A second home in WaterColor, Florida, lives up to the city’s name
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, gcarlee.com.
Photography: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jacqueline, Robb, Brennan (holding Abigail Frances, the family’s French bulldog), and Devan Brown soak up the Florida sun.