July Fourth marks the middle of the summer holiday and time to think about a summer vacation, if you haven’t taken one already. Today, I head to the seaside.

It’s been two years since Gibbs Smith published our book, The Coastal Cottage. I’m often asked if I had a favorite home in the book, and I can’t say I do. However, the experience of going to Seaside, Florida, is something I like to share with those interested. The opening photo features one of the uniquely designed public pavilions that provides glorious views of the ocean and beach within a short walk from town center. 

With the concept for Seaside, the development founder Robert Davis and his team introduced New Urbanism and form-based codes in the 1980s. The codes promote creative designs while ensuring scale and compatibility that result in exquisite streetscapes. Homes designed by notable architects are found throughout Seaside, and I am sharing one designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects of New York, a prestigious, award-winning firm that has designed very few single-family residences. 
The three-story home is set on the beach with ocean views. You will note the native vegetation surrounding the home: Davis called for maintaining the dunes in this way for soil stability during heavy storms, and up to the time I photographed Seaside, there had been no hurricane damage. The architects describe this home as a blend of 1930’s Swedish classicism and vernacular turn-of-the-century wooden American seaside resort houses in a balance of naiveté and sophistication.

Similar to the homes in Old Town Park City, the diamond-tiled entry on the ground level is rather simple with guest rooms off the entry. Main living is above, set on the second floor and oriented to appreciate the views.

This lower-level guest room displays its classic Swedish influence with a built-in enclosure for the bed and a trundle bed beneath. Through the French doors is a leisure room with screened porch.

In this leisure room, a porch swing serves also as a day bed.

The second level unfolds in an open plan with a large outdoor living terrace space with glass doors connecting a classically styled living and dining area, and a partially separated kitchen. 

The cheery elongated kitchen runs the width of the home and shows more of the local vernacular styling with the siding, screen doors, and natural wood floors.

So, if this collection of starfish and shells doesn’t inspire a little beachcombing, I’ll offer this tantalizing view from the top floor’s master bedroom veranda with the home’s signature single central column. The ocean is waiting for you!

See more of Scot’s work here! 

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