Ultimate Beach House

The ultimate Texas beach house: Check out this big, blue Galveston stunner

Ultimate Texas beach house: Check out this Galveston stunner

interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
The breakfast area and kitchen at the recently completed beach house. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Crisp white slipcovers at the breakfast table. Note the orb chandelier above. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Upholstered stools provide additional seating at the large kitchen island. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
The inspiration for the accent color throughout the home: A Big Chill refrigerator in cerulean. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
A great zigzag rug, in waves of colors from magenta to cream, anchors the living room. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Another view of the living room looking toward the kitchen and breakfast nook. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
The driftwood hue of the custom draperies joins the main accent color in the master bedroom. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
A freestanding soaking tub between vanities with nautical-inspired mirrors for the master bath. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Cerulean custom draperies and complementary area rug keep this room bright. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Detail of the accent pillows and bedside chest of drawers. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Driftwood-hued cabinets and vessel sink for one of the baths. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
This mirror and flanking sconces were great finds for this bathroom. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Custom bunks in two of the four bedrooms maximizes guest quarters. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
The other bedroom also has custom bunk beds. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
Cerulean accents on the exterior of the beach house. Photo by © Julie Soefer
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015
interior design Laura Umansky Crystal Beach beach house March 2015

A vintage-inspired Big Chill refrigerator in cerulean was absolutely the only choice for the bright white kitchen of a new Galveston-area beach house, and it became the inspiration for the sky-blue decor now accenting the rest of the happy getaway.

"Who doesn't love a Big Chill refrigerator?" asks Laura Umansky of Houston-based Laura U Interior Design, who, along with designer teammate Jillian Flynn, just recently completed the Crystal Beach retreat for a return client. "This retro element was the perfect pop of color and really helped to drive the cerulean blue hue used in the adjacent breakfast area, as well as in the rest of the home, including the exterior color palette."

Umansky and Flynn worked with the client from the ground up on the new construction project, including the interior and furnishings from start to finish to the full design of the kitchen — even to the dishes that now sit in the cabinets. The goal? To create a functional, comfortable retreat with a fresh color palette for a clean, classic coastal look without breaking the bank. The homeowner also desired to make the beach house a place where she could host several out-of-town guests at one time.

"The kitchen was our favorite room to design," Umansky says. "We really brought to life our coastal design inspiration by mixing elements of the sea with classic white cabinetry. For the countertops, we incorporated a gorgeous quartz countertop containing both seashells and recycled glass in hues of lovely blues and greens. This was complemented perfectly by a high-gloss white tile backsplash and blown glass pendants over the island."

In keeping with the casual vibe, open shelves in a driftwood finish were installed at either side of the vent hood for storing dishes, platters and other kitchen items. And to accommodate their dog-loving client, the designing duo ordered built-in dog bowls at one end of the island where the pets can easily access their food and water. Designers' notes: The kitchen countertops are from Vetrazzo and are in Bretagne Blue. The breakfast table chandelier is the Alberto Orb from Currey & Co.

A great zig-zag rug in waves of colors from magenta to creams anchors the living room. Here, a mix of furniture pieces from retail outlets and to-the-trade vendors keeps the area very comfortable — and very livable. Glass- and coral-based lamps, a round metallic coffee table for a bit of shine and accent pillows in shades of blue create a collected feel. Designers' notes: "The rug came from one of our favorite vendors, Loloi," Umansky says.

In the master bedroom, cerulean is joined by another natural color: driftwood.

"We wanted this space to truly be a retreat for our client and really have its own identity while also flowing with the rest of the home," Umansky says. "The hues of brown were inspired by driftwood and the lighting by sea glass. As seen in other spaces throughout home as well, the wall paneling in this bedroom added an additional level of interest and only further complimented the furnishings."

Designers' notes: The lounge chair in the master bedroom is the Ava by Selamat.

And to ensure that family and friends would have a comfortable place to stay on their vacations here, Umansky and Flynn turned to custom bunks in two of the four rooms to sleep as many guests as possible in a cozy way.

"We designed the bunk beds custom, and they were site-built by the home builder," Umansky says. "They fit perfectly with the aesthetic of the home and really play up the idea of a comfortable beach retreat.

"The wall sconces are from one of our favorite lighting vendors, and we loved them because they reminded us of something you’d find on a ship. The bathroom mirror just complimented the space perfectly." Designers' notes: The wall sconces are Iris by Robert Abbey Inc., while the bathroom mirror is from Noir Furniture.

Umansky said she and Flynn did shop locally for many of the accessories found throughout the 4,961-square-foot, four-bedroom beach house, including at The Admiralty in Galveston, where initial and even last-minute great finds helped pull the home together.

"We wanted to get it completed in time for the return of sunny, warm weather," Umansky says.