At Home: Contemporary design by the seashore 

The massive west-facing windows in Marion Broder and Sheryl Forbes’ Outer Sunset house don’t just look out onto the ocean — they bring a panorama of sea, sand, and succulent-laced dunes right into the couple’s home.

It’s a view that never settles. The colors of that panorama are constantly changing, Forbes said.

“It’s a great house at night, actually, when the lights come on,” Broder remarked.

The couple moved into the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home a little over two years ago. At a slender 25 feet across, it’s typical of many San Francisco homes, said Broder, a Realtor based in The City. That relatively narrow girth is counterbalanced by the light and airy feel created by the home’s bright white walls, sleek contemporary furnishings and partially open floor plan.

Broder and Forbes, who were married in 2008, always wanted to retire by the ocean, but had no immediate plans to move, Broder said. For one, they’d just tackled the tricky installation of a delicate suspended light fixture in their former home.

But when they saw the house, they decided to fast-forward things.

The home had good bones but needed work, Broder said. Linoleum tiles came up and stone floor tiles embedded with tiny fossils went in across the kitchen, living room and dining room. The kitchen was stripped down and rebuilt with striking new wood-paneled cabinetry, and the wall between the dining room and kitchen was opened up at counter-height.

The couple’s contemporary design sensibility is evident in the home’s furnishings — a low-slung, white credenza from Limn that runs the length of one dining room wall is paired with a long dining table embedded with cup-sized glass lenses. Philippe Starck Ghost chairs are set around the table.

Even the cuckoo clock hanging by the stairwell is styled with a modern touch — it’s boxy and white with bright orange hands, a far cry from fussy carved wood designs of its horological kin.

And while Broder and Forbes avoid overdoing maritime-themed decor, little touches in the home conjure up the world outside their windows. A school of graceful stainless steel fish from Santorini, Greece heads across a living room wall as if swept up from the ocean into the house and little sea horses adorn their Waterford wedding china.

The venerable homewares line is also a reminder of Broder’s Irish roots.

“It was perfect,” Broder said. “We love it.”

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Michael Daboll

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