The Seaside Farmhouse
By Jacqueline Gonzalez
By: Jaqueline Gonzalez Photos by: Jason Page
From neutral colors and beach treasures to farmhouse accents, it’s impossible not to perk up the minute you enter the classic and effervescent home of Emily and Matt McCauley. Both avid beach-goers, it made sense that they’d fall in love with the gorgeous mid-’90s home on the Island. Like any eager homeowners, they had a vision, and embarked on their new project.
Emily is the owner of Green Sea Designs, a shop with custom pressed marine algae, and also runs a DIY and home décor blog called Table and Hearth. Her passion for coastal home décor is evident through the detailed descriptions of her projects, and the creativity behind her vision abounds not only through her blog posts, but also in her home.
Living only a couple of miles from the beach on North Padre Island, the McCauleys wanted their home décor to reflect a coastal, beachy environment. Their vision incorporated a cozy layered decorating style, brimming with a variety of patterns. The vibe feels very much at ease through the combination of pale, neutral shades with weathered textures, and it’s filled with ocean treasures, which makes it fit in well on the island.
The true character of the home shines through in the living room. The pale, neutral shades with weathered textures allow their décor to evoke the sea with the colors of nature. Elements such as the wooden pelican and heron statues purchased at the Rockport Art Festival add personality to the space. A large DIY wall display board, painted with salt wash for a beachy weathered look, showcases 3 oars collected by Matt, lending a nautical touch. Driftwood, Emily’s favorite decorating staple, can be seen spread creatively around the home – the most eye-catching display is in the form of large pieces drilled together to make a decorative fireplace cover. Other beach-inspired treasures such as faux coral, algae prints, shells, and glass buoys highlight the natural beauty of coastal décor.
The formerly pickled oak kitchen received a rustic farmhouse makeover, complete with gray cabinets, shiplap walls, a shaved river rock backsplash, industrial barstools, and various DIY projects.
Those DIY elements reflect the old adage, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Emily’s penchant for turning architectural salvage items into craft projects allows her to think outside the box, and revamping or completely repurposing these bargain items keeps the look casual. A wall organizer, made from rustic shutters, helps keep the family on track, while an old door with weathered, chippy paint texture keeps the kitchen’s coastal farmhouse vibe, while separating it from the laundry room.
Their two-year-old, Connor, basks in his own version of weathered and neutral style via his coastal nursery décor. Emily let her creative prowess flow freely in this room. A strategically designed DIY driftwood mobile, secured by a fishing line, hangs over an iron convertible crib, giving the nursery a whimsical and playful coastal vibe. A shiplap wall in Peppercorn sets a soft color palette for the nursery furniture to stand out, and a standard closet door is replaced by a vintage farmhouse door to create visual interest and accentuate the room with weathered textures. Hanging storage crates, baskets, and bins allow Emily to keep her son’s belongings organized without depriving the room of stylish charm.
The master bedroom showcases familiar coastal elements in neutral shades, along with nautical rope picture hangers, and a full-length mirror made from an old rustic door. Emily trades the pale, neutral colors in the guest bedroom for a dark grayish navy shade called “Outerspace” in what she proudly heralds as the “fun room.” Industrial pipe shelves add storage space for a collection of signed baseballs, frames, and other personal items, while shadowboxes on the wall showcase concert memorabilia accrued over the years since they’ve been together, which adds a touch or romance and fun to the aesthetic of the room. Nautical rope hanging shelves, made by a few boards salvaged from a scrap wood pile, allow for more storage while freeing up floor space.
Emily knew she had her work cut out for her with the backyard and patio, but when there’s a view as lovely as the one outside, updating the backyard space is a must. After hauling off some non-essentials, she began on her creation of a rustic patio complete with a refinished weathered oak patio set, a DIY pergola, and her favorite, a DIY farmhouse dining table. The table, inspired by an Ana White tutorial, became a must-do project when she found some chippy paint lumber left behind by a neighbor after demolishing an old deck. The charm of the old finish accentuated by string lights hung on the pergola, in addition to the soothing sounds of the pond, add up to a calm, welcoming outdoor retreat.