Beach House Groove
Drifty woods and thrifty finds come together in designer Lisa Sherry's one-of-a-kind Bald Head Island, North Carolina beach house
There is not a corner in this house that has been over-looked: Beneath the stairs on the home's ground level, a tiki bar (one of the only remaining pieces left over from the previous homeowners) holds court near a psychedelic Eero Aarnio Bubble chair. The sharply sloped floor-to-ceiling windows—a hallmark of 1970s architecture—are the perfect backdrop to these mod pieces.
In no place is the home's boho beach style more well developed than in the living room, where Sherry freshened the interiors by painting everything, fire-place and all, Decorators White by Benjamin Moore. Then, she outfitted the room with oversize seating from Verellen. To keep the look plush—and to avoid her family's wear and tear—she loosely slipcovered the chair-and-a-half and piled sheepskin on the Belgian linen sectional. A large rattan coffee table gives the room a mellow, beachy edge and doubles as a game table.
A sliver of the kitchen is dedicated to sit-down dining. Rather than a full set of chairs, Sherry put stools (topped with pillows for comfort) on one side of the lacquered Parsons-style table. The mix-and-match seating and large capiz shell chandelier from Oly set the tone for lively dinners.
The outdoor living space is designed as an ode to the tall pine trees surrounding the spacious, two-story screened porch. Sherry incorporated natural materials like teak and rattan that are durable, rustic, and chic. When it came to furnishings, in addition to fitting her aesthetic, comfort was paramount. The family spends lots of time here, either lounging on the extra-deep sofa and armchairs or pulling the curvy Panton chairs up to the table for a quick meal.
Sherry created a picturesque spot to store mismatched pots and pans with a vintage brass meat hanger (thoroughly cleaned!) bought at an old restaurant. "That wall is one of my favorite moments," she says. "I love the little head that collects our beach hats. It's whimsical but also functional."
A beach lover, Sherry hunts for seascape paintings at flea markets and antiques stores. "I look for pieces with great frames in all different shapes and sizes," she says. The similar palettes help them look cohesive.
Even the pantry got funkified with painted chalkboard cabinet doors. Open shelving along the slanted wall emphasizes the nook's off-kilter lines.
Found at a North Carolina flea market, the marlin was the first thing Sherry bought for the home. Painted white and hanging on the porch, it feels like a mascot for the quirky house.
Sherry loved the original faux-painted driftwood wall in the guest room, so she centered the bed on its textural expanse and turned it into a focal point. To make visitors feel a bit like they are on safari, she hung a fanciful canvas canopy from the ceiling. "I found this little tentlike structure at a local shop and fell in love with it," she says. "So, I cut a hole in the top to make it fit over the fan. It adds a bit of softness and romance, and it's very exotic. People love this room."
The couple kept the old porcelain sink that the original owners had repurposed from elsewhere. "It's so much older than 1974 and it doesn't work so well, but it's just so cute," Sherry says. A skirt made from vintage fabric continues the retro vibe and hides stacks of extra beach towels. The sink is adjacent to both the back door and the outdoor shower, which features an unexpected detail: "It has a skylight, so guests can rinse off the sand and see the view at the same time!" Sherry says. "Located right by the back door rather than down by the beach, this whole area saves a lot of wear and tear on my house by keeping the interiors from getting sandy."