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How do you create a summer home that captures all the elements of a beach getaway without slipping into clichés? “The key is to not make it look like a beach theme park,” says designer Joe Lucas. “Implement subtle hints like pulling a hard-to-find blue that isn’t a stereotypical beachy blue or combine colors you might not think belong together.”

Lucas, who runs the interior design firm Lucas Studio, as well as a multiline design showroom named Harbinger, put his expertise to good use with his then business partner Parrish Chilcoat of Cameron Design Group when decorating a vacation home for a family of six. Located in Manhattan Beach, California, the three-story, 5,500-square-foot home designed by Grant Kirkpatrick of KAA Design Group makes for the perfect summer getaway, boasting an inner courtyard with a pool and fire pit as well as an outdoor deck.

Tasked with designing a bright, clean home with a coastal feel, Lucas and Chilcoat kept the walls in the residence’s common area white and infused subtle color in smaller details in other rooms around the home. “We always tend to work in hues of blues and greens and grays but love shots of citron and pinks and light lavenders, so you’ll see bits of that going on around the house,” says Lucas of his color palette inspiration.

“It’s a great house for entertaining: The kitchen is perfectly set up for entertaining a big group and you can see everything from the island so you don’t feel like missing out,” says Lucas. 

According to Lucas, keeping the decor classic and fresh and adding subtle pops of color here and there is the key to adding a beachy vibe to a home, without going overboard. “We wanted you to know you were by the beach but not have everything scream beachy,” he adds.  

They implemented these colors in the living room with a mix of blue and soft lavender and in the master bedroom with calming shades of blues and greens. Lucas and Chilcoat added punchier colors and patterns in accent pieces like a multicolored herringbone Missoni carpet in the girls’ rooms and bright yellow pillows in a reading nook. Lucas’ favorite colorful piece? A custom-colored mosaic backsplash in shades of blue from Harbinger. “It became the art in the kitchen which is right in the center of the living space,” says Lucas. “We paired it with a beautiful blue gray cabinet that gives the kitchen a great punch but doesn’t overwhelm the space.”

In addition to blending summery decor with a more classic style home, functionality was another important factor Lucas and his team had to consider. “This was a new build and since it is their second home, we really had free reign with what we could do. We just had to keep in mind that it’s a family with four kids that will have lots of guests and family visiting, so everything had to function well and be easy for beach living,” says Lucas.  

This challenge manifested itself in a somewhat surprising way. “The husband is about six foot eight and the wife is petite, so finding the right scale for furniture was definitely a challenge. The upholstery had to be comfortable for him but not overly massive for the rest of the family,” says Lucas.

Despite the logistical obstacles that inevitably come into play when creating a space for a large family, they ended up with a stunning home that incorporates Lucas’ signature blend of East Coast and West Coast decor. Designed with a mix of East Coast details and West Coast scale, the beach house’s open floor plan and charming details make it ideal for hosting a big group.

“There is truly an indoor-outdoor feeling to the home and it screams calm and relaxation,” says Lucas. One look at this cozy spot and we’d definitely have to agree. 

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