Beach House Basics
Two furniture-industry insiders retreat to Bald Head Island,
where their second home showcases casual, no-nonsense
"His ambition was to have a beach house by the time he was 50,"says Delores Rosebrock of her husband, Lou. "It had to be one youcould sweep out?just fun, funky, and practical." Starting on BaldHead Island, a second-home enclave off the southeastern tip ofNorth Carolina, the two anticipated an exhaustive search. But theyfound what they were looking for in the very house they wererenting. "We looked at a lot of other properties, but we just lovedthe name," says Lou of the two-bedroom cottage called "BeachMusic."
Only 1,100 square feet, the floor plan is simple. A large livingand dining area, kitchen, bedroom, and bath make up the lowerlevel, and a loft bedroom and bath overlook the downstairs space.Lou, president of Whitecraft Furniture, and Delores, an interiordesigner, agreed the island cottage needed to be casual andsprinkled with found objects. "We didn't want it to look like ourliving room in High Point," she says.
Instead of scouring showrooms in their hometown, known worldwideas a furniture-industry mecca, they selected a few favorite basics.Delores chose a denim-covered sofa, round wicker tables, and whitewicker chairs. Finds from antiques stores, flea markets, and custombuilders filled in the rest. A substantial custom-made piece holdsbooks and family photos while hiding the TV and stereo. Delorestied the great room's color scheme together with a fancifulshell-motif fabric that covers pillows and frames windows andFrench doors. This comfortable style continues in the adjoiningdining area with its painted-white barstools, dining chairs, andwood-topped table.
Above the main living area, the ceiling soars two stories. Louand Delores added interest to expansive white walls with decorativetouches such as architectural elements, art, and items from theirpersonal collections. "The window above the French doors neededembellishing," says Delores. An old shutter unit found in anantiques shop makes the perfect surround for the unadorned window.A framed map and small pieces of art contribute watery hues. Pondyachts from Lou's collection perch on shelves, and Delores' jars ofsand?labeled with destinations and dates?sit atop window ledges andfurniture. "The sands are from all the beaches we've ever been toas a couple," Lou says.
Because a bedroom with a view was a priority, the Rosebrocksreassigned the sleeping quarters, moving the master bedroom up tothe loft that overlooks the living area. "The previous owners hadthe master downstairs," says Lou. "But we loved seeing the waterfrom our bed." For privacy, they added shutters above the loft'shalf-wall and a door at the top of the stairs. The downstairsbedroom became the guest room. Originally, that space lackedcharacter. "The room was a box," Delores says. "It needed someinterest." She hung salvaged pediments over the windows and painteda quote around the top of the sky-blue walls: "Let's take a quietjourney to that peaceful place ... . " "The saying came off a cardI liked," she explains.
Outside, the house opens to a wraparound porch with rockers anda large, uncovered terrace, where the Rosebrocks added a teakdining set, a lounge area, and herb plantings. "We love to dolate-afternoon dinner parties outside with friends," Deloressays.
Even though their beach house hunting ended right where itbegan, the Rosebrocks don't regret buying the first home they saw.From the start, it was the green-painted hardwood floors that soldthem. "We just knew it was our 'sweep-out' beach house," Lousays.