PROJECT: CAT CAY RESIDENCE
Whether you choose to enjoy a peaceful nap in the hammock, a quiet cup of coffee in the morning, or a relaxing bath while gazing at the ocean, a beautifully-designed beach home is the perfect place to indulge.
Luxuriously designed to reflect its surroundings, this Bahamian home — designed by Touzet Studio — lets nature do the talking. For homeowners looking to embrace luxury beach living, we spoke with Jacqueline Touzet, principal of Touzet Studio, to learn all about it.
How can homeowners incorporate beach décor without sacrificing luxury?
The ultimate luxury of a beach house is an uninterrupted view and enjoyment of the amazing ocean. We purposefully keep the architecture minimal and the focus on nature. Besides the celebration of the view, the key elements we incorporate to give a “Beach” vibe are organic accents — woven lamps, rattan elements and rustic wood bar stools — paired with a sleek material palette — concrete floors and large glass doors. The key is relaxation, low-stress and low-maintenance. It can be modern and minimal, but there should not be a focus on complicated details or materials that make the house feel stiff or formal.
What are some key design components to keep in mind?
Our clients usually have a beach home so they can relax — so we carefully consider all the opportunities for maximum enjoyment. You want to be able enjoy your house at all hours of the day — and so we have comfortable seating everywhere, a tub that allows you to gaze at the ocean and an outdoor bar that allows you to enjoy cocktails overlooking the ocean. We also believe letting the outside in is key to a beach home, meaning that we design houses that allow maximum enjoyment of views.
What colors are essential to create this design aesthetic?
Whites and neutrals like wood or rattan, some light greys really help set a soothing tone and environment where the dramatic ocean views and beautiful landscape can be enjoyed. They are also timeless and elegant. You can always change the art and the accent pillows and the flowers — but a great neutral base that is light and inviting sets the tone of a space.
How can homeowners use shades of blue?
We like the use of blue in a subtle way — most of the palette is neutral and so the blues are really just an accent. Just like the ocean, there are infinite variations of blues you can play with and mixing them up is usually more interesting that one solid color. It is delightful to have the blue and it is refreshing, but a little bit can go a long way.
What is the importance of plants and greenery?
Having tropical plants in your garden and bringing them into the space really helps bring the “tropical” beach vibe into the space. The more dramatic the leaf shapes, the better. For this space we loved just having interesting green foliage and white or neutral orchids. We avoided bright colors that detract from the serenity of the space.
What is your recommendation when it comes to using shells or corals?
We love having shells and corals as reminders of your connection to nature. We keep shells in glass containers or wooden trays as a collection of your beachside adventures, or we pick particularly beautiful corals or larger shells as art objects. Nature is the ultimate inspiration and there is no greater beauty. When you take a shell that is beautiful and put it on a side table or shelf — you are celebrating that. We have seen mirrors and other objects that incorporate shells but our preference is to leave them in their natural state.