"I remember sitting on the porch with my son when we first bought this house, looking out at the water, and thinking, "This is where we're going to raise our babies and grow our family,"” says Elizabeth Mazyck of her family's beach house in Inlet Beach, Florida. "We wanted a vacation home where we could gather and spend holidays like Christmas, and that our children would remember as being an important part of their childhood."
Inlet Beach—tacked to the end of 30A (a spirited string of beach towns on the Gulf) like a sunny postscript—is decidedly sleepy. In fact, the beach is often near empty, says Elizabeth. So when she and John found a four-bedroom house right on the ocean with stacked porches and an open floor plan—ideal for keeping that quiet seascape in view from most every room—they leapt. "The beach and water have always represented peace to us, and that's what we found here, outside these windows," says Elizabeth.
2 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
Get the look: The chair is by Lee Industries, and the drapery fabric is by Fabricut. A flocked tree trimmed with sky blue and white globes decks the oceanfront living room (with pooch Oscar standing guard over the gifts). The tree topper is by Kissa Design. Interior design throughout is by Erika Powell, Urban Grace Interiors.
And she was determined to continue that sense of serenity inside. "My favorite time of day here is sunset, and so often, it appears in sea glass colors— lavender, sea foam, periwinkle," says Elizabeth, who teamed up with Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors to help turn the palette of sky and sea into a tranquil but also family-friendly retreat. Here, the two share their secrets for creating rooms that draw on the feel-good powers of nature and spread glad tidings year-round.
3 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
"When you're standing at the kitchen sink, you're looking out at the Gulf," says Powell. "That's the beauty of an open floor plan when you're right on the beach." To reflect sunlight off the water, she and Elizabeth chose glossy blue subway tiles and white quartz countertops, and then contrasted the reflective surfaces with matte-finish gray Chippendale chairs (upholstered in a stain-resistant aqua fabric) from Ballard Designs and distressed metal pendant lights by The Urban Electric Co.
4 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
"The views of the Gulf are spectacular here, and the water always seems to be clear," says Powell, who went for frosty blue draperies at Elizabeth's suggestion. "I usually opt for lighter, ivory window treatments, but this blue really draws your eye out to the ocean." The pastel serves as a soft, foundational neutral, Powell says. She used versions of the pale hue on the linen club chairs (which swivel out to face the water) and the upholstered cocktail ottoman. Deeper shades and interesting patterns, like the dark periwinkle paint color on the spool chairs and a large-scale lotus fabric on the sectional, add dimension and fun to the tonal palette.
5 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
Combining small- and large-scale patterns with a mix of textures keeps monochromatic rooms dynamic and distinctive. In this vivid blue guest bedroom, a pair of small-scale prints—a cobalt-and-aqua floral on the wave headboard and a simple fleur de lis on the bolster pillow—contrast groovy sapphire tie-dye shams. Plus, a gauzy periwinkle blanket "extends pattern to the rest of the bed without overdoing it," says Powell. The deep indigo glazed lamp and translucent coral artwork unifies the palette and introduces natural elements.
7 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
"The idea in the master bedroom was to make it both special and totally serene," says Powell. Special comes in the form of a four-poster bed trimmed in gold, a palette idea that Powell and Elizabeth borrowed from the sunset skyscapes just outside the window. The creamy neutral finish on the wood furniture lets the metallic treatment shine, and shades of lavender lend a sense of tranquility to the end-of-day palette. "Even the quietest rooms need a punch of the unexpected," says Powell, "so we finished it with a polka dot, nailhead-trimmed upholstered bench."
8 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
"My personality, the way I like to decorate, is a little whimsical," says Elizabeth. "And powder rooms are great places for doing something that's a little bit "out there."" Enter the aqua, watery world of a cheeky, gilded puffer fish "swimming" around the small space. A pair of brassy, looped-arm sconces and an antiqued bronze mirror play up the sophistication of the wallpaper's refined design.
9 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
In the combined bunk room/playroom upstairs, built-in trundle beds painted Fieldstone by Benjamin Moore ensure there's plenty of space for little ones to sleep during full-house holidays or long weekends. To keep the kid-centric room looking polished regardless of guest count, Elizabeth wrapped the mattresses in custom slipcovers made from hardy outdoor Perennials fabric. The cornflower brushstroke pattern makes unmade beds look shipshape between sleepover guests, and enlivens the shiplap-paneled built-ins with brilliant pattern that shrugs off spills, wear, and tear.
10 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
In 4-year-old Hudson's room, a sandy-hued linen daybed from Pottery Barn goes from neutral to knockout when paired with bolsters and Roman shades in Katie Ridder Beetlecat fabric, orange and green patterned throw pillows, and a vintage brass marlin from Etsy.
11 of 11Photo: Annie Schlechter; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
Sea green, soft peach, and naturals have a spa-like serenity to them, especially on sunlit walls and in muted textiles. Powell chose a Mally Skok vine print for the bed skirt and headboard in this guest room, and layered on a dohar blanket and Schumacher Euro shams. "There's an exotic feel to these prints, which makes a room feel collected, but there's also a nice, tranquil unity to them," says Powell.