Beach House. The words alone have the hypnotic associations Henry James once famously ascribed to summer afternoon, “the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Much of the beach house’s allure is in its reflection of a simpler way of life, a pared-down existence where the breeze is the housekeeper, the furnishings don’t mind a damp swimsuit, and the most precious treasures are seashells and memories.
The style is soft and cozy, nothing is too precious here…dishes don’t match and are maybe even chipped as they hold the fresh food perhaps grown in the garden right outside the window. Essentials to achieve this style are chipped paint, hand woven textiles softened by a wash line hung in the salty air breeze and bleached by the sun. Beach style vintage finds from the shops of Vintage and Main will help you set the stage for the warmer days ahead.
We lived in NYC and had a teeny cottage at the beach in Southampton, featured in the Sepia photos you see here. It was christened “Tumbledown” because every summer something would fall off a shelf or window sill or the roof itself. Crooked, chipped and craggy, we loved it anyway, with just a ten minute bike ride from the ocean.
Each day a new memory is found amid the shifting sands that always seem to be under the carpets and in your swimsuit. But each one of those grains of sand carry a dream of warmer days and cool night, a stolen kiss while swimming with your love, a full belly and perhaps a few too many glasses of wine. It left us relaxed and recharged ready to head back to reality smiling a new smile.
Sweep the floor, put away the dished (that seem to always be in the drain), toss the cut flowers into the compost heap and make sure you have picked all the ripe tomatoes to take home with you…
And as you eat them at your desk during the week, you can close your eyes and dream of the sand between your toes, the glimmering candlelight and the cool night breeze shimmering across the old linen sheets you found at a flea market in Paris. A bit of luxury was needed here to create a warm safe haven to recharge our batteries.
A beach house creates dreams and memories that, overtime like my photos of Tumbledown Cottage, turn to Sepia; a glimmer of a memory, cherished forever.
All beach cottage photos are copyright by Sebastian Araujo of Gentlemanly Pursuits