I often wonder what it would be like to be uber rich and have multiple homes. So, say, a house at the beach, a house in the mountains, a city loft, and a country getaway so that I could fulfill each of my design dreams. It’s not so much fulfilling the rich part. It’s just that I can’t seem to jam all of my design styles comfortably into one house any more. Sigh. Would you like to join in my daydream?
Let’s start with the house at the beach (and I am quickly learning that this is going to be a multi-part series). I want to start here because today the temperature dropped significantly and it was the first day of the season that I actually pulled out my Marmot coat, the one that essentially doubles as a giant sleeping bag. Yes, I am officially a Southern fried wimp now when it comes to weather. And not ashamed to admit it, really… So I’ll start with the beach house because in my mind this morning as I was walking Waylon & Dottie, I was envisioning myself on a beach, soaking up lots of vitamin D, warm and bronzed and clapping for my pool boy, Pedro, who brings me pina coladas – wait wait wait, sorry TMI… Okay, let’s get down to the task at hand here.
I grew up spending summers on the water in one way or another, whether it was skipping rocks across Lake Erie or playing endlessly in the sand in Hilton Head, SC. While the two areas are geographically very different, I can envision a beach house with many of the same necessities:
First, it wouldn’t need to be that big, it would just need to be the kind of place where you can sit down in a wet bathing suit, set a drink on the table without worrying, track sand throughout the house and clean it up easily, and throw a meal for the whole crew on the grill out back. You know the place I envision, right? Okay, so maybe a feeeewww more bells and whistles than the average beach shack…
Let me also say, and I know that I’ve said this before, that there is nothing – NOTHING – I detest more than an overdone theme, especially a poorly done one at that. Often a coastal design gone wrong is the image du jour when you’re trolling for beach rentals. It’s as though the turquoise aisle at Michael’s had a vicious throwdown with the fake buoys from Marshall’s and neither one of them came out a winner. Everyone loses in that fight, and it’s ugly. Oof. Let’s avoid that at all costs, shall we?
Here’s what I see on the exterior (oh the options are endless, but here are some of my favorites):
Once inside, of course I would want my beach house to evoke images of the sea, but in more subtle, cool ways, maybe like this:
There would HAVE to be a fabulous kitchen – to me, the heart of the home and where people inevitably end up hanging out. How about these:
Let’s mingle over to the living room, shall we? I need to put my feet up after cooking you that delightful meal (actually, it tasted more difficult to make than it really was, but I won’t tell you my secret)…
And let’s not forget our outdoor space. You all know the beauty of the ocean/pool/lake/etc. – I don’t need to show you those images. But what about after a long day in the sun, or if you’ve just taken a dip and need a quick rinse before heading back inside? I’d say an outdoor shower is a must, wouldn’t you?
The perfect little powder room for guests can add a lot of character. Here are some I like:
And at the end of the day, it’s time to retire to a fabulous bedroom with coastal style – perhaps one of these will do?
And of course while you are at your dream beach cottage, you need to make sure that you have the perfect staples – a sturdy bag that functions not only as a beach bag but also one you can take into town for a quick shopping trip (and there will be those). Comfy shoes (but most of the time none), a wrap for when the evenings are cooler and breezy, great-smelling moisturizer, a few good books, and lots of healthy treats to keep that beach body fit. You can splurge when you’re wearing big fat sweaters and jackets at your cabin retreat, but sister, now ain’t the time. Have an apple. That celery stalk looks delightful.
When is that trip to the cabin? I’m starving.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my dreamy coastal house visions – what do yours look like??? Will you please share?