A Cali-style beach house that's a lesson in rustic boho style
This is how nautical style should be done...
California cottage meets New England beach house in this beautiful seaside home in Long Beach. The overall style It's beachy yes, but in a very cool, clean-lined kind of way. There are still nods to the ocean it's adjacent to, and the style does in some way follow the traditional nautical aesthetic, as you'll see everything in this home is either blue or white or some sandy tone.
But there's just something... cooler about this modern home – zero signs adorning the slogan Life's better at the beach, the walls are free from wooden oars, and any kind of dried sealife. Rather, this home is filled with gorgeous textures, boho-inspired prints, and sophisticated, contemporary pieces. Let's take a tour...
The property was designed by its owner Karen B. Wolf of Karen B. Wolf Interiors and the whole laid-back beachy vibe was inspired by happy summer memories spend at the beach. It was in fact built for her and the three generations of her family to enjoy. The idea was to blend cool Cali-style with a more traditional beach house look, awash with ocean-inspired colors and rustic textures.
As with so many beach houses, in order to get the best ocean views, the main living spaces are on the top floor. The kitchen, dining area, and living room are all open plan, in fact, the whole top floor is totally without hallways, with the master bedroom being tucked away at the back of the space.
Despite being three different spaces, there's a real feel of cohesion up here as the areas are joined together by that blue and white color palette that runs throughout the whole of the home. Pale hardwood flooring also connects the spaces. The light, rustic textures are echoed through the space with the beams and even the range hood's trim.
In the center of the white oak kitchen sits a pale blue porcelain island, adding a nod to the coastal color scheme. Deeper blues and greys are used in the splashback with the herringbone tiles adding texture and depth to the pale palette.
- Find more modern kitchen ideas in our gallery.
The pale woods of the floor are mirrored in the large farmhouse dining table. Texture is adding with the rattan, almost weather-beaten-looking dining chairs, and the rope pendant light – a first of many nods to the subtle nautical theme.
- See more inspiring dining room ideas.
The living room feels like its own cozy room, cleverly separated from the rest of the space by the sofa and console table which have become almost like a wall between the living room and the dining area. Plus the large area rug is big enough so that all the furniture can sit on top, grounding the space and zoning it.
Shiplap ceilings and portholes give this area the clear beach-chic vibe that Karen wanted to create in the home. The touch of blue tye dye gives a more boho touch and the mix of neutral hues like beige, cream, and wooden tones soften the stark contrast between blue and white.
- Find more modern living room ideas.
In the master bedroom, the blue and white color scheme is dialed down, and instead, the room is filled with warm beige tones and the palest of grey blues creating a very calming atmosphere.
This room is all about texture. Textured carpet, textured wallpaper, layers, and layers of different textured bedding. It works well with the boho beach vibe going on in the rest of the house but the four-poster bed gives it an elegant, luxury edge.
- Discover more master bedroom ideas.
The focal point in the guest bedroom has got to be the ombre beaded chandelier. It adds the perfect contemporary touch to the otherwise very soft and serene space.
All the bathrooms throughout the house have a very coastal feel. The largest family bathroom has that clear blue and white scheme going on, with shiplap walls meeting textured, inky blue tiles. The beaded chandelier and rattan mirror bring in some natural textures and the quartzite countertops add elegance.
The second bathroom has a very chic, all-white scheme, broken only by the seagrass baskets, a wooden mirror, and that gorgeous pop of turquoise in yet another fabulous chandelier.
- Discover more modern bathroom ideas in our feature.
A small powder room is covered with a blue and white palm print wallpaper, cocooning the space in ocean-inspired colors, while at the same time tricking the eye into thinking it's a much larger space.
Being a family vacation home, the outside spaces are as important as the in, and creating an indoor-outdoor feel to the whole property was key in Karen's design. So each floor has a sun deck, and the space on the top floor is used as a second dining space, it is perfectly positioned to have the ocean on one side and the sunset on the other.
On the ground floor of the house, what you might mistake for a garage is in fact a lanai, an indoor-outdoor space that leads from the main house to the pool and garden.
The space is divided into three carefully considered, multi-functional zones—prep, dine, and lounge. It has the same fresh and bright feel as the upstairs spaces with lots of white and pale blue mixed in with wicker accents and a found-driftwood-topped table.
Garage-style doors open completely, almost disappearing into the ceiling to create that seamless flow between the living area and the pool deck.
Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.
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