Magazine article Sunset

Beach Living

Magazine article Sunset

Beach Living

Article excerpt

In a small walkable community on the Washington coast, we designed two houses (and one big yard) for a new kind of Beach living

NO MATTER WHERE you go in Seabrook, the sound of the waves follows you. That's by design. The Grays Harbor community is built so every home is no more than a five-minute walk to a firepit, a bocce court, or the beach. Sound idyllic? We thought so too and chose Seabrook as the setting for this year's Sunset Idea House-make that Idea Houses (we couldn't help but build two). Designed by architect Peter Brachvogel as a multigenerational retreat, the houses have views of the ocean and a shared backyard. Inside, Seattle designer Brian Paquette created breezy but bold rooms that redefine beach house style. Pore over these photos for ways to make your home-no matter where-feel like a getaway.



In this 2,544-square-foot house, a reverse-living floor plan capitalizes on the view: The living and dining rooms and kitchen are on the second floor, with two bedrooms below and a master bedroom loft up top. The furnishings are simple and clean lined, the sensibility is modern, and the entire home is enveloped in a hazy color inspired by the sand, sea, and sky. "The house is meant to embrace and amplify the nature around it," says designer Brian Paquette.


A big square ottoman is reachable from every seat.

Design for the view

The 12-foot-high Andersen windows in the living room, above, are spaced to mimic the shore pines outside and make the room feel like a treehouse. For an uninterrupted view, Paquette chose low spindle chairs from CR Laine rather than high-back ones.


Welting in a contrasting color emphasizes the lines in furniture.

Steal colors from nature

The gray wall color, Early Frost CSP-S90 by Benjamin Moore, changes with the light. In the full sun, it's a pale gray that makes the living room feel like a gallery; as the sun sets, the walls pick up a purple tone that's a close match for the clamshells on the beach below.


White grasscloth shades almost disappear when rolled up.

Layer textures

Weathered woods give the kitchen, above, dimension. The gray-wash floor matches the cool walls, the reclaimed-wood on the island adds warmth, and the whitewashed beams bring a sense of airiness.

Be bold in small rooms

A wallpaper pattern that might overwhelm a large space can enliven a smaller room-like the den, above right, with its floral print from Makelike.

Break up bare walls

A blue barn door leading to the den adds an architectural element to the dining room, left, and lies flat against the wall to save space.

Hang art close

In the stairwell, right, Paquette hung prints by artist Jennifer Ament so tightly, they touch. This helps the display look like one art piece-and relieves a lot of measuring anxiety.

Rethink, the headboard

Paquette upholstered the bedroom headboard, above left, with vintage Japanese boro, an indigo patchwork. "Don't be scared of vintage fabrics," he says. "They add character." If a fabric is delicate, an upholsterer can back it so it's sturdy enough for most uses.

Qive the pooch a pouf

The cover of the dog bed, above, is sewn from the same Sunbrella fabric as the living room upholstery, and can be unzipped and thrown in the wash.

Design for bare feet

Tile floors with radiant heating make the bathroom, left, seem like a spa. The Kismet tiles are made of concrete that feels chalky soft underfoot.

Display art in a new way

In the guest quarters above the garage, a large photograph of the Olympic Peninsula, taken by Virginia Wilcox, is displayed on a Cost Plus World Market easel, below, to fill a corner. …

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