A venerable cottage on Florida's Gulf Coast is enlivened with bespoke collections that highlight its inherent beauty.
1 of 6Photo: Carmel Brantley; Stylist: By Erin Swift
Cedar Key, Florida, Cottage
For one pair of seasoned travelers, the Old Florida enclave of Cedar Key has been a welcome home base over years of worldwide adventure. "When you cross the bridge to get to the island, you let out a big breath, and all your stress goes away," homeowner Jamie Palmer says. And though she and her husband, Robert, enjoyed life in a condo there for nearly 20 years, they were intrigued when a nearby historic home went on the market. Excited to own a piece of the town's architectural history, the couple bought it. The challenge: The Palmers had a large assortment of collectibles spanning generations to display throughout while complementing the home's classic Florida style. They brought in designer Melissa Rosenberg to help strike a balance befitting the home and its owner. Here's how they made their collection of antiques shine in a house with a history all its own.
"One of my fondest memories is of sleeping on a hanging bed at my grandparents' fishing camp in Louisiana," Jamie says. "I wanted to re-create that here." She and Rosenberg had a Houston craftsman make a hanging king-size bed outfitted in indoor/outdoor fabrics for an upstairs porch overlooking the Gulf.
3 of 6Photo: Carmel Brantley; Stylist: By Erin Swift
Embrace Aged Elements
"The kitchen was a place we wanted to feel collected rather than "designed,"" says Rosenberg. She kept the existing all-white cabinetry, exposed brick, and counters, and mixed in glossy platters and trays to balance the rustic elements.
Get the Look: The counters are copper and cypress. The faucets and cabinetry hardware are oil-rubbed bronze.
4 of 6Photo: Carmel Brantley; Stylist: By Erin Swift
Set the Stage
A large chandelier crafted of hand-placed oyster shells hangs in the home's entry. "It lets you know right away that this will not be a cookie-cutter cottage," Rosenberg says. "It has an element of surprise that tells you there's something special about the people who live in this house."
5 of 6Photo: Carmel Brantley; Stylist: By Erin Swift
Create a Sense of Place
Rosenberg reupholstered the couple's eclectic collection of chairs and a rattan sofa to unify the pieces with a coastal color palette and bring in an Old Florida vibe. Here she also showcased the Palmers' local art collection, infusing the house with the island's character. The coffee table is a repurposed basket purchased in an island antiques shop.
Get the Look: The sofa cushion fabric is by Rose Cumming. The painting is by Kate Barnes. The chair is a Dutch antique.
6 of 6Photo: Carmel Brantley; Stylist: By Erin Swift
Share Sentimental Pieces with Guests
In the upstairs guest room, visiting friends are surrounded by items with personal stories: The couple purchased the canopy bed when they got married, an antique armoire was inherited from Jamie's parents, and the white trunk was an engagement gift from Robert to Jamie.
Get the Look: The bed is an antique. The draperies are from Pottery Barn.