Coastal Cottagecore


Christie Tyreus of Tyreus Architecture + Design x into this Santa Cruz Beach Bungalow

The entrance table is by Lulu & Georgia. Photo by Christopher Stark.

Situated on the northern end of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz is the quintessential California beach town where surfers, skaters and those seeking serenity flock. When hired to renovate a quaint bungalow for a family that loves the sea, Christie Tyreus of Tyreus Architecture + Design, she and her team jumped at the chance to spend more time in the coastal escape while brining life to their new vacation fixer upper

In the media room, the grasscloth wallpaper is from Anthropologie. Photo by Christopher Stark.

“This cottage was built in 1910 and has four bedrooms, two bathrooms plus an ADU in the rear,” says Tyreus. “It hadn’t been remodeled in decades and featured a very divided floor plan with many small rooms and dark interior finishes that included linoleum floors and Formica countertops.” They began the transformation by rethinking the floor plan which led to removal of some interior walls, installing all new interior finishes, remodeling the bathrooms and kitchen, adding new exterior decks and refinishing the original wood shingles.

Photo by Christopher Stark.

The family of five—that includes three young children—needed ample storage and additional space for entertaining friends and family. “Storage needed to be cleverly integrated in a way that didn’t take away valuable square footage for socializing,” she says. “The high ceilings that were discovered during the remodel process were such an important feature given the small footprint of the original house. Removing the dropped ceiling to get a 10’ high ceiling throughout created the much needed spaciousness.”

In the kids bunk room shades of blue and yellow shine. Photo by Christopher Stark.

Tyreus and her team infused the interiors to the exterior by modifying the kitchen layout by installing a peninsula that connects to the new outdoor deck. “When the new large bifold doors to the deck are opened, the peninsula can be used as a serving top for outdoor parties,” she says.

The dining chairs are by Verner Panton. Photo by Christopher Stark.
Photo by Christopher Stark.

The original kitchen had a traditional galley-style layout with very little room for multiple people to use. “After removing a few interior walls, changing the layout to include a large peninsula, and adding multi-panel doors to the adjacent deck, the new layout establishes the kitchen as the social hub of the house,” says Tyreus. “With these modifications, the previously cramped floor plan now facilitates multiple activities with enough space for kids to run in and out between the multiple hang-out areas while parents cook and socialize with friends. We kept the TV room distinct from the entertaining spaces to provide a quiet space for evening movies or double as a guest room.”

For the primary bedroom, they chose a monochromatic theme featuring a deep hue of navy blue. Photo by Christopher Stark.

Now the home is not only more flexible for their family gatherings but flooded with color and texture that brings joys to their lives everyday. “The house can accommodate the active family and guests comment on the sense of playful style perfect for a beach getaway,” Tyreus remarks. “The kids love all the colors and patterns.”