A good dose of sea air is what many of us will be looking forward to in the coming weeks, as we switch the work attire for the shorts and jandals and head to the family bach.
But while the salt in the air is refreshing for us, the bach is immersed in it year-round, and the harsh and rugged nature of New Zealand coastlines can be tiring.
We’ve put together 10 tips for giving your bach the lift it might need these holidays.
1. The sea air is great for us, but it’s not so nice for our homes. Over time it can settle into the walls, roofs and joinery of our coastal homes, causing rust and decay. Why not get out the water blaster while you’re at the bach over the summer and give all surfaces a good wash down. If you don’t have your own water blaster, they are available for hire, or you could get out the trusty bucket and brush and get scrubbing!
2. There’s a high chance the weeds and lawns may have gotten away on you during the year - spend a day in the garden, mowing the lawns and pulling the weeds. It’s amazing how much difference this can make to the look and feel of the place.
3. Competing with the weeds can be tricky, but you can improve the garden at the beach house by planting a few shrubs and trees that are easier on the eye, and hopefully will give the weeds less room to thrive. Try some native plants which thrive in New Zealand’s coastal areas, like cabbage trees, New Zealand flax/, or oioi - not only do they give the place a beachy feel, they’re also hardy, they tolerate coastal conditions and they provide food for native birds!
4. There’s often little time throughout the year to think about how the bach or beach house is faring up when it comes to the latest colours and trends. The summer holidays can be the perfect time to pick up a tin of paint and a paintbrush and transform the look of the place to something that better reflects the current year. It’s amazing how much a coat of paint can transform the look of a room!
5. While you’re on the topic of sprucing up the interior of the house, why not get your DIY skills together and create some on-trend cushion covers, pieces of art for the walls, new curtains, blankets or throws? They don’t have to be expensive, but they can have a big impact on the look of a room. And if you’re doing it yourself, it’ll be a good way to fill in some of those free hours you’ve (hopefully) got over the next couple of weeks.
6. If you’ve been spending time doing up or restyling your home this year, why not reuse some of your old home decor to mix things up at the bach? Chances are it’ll be less dated than what’s there at the moment.
7. Just like the house, outdoor furniture can get a bit tired from the salt in the air too - why not give that garden bench a sand and re-stain it, or go all out and paint it a funky colour. The garden at home is a sanctuary for many, and it doesn’t have to be any different at the bach. Add furniture, hammocks, or garden art, and keep things fresh with a lick of paint from time to time.
8. It’s important not to forget the essentials - having a survival kit at the bach. As we’ve seen recently, it’s important to be prepared for an emergency at any time. Pack a few extra bottles of water and tins of food, a torch and a wind up radio, and make sure your survival kit is up to scratch. It’s important to have a plan wherever you are, particularly if your bach is on the coast. While you’re at it, make sure your first aid kit is well stocked too, these can take a beating with all the kids around during the summer!
9. Clean your water tank - many baches and beach houses in New Zealand tend to be off the grid, relying on natural supplies for their water. Ensure your family is only getting clean water from the tank by cleaning it out this summer. Remove any sediments and leaves, and scrub it out with a chlorinated solution, such as a 1:2 dilution of Janola with water. This may be a job for the end of the break, as it’s best to do when the tank is already low on water. If you have a water filter, it might be an idea to give this a clean out too.
10. As boring as it might sound, we also need to ensure the gutters of our holiday homes are cleaned out, as they can build up with leaves and sediments too. This puts pressure on our gutters during the wetter months, when you may not be there to notice any blockages. If you’re collecting rainwater, this can help to ensure it’s clean when it comes through the tap as well.