Interior details of this coastal cottage evoke designs of luxurious yachts
For more than 20 years, Julie Hall lived in a San Leon home she thought she could never leave. But a few months ago, she did just that.
“I’m still in San Leon,” Hall said. “It was a bittersweet decision, but the stairs in my former home were getting harder to climb, and I wasn’t directly on the water. My new place is one story, right on the water and the view is spectacular. Plus, I have my own pier and can see the sunrise in the mornings.”
A rose garden with curved sidewalk leads to beveled-glass French doors trimmed in African mahogany and a wall of over-sized windows that provide a panoramic view.
“The main thing I like about this house is that it is pure craftsmanship,” Hall said. “The previous owner was in the yacht interior design business, so you will see things in here that are normally found on luxurious yachts, like the doors, trim around the windows, the fireplace mantel and bathroom — all African mahogany.”
Hall’s previous home had an old-world Mediterranean charm. Her new house is more contemporary and cosmopolitan. The 1,300-square-foot house features one bedroom, one bath, kitchen and living room, but is perfection to her, she said.
The architectural beams, white cedar tongue-and-groove ceiling, floors of chiseled travertine tile and walls of white beadboard create a sense of expansiveness.
“Everything is white and bright here, so much different than my former home with a variety of colors,” Hall said. “So, it was important that I find furnishings that would complement the style of the home, but it wasn’t easy. After months of looking, I finally stumbled upon Far Pavilions in Katy, Texas, so the majority of my furniture came from there.”
Hall, who has a background in design, mixed pieces from a few other stores and focused on a white-and-dark effect that marry each other beautifully.
A white leather sofa and two ebony spindle chairs with white linen upholstery mirror each other across from the fireplace in the living room. The coffee table between them is a hand-carved lotus motif surrounded by leaves in an antiquated finish. An antique chest and a cello that Hall’s grandson used to play is nearby. A repurposed buffet with painted patina sits against a back wall with a hand-carved lattice tree of life hanging above it.
In a far corner, four mid-sized bar stools surround Hall’s 1903 Wm. Knabe & Co. cherrywood baby grand piano — a treasure from her former home.
“It’s like having my own piano bar for those who want to be entertained while I play for my guests,” she said.
The dining room includes a table made from an antique door and buffet of solid wood accented with hand-embossed brass foil. Dining room chairs are a mix of linen and leather.
The kitchen countertops are covered with Cortez copper. A hand-carved mirror with spindle accents hangs above the Miele ceramic induction cooktop. A triple-arched low display case sits above the countertop and is perfect for storing glassware.
“I know it’s not the norm to put a mirror above the stove, but it just works there, plus the low display case looked better atop the counter than on the floor,” Hall said.
A sleigh bed and French settee carries out the cosmopolitan theme.
The adjoining bathroom and vanity with touches of African mahogany trim is another testament of the previous owner’s handiwork.
A bonus to the property is a charming guest house with bedroom, bath, kitchen, and laundry room, tucked away in the back of the main house toward the backyard.
“The mahogany trim carries over into the guest house,” Hall said. “The stained concrete floors, sitting area, king-sized bed and sleeper sofa is perfect when family members come to visit.”
Noticeable throughout the main house and guest house is the mix of contemporary, abstract and classic paintings as well as an impressive collection of statuary.
“Art is a major factor with me,” Hall said. “I inherited several pieces a few years back and they have found a home here and they fit in with my new décor. Although I love the water, I’m not a nautical person, and I wanted a distinctive look — a brand new palette. Plus, I like the bigger yard and being closer to nature.”
As for this being the last move she’ll make, Hall had this to say:
“Ha, never say never, and I’m not afraid of change,” she said. “But for now, this will most likely be my forever home — maybe.”