Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wanna See the Beach House Part III: Come on In!

Obi and I both love homes. Houses, mansions, cabins, cottages, shacks, whatever, we love discovering their personality and the stories they have to tell. 

Little Yellow Beach House
The Beach House has been quite a character, I must say. Built in 1932, the Gulf of Mexico originally went right up to its steps, and over the years has slowly backed off, leaving a beautiful, though sand-spur filled field of sea grass and sea oats in front of it. 

Looking in from the front landing

Front door closed on the inside

 This tiled area, that takes the entire front portion of the home facing the beach, was originally a front porch before the major renovation of We Don't Know When. Sadly, a real front porch is the major feature the Beach House is lacking. But obviously this has added quite a bit more interior space and retained all the beautiful Gulf views. 

Inside the foyer

Work and school desk, completely inconveniently
located in the foyer area, but necessary

Our wonderful wall of crap
(now I didn't have to show you,
but you know you would be wondering where it was!)

We have tried to gather as much info on the life of this house as we could from the people here, but there is so little information. Most homes here are vacation rentals, and the few permanent residents only know stories told to them, rumors. One rumor we enjoy hearing is that at one point, the Beach House was owned by the Catholic Church across the way, as the bird flies only about a tenth of a mile away (Yes! We hear the bells three times a day!). It is said that the priests or brothers lived here before housing was built for them at the little mission Parish. I choose to believe this.

Here, you can see this green ceiling was once the porch roof. So pretty. The wall in the picture below, with the Sacred art, was built by Obi to form the fourth bedroom for Peter and Jude, featured in Part I of this series. 

Front sitting area

 Peter is a couch sitter. Does all his everything, reading, homework, texting, on that small couch, it is his domain. I guess it's a throwback to his homeschool days when he did all his work with his feet up on the couch.
Bad artsy shot, but I wanted to show you the
beach view from these coaches
The beach looks far away in the pictures, but it isn't in person. We see pelicans snatching their meals, dolphins jumping, tourists taking sunset selfies from right here on these couches.

This shot gives you a view of that front area from the back of the house, where the kitchen is. Meaning I am standing in the kitchen as I take this. (Gosh it was hard to take photos here, very tight spaces, and big transitions in small square footage.)

 The beautiful pinewood rafters would not have been originally exposed. They were left as architectural details when the house was redone, converting it from a flat to a slanted roof. I love them, made from the same gorgeous wood as the floor, a soft pine native to this area. 

So these above and below are taken from that front area. Yes, it just goes living, dining, kitchen, with my tiny office where I am now typing in that back left corner, in front of the blue curtains.

The girls' little kitchen Obi built them has seen better days. And probably doesn't deserve to live directly underneath his architectural blueprint art of bartending.

Our Advent wreath has also seen better days!
I think I will need to spring for some clearance
fake evergreens after the New Year.

View from the kitchen

This was built to be an incredibly simple two bedroom, one bath beach cottage. This interior would have been divided up into separated kitchen, formal living, formal dining, entry. All that is gone.
My office

Behind the blue curtains are actually a set of french doors added when the home was redone to make access easier from the driveway. We needed more storage space for the kitchen (only the tiny white cabinets and no pantry!) and I also wanted to limit the entries to One and Only One to keep sand at a minimum. So we closed this area off with the curtains and put up a couple of utility shelves. It has worked wonderfully.

Where the Web Log magic happens

Just some priceless d'objets d'art

On into our bedroom!

The rooms that make up the master, its large bath, and its large walk-in closet were once part of those formal spaces, including a formal entry with mudroom. No longer. But it works for us.

The framed fabric above the bed is actually a sliding glass door
we needed to conceal. We have actually liked the effect and
it has helped this room to feel more warm, we are
not knick-knack collectors, and we have
very few "things."

More than anything else, I will miss this beautiful window,
right next to my pillow. This will go down in
Rebekah History as being one of the
most soothing and happy places I have ever gazed:
beach breeze, warm sun, all.

Obi's vintage drafting table now sadly used as a tv stand.
I don't know why that dining chair is there, random.
This leather chair is where Obi does all his work at night (sigh).
Yes, I know the valance is crooked, please
write me for a house tour refund.

 Off our dining area is a small hallway that leads to what were the two original bedrooms and the bathroom.  Our girls room was most likely the master. 

The largest of the three windows above would have looked straight onto the beach. Now it looks straight into Peter and Jude's bunk bed. Gross.  

Below are the beautiful white built ins: desk,drawers, shelves. So pretty.

I swear this was in focus when I took it

The girls' Ikea hack bunk is still going strong!  We had so many pretty projects planned for this room: converting the defunct window to an art wall, curtains, who knows, but alas, time ran out too soon. Lovely anyway.

I won't show you the other bedroom, Joseph's and Isaac's, cause I'm too lazy to even minimally clean it for you, but it's there. Behind where Isaac is practicing on the pull-up bar, one of the Family Es's prized possessions. Seriously, back off.

Just notice the slim built in cabinets on the left. Why doesn't every hallway have one of these? Love them!

And well, I guess that's all folks. We live a simple life, all eight of us. This house has been a grand adventure and enriched all of our experience here on this earth. A true gift. So sad to think that most likely someday soon this place won't exist. It is owned by investors in Germany who are only holding onto it until it can be sold for much more. Anyone willing to spend the millions the land is worth won't want to live in this simple cottage. It will be flattened like the one two doors down, to make room for a gargantuan, soaring display piece.  So glad the Family Es was able to call it home for this short time.


  1. Oh wow. I love everything about it! And those views are just amazing. I'm so glad you lived there for even a short time, it's really a thing of dreams, especially with 6 kids!

  2. So very pretty. I know you are going to be sad to leave it behind. I think living that close to the water would be the best thing ever!

  3. I'm sneaking here from Christine's blog. I secretly want to be you. I want to sell our house and rent a house on the beach in Florida! (that part is not a secret!)

    Love seeing pics of you house and love the Christmas picture outtakes!

  4. Please tell me everything you know about the couches and arm chair. Where did you get them? Who made them? Can you send them to me? I'll give you a delicious baby in return.

    1. Le Petite Couch and Chair by Le Corbusier. Not originals.

  5. Your house looks so wonderful! It must be so soothing and happy to be there (although I can only imagine the sand!). I bet you've also seen some mighty interesting things happen on the beach from those couches. Do share with your web log!!

  6. Oh man, I love your views, love the blue ceiling, love the little fold out desk, love the simplicity you've maintained. Love love love. I'm getting a little misty thinking you'll be leaving this house. How creepy am I, or what? :-)

  7. Ahhhh
    I love it!
    So charming, and beautiful, and cozy, and I love the family love.
    I want to be you...
    I want to live in a beach house with my family.
    Night my dear friend... : )

  8. I just love this beach house! Thank you for sharing all the photos, and all your stories while here. I can't wait to see the new home and what your wonderful family does with it, I know it will be great!.
    I have to tell you, the innovative way you dealt with no pantry and low storage is brilliant and it really looks good! I also liked the way you made the sliding glass door become a backdrop in the bedroom - lovely and inspired!

  9. talk about living in paradise on earth!! Out side my window is snow snow snow and more snow :( I live in a house that my parents built in 1955. The land lot is large and if I were to ever sell it would be torn down so a "McMansions" could be built for a family of maybe 3.

  10. It is special and important that you and Obi learned the "spirit" of the cottage before new buyers won't even know...
    I love a house with a story.
    Fun tour - thanks!


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