Friday, 18 March 2016

Coastal Living

Beautiful homes at the ocean’s edge offer lots of inspiration for those seeking a relaxed, carefree lifestyle, says Henrietta Heald

Written by Henrietta Heald
There is something magical about living by the water. Waking up to the call of gulls and the crashing of waves brings you closer to the natural world. If you live near a harbour, you may be lulled by the repetitive clink of the wind in the rigging; even if you live far from the bustle of a busy port, there are constant reminders of the power of the elements, whether it is the intense heat of the midday sun or the ferocious winds during the hurricane season.

house-590-2This room in the Guest House has a cool, colonial feel, with white-painted walls and French doors leading to the terrace, which wraps around the house on all four sides

The architecture of many of the properties in my book has been influenced by their coastal location. Cary Tamarkin designed his house on Shelter Island, New York with a wide ‘breezeway’ separating the living and sleeping areas so that people experience direct contact with the elements every time they move between the two, while India Hicks and David Flint Wood’s home on Harbour Island in the Bahamas features shady verandas to help them keep cool in the relentless heat.

house-590-3From left: Coastal and lakeland scenes in Jan Constantine’s fisherman’s cottage in Port Isaac, Cornwall. Looking out onto the ‘breezeway’ at Cary Tamarkin’s home. A ‘scrap wall’ in a corner of the Guest House, a two-storey property on Harbour Island in the Bahamas owned by India Hicks and David Flint Wood

The destructive potential of the elements is never far from the minds of coast-dwellers: witness the presence on Nantucket of ‘widow’s walks’ – railed platforms where mariners wives would await their husbands’ return after a storm at sea.

house-590-4From left: Wonoma Lodge, near the north-east part of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. The living area of the Boathouse, next to Wonoma Lodge, with a set of vintage oars. An enclosed porch outside the kitchen at Wonoma Lodge

Interior decor in the book reflects the owners’ passion for life by the ocean – see for example the maritime artwork on show at Jan Constantine’s Cornish fisherman’s cottage.

Coastal Living, by Henrietta Heald, is published by Ryland Peters & Small, priced £25.

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