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Breezy in Blue: Florida Beach Cottage

Designer JoAnn Barwick's vacation home in Boca Grande, Florida

Written by Candace Ord Manroe
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  • Jessica Klewicki

    Nature rolls out her own red carpet every time JoAnn Barwick and her husband, Fred Berger, return to their vacation home in Boca Grande, Florida, on tiny Gasparilla Island. Big, showy blossoms of deep pink bougainvillea and hibiscus envelop the homeowners and cheer them along the garden path that leads to the steps of their entry, approached through an old-fashioned wraparound porch.

    Interior design: JoAnn Barwick, JoAnn R. Barwick Interiors, P.O. Box 982, Boca Grande, FL 33921; 941/964-1412.

    Photography: Jessica Klewicki
    Produced by Eleanor Lynn Nesmith

  • Jessica Klewicki

    JoAnn’s trademark blue-and-white palette is much in evidence throughout the house. She is, after all, the author of Scandinavian Country and a furniture designer whose collections for manufacturers reveal her love of 18th-century Sweden’s Gustavian style.

    Light, painted furniture goes hand in hand with low-maintenance, casual textiles suitable for a cottage at the beach. "All of the fabrics and textures I used are extremely casual, from ticking and linen to seagrass and wicker," notes JoAnn.

    Sources:
    Sofa (Island Traditions Collection, discontinued); chair (Seaside Retreats Collection, discontinued): Lexington Home Brands, 336/474-5300, lexington.com.
    Sofa fabric: Roth & Tompkins, 203/899-1622, roth-tompkins.com, trade only.
    Round table in front of sofa; slipper chair; toile fabric on slipper chair; sheers; barley-leg table; white pillows on sofa: JoAnn R. Barwick Interiors, 941/964-1412.
    Paint: custom.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    A second sitting area in the living room, whose boundary is defined by the blue-and-white toile slipcovered chair, is just around the corner from the main window-front area. The sectional sofa and overscale ottoman ensure comfort.

    For the Florida beach cottage, dressing it in her favorite Swedish blue and white worked for a second reason. "The beach is just across the street, and the Gulf is an astounding blue-green. The interior is all about water colors inspired by the surroundings. It was very easy to design, as these are all my favorite colors anyway--all tones of blue, pale aquas, greens, and turquoise. Everything else is light and white."

    Sources:
    Upholstered sectional sofa and ottoman; solid blue pillow on sofa; art; armoire: JoAnn R. Barwick Interiors, 941/964-1412.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    The glass shelves allow the built-in lighting at the top of the cabinet to shine throughout JoAnn’s displays of coral, shells, and ceramics.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    Bathers by Andrew Gittleson tops a painted chest across from the sectional.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    JoAnn Barwick leans into her favorite furnishing--a painted wine cellar she designed after a Swedish tile stove.

    Sources:
    Blue-and-white cabinet (Solgarden Collection, discontinued): Lexington Home Brands, 336/474-5300, lexington.com.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    Antique faience chargers are displayed above a painted bench and table. Except for an antique Chinese bamboo cabinet and a newer bamboo coffee table in the master bedroom, the furniture throughout the home is painted--either white, blue, or some combination of the colors. "There isn’t a single piece of unpainted wood furniture in our home," JoAnn says.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    JoAnn found the dining room’s Swedish-style chandelier in Vermont. "Every Swedish dining room has one," she says.

    Sources:
    Table, chairs and cabinet (Solgarden Collection, designed by JoAnn Barwick with Martine Colliander, discontinued): Lexington Home Brands, 336/474-5300, lexington.com.
    Chair-seat fabric: JoAnn R. Barwick Interiors, 941/964-1412.
    Chandelier: Summerhouse Country Antiques, 802/362-0600.
    Wall sconces: Visual Comfort & Co., 713/686-5999, visualcomfort.com, trade only.
    Paint ("White Satin’’#2067-70): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667.
    Lamp on cabinet; blue-and-white accessories: owner’s collection.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    Outdoor living is a huge part of JoAnn and Fred’s attraction to Florida. When building their cottage, they left room for an octagonal gazebo where they read, relax, and entertain. The small dining table with wicker chairs is a perfect place to enjoy morning coffee or a light lunch overlooking the water--and they can be easily moved in or out of the sun as needed.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    The ceiling of the gazebo is painted a soft robin’s-egg blue, which contrasts with the brighter all-weather-fabric striped curtains that include a dash of sunny yellow.

    Sources:
    Sofa, chairs and cocktail table (Weekend Retreat Collection, designed by JoAnn Barwick, discontinued): Lexington Home Brands, 336/474-5300, lexington.com.
    Striped fabric on sofa and chairs; drapery; drapery hardware; round wicker table: owner’s collection.
    Floral throw pillow: Brunschwig & Fils, 212/838-7878, brunschwig.com, trade only.
    Ceiling paint ("Blue Bonnet’’ #2050-70); trim ("White Satin’’ #2067-70): Benjamin Moore & Co., 888/236-6667, benjaminmoore.com.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    Rockers on the wraparound front porch were designed by JoAnn.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    Even the master bedroom is on the first floor for JoAnn and Fred’s ease and convenience. Stripes, checks, florals, and a toile mix serenely in the blue and white palette.

    Sources:
    Bedside table (European Themes Collection by JoAnn Barwick, discontinued): Lexington Home Brands, 336/474-5300, lexington.com.
    Cocktail table; blinds; bench at end of bed; upholstered headboard; bed linens; bed cover; pillows on bed; valance fabric; carpet; bed lamp; art: owner’s collection.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    The bedroom’s antique Chinese bamboo cabinet and newer bamboo coffee table are the only unpainted wood furnishings in the home.

    Sources:
    Corner bamboo table (Mark Hampton for Hickory chair, discontinued): Hickory Chair, 800/349-4579, hickorychair.com.

     

  • Jessica Klewicki

    Even the antique carpet balls on the bamboo coffee table are blue and white.

    Sources:
    White sofa (discontinued): Baker, 800/592-2537, kohlerinteriors.com.
    Sofa slipcover (white duck): Kravet, 888/457-2838, kravet.com, trade only.

  • Jessica Klewicki

    Hand-painted more than a decade ago by well-known interior designer Marshall Watson of New York, the bed alcove was a project for a magazine. Adjacent to the guest room, the upstairs alcove was a magnet for the grandchildren as they were growing up.

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