Ready for an escape? Get transported to paradise for a few blissful moments by this beachy beauty that comforts the senses and renews the soul.

By Sally Finder Weepie
October 30, 2020
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The feel of sand beneath your toes and driftwood on your fingertips. The impossible blue of sea and sky. Designer Mark D. Sikes swings open the door to the glorious textures and colors of nature and warmly welcomes them in.

"Nature is the ultimate beauty," Sikes says. "It's a healer, a unifier, literally a life changer. And it's certainly the inspiration for this house."

Nestled along the Southern California shore, the Malibu home, a place that beckons as a dream winter getaway, expresses the spirit of Sikes' decorating style and his new book, More Beautiful ($38, Target). "It's a book that tells the story of timeless, all-American interiors, spaces that emphasize the importance of beauty and surrounding yourself with things you love," he says. "Beauty—nature's beauty, in particular—is a powerful thing."

Left: Credit: Amy Neunsinger
Right: Credit: Amy Neunsinger

In designing this beachy retreat, Sikes was energized by what was right outside the door. "You feel the beach in the palette, the textures, the patinas of these interiors," he says.

Painted surfaces in Farrow & Ball "White Tie" set a serene backdrop for tactile linen shades, woven baskets, and a rattan screen. A whitewashed stairway reinforces the organic mood.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

A custom table with an ebonized top juxtaposes teak chairs in the dining area. Blues pulled from the ocean outside appear in banquette fabric, textiles, and an abstract by Birmingham, Alabama, artist Catherine Booker Jones.

Throughout the rooms, he pairs blues and neutrals, but as in the ocean, blues swell and ebb, as does the intensity of pattern. Sometimes it's soft and serene like gently lapping waves. Sometimes it's powerful, as all-consuming as a stormy sea.

Left: Credit: Amy Neunsinger
Right: Credit: Amy Neunsinger

In the den, walls covered with gray-on-blue manila hemp cocoon this relaxation space outfitted with a blue upholstered sectional. A photograph by Mary Ellen Bartley nods to the sea theme while pillows, many covered in vintage textiles, show different takes on Sikes' blue-and-white palette.

An overhead view shows the carefully composed medley of textures and hues that Sikes brought together in the den, including a denim rug, a woven ottoman and cocktail table, and an array of fabrics used as upholstery and pillow coverings.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

Organic textures are the design's touchpoints: rattan, wicker, rope, jute. Reclaimed wood is ebonized, stained, whitewashed, or left simply raw. Even a wallpaper bears the look and texture of driftwood. Soapstone forms counters, and ceramics are shaped into beautiful pottery and artisanal pieces. Vintage textiles tout indigo, embroidery, and tie-dye. Here, the dark teak frames on a lounge chair and ottoman contrast the airiness of a sitting area grounded by a sandy-hue abaca rug.

Left: Credit: Amy Neunsinger
Right: Credit: Amy Neunsinger

A soapstone backsplash harmonizes with an island coated in Benjamin Moore "Mineral Alloy" and counter stools upholstered in blue brushed linen. A Madeline Weinrib antique dhurrie runner sends a refreshing wave of blue underfoot.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

Glass walls ensure a perfect view from the terrace outside the living room.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

The blue-and-neutral scheme shows its softest side in the master bedroom sitting area, where Rose Tarlow drapery fabric in oyster complements chairs covered in an ethereal hydrangea blue. A side table from Lucca Antiques offers a perch for an artfully organic ceramic dish.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

Walls wrapped in seagrass provide textural counterpoint to the oak bedside cabinet with saddle leather pulls and a copper top.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

A collection of pottery stands like sculpture on white-painted shelves, layering in intriguing shapes and a tactile, artisanal mood.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

Low, long Danish Modern-style teak furnishings let nature claim the spotlight in this private sanctuary outside the master bedroom.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

A blue-and-ivory wallcovering by C&C Milano brings a beachy feel to the bath, where polished-nickel sconces, fixtures, and accessories add subtle glimmer.

Credit: Amy Neunsinger

A Peter Fasano wallcovering and draperies in indigo and oyster lend drama to the guest bedroom.

Glass walls visually fall away, erasing every boundary between inside and out. "You can hear the ocean; the wind gently rustles the draperies," Sikes says. "Being enveloped by nature—what could be more fantastic?"

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