Beach Valentine Tour of Homes

The family and I managed to steal away a few days down at the beach over Valentine’s weekend. It was soo nice to get away for four nights. Its been about two years now that we’ve owned our place by the sea and I think its finally sinking in…
(but this wouldn’t be it 😉 A new home in Alys Beach)
The time we spend down here together is priceless
(you’d never know its 55 degrees out)
Just the four of us with no interruptions. Even the time in the car on the long drive down and back is wonderful and appreciated, having the kids all to ourselves. A captive audience. 
the boy would fish all day, all night.

Having said that, I always feel a bit guilty when I leave the unit for antiquing or say a home tour, like this last visit. A best bud and I took a couple hours to tour some of the six homes participating in the Cultural Arts Alliance Valentine Tour of Homes. It was a nice little reprieve to get out and see some design but you still feel that little tug atcha saying don’t be gone long. 
First up, the Hotel Viridian, Sunrise residence. The name, so fitting. 
You’re waking up to the sunrise alright. 
If you’re not walking on water…
or splashing in it…
you’re most definitely looking at it. Wow. 
The residence had a great mod vibe to it and I really appreciated the vision for this tile work. Dig the three slender tall niches in the wall too. Perfect for some candlelight. 
Outside of being able to walk on water over the pool, these chairs and table were my favorite. Speed quarters anyone? Chandeliers? Those were the days. ;-)))
Next up was Alys Beach. The place is like surreal, its so stunning. One of my favorite things is to drive through Alys at night with its perfectly aligned palm trees illuminated. You wanna drive slow and just soak it in. 
These next few shots are from Sophia and I’s own tour of Alys Beach. We drove up to some finished homes near the shore to have a closer look. 
This next picture is for the light fixtures. If you look REAL close, you will see two matching, mack daddy, iron fixtures. As my son Jack would say, they are BOSS. 

Love the orbs!

Close up of the shutter detail.

Notice the shallow balcony, its just enough to give you the feel of being open, outside, time to gaze at the ocean, without overwhelming the elevation.

A different angle. The iron work in the shape of a star. No detail too small. 
Catch a peek of the tile work, I tried my best to get a shot of it without looking like a total creeper. You never know if someone is actually staying there ;-))) 
Dropped the boys off to golf and said hello to these furry friends, while trying to spot “Elvis”, the resident alligator at Camp Creek Golf Club. 

A pretty little path

Everything in Alys is pretty, and with a little edge, a little sexy thrown in. 
A watercolor of the home we toured. 
Wasn’t really my style, but I appreciate it, nonetheless. You can always find something to inspire your design eye. 
Giving Martha a run!
I liked this mirror trio paired with an IKEA desk and chair. I would/should of flipped that stool around so you could see the x better. Notice how all the items on the desk are pushed to the very edge. That bothers me. Spread your accessories out a bit, move them in away from the edge. 
While I was taking a close up, a lady asked me if I was going to try to make one myself. 
(and why I’m laughing while taking this picture). 
Entitled “peace in the making”. Very sweet. 
String lights make me really happy and I decided to finally do something about it. Ordered these from Ballard’s and they are heavy duty. All indications say they will stand the test of time. Will report back soon with a picture and how we anchored them to a new column in the backyard. 
While on the tour, I look down and see this come across. Suckered again Daddy. BTW Pickles has the best fries, a surprisingly great breakfast and killer bloodies. 
Next up was “Birdie’s” cottage in Seaside. You may recognize this place as it has been publicized. 

You may also recognize the wild, fun and enthusiastic use of pattern and think no wonder the co-founder of Vera Bradley, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, lives here. 

The love affair with vintage bathing beauties continues. 

Notice the stair railing.

I like her display of bird prints here, 4-3-2-1, and am wild for that birdhouse.

It was right about now I was told “please no photography”. Birdie’s was the only one that didn’t allow it.

breaking the law…breaking the law…

Something about a stripped down simple pine door. 

Our next stop was Grayton Beach. I love this part of town. Its got that laid back, Old Florida, vibe too it. Feels very down home cool. While walking from our car, we paused to get a better look at this eclectic number. You cannot see them, but you could hear the fountains running. The sound of running water is good feng shui. Like my neighbors fountain, I can hear it running all Summer, but don’t have to worry about the upkeep.

The home is called “Magnolia Treehouse” and it was built in 1948 directly on Western Lake.

We also popped into Nicole Paloma’s sweet shop, where this photography art caught my eye.

The nice thing about our place, is getting to know our neighbors. Many of them retirees and so much fun! You can find them every evening, on the beach access platform, drink in hand, accompanied by a big iron bell to ring at sunset (one warning shot and then a full on ringer at sink time). I was given the honor for one of the nights and happily obliged :-))) Its also nice to hear them talk of their years coming down with their families, and meeting their children and grandchildren. You cannot help but smile, God willing, this will be Mike and I someday. 

That night we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at a new place (for us) we’ve been wanting to try. Edwards in Rosemary Beach. We had the best time! The chef worked under famed chef Frank Stitt, who is responsible for such Birmingham greats at Chef Fonfon and Bottega. 
Not only was our meal fantastic, the table great, the atmosphere intimate and cozy, but our server, Leah, was the best. Just between you and I, sometimes Rosemary Beach can feel or look a little pretentious. I promise you its not. Our server was sweet as can be, especially to Jack and Sophia, and so accommodating when it came to choosing wine, entrees, careful kids the plate is very hot, you name it. 
The backdrop to the bar. 

Isn’t this a great name for a wine? Mike and I thought so. Would make a great name for a beach house or a boat. What is life without a little mischief and mayhem?

I hope you had a great week! Friday is here again and I finally woke up this morning feeling myself again. I was a little blue this week and not really sure why. Maybe it was the stress of Dad’s surgery working itself out, the sadness of seeing him laid up like that, or just being a woman. One thing is for sure, my family is the only thing that brings me joy when I’m down and couldn’t wait for them to get home every night (and why I found this last picture to be fitting). When the tummies are full and they are tired from a long day at the beach, they wanna be close to Mama…”mama can I sit in your lap?”. I don’t even want to think about the day when that sweet, simple request goes away. xoxo

God bless you and your Friday night,


  1. You are able to convey the love of your family and the joy of design in a genuine way. Warms my tummy! A good writer and designer for sure!

  2. First of all it sucks that I missed that tour….second…sorry you are feeling blue….so glad you have your beautiful family to hug you!

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