A couple well-versed in the art of woodworking designed their own unique Florida retreat.

By Abigail B. Millwood
April 30, 2008
Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn; styling by Stephanie Davis

When John and Marsha Logan first visited WaterColor, they came strictly to relax in the sun and sand. Owners of Logan & Logan Construction and Logan Custom Milling in Henderson, Kentucky, they had put homebuilding out of their minds―until fate arrived in the form of acclaimed architect Jim Strickland. “He and his wife were moving into the cottage next door, and I complimented their dog,” Marsha says. “One thing led to another, and Jim told John to think about the business opportunities we could have down here.”

The couple decided to follow Jim's advice and dive into some projects on the Gulf, designing and decorating a home on the edge of a park near Camp WaterColor. They intend to sell it―eventually―but in the meantime, it's a perfect retreat for their family of five.

“For us, it's important to have a central gathering area, such as a big living room and kitchen,” John says. “And every bedroom has to have its own bath. That way, if there are multiple families here, we can go to the beach together and then come back and have our own space.” They also created specific areas for adults and children, giving the master bath a large, jetted tub, and transforming the attic into a bunk room.

Throughout the home, John created handcrafted details―from the American black walnut counters to the hand-waxed poplar floors. “Everything that's wood we made ourselves,” John says. “I personally touched each board on the walls 11 times before it was in the house, from our millwork facility to nailing it on the wall.” Considering the house is 90 percent wood, that's a lot of time and effort, but the Logans believe the result is worth the endeavor. “The main thing we strive for is making a home that's unusual,” John says. “Our house isn't like something you're going to find down the street.”

Marsha wanted to ensure the interior decor lived up to the same standard, so she outfitted the house in soft hues and funky fabrics and accessories. “The game plan was to make it comfortable, but we didn't want it to look matchy-matchy,” she says. “We wanted to integrate patterns to fill it with an air of fun and relaxation.” To keep things low-maintenance, she avoided carpeting, opting for area rugs or bare wood. Most important to the look, though, are the details: fun fabric curtains, cabana-stripe storage bins, and wild lamps. “Our goal is always to create a home that has style with a twist of playfulness,” Marsha says.

The Logans have built several houses in WaterColor, but “this one is pretty special to us,” John says. Situated on the largest park in town, it has the perfect location and plenty of personal touches. “There's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this house,” John says. And more than a few laughs, too.