Clients: This Coastal Cottage in Carillon Beach was built for a family from Birmingham, Alabama. An executive of Southern Progress, a media company that publishes popular magazines like, Southern Living and Coastal Living Magazine, wanted to enjoy the same beautiful destinations its magazines featured and helped to make famous along the coast of Northwest Florida. Anxious to start making the weekend trek to the beach, we built them a “get me by” house first, so they could enjoy frequent trips to the beach while we built their dream gulf front home.
Design Challenges: The building site was a long and skinny lot sandwiched between a dune walkover and another home with limited setbacks. It required special attention and creativity to design a family friendly floorplan that emphasized the unobstructed view of the gulf and limited the side windows to maintain a cheery yet private interior. This was one of the first designed to go through permitting after hurricane Opal and required a DEP special permit that took almost 18 months to obtain.
Technical Stuff: Wood frame 3 story structure built on wood pilings, driven to 12 feet below sea level, to resist wind and wave action during harsh storm conditions.
Description: This gulf front cottage has lots of custom finishes inside and custom woodworking details in almost every nook and cranny in the house. The entry stairs are on the exterior and they open up to the elevated first story living room, kitchen and dining room. This area features custom wood working from the floor to ceiling, painted in bright coastal colors, giving the room a bright compliment to the beautiful view of the gulf. The center of the room showcases an interior tower that reaches up to the 3rd floor vaulted ceilings with platform bridged walkways, connecting each story of living. Numerous lighted niches were built in the wood working to showcase great artwork and coastal sea treasures found while strolling on the beach. As you climb the 3 flights of stairs, the windows are conveniently placed for peek a boo views of the gulf. The large circular interior window located between the flight of stairs and open to the center tower area, encouraging you to take a moment to rest, and ponder the feeling of climbing to the top of a lighthouse. The second story consist of a master bedroom with a built in headboard that conveniently hides two wardrobe cabinets for the owner’s personal items. Two French doors open up to an exterior porch with grand views of Carillon’s beautiful beaches. The third floor, loft area has been designed for a large play room connected to two more bedrooms.
Shane’s favorite feature: the planked open walkways between each floor. The architect originally designed these to be done with glass block walks to give the illusion of walking on air. On one of our first walk throughs during the building phase of construction, the owner’s wife and daughters, standing in the middle tower section of the house, looking up, decided it would be better to have the walkways using wood planks instead of glass, for concerns of privacy and walking across the walks in a dress. Great example of where function ruled over form!
Lisa’s favorite feature: the third story loft windows. Lofts have great space but are usually dark because they are positioned in the roof space and have no windows. To give more ceiling height the architect created side walls and placed two window facing the gulf. You can sit on the floor of the loft and look out at the gulf!