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.”

Galveston beach bungalow exterior

“I love the very soft blue we chose for the shutters,” says Anne Grandinetti, senior designer and creative director of Mark Ashby Design. “It’s just a slight contrast from the white exterior.”

Living room

Beautiful custom side tables found in Los Angeles at Lucca Antiques intermingle with a Minotti sofa and coffee table from Egg Collective. “The Nickey Kehoe chairs lend a ‘cottage’ vibe to the space,” says Anne.

Book nook in Galveston beach bungalow

These indoor-outdoor fabrics and textiles are soft and inviting, offering the perfect spot to cozy up in on a cold day by the nearby fireplace or in your bathing suit in the heat of summer.

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.

Entryway in Galveston beach bungalow

“We opted for a glass railing on the staircase, to avoid using metal and have the patina fade quickly,” Anne says.

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.”

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Kids' bedroom

“I love the whimsy of the wicker Palecek sconces in this kids’ bedroom,” reveals Anne.

Boys' bathroom

The ceramic floors add interest to this kids’ bathroom.

Bunk room in Galveston beach bungalow

Anne and her team achieved this lovely custom Benjamin Moore paint color by playing with formulas to achieve the perfect shade of blue.

Guest bedroom in beach home

The guest room’s S. Harris fabric paired with the Lawson-Fenning bed out of Los Angeles is crisp and handsome.

Master bedroom in Galveston beach bungalow

“I like how soft and cozy the master bedroom is,” says Anne. “The bedside lamps are from Formations, and they remind me of something found at the bottom of the sea. The nightstands are by Disc Interiors.”

Master bath

This master bath, with its stately freestanding tub, looks out onto the scrub brush and palm trees of the Gulf Coastal Plains. Anne’s favorite element: “I love the beautiful slab walls.”

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.”

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Breafast nook

“The mix of a vintage travertine table and wicker Panton chairs blends together so well,” notes Anne of her favorite space, the breakfast nook in the kitchen.

Galveston beach bungalow kitchen

A crisp white kitchen is softened with hues of muted grey, natural wood elements and woven touches.

Dining room with custom table

A custom table from Los Angeles paired with a Lindsey Adelman knotty chandelier lend a chic, laid-back ambiance to this dining space.

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.  


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