Family memories and mementos jump-start the reinvention of a Gulf Coast vacation home for three generations — and many more to come.
Near Seaside, Florida, a two-story beach-front cottage designed by Birmingham, Alabama-based architect James F. Carter features an old-fashioned tin roof and traditional stacked screened porches. "It has the echo of a friendlier time," says Carter, but also solar panels and eco-conscious materials.
The screened porch where the family does most of its lounging faces the Gulf of Mexico. Decorator Tammy Connor furnished it quietly, with an antique wicker sofa and assorted chairs she unified by painting them a deep, cloudy blue.
Indigenous materials and inviting furniture suffuse the living room with a graceful modesty. Connor found the midcentury armchair at Village Antiques at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, and re-covered it in Rogers & Goffigon's Cyclades. White slipcovered chairs are by Lee Industries. The wall-mounted basket is by Barbara's Sweetgrass Baskets, and the fish trophy from a family outing is flanked by the Urban Electric Co.'s Mel sconces in blackened pewter.
The homeowner likes to arrange garden flowers and foliage in glass jugs and vases that Connor picked up at Florida antique markets.
A chest in the living room holds shells collected by family members.
Pale oak floors have a scrubbed look, and plank cabinetry with painted hinges and black latches give the kitchen old-time charm. To top the counters and island, the architect and homeowner chose butcher block for its warmth and informality.
In the upstairs hallway, Connor topped a 19th-century work table from Parc Monceau with lamps from Nicholson Gallery, heaped loose family photographs in an old French dough bowl, and hung a weathered antique kayak frame from Beau Holland Studio from the ceiling.
For a wind-scoured, beachy feel, Connor gave one of the bedrooms a queen bed made of recycled wood from Nicholson Gallery. Framed shore-bird prints from Antonio Raimo Galleries hang in a tight grid. Vintage hurricanes were turned into reading sconces by John Turner.
In a guest bedroom, Connor covered twin headboards in Matteo's nubby Knot throws to amp up texture; she made a graphic pattern on the wall out of vintage spools of thread.
"The house sits right on the beach, and with so many windows, the water just jumps inside," says Connor. "It's all about the setting."
This area's primordial view is still unspoiled: luminous water, tangled beach grass, sand, and sky.
Read more about the designer's inspiration for this home here. For more details, see resources.
This story originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Miescisko.