Bayou Vista couple creates serene space and a place to party down
Shawn and Darla Dean began searching for a waterfront home a little more than three years ago when they stumbled upon a canal house with two vacant lots in Bayou Vista.
They immediately had a vision.
Today, that vision has come to fruition with the addition of a 24-by-32-foot straight-line design pool with slide, hot tub, outdoor kitchen and pool house that went above and beyond their wildest expectations, they said.
“We expanded the house to accommodate our living quarters as well as those of Darla’s parents and our teenage daughter, so that was the first step,” Shawn Dean said. “Then, we focused on making those two lots into the paradise we wanted.”
The Deans hired Inside Outdoor, a custom pool, patio/outdoor kitchen and landscaping design company in San Leon, and the transformation began.
“We also employed an architect who drew up plans, so it took a team,” Shawn Dean said.
Entering through the rustic antique wooden doors is like walking into a luxurious vacation rental. Soothing water sounds, colors of nature, limestone and cedar are the dominating factors. Yet, despite the serene feel, this also is a place to party down.
“We like to entertain, especially with friends and family,” Shawn Dean said. “So, we spared no expense when it came to the limitless cooking methods incorporated within the outdoor kitchen.”
The pizza oven definitely takes center stage, but the Big Green Egg, Evo hibachi, dual basket deep fryer and a power burner for crawfish boils are signs that culinary feasts happens here often.
“Darla likes to barbecue, so we’re out here a lot when the weather is nice, and, of course, we can feed a large crowd,” Shawn Dean said.
A custom-made picnic table and a sitting area of colorful outdoor furniture surrounding a fire pit allows for plenty of room for guests.
A dip in the pool, a glide down the gunite slide or a soak in the hot tub is enticing, but so is a boat ride on the tritoon anchored under the upper deck.
The slope of the pool’s sandstone beach entrance is slip-resistant and the pool is heated for year-round use.
After a quick rinse under the surfboard outdoor shower, step inside the impressive pool house decked out with polished concrete floors of aqua and sand resembling swirls of ocean waves and a center post covered with pier boards, pallets, rope and water ski lamps, displaying Shawn Dean’s creativity.
“I like to mix many elements of décor together — high country, modern, beach, you name it — I just look for pieces that I like, then figure out how to arrange them,” said Shawn Dean, who found most of the coastal art and furniture at Bayside Chic in Galveston.
A pool table that substitutes as a dining table, arcade game Golden Tee Golf, dart board and several TV screens, don’t hold a candle to the back wall sporting an imposing tequila bottle collection, wine rack, top shelf liquor and a margarita machine.
A stairway made of rope handrails leads the way to a second level with a movie room and storage area.
The exterior garage doors can be opened up when the weather is nice.
“We are water people,” Shawn Dean said. “If we’re not at home, we’re traveling to other water places. We like to take cruises, have been to all the Mexican ports, Bahamas, Saint Lucia and Bora Bora.”
As co-owner of Crestmark Construction Services, Darla Dean leads a very hectic and busy lifestyle, so traveling and having this Bayou Vista respite is meaningful, she said.
“We wanted to create a spot where we could relax and unwind, plus have a place where everyone could enjoy themselves, including my grown son and daughter,” Shawn Dean said. “It was a lot of work and now that it’s done, we can unwind and forget the outside world, especially when Darla is making her famous smoke fried spare ribs.”
Smoke Fried Spare Ribs
Courtesy of bbqpitboys.com
2 racks of spare ribs
Dry rub of your choice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 rings of sweetened pineapple, and 1 cup juice
1 cup of orange marmalade
¾ cup malt vinegar
¼ cup of sesame oil
1 stick of butter
½ onion grated
Salt and pepper
Red chili flakes
Melt one stick of butter in saucepan and add the grated onion. Dice the pineapple finely and add the juice, salt, pepper, brown sugar, malt vinegar and marmalade. Bring to boil, stir frequently; reduce to a thick consistency.
Slice the ribs, add rub and mix well into the ribs. Place ribs on smoker or grill over indirect heat at 275 F for 1 hour. They should be 90 percent done when you move them to the fryer.
In a heated wok or a large pan, add a splash of cooking oil and ¼ cup sesame oil. Add ribs and fry to crisp up the outside for a few minutes on high heat, turning constantly. Add the sauce, mix well, stirring constantly. Once the ribs have reached an internal temperature of 145 F, remove from pan and sprinkle with red chili flakes.