Ignoring naysayers, couple transforms Bay Harbor house into weekender
Natasha Loggins had been keeping a binder for years, full of items she’d like to have in the beach house she envisioned.
Naysayers told the Crosby, Texas resident, “Dream on,” but Loggins just kept clipping pages out of magazines and filling that binder full of ideas.
Then, in July 2017, she found the perfect place — a cozy 822-square-foot cottage on a large lot in Galveston’s Bay Harbor community. The exterior was painted a bright blue — fine for now — but the interior was dated.
“After ripping up the carpet and installing vinyl wood plank floors, I pulled out my binder and the work began,” Loggins said. “I scraped off the popcorn ceiling and retextured it, installed larger baseboards, and then focused on the kitchen. We replaced the Formica countertops with granite, but I left the original cabinets because they were custom built and in good shape. Then, I painted over the off-white color with Tantalizing Teal by Sherwin-
A quick glance around the interior is an indication that aqua is Loggins’ favorite color, especially in the kitchen, where a retro toaster, breadbox, Keurig coffee maker, cookware, dishes and utensils all match. They’re offset by the soft gray glass subway tile, white appliances and two shiny yellow bar stools.
The living room and sitting room walls were painted a blue/gray. And Loggins installed two ceiling fans and hung coastal art for the finishing touches.
“The house originally had two bedrooms, but we made the front one an open-area sitting room with a trundle bed to accommodate family and guests,” she said. “I had fun collecting all the accent pillows.”
Many of the knickknacks displayed on the built-in shelves were purchased in shops on The Strand in Galveston, she said.
The living room sofa does double duty as a queen-size sleeper for more over-nighters. A curved-back wicker chair with matching ottoman, painted aqua, are attention grabbers, but the petite yellow chair, also wicker, across the room, was a local find Loggins cherishes, she said.
“I got that circa 1930s chair from Tarnished Treasures in Galveston and just love its smallish size,” she said. A wooden treasure chest, made from an old Indonesian boat, is nearby.
Sea art is prominent throughout the home, especially in the bathroom where a turtle-face shower curtain dominates the room, not to be outdone by the coconut-head mermaid and her metal counterpart.
More mermaids cover the orange and aqua quilted bedspread in the one and only bedroom, surrounded by an assortment of coastal collections.
Loggins named her house “Hippsea Gypsea,” and the sign above the front entrance greets all who come to visit.
Visitors also will encounter a life-size wooden mermaid resting atop a picnic table, a brightly painted tiki statue made from tires, and some more seaside décor.
Below the deck is a separate room with bunk beds, plus a garage where Loggins and her husband, Bryan, have inventory stored for their bicycle seat-cover business.
When not enjoying weekends at their bay home, they’re busy with their full-time careers — Natasha, is a third-grade teacher in Crosby, and Bryan, is the manager of Loggins Hardware in Highlands, Texas.
They’re looking forward to retirement soon, when they’ll make Bay Harbor their permanent residence.
“Lots were first sold here in 1955, so the place has a lot of history,” Natasha Loggins said. “Everything out here was initially built as camps, and our house was once owned by a ship captain. It was heavily damaged during Hurricane Alicia in 1983 and rebuilt. The background of this place is very meaningful to me.”
She recently bought a kayak so she could explore more of the bay, go crabbing and enjoy her favorite pastime — observing the turtles, she said.
“Galveston is special to me, because my parents were not water people,” she said. “They were more into snow skiing, but my Aunt Rosie would bring my cousins and me down here when I was little. As I got older, I began staying in rentals, so I knew I wanted to live here someday. When I walked into this house, I could just see it come alive in my mind,” she said.