Palm Garden Retreat

Welcome to this year's Coastal Living Idea House, where our design team has created a seaside home with old-time ambience, modern amenities, and innovative style.

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  UPSTAIRS  
Dedicated to the young and the young at heart, the second floor features three bedrooms and a play area. "The kids can make it their own space," Connie says, "and it's a place to play games, do homework, and hang out while the adults are entertaining downstairs." The designers chose upholstery for chairs and ottomans in colors "out of a crayon box," Connie says. An oak armoire stores video games and board games alongside playing cards and action figures. A flip-top console table offers space for arts and crafts, but can open to dining-table size when needed. A French door and windows lead to a porch, perched above the courtyard, where rocking chairs wait. Porthole windows give the space a nautical feel.

A queen-size bed topped in honey-colored quilted linens and crowned by an upholstered headboard waits in a suite bedroom. "There's nothing more inviting or comfortable than a headboard covered in soft fabric," Susan says. A white bedside chest and dresser stand out against coral walls. "We didn't use traditional paint colors," Connie says. "We chose an orange for the walls and melon for the ceiling, and trimmed it in yellow."

Kiwi green with white molding sets a cottagey tone for the middle bedroom. A dark-stained apothecary chest acts as a bedside table for white iron twin beds. Above, hot-pink flamingos strut through ankle-deep water on oil-painted canvases. "We wanted this space to be soft and girly with fresh, crisp colors," Debbie says. Oversize square bolsters covered in a playful botanical upholstery act as footboards for the beds. "I just picture kids lounging on these," Debbie says. "It really gives them comfortable, easy-to-move seating that's just their size."

"The third bedroom is a little more traditional," Susan says. "It has a soft, French feel." Matelass? linens on a queen-size iron bed create the quiet, romantic look. A black credenza, hand-painted with botanical accents and topped with a matching mirror, brings storage space to the cozy room. "We used a credenza in place of a regular dresser because it is not as deep and doesn't take up as much space," Connie says.

All three bedrooms open to a porch that has a bird's-eye view of the pool and lagoon. Oatmeal-colored spa-weave outdoor fabric and a bevy of outdoor throw pillows cover wicker chairs and chaise longues. Hammocks, constructed of a fiber that promises the feel of cotton while maintaining durability and colorfastness, encourage an afternoon nap. Lantern-style lights offer the look of gas flames but stay lit against sea breezes and ceiling fans.

  GUEST COTTAGE  
Separated from the main house by the screened porch, this suite provides privacy. Guests have access to the outdoor kitchen near their bedroom door?ideal when hunting for a midnight snack. "It's basically your own little living space," Debbie says.

"This small room has lots of character," Don adds. The space features a bamboo ceiling, tall white wainscoting, built-in closets with louvered doors, and ocean-blue walls. The design team chose West Indies?style furniture in a tobacco-colored finish. Built-ins flank a queen-size bed with square mesh caning. Angled between woven-shaded windows that overlook dhe lagoon and pool, a matching chaise longue offers a place to relax. "It's the perfect spot for someone to be alone with the view of water," Connie says.

The adjoining bath echoes the island theme. Louvered wainscoting and brick-shaped "subway" tiles add texture to the walls, while a yew-wood sink base with ebony inlays carries the bedding's pinstripe into the bath. A vessel sink perches on top, and modern fixtures in a satin-nickel finish give the space a contemporary edge.

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