of The Bar Lounge In The Beach Hotel On Design*Sponge

The second design plan featured the bar lounge. Isn’t it remarkable how close to both of the originals the spaces turned out?


‘Anchorage’ Wallpaper & Fabric Collection by Stylist Tim Neve, produced by

Functions Walls ‘Timeless Grey’
Ceilings throughout ‘Lexicon’

Tiles from , including stylist Tim Neve’s encaustic cement designs ‘Mermania’ and ‘Parasols’

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