Love of the sea inspired colors in this East End Galveston kitchen
Deep blue pulls visitors into the East End Galveston home of Frank Shepherd and Stephen Scoville.
This powerful blue doesn’t let go of what’s caught in its current until it reaches the long galley kitchen. Iridescent blue mosaic tiles in the kitchen backsplash reflect light, making lavender strips in the deep blue tile that disappear on closer inspection. From other angles, momentary glimpses of green emerge, but it’s an illusion. The deep blue swallows the other colors.
The mesmerizing effect is an intentional nod to the sea, the owners said.
“I like sea colors,” Scoville said.
And the blue magic continues on the Bahia granite countertops. The stone comes from the Bahia region of Brazil and is bright blue with occasional waves of darker navy tones suspended in the depth of a murkier blue. Shepherd and Scoville had picked out the Bahia before learning it can be five times more expensive than other granite. By that time, though, they really wanted the Bahia countertops, Shepherd said.
To balance the strong but calm blues are three orange, handblown glass lamps. These also are full of nuanced colors from red to brown to yellow, suggesting natural movement. Texas artisans at Wimberley Glassworks in the Texas Hill Country created the subtle art that shed light on the mighty blue Bahia.
“Every one of them is different,” Scoville said.
The galley kitchen has a practical and functional side. The working triangle path from the sink to the stovetop to the refrigerator makes cooking smooth, Shepherd said. The Bosch ovens are on the wall and open to the side. No one has to bend over and struggle to pull a heavy dish out and up. The 19-by-11-foot kitchen is at the center of the first floor and open to the living room. Stainless steel barstools sit ready along the 11-foot-long island.
In 2016, the couple hired contractors to build the Church Street house on a vacant lot. They already were living in Galveston and also had a beach house in Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula, where they often hosted dinner parties.
“We decided this would be the retirement house,” Shepherd said.
But as it turns out, it won’t be. Five years after they moved into the home, Scoville and Shepherd decided to downsize and move to Sarasota, Florida.
The couple met in the 1970s in Houston. They got the house in Crystal Beach in 1981 and kept it until recently. Then the downsizing, consolidating and plotting of the next part of their lives began. First, they sold the beach house. Soon after, they got an offer on the Church Street house full of blue magic.
Two doctors transferring to the University of Texas Medical Branch with their children bought the house almost on sight, Shepherd said. And they wanted to move in as soon as possible to get ready for the coming school year.
The new home under construction in Sarasota will have white quartz countertops, Scoville said. And the stainless steel barstools will get new upholstery to match the new kitchen’s mood.
In June, Scoville and Shepherd packed up their books, their furniture and their original modern art on the walls that complemented the formidable blue.
“It’s all a bit of a process,” Shepherd said.