2010 Ultimate Beach House: Seabrook
Tour our Idea House in Seabrook, Washington for the latest design ideas and style tips. Our room-by-room tours cover all aspects of the house all the way down to the smallest details and accents.
We built a seaside escape in Seabrook, Washington, and you’re invited on a tour! Steal our ideas for cool fall color combos, fabulous furniture, and party-ready rooms.
Style: Craftsman cottage with a cedar-shake gambrel roof.
Space: 3,200 square feet spread over three levels, with two bedrooms, a gym/spa, media room, guest cottage, and 1,000 additional square feet of outdoor living space.
Setting: Seabrook, a new development along Washington’s beautiful but oft-overlooked coast between Moclips and Copalis Beach .
View: Dark gray sand, deep blue ocean, and clear skies (more often than you’d think!), through a screen of tall, skinny Sitka spruce trees.
“At the beach, you want to spend time where everyone can be together. One big giant room where you cook, eat, watch TV, and play games just works," says Interior Designer, Tim Clarke.
Shiplap walls: They add timeworn beach cottage character to any new space. Plus, says Tim, “a room needs less decoration when it has interesting architecture.”
Sandy-gray trim: Tim reversed a more typical paint approach—color on the walls and white for the trim—to frame the views with a hue more in tune with the landscape than bright white. This trim treatment also highlights the room’s Craftsman-inspired architectural details.
A singular hit of color: Like a bloom flowering among the dune grasses, a plum-colored wing chair (right, below) perks up the room’s nature-inspired neutral palette.
Tables with patina: Made from attractively distressed reclaimed wood, the coffee and dining tables add just the right amount of beachy texture to the room.
Dining rooms are great places to show off beautiful hardwoods, which are also easier to keep clean than rugs. Reserving the woven jute rug for the living area helps subdivide the larger space into two smaller ones.
Mod dining chairs: Their clean lines and crisp matte finish make a contemporary statement against the rustic farm table.
Vintage light fixtures: The secret? They’re not really aged. But their antique styling gives this new house old soul.
With four large windows behind the sink overlooking the courtyard and an even larger bank of windows and doors opening to the porch (and that view!) on the opposite wall, this kitchen needs very little artificial light during the day.
The warm wood island’s oak base has a cerused finish, with white glaze or wax filling the pores of the natural wood to highlight the grain, a rustic touch in the otherwise clean and simple space.
Minimalist fixtures: Sleek styling on the barely-there range hood and the faucet, which can be turned on with just a touch, keeps the focus on form without sacrificing function.
The quartz countertops: The 2-inch-thick surfaces add shine to the space, but they aren’t just good-looking—they’re also naturally scratch-, scorch-, and stain-resistant, with four times the strength of granite.
Without doors, the pantry becomes a place to display a collection of dishware and also keep it easily accessible.
The handmade wallcovering in the main level powder room was combed over with paint in the colors of glass fishing floats, which frequently wash ashore along the Washington coast.
Outdoor furniture gets an update with modern lines, comfortable cushions, and a clean black finish.
Made of cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that looks like wood, the decking is resistant to mildew, moisture, splitting, scratches, and stains.
A black metal framed coffee table with wide wood planks will withstand being outdoors, and the industrial heft balances the lightweight sofa and chairs. Casters make rearranging for company a breeze.
That preppy plaid: The twist: The natural surroundings inspired the colors on the traditional-print outdoor fabric, for a clubhouse feel by the sea.
The low profile: Due to a development height restriction of 28 feet, the house is capped with a cedar-shake gambrel roof that creates a modest facade and cozier rooms.
That soft gray siding: A peaceful, bleached-driftwood hue belies the structural integrity of the siding and trim, guaranteed to stand up to the coastal environment for decades.
Understated windows: The divided panes on the upper sashes were based on an early 20th century design. The single-pane lower sashes guarantee uninterrupted views.
Charming awnings: The wide stripes and scalloped edges of the outdoor fabric dress up the cool exterior but still stay true to its understated style.
The courtyard is divided into an informal dining space and an inviting living area, both with sturdy teak furnishings and hardy outdoor fabrics that can stand up to weather and frequent use. The wood carving of swirling ocean waves, and the hedge backdrop, give the wall-less room a little definition.
Making the most of every square foot, a pergola connects the garage and guesthouse, and a covered walkway that runs in front of the fireplace connects the main house to the guesthouse.
“We tried to give as many spaces as possible access to the exterior. This house really is about spending time in nature,” says Project designer, Lew Oliver.
That beachy fireplace: Layers of natural textures—the driftwood mantel, local Oregon stones, and oyster shell-encrusted mirror—pay homage to the moody Washington coastline.
Low-maintenance pea gravel: This stylish but fuss-free groundcover requires virtually no upkeep and looks great year-round. It also becomes a design element in the space, lending depth to all that gray.
A streamlined brass-and-stainless fixture is a space-saving approach to the post-beach rinse.
Textured wallpaper: The ridged, dune grass-like texture and natural shade soften this hardworking space.
The indestructible rug: With its wide stripes, soft ribbing, and 50 percent recycled content, this indoor/outdoor rug is as good for the environment as it is good-looking, and it can handle the wear and tear a gym endures.
That giant sectional: The modular sofa is crowd-ready, even if that crowd is coming straight in from the beach—it’s upholstered in outdoor fabric.
Groovy rattan tables: With their midcentury lines and wide glass surfaces, they can accommodate snacks, drinks, and propped-up feet for an army of movie-watchers.
The gallery wall: A grouping of vintage and contemporary artwork, which can change and evolve over time, plays off the wildly patterned rug and the room’s kicked-back, irreverent style.
“I chose these wallpapers for the media room and gym because I wanted to juxtapose all those machines with something handmade,” says Tim.
The untreated cedar paneling smells amazing and adds an organic feel to the spa bath.
It wouldn’t be a beach house without a shell-encrusted mirror! “I like to fill small spaces like powder rooms with lots of interesting things to look at,” says Tim. “They’re like little surprises for guests.”
The ebonized bed: A crisp black finish gives the traditional four-poster bed a modern silhouette and lends some bold lines to the gray-blue palette.
Sky-blue ceilings: “It’s the first thing you see when you wake up, so it should be pleasing to your eye,” Tim says.
All those stripes: From the hand-painted wallpaper, inspired by the tree trunks just outside the window, to the ticking-stripe pillows and rug, this classic motif is all the pattern a beachy bedroom needs.
Both of the bedrooms on the second floor have their own individual doors leading to a deck that is furnished with chairs so homeowners can sit outside, enjoy the view, and relax.
The bamboo vanity: Painted with a slightly distressed sandy-gray shade, this double sink base is the perfect mix of English antique and beachy casual.
Embellished mirrors: A pair of bone-inlaid wooden mirrors adds a feminine touch to the clean space.
Angular sconces: Pared-down lighting is the perfect simple, industrial contrast to the intricate and embellished mirrors.
Light-diffusing shades: These medium-weight linen window treatments offer privacy while still allowing soft, gentle sunlight to filter through.
Those floors: The cool, dark tiles stay toasty on chilly Washington mornings thanks to a radiant floor heating system.
A soothing palette: The lavender/golden yellow combo instills the space with a soft, restful vibe that doesn’t overwhelm.
The simple platform bed: With its woven saddle-leather headboard and bleached-oak frame, the bed adds a lightness that complements the window shades and white trim and ceiling.
Vaulted ceilings: The extra space and white planked finish make the room feel larger and airier.
That statement-making mirror! The gilded resin frame draws the eye up and adds a hint of sparkle.
Wide painted stripes inspired by the tree bark outside add height behind the twin bed headboards and dimension to the soft gray walls.
Made from sheer, moisture-resistant fabric that still blocks UV rays, the light and flowy draperies dress up the room without weighing it down.
Fresh color combos: When paired with cool sky blue and charcoal gray, an earthy orange gives the bedroom a dose of color that’s not too loud.
In the guest bath, a big dose of bold pattern—antique cement tiles from France—brings liveliness to the small space.