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Comfortable Florida Beach House

Colors of sea and sky are reflected throughout this Grayton Beach cottage

Written by Saxon Henry
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  • Colleen Duffley

    Homeowner Debbie Rowson, with Smokey and Bart—but two of the family’s six pooches—enjoys the roomy swing on the porch of the Florida beach house she shares with her husband, Walt, and their 20-year-old twins, Geoffrey and Morgan.

    Photography: Colleen Duffley
    Produced by Lisa Mowry

    Architect: Matthew Savoie, Savoie Architects, 6346 West County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459; 850/622-0057.
    Kitchen and bath designer: Matthew Quinn, Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio, 351 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 234, Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/261-0111, designgalleria.net.

    To rent the Rowson cottage, which is on Grayton Beach in Florida: emeraldcoasttours.com/186banfillstreet.

    Lighting: Edgar-Reeves, 404/ 237-1137, trade only. Rug; throw pillows: Design, 866/231-4844. Swing: owner’s collection.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    One of a collection of Henry Barnes paintings, the architectural painting of Greece that crowns the living room fireplace adds a dash of Mediterranean flair. "The scale and feel of his work are right for both Florida and Atlanta [the homeowners’ full-time residence]," says Debbie. Frequent antiquing forays yielded the tile table in the corner and the scrolled fireplace screen.

    Club chairs; ottoman: Quatrine Custom Furniture Mfg., 562/616-6370, quatrine.com.
    Lighting: Edgar-Reeves, 404/237-1137, trade only.
    Rug; throw pillows: Design, 866/231-4844.
    Painting over fireplace (by Henry Barnes): Lagerquist Gallery, 404/261-8273, lagerquistgallery.net.
    Still life : Coda Gallery, 877/655-3803, codagallery.com.
    Coffee table ; fireplace grate; tiled table: owner’s collection.
    Sculpture : New Morning Gallery, 800/933-4438, newmorninggallerync.com.
    Wood floors: black-stained jarrow from Australia.
    Wood doors and trim: stained or painted oak.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    Inspiration for this family beach house came from the film Something’s Gotta Give. The particular room that impressed Debbie was the kitchen of the beach house owned by the character played by actress Diane Keaton. With its adjoining great room, it was exactly what Debbie had in mind. Her interpretation features two ample islands topped with honed granite in a seaworthy blue. It was designed by Matthew Quinn, Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studios, in Atlanta. The cottage is available for rental when the Rowsons aren’t at the beach: emeraldcoasttours.com/186banfillstreet.

    Lighting: Edgar-Reeves, 404/237-1137, trade only.
    Cabinets: Wm. Ohs, 303/371-6550, wmohs.com.
    Appliances, subway tile and vent hood: through Design Galleria, 404/261-0111.
    Countertops: honed granite.
    Balloon shades; hanging lights; bar stools: owner’s collection.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    Wistful blue-painted cupboards and a fire surround were the starting place for the dining room’s salty-but-not-cliché design. A mirror tops the fireplace, reflecting the colors of sky and sea.

    Table (custom); rug: Design, 866/231-4844.
    Chairs: Quatrine Custom Furniture Mfg., 562/616-6370.
    Chair fabric: owner’s collection.
    Lighting: Edgar-Reeves, 404/237-1137, trade only.
    Blue fireplace surround: Regalo Antiques, 404/237-4899, regaloantiques.com.
    Bench: owner’s collection.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    By nature, a bunk room creates a casual weekend mood for kids. Here, bold stripes, informal fabrics, and cotton rugs project a festive feel. The sofa was a flea-market find.

    Lighting: Edgar-Reeves, 404/237-1137, trade only.
    Bed cover: Pizitz Home & Cottage, 850/231-2240.
    Bunk-room fabrics: Ralph Lauren Home , 888/475-7674, rlhome.polo.com.
    Rug : Underfoot Weavers, underfootweavers.com.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    Soaking tubs are among life’s sweetest pleasures, and no beach house should be without one. "I love baths, but I find most tubs too big," laments homeowner Debbie Rowson. "This is the best one I’ve ever found—it’s plenty deep and plenty wide to fill with lots of water, but not too tall to get in and out of easily."

    Tile: Design Galleria, 404/261-0111. Mirrors; tub; faucets: owner’s collection.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    Debbie decorated daughter Morgan’s room at the family beach house on Florida’s Grayton Beach with glass and shells strung on fishing line to form a dramatic wall hanging over the bed.

    Bed cover: Erika Reade Ltd., 404/233-3857. Bed linens ; lamps: Shabby Slips, 850/231-4164. Sculpture on fishing line: Sonja Zelen, 404/261-0219. Side wicker table ; bed: owner’s collection.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    All kids should be so lucky. Morgan’s room is enlivened by a painting by Heather Barron that Debbie discovered during a ski trip to Park City, Utah.

    Chair; small table: Pizitz Home & Cottage, 850/231-2240. Painting (by Heather Barron): Coda Gallery, 877/655-3803.

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  • Colleen Duffley

    Homeowner Walt Rowson enjoys down time in the sand and surf with one of the family’s six dogs.

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