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Kaleidoscope by the Sea

A second home in WaterColor, Florida, lives up to the city’s name

Written by Eleanor Lynn Nesmith
  • Colleen Duffley

    Ohioans Jacqueline and Robb Brown spend numerous weeks every year at their second home in WaterColor, Florida, along the Gulf Coast. "We had never seen anything like WaterColor. People walk and ride bikes. It’s very kid-friendly, so our two daughters [Brennan and Devan, now 17 and 20] could do their own thing," says Robb. "And there are no nicer beaches anywhere!"

    The porch of their new home is a favorite place to watch sunsets and chat by the fire.

    Architect: John Riddle Architecture.
    Interior decorator: Georgia Carlee, GCI Design, 56 Spires Lane, Suite 12-A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459; 850/267-9455,

    Photography: Colleen Duffley

    Dining table: Smith’s Antiques Mall, 850/654-1484.
    Painted bench: Big Mama’s Hula Girl Gallery, 850/231-6201.
    Blue chairs: owner’s collection.
    Accessories: DK Living, 845/265-6080, trade only.
    Flooring: John Willis Homes Inc., 770/623-1496.
    Trim ("Granite’’ #611, Martha Stewart): Sherwin-Williams, 800/474-3794.
    Drapery (10-inch NFR Ripstop Nylon.White): Rose Brand, 800/223-1624,

  • Colleen Duffley

    As they were about to finish building a new home there—a contemporary take on the classic Charleston single house style—Robb noticed a swinging daybed on a neighbor’s sleeping porch and asked the home’s designer about it. That designer was Georgia Carlee, who had recently opened her own firm in Santa Rosa Beach. The Browns eventually hired Carlee to decorate their home.

    With its casual eating area and cozy seating focused on a brick-clad outdoor fireplace, this gracious outdoor room introduces good things to come. Four sets of French doors link the outdoors to a contemporary interior with an open floor plan grounded by traditional architectural elements.

    Table runner; tree trunk: Yellowtail Trading Co., 850/622-5760.
    Tray; blue glasses; sculpture: owner’s collection.
    Chairs; cocktail table; birdhouse: owner’s collection.
    Blue wicker tables; lamp: Palecek, 800/274-7730,, trade only.
    Pillows ("Jute Stripe’’): The Chandler Collection,
    Painting: Smith’s Antiques Mall, 850/654-1484.
    Small vases: Barreveld Int., 845/265-6052,, trade only.
    Flooring; fireplace: John Willis Homes Inc., 770/623-1496.
    Fan ("Regency Fan’’ #OAO-WI); sconce ("Baselite’’ #UCR16-41.B10-41): United Lighting, 850/622-6531.

  • Colleen Duffley

    Carlee responded to Jacqueline’s request for a light palette with interiors that echo the hues of water and sand. "I like details, but I don’t like fussiness," Carlee says. Textured linens and natural cottons are warmed and grounded by a sea-grass rug and wooden surfaces. "I also like to establish balance in a room," explains the designer. "Everything in the living room was rectangular, so I chose a sofa with a curved back and a round table to add softness and counter the straight lines."

    That is Carlee’s cocker spaniel, Hannah, relaxing in the armchair.

    Paint ("Antique White’’ #SW 6119): The Sherwin-Williams Co., 800/474-3794.
    Sofa (#174-03); sofa fabric ("Petry Sand’’); armchairs ("Swivel Gliders’’ #114-01SG); chair fabric ("Monty Spa Linen’’); ottoman (#140-00); ottoman fabric ("Rio Natural’’ and "Timex Blue’’); blue-and-white striped pillow ("Timex Blue Cotton’’); blue pillow on sofa ("Monty Spa Linen’’): Lee Industries, 800/892-7150,
    Cream-and-brown pillow (cotton #2608001, discontinued): Schumacher,, trade only.
    White tufted pillow ("White Eyelash’’ #C340): Jerry Pair & Assoc., 954/923-3330, trade only.
    Rug: Merida Meridian Inc., 800/345-2200,
    Coffee table: owner’s collection.
    Drapery ("Hemingway’’ in Oyster, Glacier, and Prairie Linen): Mario & Marielena,
    Shades (Key West style #9204): Fashion Tech, 800/444-8822,
    Ceiling fan: United Lighting, 850/622-6531.
    Round table: Archatrive, 845/889-8144,
    Pillows: Donghia Furniture/Textiles Ltd., 914/662-2377, trade only.
    Pillows: Dedar USA, 800/493-2209,, trade only.
    Pillows: Robert Allen, 800/333-3777,, trade only.
    Accessories: Barreveld Int., 845/265-6052, trade only.
    Accessories: Palecek: 800/274-7730.
    Floral arrangements: NDI, 800/522-2627, trade only.
    Lamp: Visual Comfort & Co., 713/686-5999, trade only.

  • Colleen Duffley

    The dining room commands a sunny alcove, open and accessible to the kitchen, yet slightly removed for a hint of formality. For continuity, Carlee repeated the window treatment from the living room—a floor-to-ceiling tri-panel design in tan, light blue, and ivory. Shells mounted in shadow boxes adorn the wall. The locally crafted table is illuminated by a barrel chandelier that accentuates the room’s  14-foot-high ceiling.

    Table: owner’s collection.
    Chairs (#111-01); slipcover fabric ("Davis’’/White): Lee Industries, 800/892-7150.
    Chandelier: BoBo Intriguing Objects, 404/355-2309,
    Drapery: GCI Design, 850/267-9455.
    Art: Oly, 775/336-2100,, trade only.
    Dinnerware: owner’s collection.
    Rug ("Hyannis Stripe’’ #18205, from Wayne Laguna, discontinued): Company C, 800/818-8288,
    Paint ("Antique White’’ #SW6119): The Sherwin-Williams Co., 800/474-3794.

  • Colleen Duffley

    The gallery-style kitchen anchors the home’s flowing plan, while a dining counter for buffets and casual meals establishes a slight sense of separation.

    Paint ("Rainwashed’’ #SW6211): The Sherwin-Williams Co., 800/474-3794.

    Bar stools: Lee Industries, 800/892-7150.
    Mounted architectural fragment; newel posts: owner’s collection.
    Glass tile (Tumbled Earth Mixed Brickbond Mosaic Myasa’’ #GW-NYSMOSBBT): Tile Temptations, 850/650-1919,
    Cabinetry: KraftMaid Cabinetry, 800/571-1990.
    Hardware: Bayside Cabinets Inc., 850/622-2250,
    Countertops: pearl granite with coquina backsplash.
    Bar stools ("Vintage Chestnut Bar Stools’’ #7575-52V): Lee Industries, 800/892-7150.
    Bar-stool fabric ("Au Marche’’/Colette #5845-10): Donghia Furniture/Textiles Ltd., 914/662-2377, trade only.
    Flooring (walnut with a clearcoat finish): Seashore Floor Co., 850/267-3677.
    Range; hood: Wolf Appliance Inc., 800/222-7820,
    Refrigerator: Sub-Zero Inc., 800/222-7820,
    Faucet (#186-SS, Michael Graves Collection): Delta Faucet Co., 800/345-3358,

  • Colleen Duffley

    A fresh Florida-inspired color scheme of lime green and coral pink accented by crisp white brightens the second-level front guest bedroom. A bold striped comforter, pink pillows, and seaside accessories pull the look together.

    Bed ("Straight-Line Shutter’’ #SSL606KH); chest ("Low Country Bedside’’ #S23HC): Seabrook Classics, 843/846-0133,
    Striped shams and duvet ("Cheshire Spring Cotton’’): Lee Industries, 800/892-7150.
    Pink shams and bedspread ("Pink La De Dot,’’ discontinued): Traditions by Pamela Kline, 802/362-4427.
    Bolster-pillow fabric ("Slubby Spray’’): Williams Upholstery, 850/862-5065.
    Bed-skirt fabric ("Classic Ruffle’’/White): Pine Cone Hill, 413/629-2300,, trade only.
    Rug ("Leopard Pink Woven Rug’’): Dash & Albert Rug Co., 800/557-2035,
    Lamp: Smith’s Antiques Mall, 850/654-1484.
    Baskets: Yellowtail Trading Co., 850/622-5760.
    Shades: Fashion Tech, 800/444-8822.
    Framed flower art: Shadow Catchers Inc., 334/382-2929.
    Baskets on wall behind bed: owner’s collection.
    Paint ("Convivial Yellow’’ #SW6393): The Sherwin-Williams Co., 800/474-3794.

  • Colleen Duffley

    After designer Georgia Carlee talked color with the girls, she embraced a playful pink palette for their two upstairs bedrooms. "But it turns out both Devan and Brennan love the back bedroom with the two built-in beds," laughs Jacqueline. "So that’s where they usually sleep. They like staying in the same room." On the wall, distressed frames hold vases with Gerber daisies.

    Rug (Raspberry Sorbet’’ #10229, from Wayne Laguna, discontinued): Company C, 800/818-8288.
    Bed; iron piece: owner’s collection.
    Pink chest ("Dockside 5-Drawer Chest’’/Camellia #S119): Seabrook Classics, 843/846-0133.
    Paint ("Antique White’’ #SW6119): Sherwin-Williams, 800/474-3794.
    Pillows ("Edelweiss’’/Cocoa and "Polka Dot Garden’’): Lee Industries, 800/892-7150.
    Picture frames: Smith’s Antiques Mall, 850/654-1484.

  • Colleen Duffley

    In the master bedroom, the decor respects the spirit and color of the coastal setting with watery blue and sandy brown tones, natural textures, and soft linen fabrics. An architectural fragment hangs above the bed. Designer Carlee embellished the house with accessories from the sea, including starfish and shells.

    Rug: Merida Meridian Inc., 800/345-2200.
    Drapery and coverlet ("Aqua Linen’’ #LIN602): Bella Notte Linens,
    White coverlet ("Vagabond Snow Coverlet):  Mario & Marielena,
    Shams ("Lewis Hemp Linen’’): Lee Industries, 800/892-7150.
    Bolster ("Showboat’’ #NCF3632/01 by Nina Campbell): Osborne & Little, 212/751-3333,, trade only.
    Bedside table: Redford House, 310/639-9696,
    Lamp: The Jamie Young Co.,, trade only.
    Bed ("Willa Canopy’’ in black with raffia headboard): Oly, 775/336-2100, trade only.
    Art: Smith’s Antiques Mall, 850/654-1484.
    Paint ("Softened Green’’ #SW6177); trim ("Creamy’’ #SW7012): Sherwin-Williams, 800/474-3794.
    Ottoman; fabric ("Quilted Jute’’/Khaki): The Chandler Collection,
    Shades: Fashion Tech, 800/444-8822.

  • Colleen Duffley

    Jacqueline, Robb, Brennan (holding Abigail Frances, the family’s French bulldog), and Devan Brown soak up the Florida sun.