Located along the Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s panhandle coast is an effortlessly dreamy and perfectly designed beach town. With its white-sand beaches, crystal clear blue water and exquisite architecture, you feel as though you’re lost in the Mediterranean. The crazy part? You’re no more than a 45-minute flight from Nashville.
“You can literally leave your house [in Nashville] and be on the beach in less than 2 hours,” says interior designer Brad Ramsey of Brad Ramsey Interiors, who oversaw the redesign of an Alys Beach home for Nashville-based clients. When taking on this project, he wanted to keep the ambiance of the town in mind. “The overall aesthetic of Alys Beach combines white walls and white roofs with Moorish architectural details that make it both serene and inspirational. The house was originally built with dark wood cabinetry and dark countertops, giving it more of a Craftsman feel, and my client wanted it to feel lighter and more in keeping with the current design trends in the area.”
Ramsey was given a lot of room for creativity by the owners of the home when it came to design. The couple was traveling to Africa shortly after Ramsey and his team had started working on the project, and intended to bring back some unique finds (like the tribal mask next to the doorway). With that in mind, Ramsey designed the home with a subtle tribal undertone in the patterns and materials. His team was able to find some unique wood pieces and stayed with natural materials, like linen, for the furnishings. They all blended perfectly with the Kuba cloths and carvings that his client had brought back from their travels.
Ramsey was patient in the process of perfecting this home, allowing room for intention with every piece. His team waited months for the three sculptural iron chandeliers in the great room. “They were new releases from Aerin Lauder through Visual Comfort Lighting that really finish off the space and make it feel unique. The room is long and narrow, with ceilings 19 feet tall, so having those three stunning fixtures really helps fill the void and bring a sense of grandeur,” explains Ramsey. Even the small details were tailored, like having most of the upholstery customized with fabrics and finishes that he and his team hand-selected. You’ll see fantastic wood pieces throughout the home—i.e. the coffee table, which is Ramsey’s personal favorite—from a vendor who imports from all over the world. “I believe much of it was from Africa, so they really put the exclamation point on the theme and design of the home,” Ramsey notes.
The best feature of the house? Ramsey says it might be the fact that there are no adjoining rooms. All interior spaces are connected by a covered exterior breezeway, encouraging you to spend lots of time in the open air. When asked about the inspiration for the minimal and bright patio, Ramsey admits, “We were blessed with the beautiful patio greenery that had been planted about seven years prior to our remodel. You can see it’s grown all the way up the walls. If anything, we had to do some work to trim it back, especially since we rebuilt the grill area and tiled the whole wall running back behind the fountain feature wall. The rest of the design was just intended to create a comfortable lounging area that would encourage relaxation and intimate conversation.” Still, incorporating the greenery into the design was the cherry on top of this lovely home.
Susan Deaton, the realtor who sold the home to Ramsey’s client, has been selling homes along 30A for years, and was just as excited about the project as we were. “These buyers from Nashville were ready to search for their beach home, and along with my friend and fellow realtor Michaelanne Lauderdale, we saw several beautiful properties up and down 30A. But this home in Alys Beach was the immediate favorite. The uniqueness of the amount of open-air space that literally runs along the entire interior path was amazing. The ‘after’ is one of my favorite homes of all time. Subtle yet luxurious, beyond comfortable and yet stunning—what a fun project!”
Deaton says that selling property on the 30A corridor is a lot like selling homes in Nashville, which she also enjoys. “Both the beach and Music City have passionate fans who’ve dreamed of living there for years. How rewarding it is to fall in love with a place, set your heart on it, search for just the right home and find your happy place. Memories are made there, and those are life’s treasures.”
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