Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ode to the Beach House

The beach house in Baja Malibu has been sold, suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly, although we had known for the last year or so that it was coming. T's stepdad was looking for work again after 7 years of medical problems, surgeries, etc., and the border crossing was just getting too long and inconvenient to do every day. There has also been a sharp increase in Americanization (condos, Home Depots, Dominoes Pizza, and the like), as well as drug-related violence south of Rosarito. All in all, we all knew it was getting to be time, and when a realtor asked to show the house "just to see," and wound up with an offer for $370K, B and B decided that now was as good a time as any to leave Mexico.

We'll start our tour on the front patio.

The front door and patio.

When B and B first bought this house, everything in Baja Malibu was white, usually with brick trim and red tile roofs. But as soon as the ink was dry, they went to town with color, usually trying several color combinations before getting things just right. The dark terra-cotta color of the exterior, for instance, is the third incarnation.

These steps are on the patio and go up to the roof, a great place to hide stuff or to look out at the ocean.

Another view of the steps and patio wall.

The south view of the house.

Unfortunately, somebody bought this vacant lot and will be building a house on it beginning in January, leaving only 18" between the houses. Still, that will leave the new house barely 18' wide.

The front door. To the left is the doorway to the third bedroom/computer room/closet. (It's only about 12'x7'.) Behind you are three steps, then a door on the right to a second bedroom.

I wish the colors hadn't turned out so pinky in the photos--they're really a little more of a terra-cotta, like the exterior of the house but much lighter.

One view from inside the kitchen, featuring the microwave and some local art pieces.

There are actually two shades of the orangey-pink on these walls. The whole house started out the lightest color as B delicately dipped her toes into the non-white color palette.

Another view of the kitchen.

Note the handpainted tile on the backsplash and the handwoven baskets on top of the cabinets. (Yes, there are always towels hanging over the chairs. They won't ever get dry otherwise.)

This is the living area, looking toward the kitchen.

The last stop on the backwards-walking tour of the house is the living room. I love how the purple walls are echoed from the room divider to the kitchen archway to the far wall of the kitchen. B did it that way on purpose! The purple chenielle sectional sofa is waaaayyyy more comfortable that the previous one.

Another view of the living room.

The side walls of the living area are what B calls "icky green," her favorite color. What I love so much about this house is that there is absolutely no way I would have chosen olive drab to match purple, burnt orange, and turquoise, but in the end there's just nothing else that would have done. The art pieces on the wall are all from the mercado in Rosarito.

The fireplace, all decked out for Christmas.

The other side of the living area has a fireplace and more artwork. As much as B and family hate to see the beach house go, she admits it will be nice to go somewhere her stainless steel won't rust.

The fireplace was originally made of brick, which was covered in stucco and then painted.

The dining table has a great view of the balcony and the beach! The archways around the windows were bare brick before being covered with stucco. This wall is the only one in the house (besides the back of the kitchen arch) to retain the original first-try color, a very light terra-cotta orange-pink.

B and B on the couch.

This is absolutely the best, best thing about this house: this is the view from the living room onto the Pacific through the wall of arched windows on the west side of the house.

It's not all bad, though. B and B will be moving back to the mountains west of Denver, where they will be able to get quite a bit of house for what they made on this one. Inexplicably, all the houses in that area are painted white on the inside, too, so it should be fascinating to see how the new one turns out!

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