The Gulf Coast of Texas has made an impressive recovery in the two years since the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. And in a newly developed coastal community, a prominent Houston family decided to be part of the revitalized seaside town, building a gorgeous custom beach bungalow where they could escape with their three young boys for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city or spend long rejuvenating summer weeks splashing in the sun. To create timeless interiors that would thoughtfully express their style and sensibilities, they turned to award-winning design firm Mark Ashby Design.
“It is a refined version of a beach cottage. We sprinkled in the beach elements, rather than hit you in the face with them,” says Senior Designer and Creative Director of Mark Ashby Design, Anne Grandinetti. “We selected a serene, soft color palette of earth tones and natural elements to flow from room to room so that the furnishings could be intermixed anywhere in the home. Indoor-outdoor fabrics were selected, along with solid materials, to withstand the seaside elements and the clients’ three young boys.”
Not only is the design a nod to Galveston Island’s 32 miles of idyllic sandy beaches, but it is also designed to withstand the corrosive properties of the coastal saltwater air. “I was surprised to learn just how harsh the sea elements are. We had to be very thoughtful about our materials and limit the use of metals as they will deteriorate and tarnish very quickly,” says Anne.
The overall design goal for the interior decor was to avoid anything “cheeky” or “rustic,” as Anne describes it, for an unpretentious and inviting vibe translated through an elegant lens. “We took a spec model and customized every aspect from pre-selected finishes and flooring, added ceiling beams, the glass staircase, plumbing to elevate the design, shiplap to selected walls and wallpaper to the elevator — to add character to an otherwise simple aesthetic,” Anne says. “I had fun mixing in vintage pieces that live in perfect harmony with the new pieces.”
The home even features an elevator, where Anne had fun with a wallcovering that created a jewel-box effect. “The elevator is covered in a beautiful Pierre Frey Palm wallpaper,” she says. “The elevator is perfect for their elderly lab, as well as transporting groceries and heavy luggage. Since it is used often, we wanted it to be a pretty ride.”
But Anne’s very favorite room is the kitchen and breakfast nook. “The materials are so organic and calming,” says Anne, whose soft spot for the home’s culinary corner is rivaled by the joy the classic beach bungalow brings her clients. “I absolutely love working with them. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with the homeowners on several projects, and we have developed a great rapport over the years,” she says. “They really trust and respect the design process, so we are very much on the same page when it comes to the design direction. Their lives are so busy, so just a few initial exchanges are all it takes for us to be off and running.”
The end result is a beautiful beachside bungalow that allows this couple to escape the buzz and hype of Space City and languish in the surf and sun with their three boys.
Thank you to Clay Grier for the images of this gorgeous Galveston beach bungalow.