BOOK WEEK: Houses by the Sea

Modern Decor

Houses by the Sea
By Emmanuelle Graffin
(Thames and Hudson 2011)

Just so you know, the following are not required to enjoy “Houses by the Sea”: trust fund, yacht, or girlfriend named Brandy. But you will want a good travel agent after soaking up the coolest seaside dwellings from Cannes to Malibu.

The book’s 409 photos survey a full range of new and rustic ocean-side homes, with intimate peeks into bedrooms and bathrooms as well as grand beachy vistas.

Highlights include a German house boat–make that gorgeous house boat–and an ultra-modern dwelling in the dunes of Uruguay.

Photography is the book’s main course, but Graffin’s captions and intros nicely context the visuals and provide architectural analysis. Her prose is clear and understated, with nary a “rugged” or “sun drenched” in sight.

Primarily grouped by sea climate (cooler, temperate and tropical), the book is further sectioned by house type (traditional, natural, unusual and contemporary). I recommend opening random pages for that “spin-the-globe” effect.

Any way you browse, if you want your own beach home but your name isn’t Wilfred III, “Houses by the Sea” will do very well.

Remember: comment on this post (leave a way we can get in touch with you) for a chance to win a copy of this book! Find all the info and rules of book week here

Generously helping out this week with book reviews, like the one above, is the witty, talented and much-appreciated Daniel Mennega, who lives and writes in Austin, Texas.

By |


  1. Katrina

    Dec 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I want a house by the sea!

  2. Lefty

    Dec 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Beatiful images, inspirational places, dream places that I can only see in books.

  3. Michael

    Dec 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    This is pretty kewl!

  4. Robin miller

    Dec 6, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I’m obsessed with everything tropical! My company is called Aqua because I worship the sea. Check out for great resort jewelry!

  5. Brady Mathews

    Dec 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I want a house by the sea, almost as much as I want this book. I go to school in Utah but used to live in Southern California; and I miss the ocean. help me endure Utah winter with this book. Please?

  6. Carl

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

    These small dwellings are the best solution to the rising cost of materials, the environmental costs of larger spaces and the dream of having you’re very own little sanctuary… these kind of ideas make dreams affordable!

  7. Lupez Mendoza Jr

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Gimme gimme gimme…

  8. Camie

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Someday I’ll have a house by the sea…or maybe I’ll design house by the sea…or maybe both!

  9. Polly

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

    beautiful book!

  10. erica francine

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

    almost as good an escape as actually GOING to a house by the sea….lovely!

  11. marianne

    Dec 6, 2011 at 11:57 am

    This book looks amazing. I sure wouldn’t mind taking it off of your hands…

  12. Tamara

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    My fiance is studying interior design and would love to have this book in his collection for our future home!

  13. caryn st john

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    we live near the sea, but not in as beautiful homes as pictured here I’m sure!

  14. Rachelle

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Beautiful! Love it

  15. shaheen

    Dec 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Book looks promising. I like how natural elements seem to be incorporated with modern design in the pics.

  16. sydni

    Dec 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

    This definitely needs to be on my coffee table!

  17. Jen Rutsky

    Dec 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    My house is by the sea!

  18. Nate

    Dec 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Yes please

  19. Katy

    Dec 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    My husband grew up on the sea, he’d like this one!

  20. christy

    Dec 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Oh how I wish I could live by the sea…..but with the help of this book I could bring the sea to my house! Thanks for offering this book!

  21. peter b

    Dec 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Makes me miss the water, too, but there’s something great about the quality of being on the shore. Let me WIN!

  22. Peggy McCoy

    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    This book would be a wonderful addition to my interior design books !!

  23. L Dittmar

    Dec 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Ooo la la. LOVE the sea.

  24. Alex

    Dec 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    oh, to live by the sea…

  25. Becky Nemetchek

    Dec 8, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Hmmm…i can smell the salt spray now…

  26. matt

    Dec 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    love it – my bookshelves need filling

  27. matt

    Dec 9, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Love books!!!

  28. Emily Taffel

    Dec 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I may never live by the sea (close since I am in Florida but still far from the beach) but I can pretend with this book!

  29. patricia de miranda

    Dec 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    alll that i need! ;o)

  30. Urs Villiger

    Dec 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I wonder, where do you come up with these reads. Again, this book looks very interesting.

  31. Lara

    Dec 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    This looks like a book my mother would like, she’s a huge fan of anything related to Nautical life.

  32. Valerie Coursen

    Dec 12, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Dreams full of houses by seas lately.