A Cool, Calm Stinson Beach Home Fosters A Connection To The Sea


entry with white walls and...

A light-filled entry is a sunny introduction to the living space.

corner with floor to ceiling...

A corner of the living room is lined with windows and features a comfortable chair.

white and light wood living...

The living room was meant to be a serene gathering space to take in the view. Verellen’s Duke sofa hugs a Puzzle table by Blaxsand, while the artwork depicting a pilot whale—Elm Cetacean by Julian Meredith—seems ready to swim into the water beyond the glass doors. The light fixture is by Guillerme et Chambron.

A bar in the living...

The bar features custom floating shelves and cabinetry with leather brackets and pulls by Made Measure. The black Single Handle faucet is by Brizo, and the backsplash boasts gray-and- white Savoy Field tile by Ann Sacks.

neutral kitchen with black accents...

In the kitchen, black accents—such as the Carronade pendants by Le Klint and Blink counter stools by Stellar Works—stand out against a white backdrop. Ann Sacks tiles deliver subtle pattern in the backsplash, and chairs from Haskell Antiques surround a Stellar Works table.

kitchen with black range and...

“The husband found this Dacor range and was so excited to show it to me,” says Triggs, who wanted it to blend with the black-stained cabinetry. Windows were added by contractor George T. Flynn beneath the floating shelves for additional natural light.

banquette with antique chairs and...

Small windows in the breakfast room were replaced with one giant window to take in the view. A custom table with a Cambria top is encircled by a banquette Triggs designed and antique chairs. The bamboo-and-steel light is by Moooi.

main bedroom with white bed...

The view from the main bedroom inspired the serene palette. Calm colors of fog appear in the Scott Group Studio rug, a blanket by Coyuchi, Gregorius Pineo’s tribal wallcovering and cylinder pendants by Bone Simple Design. Triggs custom-designed the platform bed through Verellen, and the draperies are crafted with Mark Alexander fabric.

bathroom with hanging towel bar...

In the main bathroom, Triggs worked with Steel Geisha Designs to create a ceiling-mounted towel bar that hangs in front of the window. JCM Cabinets built the bleached-oak cabinets that are topped by a Cambria countertop with an integrated sink. A gunmetal Kallista faucet curves above it all.

A Hoof side table by Noir and a Bella Skirt lamp seem to pose by the bed in the guest bedroom. The headboard is upholstered with Brentano fabric and accented with Tiger Leather straps. The Handira Cloth wallcovering is by Phillip Jeffries, and the window shade is made with Mark Alexander’s Raindrop fabric.

As writer Isak Dinesen once said, “The cure for anything is saltwater—sweat, tears or the sea.” For one San Francisco family, the antidote to a busy life with four active teenagers was, in fact, the sea. They craved a beach getaway that would offer slow yet rhythmic days, where outdoor activities like swimming, surfing, paddling and biking would knit together the hours between sunrise and sunset. The couple felt a pull north toward Stinson Beach, a short drive from the hustle and bustle of the city, but a world away in terms of tranquility.

“We’d been going to Stinson Beach with our children for the last 15 years because it is an easy drive from the city, but it feels like a true vacation,” says the wife, who grew up in Malibu, where the beach was a natural extension of her everyday life. “I wanted my four kids to have that kind of connection to the ocean, too.”

The couple fell for a 1970s house typical of the simple, box-style structures that populated the beach community during that era. “It was like a time capsule, preserved in all its original glory,” says designer Tineke Triggs, whom they hired to oversee its redesign. “Think dark paneling, small windows, tiled countertops and maple cabinetry everywhere. It felt very heavy and dated, and at the same time, it was rotting away because of the ocean elements at play. But it had so much potential, and the views— well, they were absolutely amazing.”

Working with architect Stacey Ford and builder George T. Flynn, Triggs and the clients began to dream about how they could reinvent the simple structure while paying homage to its quirky 1970s roots. “The house is U-shaped, with an interior, protected courtyard, which is key because it gets cool at Stinson Beach,” says Triggs. “We all loved the flow of the house and the ease of the layout around the courtyard, but we needed to bring it into modern times for this family of six.”

At the heart of the redesign are the surroundings. As Ford says, “It’s one of the most beautiful settings in the world, and we wanted the house to work with it.” Triggs began her process by studying the scenery, which landscape architect Stephanie Green of SG Landscapes later enhanced. “I spent a lot of time in the main bedroom, taking in the incredible view,” Triggs says. “Standing at the window, it almost looked like you were staring at a painting. It’s mesmerizing. So I took my cues from what I was seeing outside and decided that the house should really embrace the landscape in terms of color and tone, and the structure itself should almost disappear into it.”

To that end, the exterior is clad with gray-washed cedar. “It almost vanishes into the view of the lagoon,” Triggs says. Inside, all the rooms were directed to the water—either literally, via windows and doors, or figuratively, by way of color palette and materials. One of the most transformative decisions was replacing small windows with massive picture windows or sliders that embrace the outdoors. This greater sense of transparency allowed the house to breathe again, with the glass walls and doors giving the constant illusion of more elbow room.

Inside, wooden paneling on the walls was replaced with drywall for a cleaner, simpler look and heated concrete floors were installed throughout the house. Triggs chose black accents—like the stain on the kitchen cabinets and the pendants over the island—to echo the black- framed windows. To keep things from feeling too austere, she warmed the ceilings and outfitted the interior doors with tongue-and-groove bleached oak, which she repeated throughout the house for open shelves and built-ins.

The designer also created a consistent, uniform palette of subtle grays, soft whites and the occasional note of sea blue to echo the halcyon colors of the beach outside, where fog tends to filter the light for a portion of any given day. “The clients have a very traditional, and quite colorful, Spanish-style home in the city, and I wanted their weekend house to offer them something entirely different. Everything I chose related to that misty, soft, neutral tone in the landscape outside.”

“I wanted this house to feel white, clean and very calm—to not distract from the beautiful views,” says the wife. She also asked Triggs to select durable and forgiving materials and furnishings that would stand up to honest “beach life” with four active teenagers. “The clients wanted this to be a comfortable home, where their kids could relax and enjoy the ocean, which meant this would be a place where sandy, wet feet would come in and out,” says Triggs. “They have extra surfboards, paddleboards and bikes in anticipation that the house will always be filled with kids and friends who want to come here to unwind. That’s what we created it to be—a place of play.”