SummerHouse designer Elizabeth Gullett recently finished a project in Santa Rosa, Florida that we are all in love with! See what Elizabeth has to say about the challenges that the project presented and how she overcame those challenges. And check out these gorgeous photos!
I must say that this Santa Rosa Beach, Florida carriage house has been one of my most favorite projects yet. Not only was the location divine -with its ocean views, private pool and private beach access- but the client and I shared a unity of vision that made this project go incredibly smoothly! Right off the bat, Kay and I knew we were going to work great together. She's as enthusiastic as I am, and there was so much to be excited about!
The Challenge: 1) To create a relaxing environment that was livable, fresh, and interesting, while easily accommodating guests ranging from grand-kids to business associates. One of the main issues we had to consider was the fact that this would be where Kay's kids and grandkids stayed when they came to visit. So everything needed to be super durable, easy to clean, and all around super family friendly, with as much sleeping room as possible. 2) The carriage house needed to have a "chic" element about it as well, because (very fortunate) business associates and clients would be staying here occasionally. 3) The furnishings should direct attention outside toward the amazing views, and not steal it from them. 4) The carriage house should also flow smoothly from the main house (they are attached), and yet stand on it's own two design feet.
The Solution: 1) This was accomplished with heavy duty fabric on a sleeper sofa, cleanable slipcovers on the chairs, and a darker wool rug downstairs. Wool is naturally stain-resistant, and the darker color makes it even more kid-friendly. The bar stools are made of a heavy-duty grey washed rattan - just wipe them clean! 2) A variety of carefully mixed finishes and washes brings an eclectic, yet sophisticated flair to the different case pieces in the house. The accessories-from classic, thick coffee table books to white coral on acrylic bases-add another layer of chic. The furniture is more rustic, while the accessories are more classic and elegant. 3) Furniture was arranged with each spectacular view as the focal point; every seat gets a good sightline to the ocean! 4) I chose a palette of crisp white, soothing greens and fresh blues- a classic beach palette, done in a slightly unexpected, dressier way. The blue was pulled from the main house, bringing a sense of cohesiveness.
"Not only was the location divine -with its ocean views, private pool and private beach access- but the client and I shared a unity of vision that made this project go incredibly smoothly!"
"A variety of carefully mixed finishes and washes brings an eclectic, yet sophisticated flair to the different case pieces in the house."
The words we both kept using to describe the feeling we wanted for the house was "Non-beachy, beachy." Sounds silly, but it fit. Clean, relaxed, sophisticated, and fresh, but with no wicker or "coastal" furniture to be found anywhere...a "different" type of beach house. Kay pretty much gave me free rein in the fabric and furnishing selection, and after the initial presentation didn't change a thing. It was so affirming that she not only loved, but trusted, the entire vision!
Like I said, one of my most favorite projects yet. :-)
GREAT JOB, ELIZABETH!