Sunday, 5 August 2018

Beach Hut Implementation

In this post I am going to take you on a step-by-step tour of how I designed and implemented my Coastal Relaxation hut for Seaside in the Square. 

If you caught my last post, you would have had a sneak preview into the Seaside in the Square blogger and VIP launch event that I attended- taking you on a private tour of Go!Southampton's city centre seaside. For this post, I am going to give you the insider knowledge on how I implemented my coastal beach hut- from start, to finish. So grab a iced latte, put your feet up and come and take a peak at my design process!


As a main sponsor, Ikea Southampton were approached by Go!Southampton to deck out the beach with deck chairs, parasols and to create a space where the public can go to chill out away from the sand. This came in the form of a chill out garden and three beach huts. This was such an exciting project to work on because there were no strict limitations, so we could really let our imaginations run wild to create an inviting and exciting place for people to relax.


For the project, I worked alongside two of my colleagues from our design team. We decided to take one hut each and design with a different theme in mind. From here I started creating moodboards and playing with ideas. I first experimented with having a bold, colourful scheme, with vibrant pops of bold colour. This would be a very modern, insta-worthy space where cocktails could be enjoyed from day, to night. Think DesignbyGemini X colour pop vibrance.

However, although I loved this theme. I noticed that the other designers were going for non-traditional themes. So I decided to play around with almost an opposite design. Whenever I think beach hut, and coastal colours, I think of a nautical blue and white palette, rough seaside textures and picnics in the sun. I used this as the base for the evolution of a new design theme all together- a coastal themed space with a modern twist.
After playing around with some elements of the design, this was the one I wanted to implement. Bringing traditional seaside design to our vibrant city centre! Ikea have an amazing range that can really be used in almost any space. I was excited to collate my product board and to really start to work on my initial design.

AND VOILA! After a few variations on the below, this was the one. I was super excited to implement this on the sand-side.


After a vast supermarket sweep of Ikea, myself and the team had tonnes of products to pack into the van and get to the Seaside. I never really imagined the volume of items we would need to take until it came to getting everything into the trollies and into the van. This was not for the faint hearted! Talk about a workout! Nonetheless, the van was packed and implementation day was upon us!

As we arrived to the location, the site was awash with high-vis vests, people painting, unloading and all teams focused on building the stage. There was a lot of excitement and anticipation in the air for bringing all of our ideas to life. Call me crazy, but this mad stage of the process if one of my favourites. Although there is a lot of hard work that goes into implementation, seeing my designs evolve from in my mind, to a physical space is so exciting!

Of course my hut had to be complicated with a two-colour paint scheme... That times with the very rough texture of the wood, made for a pretty tough and lengthy job. But alas- roll up those sleeves, and let the painting be done!

A little decor tip - one of my favourite working tools is blue tape! I bet you are thinking how much of a saddo I am, but any interior designers, visual merchandisers and painters alike will tell you that this little roll of tape will save so much stress and time when creating a perfect line in your painting! All hail the blue!

Here are me and Sam just being papped by Go!Southamptons insta page. Luckily, i'm facing the wall, so you can't see just how painty I am! However, after an age of painting, 1000 coffee's later and my arm nearly falling off- I am super happy with my white and blue walls! The perfect base for my coastal relaxation design.


Hello day two- I am so excited to start styling my hut! I firstly placed my pallets at the back to give the seating some height and secured down my rugs. I layered two rugs to create a really cosy feel and to coordinate the textiles with the accessories.

From my original plan, you can see that I also chose to hang a curtain on the back wall to enhance the 'cosy' feel I was aiming for. However as all designers know- not everything goes to plan! I decided to ditch the curtain completely as it would make the space feel smaller and more enclosed. Moreover, my paint choices worked so well creating a fresh and bright space, adding in the curtain would have make it darker and created more shadows. As Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

The creative process is always so exciting from the beginnings of a design, to the end changes you have to make during the implementation. It is a constant process of creation and re-creation that you do as your design comes to life. Adding in the final touches can't always be pre-planned and for me, I choose to design in a way that when it comes to implementation, the final touches set-off designs in situe. I like to play with and have fun with the design in its natural space- playing with the natural elements of light and textures. I am a firm believer in keeping the creative process running throughout, I don't think subtle detailing always works if it is planned down to the T.


For a few elements of my design, I wanted to create bespoke pieces from items that I had, making a more custom-made space. I created the framed image below by choosing a 'Mossebo' photo frame and instead of having a photograph or artwork-I framed some patterned 'Stockholm' fabric, creating this one-off piece which enhanced my colour scheme and added a crafty touch.

Next up, instead of picking another product, I chose to make the display unit below. I used wooden Knagglig boxes and white paint to create the unit. Then secured everything in place on the day. I am so happy with how the unit has turned out and how it works to create the backdrop for the subtle styling of the vases and display pieces. 

KNAGGLIG Box IKEA Perfect for storing somewhat larger things like tools and gardening tools, as the crate is sturdy.

I made the display bottle, with a 'message in a bottle' theme. I used a kitchen product- the Ikea 365 carafe and decorative display stones. I also added artificial plants to my vases and displays to create a subtle, delicate touch to the space. 


Instead of nailing the frame to the wall, I wanted to enhance the coastal detailing by attaching twine to the back of the frame and using it to hang the pictures. Subtle details can really make a design and pull it together. The texture of the twine also compliments the roughness of the wooden wall.


So here we go- my finished, implemented design. As you can see, it looks a little different from my original design. Instead of having the curtain, I swapped it out for a mirror to open up the space. I placed the large frame on the floor next to side table to create a small collage of colour and texture and moved the side table to the left, instead of the centre so the flow of the space would be more open and inviting. 

I had the most incredible time designing and implementing my beach hut for Seaside in the Square. It was a lot of work, but so worth it. I am over the moon to also have had my Mike Wazowski moment- you know, that bit on Monsters Inc where Mike is in the TV advert with Sully, but a little covered? My hut was featured for the back drop of BBC South Todays weather bulletin - shout out to the BBC!

So there it is! Head down to Seaside In The Square, open every day from 8am - 11pm. Grab a cocktail from the Orange Rooms beach shack and chill out in my cosy coastal hut!

If you are inspired by what I have created and want any more information or advice on how you can recreate this, or create something similar- please leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you.

P.S. this is not an ad, or sponsored post :)


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