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.

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:

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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

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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,

To rent the Rowson cottage, which is on Grayton Beach in Florida:

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



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