Our Favorite Coastal Homes of 2010

We rounded-up our favorite casual, coastal looks of the year. Have a favorite? Let us know which space gets your vote by leaving a comment.

Jamaica Home

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Classic Island Style

In an open-air villa in Round Hill, Jamaica, designer Meg Braff created a tailored look with island flair. Synonymous with casual island living, rattan gives this house a modernized midcentury feel that’s just as attractive now as it was in the ’60s.

Products (February 2010): Furniture, Bielecky Brothers. Montage Laguna Blue Giati (4154) outdoor cushion fabric, Sunbrella. Potalla lumbar pillow fabric in Multi Blues on White (AC804-13), Alan Campbell. Cote D’Azur raffia pillows, Ralph Lauren Home. Printed sofa pillows, Dransfield & Ross. Mahagonay lamps with raffia shades, William-Wayne & Co. Octagonal Star Bone Tables, Vaughn Designs. White Chinese box, Ankasa. Blue coffee table from homeowner’s personal collection.

St. Barts Villa

Photo: Jean-Philippe Piter

Haven on Earth

Open to the sea and sky from a mountaintop on St. Barts, this Danish couple’s retreat defines the heavenly simplicity of West Indies style. And proves that wicker isn’t just for chairs. These statement-making Italian lamps add coastal style in a creative way.

To keep the black mahogany cabinets from looking too dark, glass fronts were added to reflect natural light. Painting the interiors white makes everyday dishes look like art. Handwoven baskets are an easy way to weave a natural element into the decorating scheme, they speak to an island way of life.

Products (February 2010): Wicker lamps, unavailable; for a similar look, try the Leran 24” pendant lamp, $90; Ikea. Rug, unavailable; for a similar look, try the Stockholm Rand rug, $179; Ikea.

Manhattan Beach Home

Photo: Grey Crawford

Labor of Love

Manhattan Beach designer Jill Johnson remade a rental mess into her dream cottage, one room at a time.Vintage bamboo light fixtures and patterned rugs are two of Jill’s favorite elements in her master bedroom. “The key to layering patterns is to vary the scale so patterns work together without competing with each other,” Jill says.

Products (March 2010): Walls above shelf in Mica, Pratt & Lambert. Wall panels in Fresh Dew, Benjamin Moore. Bowls, Anthropologie. Chandelier, Oly. Barstools, JANUS, et Cie.

Pacific Palisades Home

Photo: Dominique Vorillon

Modern Family

With soft furnishings, slick accessories, and gallons of white floor paint, designer Maya Williams turned this 1950s house in Pacific Palisades, California, into a hip beach retreat for a family of eight (and growing!).

Maya commissioned the driftwood coffee table base from a Florida artist who gathers natural wood from the beach and sculpts it into custom furniture. The rippled silk Tibetan rug, paired with sea-foam walls, hints at the beach beyond. Beachy pillows don’t have to mean sailor stripes and anchors. The homeowner wanted global references that would reflect her family’s diverse cultural background, so Maya brought in soft blue and green prints to pay tribute to the sea in a surprising way.

Products (March 2010): Pillows, Hollywood at Home. Sofa fabric, Romo. Drapery fabric, Designers Guild. Rug, Aga John. Stool Grace Home Furnishings. Coffee table, Carl Woodland.

Santa Cruz Home

Photo: David Tsay

Surfers’ Paradise

After surfing Santa Cruz’s celebrated Pleasure Point for years, Scott Trobbe caught the biggest wave of his life: the chance to build a family beach cottage down the street from his favorite break.

Interior designer Gina Viscusi creates a casual, laidback mood inside, with super-comfortable furnishings such as plush chenille-upholstered sectional in the living room and a woven headboard in the master bedroom. The palette—shades of blues, dune grass green, and sand—ties the interiors together. Even the artwork, mostly wife Teresa’s photography, is surf themed. “Scott kept telling me he wanted a special piece of art over the bed,” says Teresa. “This image’s blues, greens, and taupe’s were perfect.”

Products (April 2010): Walls in Antique Jade (465); Benjamin Moore. Headboard, West Elm. Kew shade fabric in Green, Osborne & Little. Stringline curtain fabric in Spa, Drave. Love seat, Crate & Barrel.

Beach Home

Photo: J. Savage Gibson

Bring Home the Beach

With the right mix of tranquil colors, organic textures, and playful accents, this room creates perfect coastal style.

A light-blue shade on the cabinets and island complements the sea-inspired backsplash and softens stainless steel appliances and dark countertops and floors. Atlanta designer Carter Kay started with the tile, and the color inspired the palette for the entire house. A hint of iridescent shimmer sets off the blue cabinetry and sandy trim and ceiling.

Products (May 2010): Cabinet/trim in custom color. Tile, Walker Zanger. Light fixtures, South of Market. Stools, The Wicker Works. Wolf range, ABT.

California Home

Photo: David Tsay

Modern Casual

California designer Tim Clarke outfitted this beach house with a fresh, laid-back look.

A sleek, 36-inch capiz shell orb creates a focal point in the airy dining room and casts warm, inviting light over the table—and identifies the house to passersby on the beach. “I always imagine my clients inviting friends over by telling them their house is the one with the giant glowing globe,” says Tim. “Every house needs an icon.”

Products (May 2010): Dining table, wicker chairs, and light fixture, Tower 20. Sideboard, Lief Almont. Palm photos, Paul Marra.

Malibu Home

Photo: Lisa Romerein

Beach-Chic Just in Time

Designer Sasha Emerson redesigned this Malibu beach house into a family retreat.

The sofa pairs with a round, ocean-blue tiled coffee table to accommodate big groups. Linen-wrapped poufs make for extra, moveable seating. Wood lamps and a wire-and-linen chandelier cast soft light on the space. Shelves lining the wall hold vintage fishing floats that evoke the sea, audible through wide-flung doors.

Products (June 2010): Madeline Weinrib rugs, ABC Carpet & Home. Coffee table, Plain Air. Pillow fabric (linen place mats), DwellStudio. Poufs, Crate & Barrel. Roost wood lamp, Orange and Pear. Wood lamp, Jonathan Adler. Chandelier and vintage fishing floats, Big Daddy’s Antiques.

Sag Harbor Home

Photo: Peter Murdock

Shaking Things Up

Catherine Lippincott mixed bold and tranquil colors with old and new finds to capture her personal style in this Sag Harbor, New York, coastal cottage.

There’s nothing wrong with classic combos, but an unlikely addition—such as the orangey-coral in the dining area—amps up this palette. The key: Limit the punchiest colors to pillows or accessories. Cover walls with burlap to get warmth and texture for a lower price than grass cloth.

Products (July/August 2010): Rogers & Goffigon Siasconset Wool Check curtain fabric and Quadrille Henriot Floral chair upholstery in Blues on Ecru, Pacific Design Center Consulting & Buying Services; 310/360-6418. Light fixture, antique; for a similar look, try Pedlars. Rug, Madeline Weinrib.


Seaside Home

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Seaside Classic

Blending historical architectural forms with modern comforts, architect Robert A. M. Stern designs an Alabama family’s dream house, giving special attention to spacious porches.

For this home, architectural classicism was reinterpreted for the coast with light and airy interiors. Three levels of porches, including one for living and dining on the second level, allow for big ocean views. Wooden coffer ceilings were first used during the early Renaissance as a nod to Ancient Greek buildings, where coffers were made of stone.

Products (September 2010): Rug, Dash & Albert. Garden stool and pillows, Wisteria. Lamp, Curry & Company. Uzbek pillow fabric in Jade and Mdder tablecloth, John Robshaw Textiles. Lantern, Melanie Pounds Interior Design; 205/877-9771. Custom light fixture, Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Furniture, JANUS et Cie. Canvas weave curtain fabric in Blanca and Holly Hunt Jake Stripe upholstery in Oyster, Perennials.

Washington Home

Photo: Lisa Romerein

Welcome To Our Dream House

We built a seaside escape in Seabrook, Washington full of cool fall color combos, fabulous furniture, and party-ready rooms.

The master bath in our 2010 Ultimate Beach House was inspired by crushed oyster shells lining the paths just outside the house. Painted a slightly distressed sandy-gray shade, the double sink bamboo vanity is the perfect mix of English antique and beachy casual. Angular sconces provide the perfect simple, industrial contrast to intricate and embellished mirrors.

Products (October 2010): Walls in January Frost (26-32), ceiling in Zephyr Hills (33-10), trim, doors, and shelving in ProWhite (33-4), Pratt & Lambert. Floor tile, Exquisite Surfaces. Wall lights (SL2922), Circa Lighting. Custom sink base, J. Tribble. Silestone countertop in Bianco River supplied by Cosentino Enterprises. Countertop fabrication, Pacific Stone & Tile, LLC; 360/352-3960. Tufted Ottoman (1015-00) in Dover Flax with Black Walnut finish and casters, Lee Industries. Tub with handshower, (T67438-BN), tissue holder (69550-BN,) hook (69535-BN), towel bar (69518-BN), Brizo. Diamond rug in Khaki/White, Dash & Albert. Ocean painting, brass leaf and cranes, Tim Clarke Design. Decanter and vases, Juliska. Towels, canisters, mirror tray, and bath accessories, Frontgate.

Villa St. Barts

Photo: Tria Giovan

St. Barts Trés Chic

Designer Barry Dixon gives this retreat beaucoup flair with tropical greens and ocean blues.

The wide blue-and-white stripes on the cushions are a sunny complement to the cheerful lines of the porch’s awnings. To make maximum use of limited space, Barry brought the dining room outdoors, under deep eaves with adjustable awnings. Elemental iron chairs pair with a textured oak table; the pendant lamp, which Barry purchased in Morocco, adds a touch of the arabesque.

Products (October 2010): Amalfi chairs, JANUS et Cie. Bikini Stripe chair fabric in Suba Do (820-119), Perennials. David latesta custom trestle table, Holly Hunt. Mike Reid Weeks Potting Console (9605), J. Lambeth. Lantern and candelabra, Barry Dixon, Inc.

Soutbern California Home

Photo: Lisa Romerein

Modern Perch

Sparkling views, midcentury furnishings, and pops of color fill this hilltop pad with the ultimate Southern California vibe.

Designers Heidi Bonesteel and Michele Trout gave the playroom plenty of personality using bright colors, soft textures, and energetic design. Cubby-style storage below the TV makes tidying this toy-filled room a breeze.

Products (December/January 2011): Table and chairs from homeowners’ personal collection. Bertoia Bird lounge chair and ottoman, Knoll. Custom cabinetry, Bonesteel Trout Hall. Artwork, Nathan Turner. Storage bins in Sweet Pea Beads and Espresso Beads, Hable Construction. Spice Ticking rug, The Quilted Monkey.

Connecticut Home

Photo: Jeff McNamara

Small-Town Charmer

The Murphy family traded city slick for coastal comfort when they moved into this lovingly restored 1785 cottage in Rowayton, Connecticut.

Vintage fixtures, plus exposed original architectural details, create a warm, comfortable mood. Rought-sawn oak planks that have been sanded down and lightly whitewashed are a nod to the house’s age but give it a lighter feel. The late architect Barbara Garfield stripped the house down to its bones, uncovering beautiful original hand-hewn beams that she left as-is to pay tribute to the artisans of the past.


Florida Home

Photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llwellyn

Palm Beach Chic

Designer Lori Deeds abandoned the city’s typical formality for a laid-back look with plenty of Florida color in this living room.

Tangerine-colored grasscloth sets a relaxed tone and adds beachy patina to the space. Instead of the more typical sofa-plus-two-chairs arrangement, Lori opted for four super-comfy club chairs, slipcovered in white denim, to encourage conversation. The organic look of the coffee table, driftwood light fixture, and bamboo side table keep the room laid-back.

Products (November 2010): Club chairs in White Denim, Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell. Seagrass Grasscloth in Orange (3553, Phillip Jeffries, Ltd.

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