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Advice for Homeowners

Details to Add When Planning Your Beach House

By 01/15/2014May 23rd, 202141 Comments

Here’s another view of both the beach house and the detached carriage house.

Terreeia and I have not been on many beach vacations together. And in the last five years that I’ve been writing this blog, only one.

So, I’ve only now figured out why couples seem to vacation a lot with other couples. It’s so that you can have a shopping/lay by the pool friend or a golfing/activities buddy.

When I’m on a beach vacation, I love to lay by the pool and read a book. Terreeia on the other hand, is just like my Mom. Cannot sit still for long. The other day when Terreeia was out golfing my Mom and I had a swim in the pool. Then after maybe half an hour of lying there in the sun she said,

“Time for some fruit salad”.  Then shortly after that,

“Let’s see if there are any fruit trees’ she said. We found two lime trees.

“Let’s tour the Carriage House”.

Flagstones to the garage entrance, steps up to the guest house.

View from the guest house balcony.

Bedroom with adjoining full bath and kitchenette.

Then it was “Let’s walk down to the beach”, and on the way there we discovered a bunker along the side of the property with a futon, some end tables and lamps that could be made up on a moments notice with an overflow of guests. This is a beach house with plenty of space for family and friends!

By the time we got back up, it was time for lunch. And then shortly after that, a lovely massage therapist arrived to give my Mom a massage.

So I have only had one beach morning so far before it rained and that was today.

I thought I would show you some of the details that make up this lovely beach house for when it’s time to build yours!

All the closets have these louvered doors. And I love the doorknobs with back plates from Baldwin Hardware.

Details for your Next Beach House

The outlets are installed sideways in the baseboards. And the door bumpers with magnets so the wind can’t whip them closed.

Every doorway has plinths with 4 1/4″ casings and 7 1/4″ baseboards. And she has wall sconces everywhere, you know how obsessed I am with lighting, haha.

I like how the shrubs are planted strategically for privacy in the Master Bathroom.

Last night I had a bubble bath with a glass of wine (per my clients suggestion) and this was my view. You can see the water from here too.

Beach Towels for the Pool

I love her colourful towels in the laundry room.

Details for your Next Beach House

And another view of our breakfast corner.

Details for your Next Beach House

And, if you’re a cat lover, this is for you. Yesterday we went for a tour of the North side of the island (well that’s where we are), and we stopped in a gift shop where this kitty cat lay right beside the cash register.

I asked if the tiny blanket with the pillow attached to it was specifically made for cats because this one looked so comfortable and she said ‘No, it was a baby blanket but they sold many of them because of this one who lay on it all day long in the shop. Doesn’t she look comfortable!

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  • Glenda says:

    How fun to share all the details, thanks Maria.

    Can you tell me what you liked about the outlets, sideways and in the baseboards? I just heard that a bylaw is being considered to raise electrical outlet height, not lower it. What do you think is the design advantage to lower? Just a less unsightly cord dangling from a height? Apparently the bylaw change is about the aging population.

    I’m interested in why you showcased this. Thank you from Langley BC. 7 C today, it’s okay to come home!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes it looks much better, for example in the living room where she has an open table, you can hardly see the cord because it’s plugged in lower. I don’t know about a bylaw. One of the reasons I included it is because I rarely see it anywhere. Thanks for your comment!

      • BillP says:

        There is one builder in my area who puts the outlets in the baseboards. Brilliant! In addition to limiting dangling cords, it leaves the walls uninterrupted, great when there is paneling or wainscot. A much cleaner look!

  • Love the details! Especially the door knobs with backplates and the door stops with magnets. Sounds like you’re having a great time, I’m with you though, I would be laying around the pool with a book as much as possible.

  • Suzan says:

    This home is absolutely beautiful. I love every detail. To afford this kind of perfection and luxury on such a beautiful island…I am so happy you are there enjoying it. It makes my heart glad. I wish you could stay there for a month!

  • Thank you so much for sharing the details of this house. I love the wall sconces, to the door stops. The black window casings with the white window moldings- very nice!!! These are the things that make a home special and not just run of the mill.
    Details, Details, Details

  • Cindy B says:

    Beautiful, all of it! What more can you say but enjoy the moment!

  • Loribeth says:

    Looks lovely. I like the detail of having the electrical sockets sideways near the floor. That way the wires from anything you plug into them don’t fall over each other.

    Now… I guess I will go baby blanket shopping. Jasper (our cat) needs one of those snuggly things. 😉

  • Mary Leigh Howell says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jeanie P. says:

    It looks like paradise in more ways than one. As they say, “God is in the details.” Throughout this lovely house you see not just a beautiful grand scheme, but also attention to small thoughtful details, non-obtrusive outlets, magnets on door bumpers, a throw all ready to be snuggled into like the cat with his fleece baby blanket. This attention to details flows to the outside. A cluster of comfy chairs positioned to take in the ocean view, a small beach house for overflow guests and the landscape that manages to be both wild and manicured. Heaven!

  • Maggie S says:

    I am SO glad that you are having such a wonderful vacation in such a incredible place! The house is beautiful (with all the attention to detail that makes a house special) and the setting is beyond beautiful!!

    You work so hard all the time that the only way to really decompress is to go far, far away.
    Maggie S

  • Susan@Susan Silverman Designs says:

    Their home looks like a paradise. How lucky you are to be there with your favourite people. Enjoy the rest of your stay.


  • franki says:

    Beach houses (cabanas, whatever) are such HAPPY homes. This home is absolutely lovely AND hospitable!! (Lucky you!) franki

  • What a lovely property. Thank you Maria for giving us an ‘inside look’! Ahhh….wishing I was there. 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Wow,what an awesome any chance does your friend rent it out? So beautiful and tranquil ..

  • Nancy says:

    Beautiful! Love the design and details:)
    Looks like paradise .

  • cathy gibson says:

    Thank you Maria for sharing this beach house with us! I LOVE the feel of it and the gorgeous details that you showed. Enjoy your time there!

  • sandyc says:

    Maria, my 3 kitties thank you for kitty picture even if she’s black and they’re all white and tan-ish/brown (although Mei Mei, a Snowshoe, has a black Zorro mask). She particularly understands the meaning of the Ms. Kitty’s “inaction” as she is curled up right now on the soft perch I created for her in my office area.

    Your client’s house, again, is just beautiful in every way. I find something I like in every picture you’ve shown.

    I think you have a good point about couples vacationing together. My late husband’s daughter and son-in-law (both retired) go some place big every year and, since the first tour, they have traveled with new friends whom they’ve made on previous trips as well as old – for them the best of several worlds. However, when a couple is busily working in very different fields, it’s a lot more complicated, i.e., Terreeia going to Italy with old friends and you staying home to get drapes ordered. Still, hope this vacation is fabulous for all of you and that there are many more vacations together long before retirement.

  • I have been staring at the hideous folding closet doors at my beach house waiting for inspiration – got it! Large louvered doors going in this Spring. In fact every door is gong to get great black knobs with square back plates! I know I can create great DIY versions! Aloha – hope you see more sun!

  • Barb says:

    Aloha Maria,

    What a lovely house! It manages to capture the spirit of Hawaiian plantation style homes while also suiting modern sensibilities. A wee bit of paradise on the stunningly beautiful north Kauai coast …

    One question – there is a large glass fishing float on a stand on one of the bookcases. Any chance you tell me what type of stand it is on? I have a large vintage fish float that I’d like to display and could use a bit of help figuring out a suitable stand.

    Thanks Maria. Enjoy your vacation in paradise.

  • Susan S says:

    Oh, I really don’t think I can see any more photos of this not-to-be-believed gorgeous home! I’m getting sick with envy! I find myself wondering how long the architectural design process of this home took. AND, how long did it take finding that property too!
    Honestly, I’m enthralled!

  • Those details really make the house perfect! Thanks for sharing. One thing I did during our remodel (here on O’ahu) was the magnetic door stops and louvered closet doors instead of the old ugly bifolds. Glad to see someone else has done that too!

    Your friend’s home is what everyone dreams of in a Hawaiian home! She is very blessed and so are you! So glad you warmed up in January for a bit 🙂 See you on the webinar soon.

  • ML says:

    Wow, Maria, the picture of the tub where you took a bubble bath with glass of wine. Maybe it’s you that needs to be moderated after a little tease like that!

  • Beautiful, beautiful! I love the attention to detail, including the magnetic door bumpers! Genius. I have to say, the picture of the view from breakfast is my favorite though!

    Soak up that warm sunshine for us. Someday I’ll be one of those Washington residents that goes to Hawaii every winter, but for now I’ll just live vicariously through you. 🙂 Have a wonderful time!!


  • Anne says:

    Gorgeous home in every way!
    Glad you get to enjoy it with your family 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.
    Anne T.

  • Carol Todd says:

    That place is so BEAUTIFUL!!! How could anyone
    honestly say a bad comment about it……….its GORGEOUS!!!

  • Jen Dwyer says:

    What a beautiful home! Thank you for sharing. I noticed the fish prints/watercolors framed in black on the wall above the bed in the carriage house. I have the same, loaned to me by a neighbor who can’t remember where she bought them. I would LOVE to know where the homeowner found them, they’re my favorites!

  • Absolutely brilliant idea to have magnets in the door bumpers! Truly stunning homes, you are a lucky girl!

  • Wendy says:

    Looks pretty great! The farmhouse aesthetic really works in Hawaii…I love to see it there rather than the stucco/Mediterranean style that some try. Wondering why you’re by the pool when there’s a beach nearby! 😉 I would be down by the water, I suspect. Can you post some pics of the sand and ocean? Enjoy your rest!

  • Sharon says:

    I have always believed “we can learn from each other” and this post validates that as I read and look with interest at all the fine details included in this inspiring beach house…the baseboards with sideways outlets, backboards to the knobs, etc., etc. in many ways simple things, but for which we find ourselves saying, “ah ha, of coarse!”

    Your client is not only kind in lending you her place for a much needed vacation, she is wonderful in allowing us a peek and something to dream about!

  • Randy says:

    Since you are all taken with the cat and baby blanket 🙂 I hope that it is OK to remind everyone that animal shelters always welcome donations of all your old linens and soft fabrics!
    Beautiful house!

  • Ululani says:

    Beautiful Kaua’i home! Mahalo for sharing Maria! I love her exterior color and the roof style, color and material. Being born and raised in Hawaii, all the old, single-wall homes had the outlets in the baseboards because walls were single-wall, tongue-n-groove. For the past 30 years or so, the “new” homes are being built as double-wall, gypboard, so outlets are placed anywhere in the wall, which is what most mainland homes are accustomed to. Have you tried the Poke yet? Its really delicious with a bag of poi!! You can find Poke in the seafood section of Foodland. I would suggest one of the simpler ones like Shoyu Poke or the Poke with onions if you’re hesitant to try. And get the Lehua Poi in the “tub” for $8. You can eat it right out of the tub and its the sweetest poi around. ENJOY!! 🙂

  • Linda Leyble says:

    Hi Maria…Lucky you! What a beautiful beach house. Love all the details. Especially the plinth blocks, high baseboards and the outlets built into them. I am working in a beach house in the Hamptons right now and it has the sideways outlets built into the baseboards also. I never really noticed them until I read your blogpost yesterday – so thank you for that!

    Great post!


  • Annie says:

    Oh Maria, I must tell you how timely this post was. Just the day before I ordered door stops for all the doors in our new build which is a very small, contemporary cottage, minimalist design. The day this post came out, I ran to the home improvement store and bought several magnetized door stops for those doors that will be vulnerable to our lovely Midwest spring, summer and fall breezes. Thank you for mentioning that!! I do love the style of those louvered closet doors too but my dust mite allergy tells me to stick with solid doors for the closets. I do love those louvers though. Sigh.

  • Kathy says:

    All these lovely details are what make it such a lovely and relaxing spot. Enjoy it all for me 🙂

  • Robert Morris says:

    What color were those wonderful Hawaiian walls in your friend’s house. Beautiful!

  • amyks says:

    Beautifully done house, through and through! I don’t think there could even be a rude comment that you would have to “moderate”. The homeowners are very lucky to have such a piece of paradise and to share it with you, if only for a brief time. Thank you for letting us enjoy the beauty, too.

  • Ken-the OldHouseGuy says:

    I was never a fan of so much white but with the black accents it really looks great.

  • Jackie says:

    Hi Maria,
    I really hope you read comments from old posts. I can’t stop coming to this post. I just can’t. i was so torn about putting all new lighting into my Victorian/Colonial house and our new addition. This post is now my obsession. I bought the same lights and I need more of this! Do more white with black accents!! Please, please! Please!!

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