Beach house style: A Malibu charmer by designer Trip Haenisch
By David A. Keeps Interior designer Trip Haenisch, who has done homes for Courteney Cox, Christina Aguilera and Cher, recently completed a contemporary architectural home in Malibu that took its cues from the surrounding sand, surf, sky and sunlight. On the deck, a teak table and seating are from Summit Furniture, and the striped outdoor fabric on cushions is by Perennials. To see how Haenisch brought the outdoor elements inside, keep reading ... (Everett Fenton Gidley)
Welcome aboard. The entry of the house is defined by horizontal lines. The front door, by Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson of the firm Minarc, is slatted teak with a glass backing. Nautical lighting fixtures add to the home’s beachy character. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
The downstairs area was opened up to create one free-flowing room. He bucked the trend of dark or white floors by installing a planked oak floor that coordinates with the teak bar stools at the kitchen counter, the custom dining table of his design and vintage Danish modern chairs by Hans Wegner with cushions made from Roaul Textiles fabric.
“When you use dark colors at the beach it’s too harsh for me,” he said. “There is something fresher about the medium color flooring in a beach environment. It’s the same color as the sand. And as it gets beaten up a bit it’ll only look more interesting.”
The plaster Donut chandelier is from Waldo’s Designs by Waldo Fernandez. To make it look even more seaworthy, Haenisch had the metal stem and support clips wrapped in rope. On the table: Peking vases by Robert Kuo, who also designed the giant yellow pepper on the kitchen island. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
Haenisch added custom Chippendale-influenced cabinetry and wood paneling to add visual interest to what is essentially a box painted with Dunn Edwards low-sheen Swiss Coffee. “I wanted to give this large unit character in an unobtrusive way, so white on white gives it a textured look,” he said.
The upholstered pieces are all his designs. “Upholstery needs to be comfortable and inviting. Cotton and linen are totally appropriate at the beach,” he said. “Linen can get wrinkled and a little sloppy, which only makes it look more charming. And if you are worried about kids and wet bathing suits, there are now outdoor fabrics that look like linen and velvet.” The striped fabric is by Osborne & Little. The square coffee table is made from salvaged Indonesian teak with a lower shelf wrapped in rope. “It’s indestructible,” said the designer, who created it. “You can get up and dance on it.” (Everett Fenton Gidley)
When you have a view of the water, Haenisch said, you don’t want too many things that stop the eye. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
At one end of the living-dining space, a vintage Arthur Umanoff bar with a woven fiber panel and hanging rattan chair from Reform Gallery add a touch of organic Modernism. Wide-plank vertical paneling and simple blinds keep the room casual. On the wall, behind the chair: aquatic prints by Charley Harper. On the bar, another nautical touch: a lighthouse cocktail shaker. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
“I like powder rooms that are a departure. It’s a moment where you can do something different, a fun way to deliver the color palette,” Haenisch said of the Cole & Son Rajapur wallpaper in the lime-turquoise color scheme. “If you did it in a whole large room, it would be obnoxious.” (Everett Fenton Gidley)
Just a bit of the powder room’s exuberance spills out to the staircase to the second floor. “The client likes bright and cheery colors and wanted to do the house in yellow and turquoise,” Haenisch said. “For a month I had insomnia. I couldn’t imagine doing it.” The solution was to confine the strong colors to small spaces. Note how the artwork in the turquoise frame draws the eye toward the wallpaper and the yellow-framed artwork in the bathroom.” (Everett Fenton Gidley)
In an upstairs guest bedroom, the color scheme gets even stronger. “It’s all about the volume of the color,” Haenisch said. “If you ground really bright colors with neutrals and natural materials, like the rush headboard, it will lower the volume and richen the look.” Haenisch turned lacquered Parsons tables into nightstands. The striped fabric on the pillow and Roman blinds is from Osborne & Little. The map on the wall and ethnic print pillows add a sense of adventure. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
The master has a four-poster bed designed by Christian Liaigre with posts painted white that Haenisch likes because they disappear against the white wall. “A TV at the foot of the bed is the bane of my existence,” said the designer, who covered the box that holds the screen in a fiber material. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
A sitting area at the end of the master bedroom has a love seat and pillows covered in block print Indian fabric by John Robshaw. A rope basket holds firewood for the hearth. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
The master bathroom takes the beach house fantasy literally, right down to the seashell night light and hand soaps on the vanity. Haenisch selected the shells himself and had the mirror made to hang on a wall of oceanic blue Venetian plaster. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
The house was remodeled to maximize ocean exposures. Following the mission to do nothing that would spoil the view, the ipe wood deck has wall panels made of glass and low-lying chaises. (Everett Fenton Gidley)
The mix of materials and colors and the blending of contemporary and midcentury design elements were the work of Trip Haenisch, pictured here.