Set on a point of land at one of California’s best surfing spots, this beach house offered the ultimate ocean access to a family of avid surfers. When they bought it, the house was a traditional shingled Cape Cod–style structure with large white pillars and fiberglass finishes to help battle the ocean elements, while inside, the water views were cut off from the kitchen.

Since beach houses in California face heavy restrictions and coastal commission rules, the homeowners narrowed their remodel to be mostly about opening up the home with a more contemporary spin. With a goal to max out the ocean views, create more of a beach style in and out, and have the home better blend into their Carpinteria neighborhood, they hired Anacapa Design-Build and interior designer Charles Delisle to help with the tricky renovation.

See More Cape Cod Style in California

Photos by Leslie Williamson


Houzz at a Glance

Who lives here: A young married couple with 2 kids

Location: Rincon Point, California

Size: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

That’s interesting: Exotic hardwoods — like Brazilian ipe, cedar, redwood and teak — make this home modern while helping it stand up to oceanfront weather.


Set on Rincon Point, this beachfront home offers incredible access to the ocean, and Delisle was tasked with updating the landscape. “We added more large junipers and local shrubs to help define the house a bit more and nestle in with its neighbors,” he says. “Concrete walls, outdoor hardscape and fireplaces were reworked with sandy concrete, filled with casually placed beach stones.”


Surfs Up 1: Leslie Williamson, original photo on Houzz


Formerly traditional with round white pillars and a circular spa tub, this porch overlooking the ocean got a major makeover. Now it has more modern square redwood columns, Brazilian wood on the deck, cedar on the ceiling and a spa tub with a more modern square shape.


Surfs Up 2: Leslie Williamson, original photo on Houzz


“The No. 1 priority was to get a view from the kitchen,” says Chris Joyce, president of Anacapa Design-Build. “With that we had carte blanche to rip the house apart.” The previous kitchen was small and basic. Joyce knocked down a wall to get the spectacular ocean view and opened up spaces for a sleek new contemporary design. The new custom island cabinets are teak, topped with Caesarstone.

These Fireplace Screens Add a Contemporary Twist to Traditional Rooms


Surfs Up 3: Leslie Williamson, original photo on Houzz


A new steel structure increased the size of the ocean-facing living room. “This room was remodeled, keeping with the traditional style of the existing house but cleaning up all the lines and layout to make it feel more contemporary and modern,” says Delisle. Walls were troweled with heathered oatmeal-colored plaster, while old furniture got a new life with fresh fabric.

The fireplace is an EPA-approved Rumford, which Delisle says is both high efficiency and low emission. His office created the custom two-toned ottoman surrounded by a pair of chairs and twin vintage cabinets in their original driftwood finish. On the right hang two ink drawings of shells by a San Francisco surfer.


Surfs Up 4: Leslie Williamson, original photo on Houzz


In the nursery, what looks like wood paneling is actually Piet Hein Eek wallpaper. A custom grass-green shutter lends a whimsical peekaboo element that brings the outdoors in.


Surfs Up 5: Leslie Williamson, original photo on Houzz


For the master bedroom, Delisle used a custom upholstered headboard wall in aubergine herringbone linen, then added custom bleached oak nightstands.


Surfs Up 6: Leslie Williamson, original photo on Houzz


An outdoor shower was updated in graphic cedar paneling. Custom shelving is fitted with surfboard racks, ready for the direct access to the beach.

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