I haven’t been able to stop thinking about moving to be close to the sea since writing about the triangle house in the last issue.
I am impatiently awaiting retirement to reach my final form: a woman who lives in a house by the shore, spending all of my time taking walks along the beach and writing, and wearing linen and cashmere. Bonus points if it’s the English coast and there are lots of flowers involved. This is precisely where my mind goes when I daydream. My Tiktok feed eggs me on with outfit recommendations for this exact persona. So I figured why not indulge the fantasy a bit more?
These are the ultimate fantasy beach homes on the market right now.
The Crawford House
Location: 266 Bay Walk, Sayville, NY 11782
List Price: $2,100,000
Horace Gifford was an iconic modernist architect who transformed Fire Island into an architectural mecca (in addition to a queer one), producing 63 homes across the island. This home that he designed for (and with) his friend Jay Hyde Crawford is my favorite example of his work. Reading about their collaboration and the owner and the process of building the house, only made me love this home even more.
The home is spread across three main volumes: the living area, main suite, and a guest suite. They are connected via glass bridges that house the dining room and guest bathroom. The home follows a simple logic that ties all of the spaces together: the north- and south-facing walls are glass, the east- and west-facing walls are clad in wood.
The simplicity makes the view the star of the show, but it also leaves room for unexpected touches such as kitchen cabinets that feel like they’re floating and surprise circular features such as the round skylights, closets, and showers. The play with shapes and light bring an energy to the home that keeps it from being a somber wood box, and you can really feel the love and attention to detail that both Gifford and Crawford put into this home.
The house is a quietly luxurious retreat from the rest of the world. The perfect place for relaxing and creating, which makes sense for a talented illustrator and designer’s dream home. When Gifford was asked how he could create this kind of luxury out of a modest budget, he explained “the luxury details are a matter of using standard things in an un-standard way.” If that doesn’t inspire you to try to build your own Crawford house, I don’t know what would.
Thanks to Jenna for sending this listing to me ❤️
The Pebble Beach Shed Style
Location: 3158 Don Ln, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
List Price: $3,695,000
This shed style home captured my imagination for lots of reasons. Obviously, the split volumes caught my eye, but what really brought me in was the location. The densely wooded lot makes the giant home feel like a secluded treehouse with great views of the ocean.
The loftyness of the ceilings echoes the feeling of being up in the trees. The home makes great use out of the high ceilings in various ways, from a loft in the main living space (more treehouse vibes) to skylights and clerestory windows in secondary spaces.
Needless to say, the light in the home is truly spectacular and makes the home feel like it is outdoors. The textured finishes throughout make the home feel very natural and at home in the wooded location.
The relative shortness of the ceilings in the bedroom spaces make the rooms feel sheltered and cozy in comparison. Although they still enjoy the dramatic views of the California coastline.
The Tree House
Location: 529 Sail Walk, Sayville, NY 11782
List Price: $1,750,000
Another Fire Island Gifford home, the tree house is in apt name for this glass and timber pyramid-like home. While there aren’t many photos, the photos that are available tease of a truly remarkable home.
The main living space is on the top floor of the house with gently sloped angles and panoramic views of the lush greenery and sea below. It really feels like you’re removed from the world up there.
Down below where all of the secondary spaces are you’ll find a bit more privacy, and some tasteful renovations and additions, including a heated pool and hot tub for that full retreat vibe.
The Sand Dune House
Location: 116 N Pamet Rd, Truro, MA 02666
List Price: $2,375,000
I’m not entirely sure how to categorize this house. While the home embraces both modern and traditional elements, the overall effect feels almost brutalist.
Virtually every surface in this home is clad in wood, making it a warm, neutral texture that fades into the background. Every room has windows that create sight lines to the surrounding landscape with almost surgical precision to showcase a particular hill or dune.
The house seems to both accentuate the surreality of the landscape and provide a soft but strong reprieve from it.
The Frank House, designed by Andrew Geller, isn’t on the MLS but it does appear to be for sale: https://www.vpfireislandpines.com/properties/547-beachcomber-2-copy/
In addition to being a notable New York tri-state area beach house architect, Andrew Geller was also influential through his work on a line of inexpensive prefabricated, fully-furnished (down to the toothbrush) houses known as Leisurama which were available for purchase through Macy's department stores. You can watch a documentary about them on Vimeo.
I’ve been enjoying reading about Horace Gifford and Andrew Geller from these books:
Andrew Geller: Deconstructed: Artist and Architect - written by Geller’s grandson and Emmy Award–winning documentary filmmaker Jake Gorst.