beach bound and down!

Hello friends! I’m slowly transitioning back to reality today as I was spring breakin it all last week. What a great ride! I spent five long luxurious days in what I think, is one of the greatest places on earth and I’m about to make you a fan. The town is the sweet coastal community of Rosemary Beach that sits along the picturesque perfection of Scenic Highway 30-A in the Florida Panhandle.
Your tour guide here has taken oodles and oodles of photographs throughout the years of the award-winning architecture and style that make up the communities of Seaside, Watercolor, Alys and Rosemary Beach. You can read more about them and the new urbanism culture in this month’s issue of Coastal Living. Alternatively, to learn more about coastal living, you may want to check out the provided link.
I promise you will never forget your first visit and want to share it with everyone you meet. That’s the affect it has on you.
Family bike rides, champagne sunsets, morning runs through picture-perfect neighborhoods, quaint shops, trendy restaurants all with the world’s most beautiful beaches as your back drop. A throw back to when we were kids and gone morning till street lights on. Have bike, will travel.
Not only is the architecture perfection but riding a bike at night is a feast for the design lover’s eyes as all the beautiful interiors are illuminated. With so many of them for rent, you can spend hours touring each of them on line. I never tire of looking at the architecture and interior design of a property; it’s something that I regularly decide to do to pass the time. Whilst I do this, some of you may look at homes for sale in Palos Verdes Estates to find the property that is able to suit your needs in these areas too. There is just so much to think about. I’ve given you a taste of some of the interiors here. Buckle up.
My first love. The house is designed by one of my favorite architects, Bobby McAlpine and the interiors by one of the best, Susan Ferrier. The following photos are from Southern Accents. The issue my husband wished never existed.
Island look familiar?? Yep, saw it here first, the x motif and that was all she wrote. My handyman hooked it up for me straight from the photo. Well done my friend.
Some people wish to win the lotto, I wish for these dining chairs to reappear in my house…they are as good as it gets for me. Paris Flea Market no doubt. 19th Century Italian with original leather (the best part!). And that luscious rug! Are you kidding me? In a beach house? That’s some mighty fine living my friends.

“Isn’t it beautiful?! It never ends. Beautiful and love never end Mama. They go on forever and ever.”

– Sophia Sunshine (arms stretched wide)
As I mentioned before, so much has been written, most recently a new book titled 30A Style. I picked up an autographed copy at one of my usual suspects, Tracery Interiors (which is the bomb). My first love above is featured inside along with many many others. You can read more about the book here.
Another Bobby McAlpine designed home. The shingles are sublime.
This however is the DREAM home (I get such a kick out of writing that. All starts with the Barbie Dream House and culminates to a Rosemary Beach House. My how times change). Obviously, the dream house is subjective. This is MY dream home. Yours may be a big mansion in Hollywood, a small cottage in the woodlands, or something you can find from This home was inspired by the historic Creole houses in Louisiana. You can read more about the homes here. What’s a dream without plans? I gave an architect my take and had some plans drawn up that I’d love to share if only I could figure out how to scan them. For now they’re tucked away for that someday…over the rainbow…
You can imagine my excitement when we checked into our place and realized it backed right up to the home. I sat out there stared, studied, salivated-maybe and daydreamed about the designer that got the gig (Yes it was featured in Veranda and used often as the back drop for Potterybarn spreads. I’d know those transoms anywhere). At this point, I was about three seconds away from picking up the phone and calling a Toronto Custom Home Builder. I can’t explain how much I want somebody to build me my own version of this beautiful home. Maybe one day, I told myself.Even better, my son befriended the wittiest little boy, Preston, on the beach. After hours of play, his mom asked if we would walk him back. Well guess where the little guy lived. Yep! Mom can see him from the porch when they’re in town from New York. I kept thinking how nice for little Preston to cut loose down here away from the city. I wonder if he has any idea his vacation home is my screen saver?
I see big wide columns like this and you might as well just talk dirty. Honestly they’re the best when done in this style and setting.
This home is currently for sale and owned by a wonderful contractor and design duo out of Atlanta. See inside here. This too is another McAlpine Tankersley project. Click here if you’re like me and can’t get enough of their work.

Mar-co! Po-lo!

A beautiful view 😉 Yes those are my stink pots cutting it up, having a ball.

We’re here to see the Wizard…

Every kid’s dream


Outdoor drapes. Don’t save the drama for your mama.

Another fabulous beach house interior by Susan Ferrier. This home was featured in Veranda. See more of its splendor here.

I think it’s a requirement in Rosemary Beach that you have the biggest and best gas lanterns as well as goosenecks galore! To walk around here at night is to be in the most perfect evening light. The mood is subdued, sexy.
Outdoor showers. Another requirement!

I thought this was a cute and stylish way to plant your summer herbs or flowers. A trio of these galvanized bins across a front porch would add a nice touch of industrial chic and you can find them at your home improvement store. I came across the BEST herb arrangements flanking the front door of George’s Restaurant while I was there and am going to try to emulate them. Can’t wait to share! As soon as I figure out what’s what. 😉

A big daddy o in Watercolor.

The entire exterior chimney was covered in oyster shells. Wow. And here I thought covering a pair of lamps would be daunting.
You have to love the mini shutter placed strategically on sweet little windows like this. Especially the single to one side. Such an easy way to add curb appeal to your home.
I really like what they did with the rosemary here. I bet it smells wonderful. This house was under construction at the time and later featured in Veranda Magazine below.

The view through the front door. I had peeked in while under construction and took the same photo. I can remember really wishing I had a pair of those lanterns. The oversized orbs weren’t there or they had made the cut for sure.

photo via Alys Beach Real Estate
Love the sun flare and that great big ball of fire.
photo via Alys Beach Real Estate

Photo via Alys Beach Real Estate

“Life is beauty full!”

I hope you enjoyed this post on this most special place and I really really hope you experience it for yourself one day. Panama City Airport is brand new, beautiful and calling your name…

Love, Jen




  1. Wow! You picked all the best places for sure…though can’t imagine what my kiddos would do to a “beach house” like the one’s shown….lol! xoxo

  2. Thanks for including a number of our projects in this post. A small note of correction: The house owned by a “wonderful architect and design duo out of Atlanta” is actually another one of our designs. It is owned by an Atlanta contractor and his interior designer wife. Thanks again for the mentions!

  3. I’m so sorry Greg! You are right, Mr. Benecki is a contractor not an architect. Ahh my apologies (writing late nights again). I ADORE your work and would love to hear what you’re up to next. Thank you for stopping by and a big thank you for leaving your beautiful thumbprints in the world for all of us to enjoy!

  4. Thank you Sherry! I just spent the afternoon with Pia and Lisa from the Queen and saw your gorgeous spread in BH&G. Congratulations! I’m sure btwn the Queen and the beach, our paths will cross someday. All the best to you and thanks for stopping by!

  5. Jen- Breathtaking post of Rosemar; a place I have always loved, but it’s so fun to see it through your eyes. Your attention to detail, your joie-de-vivre, and your grand style make Vreeland Road, and everything you do, sparkle. Congratulations on a job well done.

  6. Don’t tell anyone else about 30-A! It’s the most wonderful place…with great people, food, and beaches….oh, the beaches! Let’s just keep it for ourselves.

  7. I’m not buying but building myself, and my architect husband, far, far away in South Africa. So glad I bumped into you and saw Bobby McAlpines work. It’s strong Lutchen’s influence makes it so very English in some ways and so it chimes with English me. The style seems to cross the barrier between cultures and will sit perfectly by the sea in The Cape. Lots of design food for thought. Thank you so much.

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