Stay Here: An Outdated Cottage Is Now a Sleek Seaside Retreat Designed for Relaxation

Just a short 2.5-hour drive from Sydney and only thirty minutes from the up-and-coming hub of Newcastle, the sandy beaches of Shoal Bay are a no-brainer for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, where precious hours each day are wasted just getting from A to B. Our accommodation recommendation? The Still—a newly-renovated designer retreat just footsteps from the azure ocean and the ultimate place to just be...still. Conceived by creative duo Mel and Nick McCosker of Flag Studio, the tropical haven combines the expertise of Mel's interior design career and Nick's branding prowess that has resulted in a sleek space where every single design detail is considered. Oh, and did we mention that their Instagram page is brimming with styling tips to steal for yourself? Let's take a closer look inside...

Terrazzo, rattan and blush velvet—this peaceful Airbnb has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable weekend away. The overall aesthetic that the pair have achieved here is completely on-trend but also ties in very specific influences from their worldly travels, specifically rural Italy, the Caribbean and Latin America. You'll notice subtle nods to these regions through beautiful curved archways, handmade tiles and large-scale tapestries that hang dramatically above the bedrooms (of which there are four). Combined with an abundance of tropical planting and walls crafted from breezeblocks, this home has borrowed the best design elements to form a unique destination that's both uber-chic and cosy at the same time. Black inclusions throughout, including a breathtakingly bold kitchen, help to update this once-outdated cottage into a contemporary oasis that'll be hard to say goodbye to.

The four individually-designed bedrooms in this property all feature their very own twist on the aesthetic that'll make choosing your favourite nearly impossible. The super-comfortable beds are adorned with our very own Threads in monochrome shades to enhance the modern-boho look that's happening at The Still. We know you're going to have no trouble catching up on some much-needed rest here, so we'll move on to the living rooms (both of them). As sunlight streams through large windows and onto the curated selection of designer furniture, you'll feel like you've stepped into a high-end design showroom, where patterned rugs and comfy textiles await you patiently. All you need now is a strong coffee and your favourite magazine to read to get yourself into the relaxed spirit on which this retreat was founded. For busy professionals and families who are desperately seeking a connection to the slow life, The Still at Shoal Bay couldn't be more ideal. The fact that you'll instantly up your Insta game is an added bonus, too.

Images courtesy of The Still. Photography by Dom Cherry.

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