I wanted to talk an expert in beach homes design trends in Texas, so I went to Carol Albrecht, a respected interior designer of Texas beach homes as well as the owner of My Coastal Home furniture stores in Corpus Christi, Rockport, and Port Aransas. After talking with Albrecht, I concluded that Texas coastal design is like the Third Coast itself – a natural beauty that is meant to be lived in.
I stopped by Albrecht’s store in Port Aransas, a quaint island community off the coast of Corpus Christi with a thriving vacation and tourism market. Albrecht has decorated many second homes in the area, from multimillion-dollar beachfront mansions to upscale condos. Most vacation home owners come from larger metropolitan areas – many of Albrecht’s clients are from San Antonio – to the Texas coast in order to have fun and relax.
When I asked Albrecht about the latest colors in the beach homes she’d decorated, she told me that grays and turquoise blue as well as the neutral colors of the beach seemed to catching on with homeowners. Looking around her shop, the color palette she mentioned — as soothing and exhilarating as Mustang Island itself — is in evidence.
Couches in soft gray and cheery turquoise sit accented with the occasional bright pillow, giving a comfortable and casual feel. Since my beach sojourns have been limited lately to the Texas coast, I asked Albrecht how beach homes on other shores differ in style from vacation abodes on Gulf Coast. She pointed out that if she were decorating on the East coast, the colors would lean more toward crisp navy-blues and whites typically thought of in “nautical” decorating.
One of the main reasons for the difference in color inclination is linked to the activities that draw the on the Texas coast. After all, some of the biggest draws for vacationers are fishing, kayaking, hunting, and birding. Natural colors can hide wear-and-tear from frequent outdoor activities.
“People like to live in their beach homes here,” Albrecht said. “The style is really durable. If you accidentally knock into a table like this and scratch it,” she added, brushing her hand along a lovely coffee table made from reclaimed wood, “it doesn’t ruin it. It just adds to the effect.”
According to Albrecht, reclaimed wood and scrubbed wood are popular, and she pointed out several pieces that showcase the “look” second-home owners are after. “People love the rich, natural textures,” she said. Around the store you can see other examples of natural texture, from driftwood sculptures to wicker chairs.
Wall treatments also tend to be simple and natural. With the coastal humidity, wall paper is not a viable longterm option. I’ve wallpapered homes in much drier north Texas, but Carol told me that the moist air can make wallpaper peel faster. Paint is popular, but so is exposed and scrubbed wood — a return to the theme of natural textures. For home-owners who do paint their walls, stencils are also popular.
When combined, the relaxing colors and the natural textures give a wonderfully casual ambiance that fits in perfectly with a sunset on the beach along the wild Texas coast.
For more information on Carol Albrecht and My Coastal Home, click the link below to visit her website.