The Hunt is On for a Beach House!


A few weeks ago, I shared in Love Letter (sign up here so you don’t miss any future revelations!) that I got this overwhelming feeling that I want to design a beach house. It happened while I was snorkeling on a recent trip to Bora Bora, and the colors that I saw just inspired me, but not in the way you’d think!

It wasn’t all pastel blues, whites and beige — there were these bold, moodier colors all around. The sea evolved from cerulean to dark-green blue. I saw this moss-green coral that had these bright periwinkle spots. There were these striped fish swimming around that got me thinking about a black and white-striped sofa. All of that to say, nothing I saw screamed “coastal decor” to me. I immediately wanted to create a beach house that reflects the natural elements I saw!

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So now we’re officially on the hunt to find a beach house in North Carolina to renovate. While we’re going to look into a beach house for our family at some point, we really want to have a CLJ beach house that we can Airbnb and anyone can come stay in it! Pretty views are important, but we weren’t sure it HAD to be waterfront until our most recent trip to the coast where we stayed at a beachfront property and it was very nice and convenient and healing! Maybe three bedrooms. Proximity to good restaurants is a plus — I want the house to be part of a whole experience where we can share a little itinerary of all of our favorite spots for our guests.

Chris Loves Julia | Twin built-in bunk beds in a nautical-themed roomChris Loves Julia | Twin built-in bunk beds in a nautical-themed room
Cute bunk room in a home we stayed in.

We’ve been to a few North Carolina beaches so far, and they each have their charms. Growing up in Pennsylvania, we went to Duck every summer for our beach trips, and a few years ago we took our family to Nags Head. Designer Lauren Liess just released a beautiful book, Beach Life: Home, Heart & the Sea that showcases Corolla, her favorite spot in the Outer Banks, and it’s just stunning. There’s so much waterfront to choose from in the OBX!

Chris Loves Julia | Chris and Polly looking at the ocean at breakfast with a box of donuts on the tableChris Loves Julia | Chris and Polly looking at the ocean at breakfast with a box of donuts on the table

For Memorial Day this year, we took the family to Oak Island and just fell in love with the idyllic beach town. It doesn’t have any chain restaurants, and we discovered some really great local spots — the kids loved everything from OKI Scoop Shop & Donuts. We did cruise around a little to see what’s available in the housing market, and while I didn’t see something I thought would work, I’ve bookmarked the location!

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Some of our team members rave about the charms of Southport and Beaufort (North Carolina, but South Carolina’s is supposed to be beautiful too!) Topsail also has a following — Southern Living calls it “Mayberry by the Sea.” It’s like the sky (I mean sea?) is the limit when it comes to finding a spot to make our style!

For now, I just have a dozen Zillow alerts set until I come across “the one.” We’re taking the summer to scope out different beach towns and feel out vibes and see where our family wants to own a little piece of the beach.



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