Step inside this Hamptons-inspired seaside apartment near Whitby

This seaside apartment is packed with small-space solutions and sassy style ideas inspired by big beach houses in the Hamptons

white theme living room with sofa set and tv unit
(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

The owner of this seaside bolthole has lived in London and in the South of France, but the place closest to her heart is the coastal town of Whitby, where she grew up. So when a seafront flat came up for sale in nearby Sandsend in 2016, she snapped it up. ‘No sooner had I bought it than the one next door also came up for sale,’ she says. ‘I realised I could dismantle the lot, link the two and start again.’

One of the flats had been modernised but wasn’t to the owner's taste, while the other was dark, damp and very dated. ‘I was able to live in one side while the other was renovated and then switch over,’ she says. ‘I have done up properties before, so am used to the chaos.’

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The owner employed builders to strip every room back to a shell and remove walls in the front rooms, which overlook the sea, to make them more spacious. ‘All the rooms were very small and cramped and I wanted to make everything seem bigger and flow together,’ says the owner.

Steel lintels were put in to strengthen the openings, leaking windows were replaced, new electrics and a central heating system were installed, and the unmodernised side was fitted with a new damp proof course. A wall was also taken out between two small bedrooms to create one large space.


white colour seaside house with gallery

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

The owner knocked two properties together to create this four-bedroom ground floor flat in a Thirties house in Sandsend near Whitby, Yorkshire.

Living room

white themed living room with windows

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

‘I didn’t want a cliched seaside look, so I’ve reflected the location in subtle ways in accessories, artwork and natural textures like linen, wood and wool,' the owner says. She wanted it to be more like a Hamptons beach house, Colonial in style.

The ceilings are low, so the owner painted them and the walls in soft white and grey to emphasise the sense of light and space. ‘All the colours have been chosen with the sea view in mind. I created a scheme that reflects the sea and sky in subtle layers,’  says the owner.

Get the look
Buy now: Jennylund armchair, £160, Ikea
Buy now: San Quentin Beckwourth table, £439, Barker & Stonehouse

Dining area

white themed dining table with wooden drawer

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

In the dining area of the living space, a vintage dresser brings depth to the all-white dining area. The owner painted an old table white and covered inexpensive chairs with neutral slipcovers to match. 

Get the look
Buy now: For similar model yachts, try the
Classic English Sailing Yacht Model, £50, The Nautical Company
Buy now: The Reclaimed Wood Dining Table, £595, Farmhouse Table Company is similar


white themed kitchen with wooden flooring and cupboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

'The kitchen is designed so you don’t really see it when you walk in,’ explains the owner, who had a panelled half wall built to conceal the units but keep sightlines to the bay window and the view clear.

Get the look
Buy now:
Smeg fridge, £1,163, Appliances Direct 
Buy now: Karndean Korlok flooring, £48.99sq m, John Lewis
Buy now: Walls painted in Ammonite estate emulsion, £45 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball


modular kitchen with white theme

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

'The kitchen is designed so you don’t really see it when you walk in,’ explains the owner, who had a panelled half wall built to conceal the units but keep sightlines to the bay window and the view clear.

'I buy things from all over. I love French markets, salerooms and individual gift shops as well as High Street stores. I mix and match, depending on what catches my eye,' the owner says. 'I collect glassware, choosing green and blue bottles, storage jars and drinking glasses for the shelves which have been fitted over the mirror in the kitchen. I also buy ornate glass containers which I fill with shells collected from the beach.'

Related: Before and after: Light and airy coastal-inspired kitchen makeover


brown themed bedroom with white mattress

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

‘It’s tempting to downsize everything in a small room, but I prefer to do the opposite,' says the owner. Where floor space is limited, I’ve made the most of the height of the bedroom with bold paper, pictures, a statement bed and tall lamps.

brown themed bedroom with bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Another seaside home to enjoy: Step inside this cheerful seaside apartment, full of bright shades and coastal details

Two very small bedrooms were knocked into one to create this en-suite area, which just has enough space to squeeze in a freestanding bath inspired by boutique hotels.

Get the look
Buy now: Bourgie Kartell bedside copper lamps, £324 each, Ambiente Direct 
Buy now: Cole & Son Kings Mirror wallpaper, £90 a roll, Wallpaper Direct
Buy now: Clovelly slipper bath, £805.50, The Cast Iron Bath Company

It's fair to say the owner loves her seaside home.‘It took about four months to renovate the flat and we love being here now it’s finished, whatever the weather,' says the owner. 'In summer, we throw open the doors and sit on the terrace where we spend hours watching the changing tides of the sea. In winter, we batten down the hatches and stare at the dark skies from the comfort 
of the sofa. I still have to pinch myself sometimes. I’ve always loved the sea but I never thought for one minute that I would find somewhere as close to it as this place.’

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.