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.
Space: 4,800 square feet spread over three levels, with five bedrooms, six baths, an open living/dining area, and a downstairs den
Setting: The white sands of Rosemary Beach, Florida, just off scenic Highway 30A between Panama City and Destin
View: The shimmery blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Instead of nautical stripes, kicky colors, or shell-themed accessories, Bobby and Susan are known for a refined mix of muted shades with gradations from room to room; layered textures such as distressed wood and soft, organic fabrics; and clean lines found on everything from gridded panes of divided-light windows to pared-down versions of traditional furnishings.
For the furnishings, Susan chose pieces scaled to suit the large room and its 18-foot ceilings without overcrowding the open area directly across from the dining room. For example, she paired a long, low sofa with two soaring column-based floor lamps but, instead of a space-hogging coffee table, opted for a pair of smaller pieces that easily can be moved during parties.
Bobby and Susan dress beach house beds in light-colored linens that won’t fade in all that sunlight.
Shop the look: Drapery fabric, Lewis & Sheron