At Home: Seacliff Beach home evokes love of the ocean

Sometimes a new home can evoke childhood memories.

Robert Strawbridge, who grew up on the East Coast and spent summers on the beach in Newport, R.I., and Maine, purchased his 1924 Cape Cod-style home in Seacliff in 2004.

A stone’s throw from the ocean, it has ambiance that’s pure by-the-shore living.

“I love hearing the crashing waves,” Strawbridge says, “and the foghorns. You can go down to the beach, Baker Beach, in your bare feet.”

Water is an important element in Strawbridge’s life. Two bedrooms on his home’s second floor have ocean views.

“I’m a water guy. I windsurf,” he says, “I was a combat diver in the Marine Corps, and I grew up kayaking, fishing.”

The home has historic perspective as well. It retains original moldings, Baldwin brass fixtures and hardwood floors. The dining room has a period chandelier and a large floor-to-ceiling window. A dramatic fireplace bordered by green marble dominates the living room.

Notable, too, are built-in features in almost every room.In the living room, custom-built bookshelves line one wall. In the dining room there are arched, turn-of-the-century china cupboards in wood and glass. Stunning, glass-faced cabinets are a focal point in the kitchen.

Sun streams into every window. Walls, cupboards, cabinets and trim are painted in cream and white colors, and furnishings are light and airy. Stained-glass windows are at key vantage points.

Strawbridge, who enjoys the outdoors — he bikes 25 minutes to work in the Financial District — even has a fire pit in his back-yard garden.

“You can smell the sea air out here,” he says.

A Hambrecht & Quist alum, Strawbridge lives part-time in Beijing. He is launching a China-focused private equity fund focusing on renewable energy and clean technology.

For Strawbridge, home is “a cross between Carmel, Nantucket, Mass. and Greenwich, Conn.”
 

Style keys

Design style: “I’m a classic guy.”
Philosophy: Decor that’s not overly ornate; “I want to be able to sit down and be really comfortable.”
Favorite magazines: None; but open houses provide inspiration
Favorite designer: “A friend of my mother’s”
Favorite design store: The Design Center
Favorite object: A 6-foot, 1-inch replica of King Tut’s sarcophagus purchased from United Airlines SkyMall

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