The Modern Beach House

By: Susan Hornbeak-Ortiz
COLOR, color, and more color – I say “bring it on + break the rules! Fearless color is the key to the success of this modern jewel box in Southern California.  In this interior saturated color is boldly applied to modern, comfortable silhouettes, utilizing luxurious performance fabrics and clean modern lines In fact, performance fabrics and comfort were the key, non-negotiables with this busy family. With four kids, two dogs + access to the beach lifestyle – the energy runs high and creating a comfortable interior with places to hang and soak up the California vibe were integral to this family’s needs.







With color playing a huge role in the design of this interior the inspiration for the palette became key. This direction came directly from the family, “we want something that reflects the landscape of where we live (think ocean + sky)”. Taking this cue, I ran with it, punching the palette with all tones of blues (the more the merrier) and keyed up the volume with hot fuchsia and emerald green – this layering of color creates a visual depth within each respective space. The color also bleeds onto the white lacquered interior walls of the home.
The over scaled photography in the house helps balance the color and texture in the furnishings and creates a whimsical and energy charged atmosphere.

Last but not least, the smooth modern surfaces (think concrete floors the color of beach sand) not only help with quick clean-up from the busy beach lifestyle but also aid in the flow of the house. The concrete floors create a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor courtyards – which in the end is the largest of California’s luxuries…the outdoor beach lifestyle

These are my “go to” mantras when working on modern spaces:
Design mantra #1-  when creating a colorful modern beach house pay attention to clean modern surfaces (paint/floors) as these should stay neutral – this way you get a beautiful blank canvas to play with color and texture.
Design Mantra #2 – textures should be mixed to create movement within the space (think matte indigo velvet with polished brass accents meets hot fuschia orchids)
Design Mantra #3 – adding colorful art on the white lacquered walls also helps tie the space together – have fun with this + pump up the scale!
Design Mantra #4 – stay in deep saturated Jewel tones (think semi-precious jewels – emerald, lapis, rubies etc.) as these colors hum with energy, play well together and create a sense of well-being and comfort.