Designer Ashley Donohue says the views are the star of this waterfront Ventura Keys home. “The outdoor deck wraps the exterior of the home and from here the clients have seen octopus, small sharks, and have even caught lobster,” she says. “Knowing this, we incorporated nautical wall papers, sculptures, and accessories to play into the beach house feel and all the wildlife that surrounds it.” Without going too cliche, she managed to bring in chic coastal details that embody the relaxing vibes of the neighborhood—palm trees swaying in the sea breeze outside, and a serene color palette and soft texture. “Whenever I go back to visit, I don’t want to leave,” she laughs. 

Her clients wanted the home to be serve as a place for the family to unwind outside of the busy Los Angeles lifestyle: “Someplace where you can go unnoticed…hop on a kayak, boat to dinner, or simply enjoy the waterfront views,” Ashley explains. “The intent was to create a space to be used by friends and family for years to come. The homeowners have strong and bold personalities with great style, which is seen throughout the space through architectural design elements and the finish selections.”

The design process was very collaborative, with Ashley working closely with the homeowners to create a “Bold Nautical” design they’d enjoy. Working with John Truong, Chappel Architecture, and Allen Construction, the home was brought down to the studs. Structural beams negatively affected the flow, so these were removed to provide better layout and highlight the views. “.  The cost to remove the columns and create the open floor plan the client dreamed of, with unobstructed views to the water, was worth the expense,” the designer explains.

The kitchen and dining area is the heart of the home. “The owners are phenomenal cooks, and the goal was to be able to entertain twenty people at any given time,” Ashley shares. Over the dining room table is a custom a fish sculpture, designed with UK-based studio Scabetti. “This 600-piece fish sculpture captures your eye from the moment you enter the home. Its lightness and organic shape set the tone for the space,” Ashley says. 

The year and a half project had its fair share of challenges, but overall was worth the effort. The end result is what the family describes as their perfect escape. Take a tour in the slideshow.