Light and Neutral Design

By layering neutral colors, cool textures, and lots of natural light, architect Bobby McAlpine and designer Susan Ferrier created a Florida beach house that’s refined yet relaxing.

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Light and Neutral Design: Kitchen
Photographer Tria Giovan; Stylist Heather Chadduck


The kitchen design combines beautiful materials with practical functionality. Pecky cypress on the cabinets lends sea-inspired texture—as though the wood washed ashore, battered by salt, wind, and sand, says Susan. A custom concrete sink adds to the organic feel. In contrast to the rustic cabinetry, the Calcutta gold marble countertops and mosaic-tile backsplash are smooth and glossy. The black metal scrollwork and white shades on the light fixture, a find from the South of France, play off the room’s balance of light and dark. Barstools slipcovered in slick outdoor fabric wipe clean in a snap.

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Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.