2008 Idea House
Developer Tofigh Shirazi of the Beachtown Galveston Corporation worked with Atlanta-based interior designer Susan Bozeman and San Antonio-based architects Michael Imber and Brandan Moss to forge a look that combines traditional and modern, highlighting the beauty of Galveston's architectural history and balancing it with light, fresh interiors.
Susan anchored the living room with slipcovered furniture and plaid rugs that unite all of the colors, then added accents such as a cork table and custom pillows appliquéd with sea life. "We used sand tones, soft blues and greens, and a little pop of aqua on the lamps for contrast, so everything didn't seem the same," Susan says. "I didn't want any one thing to stand out and be too strong. I wanted it all to flow. At the beach, you don't want your vision to stop anywhere. It should go straight through to that fabulous view off the porch."
She selected a teak sectional with creamy-white cushions, and then introduced playful blues in the welting, throw pillows, and outdoor rug. A rustic coffee table crafted from driftwood and metal looks light and beachy, but has the weight to stay put despite strong winds off the ocean. "This is an intimate seating area where you can have your cocktail before serving dinner at the table," Susan says.
Positioned right on the ocean, our Beachtown Idea House required building materials that could withstand the humid weather and harsh coastal elements. Because prime outdoor living space was a must, the team selected a decking product made of cellular PVC. Though it has the look and grain of real wood, the material resists mold, scratches, and even wine and food spills. The trim on the house is composed of the same PVC-based material.
Not everything was meant to appear old. Susan selected chic natural quartz countertops that mimic polished concrete, and cutting-edge stainless steel appliances. On the kitchen island, a sleek, flat, gas-through-glass cooktop is just 16 inches deep, allowing for more counter space while still offering full cooking capacity.
To soften the space and to stay consistent with the color scheme in the adjoining living area, Susan hung paisley draperies in soft blue, green, and sand tones. But because the room gets ample natural light, she also installed woven shades to filter the early-morning sun. "The different textures relate well to each other and make the room feel cozy," she says.
Michael and Brandan separated the dining area from the living room with columns rather than walls to keep the space light and airy. "[The columns] give the house rhythm and structure but open it up for modern living," Michael says. "And they open up views from one space to another."
Susan filled the room with dainty, feminine details, including curvy bedside tables and lamp shades trimmed with glass beads. On the windows, she "kept the curtains unlined and flowy," combining blue gingham draperies (edged in a green version of the same pattern) with white twill Roman shades.
Because connectivity to the street level is an important element in this traditional neighborhood, the team placed palms and other plants around the porch to further unite it with the ground below.
Inside each of these graceful columns lies a core of stainless steel, lending the home the look of historic Galveston with the strength to survive a hurricane such as September's Ike, which pummeled the island. In addition to the steel portals, the house is built on concrete pillars that won't deteriorate in the coastal climate the way wood pilings do. "What we're doing here goes above and beyond the coastal fortification requirements to give our owners peace of mind," says developer Tofigh Shirazi. "Not just with this house, but in every house at Beachtown."
The dining area includes a teak table and chairs, while the outdoor kitchen boasts more than just your average grill. "You can fix your entire meal and enjoy it outside," Susan says. "You don't have to go up and down the stairs 25 times to get things, because you can have it all right there."
She also designed a cabana for desanding after a play day in the surf. "At the beach, everyone loves outdoor showers," Susan says. "They're fun, and it's great not to bring all the sand inside."
Cooking outdoors has never been so carefree. With a grill, several burners, and a prep sink, this stainless steel kitchen helps you elevate the outdoor dining experience from blasé to gourmet (or just make especially good hot dogs). Best of all, it's on rollers and separates into smaller units for storage.
The duo maximized the number of windows in the project, flooding the house with light and ocean views. They also added a cupola, which brings light into the interiors and allows for natural ventilation when the doors and vents are open.