Located in a quaint North County San Diego beach community, perched on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is Maison by the Sea—Alexis Garrett’s latest project. The home is a short walk to the beach and a sweet little city center where there are coffee shops, restaurants and surf shops, while the nearby beaches are some of the most beautiful in California. Alexis and her firm, Alexis Garrett Design, were tasked with creating a clean and timeless aesthetic that would continue to serve the family who lives there for years to come. “We wanted to have a neutral palette that they wouldn’t get tired of and we wanted to mix old and new pieces, all of a timeless durability and aesthetic,” Alexis says. “Even though most pieces were new to the family and the house was going to be brand new, we wanted it to feel like the home had been lived in for years on the day they moved in.”

The original property was a small beach cottage that the family had purchased and re-worked with the help of the architects at Bokal & Sneed, whose vision for the home took advantage of the property’s layout and location. “The architecture beautifully complements the topography of the lot, and the one-level home steps down as the property graduates down the slope,” the designer says. “Bokal & Sneed also kept a wonderful low profile that gives the home a humble and understated subtlety.” For interiors, Alexis then looked to a favorite album ash she compiled inspiration for the space. “When I close my eyes and think about Maison by the Sea, I imagine Harvest Moon by Neil Young (the song the clients played for their first dance at their wedding) playing through the sound system with all the doors open and the linen sheers blowing in the wind over the Chantilly Lace wall color,” she recalls. “The light is bright but not cool and there is a softness with the linens mixing with the sound and the patina of the vintage pieces we collected.” 

Must haves included wine storage and original art (Alexis shares more on that in the slideshow!) as well as a space that could accommodate visiting family and friends. “The only thing that was off limits was doing anything with a short aesthetic shelf life,” she says. “That’s always off limits for us.” The project took over two years, start to finish, and the designer says she’ll never forget the install. “When the husband and wife saw the art in the entry for the first time, it took my breath away for a second time seeing it through their eyes,” she smiles. “It filled me up knowing that we had successfully created a beautifully curated home that will last a lifetime.”