COTE DE TEXAS: Beach House, Bolivar Style

Beach House, Bolivar Style


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Remember this? 


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Or, remember this?   Remember how much you all loved this house?  Remember how you left 84 comments almost overnight?   Well, just in case you don't remember, or if you want to relive the beauty, read the story of how I Stalked the Wheats HERE.


Sally Wheat, the owner of that beautiful Belgian style home in West University,  loves decorating so much that she couldn't stop at fixing up  just one house.  No, of course she couldn't!  Why should she when she also owns a gorgeous beach home that needs her special touch?   Across the bay and a ferry ride away from Galveston, Texas, Sally and her family live here all summer long.




The Bolivar Peninsula is a sleepy coast off the Gulf of Mexico, with miles and miles of undeveloped shoreline.  From this picture you can see what I mean - the beach stretches undisturbed on both sides of this ecologically sensitive development called The Biscayne.   Sally's beach house is a three story, white, clapboard style home, built to look as if it was from another era in time rather than the 21st century. 


Since Sally's beach house is over an hour away from Houston, I hadn't had a chance to stalk it yet, though I was itching for an opportunity to.     After much pleading and prodding, Sally, worried that you, the reader, would be tired of all things Wheat, finally agreed to take pictures of her summer hideaway for us to enjoy.     I am thrilled she did, and hope you are too!   Thanks again Sally!    Enjoy this tour of the Wheat's Beach House:



In accordance with Texas hurricane codes, the main living area is on the second floor.  Wrap around porches extend the living space and provide a great perch to watch the ocean from.  Though not quite beachfront, they have a clear view of the coast and their back yard is on a lake.  Behind the lake is a nature preserve, where no development will ever be allowed to encroach upon.


The lake with a visitor!   Not to worry, the residents had him removed to another area of Bolivar, far, far away.  The lake is stocked with fish which provides plenty of meals for the lucky residents.     



The main living area soars over two stories.  Slipcovered sofas and chairs in khaki linen make cleanup easy.    Sally accessorized the room with Moroccan styled end tables.


  A view of the living room looking up towards the second floor.



And looking back down.   Slipcovered sofas make great resting places for pets and children.  When soiled, just remove the slips and toss them in the washing machine.  Dry for a short time, and then still slightly damp, place the slips back on the sofa.  No need to iron, especially if you are a fan of Rachel Ashwell.



Opposite the slipcovered sofa is the built-in bookcases.  I love her two Chippendale inspired white chairs.   Black and white family photos lead up the stairwell.   Antique French bottles stack on top of the built-in.


Looking from the living room to the dining area and kitchen - all in one big area.  Sally mixed a large, rustic table with contemporary chairs.


 The kitchen has clapboard walls and island, concrete countertops and stainless appliances.  I love how Sally uses the antique wine bottle holder for coffee cups!  Notice her stainless pendant lamps and bar stools.  The view out back is of the nature preserve.  Hard to believe this is just one hour outside of Houston.


 Across from the dining table, a plate wall inspired by Kelly Wearstler.    An antique bench is set below it. 


 Computer desk and contemporary print chair liven up a corner of the dining area.   I could be very happy right here just blogging away with a Starbucks!  FYI, the closest Starbucks to Port Bolivar is across the ferry to the Strand on Galveston Island.    It would be worth the trip, except on Sunday afternoons when the ferry is busy with beachgoers heading back to Houston.


 Hallway vignette.  I love how the sunburst mirror looks like it was made out of gray driftwood.


 The master bedroom is a bright, sunny yellow with black and gray accents.      I love the way the walls are paneled throughout the house, it adds to the cottage feel of the beach house.  Rather than furnish the home to match it's clapboard style, Sally has chosen contemporary fabrics and furniture with antique accents added for their texture and warmth.


 This guest room is painted blue instead of the bright white which runs throughout the rest of the house.



 Another guest room in black and white and yellow.



 No beach house is complete without a kid's bunk room.  



Sharks and surfboards - only in a beach house!




And last, a glimpse into the bathroom, filled with Sally's touches. 


  For more information on The Biscayne at Bolivar Peninsula, Texas, go here.


  1. what a great post!! I always love taking "tours" on your blog. :) Sally has done a gorgeous job w/ her beach house. Esp. love the plate wall, the cheery master bedroom, and the last powder room shot- such pretty tile and like the open shelves underneath.

  2. OMG I loooooove the collage of plates on the wall, the living room, the kid's room....GREAT POST!
    I may have to give a preview of the plates on my blog so they come here and see the rest! Hope that's o.k. with u :)

  3. I am in love , that is my kind of space, I love it all, especially all those bursts of color and those plates, I need to do that ,the boldness in the patterns and colors , I need to learn that , amazing, thank you for sharing that is very inspiring.

  4. What a wonderful, wonderful home! I especially love the sunny yellow master. Hmmm, how do I get invited for the weekend?

  5. Sad that this beautiful home is in the arm pit of the Gulf....Galveston.
    With this kind of money that would be the last place I would build.

  6. Joni,

    Anonymous the a** strikes again. He/she/it must have a horrible life to dwell in such constant negativity! What a great post, my husband thought I was crazy b/c I got so excited when I realized you were profiling their beach house. It's a great house. Thanks again!

  7. What is with the nasty comments? I love everything you blog about but if I didn't I just wouldn't comment. I don't know anything about beach houses in Galveston or the Gulf but I think it is lovely and hope the owners are happy there.

  8. By the way, just went to the post on the Wheat's other house. I love this house so much I actually hate Sally for living in my dream house. Please let her know we (me) will never tire of looking at stunning pictures of her lovely home. Thank you Joni for bring this beauty into my life.

  9. One man's armpit is another man's crowning glory! People should build where they want to be, not where they think they'll get the most exposure for and OF their buck. Here, just a tad north of "anonymous pit land", we call that stuck up.

    A lovely home, obviously made for welcoming guests and reclaiming sanity. I'd love to make a reservation - just don't know these folks so can only admire from afar!

  10. I was thrilled to see this post and I'm so grateful to Sally for allowing us to sticky beek in her summer residence. I ADORE her Houston home so much seeing this beautiful beach home is like the icing on the cake :)

    Just like everyone else I too love the plate wall and I also love the blue and red room. One of my favourite colour combinations.

    Thank you Joni and Sally!

    Anna :)

  11. It is to die for! I love seeing the contrast between her main home and this vacation home. It's obviously not done on such a large-scale or complicated budget, and it's fun to see the creativity and casualness! Thanks, Joni! I would LOVE to replicate the plate wall.

  12. Gorgeous house--thanks for sharing, Sally! :-)

    And, Joni, it's so funny that you know where the closest Starbucks is. It would be worth the trip in as there are some great window shopping opportuities. I'd have an emergency bag of beans at the house, though.

    That is such a good tip about the slipcovers. I didn't know the part about putting them back slightly damp.

  13. Just a note about the Anon's comment for people out of state:
    Galveston is the biggest city south of the Mississippi. The river's sand drifts downward along the Gulf of Mexico's coast for a few hundred miles. Sometimes this drift causes the ocean to appear not be bright blue, sometimes it is bright blue. Because of this condition of the sand, locals tend to be derisive of Galveston's beaches. But Galveston has undergone a massive resurgence in the past decade and many many Houstonians have second homes on the island. Several luxury highrises and new residential areas have gone up the island. Prices are very high as they are on most beaches. I'm quite confident in saying that if anon had the opportunity, he too would have a beachhouse on Galveston.

  14. Joni,
    Love the Sally's Beach house and LOVED LOVED LOVED her main house. How lucky she tow house to bring beauty to!

  15. Oh my. Oh MY!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this Joni and Sally. Such inspiration. Such energy. I would be smiling all day long in this house.

    Any chance Sally would share the paint color for the beautiful blue room? Please???? :) are the bomb!

  16. No no...anon wouldn't have a beach house in Galveston if Rachel Ashwell herself came to stretch the newly laundered slipcovers over the sofa.
    And truthfully, any locals know, that water is never blue. Maybe a less muddy brown, but never blue. Unless of course you're talking about the builders photoshopped mailers that come every week with the fake blue water and white sandy dunes. That doesn't exist there.
    Want to talk about the constant elevated bacteria warnings? The tar that covers your feet and swimsuit after 1 hour? The miles of smelly seaweed littered with dead fish, used condoms and hypodermic needles? The poverty in town?
    Not a place I would build a second home. Free or not.

  17. Once again...

    :::drooling over laptop:::

  18. that beach house was fabulous! i loved all the colors! do you know where she got the throw pillows on the couch? thanks!!

  19. Great post, Joni! I love Sally's taste. I still drool over the pictures of their main residence from time to time. The beach house is fabulous! Light, bright, and cheery. I love that it isn't teeming with nautical stuff. The starbust mirror is so cool. You're right, it looks like driftwood. I especially love the kitchen and the bathroom reminds me so much of the powder bath in their other home.

  20. Thank you Sally for sharing with us. I have a Wheat house file and this will certainly be added. I should label it "drool houses". LOL I am in love with your land house and this one is a close 2nd.

    Anon needs to get a life!!!!

  21. We just returned from a vacation in South Padre...oh how this post made me miss it! I am glad that I found your inspirational blog. My Mother was an interior designer and would have enjoyed this too. If you would like a laugh..come over to my blog and see where I live...ha ha.

    I assure you I will be back to visit. Thank you for taking the time to put such a wonderful blog together!

  22. Just stopping by to say, "hello"...over from Mrs. Blandings' place. Lovely blog.

  23. so fabulous! I love that it's the fun, beachy cousin of her Houston home. And I'm so glad you included a close-up of the plates on the wall as I was straining to get a better look in the shot of the built-in bookcase.

  24. I just had to come back and drool some more. There is so much I love. We live on the coast of NC and this house would fit so perfectly. I love the hanging fish, the modern chairs with the rugged table, the black and yellow bedroom, the plate wall and the sunburst mirror to name a few. I could go on and on. You are so generous to let us have a visit. Thank you!!!!!

  25. What a great house! So fun for a young family. I especially love that kitchen photo with the rustic table and west elm(?) chairs. And the yellow bedroom.

  26. Thanks Joni, I looooved Sally's home in Houston and this is gorgeous too. Thanks for much for prodding her to share it with the blogworld.

  27. just lovely so much to look at and a ton of great ideas to anon sounds unhappy :(

  28. So cute and cozy too! It seems like a great place to visit with the family and the Kitchen/Dining set up is great for entertaining!! Thanks for sharing Joni and Happy 4th!


  29. How serene! The view out their kitchen windows could melt away any anxiety. I'm more of a woods and lake person myself, but this place looks so peaceful.

    I loved seeing a little glimpse of the little girl in one of the photos. Very sweet. Please pass along to the Wheats how grateful we are to get a glimpse into their lovely second home.

    You know, I just don't get why some people enjoy being nasty! Okay, so Galveston is not the world's most gorgeous beach. But there are a lot of great things about Galveston. And, Houston wouldn't have grown into the city it is today if it weren't for Galveston. So, it's kind of like making fun of your mother, in my book. That's just bad manners.

    Whatever you think about Galveston, it's just so convenient! In an quick hour drive, we Houstonians can get out of the big city and enjoy completely different scenery. For a state the size of Texas, that's really saying something. In some parts of our state, you can literally drive for hours and the topography doesn't change a bit.

    Thanks for another lovely post!

  30. Joni - thank your friend for us - the house is charming and it was so fun to get your tour. I am hoping for a beach house in my future and one like this would surely fit the bill.

  31. great home but i agree with anon, galveston (for the most part) is a pit.

  32. Lovely decor- relaxed, youthful and fun without the usual "beach House" cliches. Thanks, Joni!
    Happy 4th of July!

  33. It is the perfect beach house. I love the plate wall~ decorating perfection!

  34. Love this beach house. I really like how everything is kept neutral and relaxing with touches of color in the accents for excitement. Beautiful!

  35. Thank you all so much for the kind comments, it's so nice to read. We really enjoy our little beach house. Just a fun and relaxing getaway! Happy 4th!
    Sally Wheat

  36. Really lovely house! I am especially taken with the kitchen! Happy 4th to you!

  37. Its great. Very informal, with terrific style. I love the shark .

  38. I think I have that white Moroccan table :)

  39. My dream would be to have Sally Wheat decorate my house with an unlimited budget!!!
    Thanks for the look/see!

  40. oooooooooh ahhhhhhhhh oohhhhh ahhhhhhhhhh just a divine divine divine home........I wouldn't leave !!!!

  41. Just seeing those photos transported me to the beach and all the coziness and relaxation those beautiful homes offer!

  42. Beautiful. And fun! Joni, I'm among your many fans. I love your style and your blog. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself in cyberspace.

  43. Oh, how lovely! I'm totally smitten. I've been back to stare at these photos twice already because I can't get enough. Thanks for posting them! -Julia

  44. That's all brother. I'm petititioning the court to be adopted by the Wheats. Do they need an au pair? Guy Friday? Hanger On? I know the position of Stalker is already filled. Do YOU need an assistant stalker?
    The board and batten on the interior walls is reminiscent of the Hawaiian cottages or the William Wurster California beach bungalows and is a great touch.
    Leaving part of the staircase open is a nice touch and visually expands the room, while we don't need to see all of it. Great touch there. The ceiling line with it's wood touches *just enough* remind one of the prow of a ship. There's nothing immediately jumping out at you in this house, and that's as it should be. A perfect place to relax. Too much Wheat? I can't wait till they buy something else. I think Mr. Wheat neats a camp lodge somewhere. Thanks to them for letting us see their retreat.

  45. joni-

    your friends beach house is pretty much perfection- EXACTLY what a beach house should be. and all that undeveloped beach! how rare and peaceful...

  46. Wow.. I heart this house.. I love every bit of it! The pops of color. The feel of relaxation. It's perfect.. thanks for sharing!!
    Trina xx

  47. You have THE BEST POSTS! Thanks for all the time you put into them! They are always a bright spot in my day!

  48. Yes - thank you for taking the time with your posts! They are always beautiful and informative!
    I love this beach house - it's fun and casual and family friendly. Love the plates (I saw a display like that at Anthropologie a few years ago), and I love the colors used. And I love the mix of objects!

    Yes - we love beach houses - it is the summer, after all!

  49. I love it! This was a great treat, I am so glad she shared it with you and with all of us!!!

    Just trying to catch up with the loveliness here!


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