A House Becomes a Home
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. —Psalm 127:1
Starting a monumental project in the middle of the pandemic was an interesting time for everyone. Still, as I am not one to shy away from a challenge, we decided to approach a new development firm in town to see if they would be interested in partnering with VIE on what would be our fifth show home to date. Fast-forward two years, and the project culminated in a grand reveal party on Friday, September 16, 2022, and all involved undoubtedly felt this was a journey of a thousand miles or more. This launched the first of nine custom homes by developer Bella Mare Real Estate Holdings in the quaint hamlet of Heritage Dunes, just off Scenic Highway 30-A in Seagrove Beach, Florida. Owners Carl and Tamara Tricoli intend to use The Heritage – A VIE Legacy Show Home as an example of each Bella Mare home’s outstanding quality and customization, two facets of the company’s core ethos. With plans to grow along the Northwest Florida coast, Carl and Tamara have also hired CEO Steven Hinkley to guide and manage the firm in creating remarkable, unique homes residents will enjoy for generations.
As a pioneer at heart, I am wired to plow through the toughest terrain in both life and business, but I will admit the pandemic offered more challenges than we could have foreseen, like the dreaded supply chain problem. Bella Mare assembled a team of consummate professionals to bring this show home to life, and we all plowed our hearts out to make it happen. Chris Burch’s team at Grand Bay Construction led an impressive assault against all that was thrown at them—and won. The deadline for us to make the grand opening date was not for the faint of heart, and they went above and beyond the call of duty to deliver. Bravo!
I can attest to all that Gerald Burwell, owner and principal architect of Burwell Associates, pulled off as he did what seemed like the impossible—designing five custom homes in two years. They result from many sleepless nights, but his creations are truly magnificent. (I may be biased, as he is my husband, but you will not be disappointed.) These are works of art that anyone would be proud to call home. Kudos to my better half!
Enter Duce May, owner of Duce & Company Interiors. He is a larger-than-life personality, and his stature and presence make one take notice. There is no denying that he is a tastemaker, a creative soul, and a tireless worker who does what nobody else does. He takes risks and knows his mind when designing a home, and he worked well with the team, bringing great synergy to this design.
The ring leaders that introduced us to all the Tricolis are Gay and Jeff Landreth, brokers of La Florida Coastal Properties, who we have known for many years, personally and professionally. Their introductions helped this team form something much bigger than we could imagine. As with any significant endeavor, at times, the challenges and demands felt heavy, but we were all committed to each other and seemed to have Herculean strength when we needed to make it to the finish line. Thank you, Gay and Jeff, for doing what you do so well—networking and making connections in the community.
Landscape architect Patrick Hodges of Patrick Hodges Land Studio excelled in his mission, bringing forth just the right aesthetics of flora and landscaping for the exterior and pool deck. He was a joy to work with—a class act through and through with an unrivaled pedigree in the tightly woven world of New Urbanism and town planning.
Our friends and clients at E. F. San Juan partnered with us on doors, windows, and custom millwork to create an impressive old Southern charm staircase spanning four glorious floors. The company’s president, Edward San Juan, was called upon for many things in the past two years, including something crucial that left a lasting memory for me. We needed the Euro-Wall folding windows in the tower to be delivered and installed, and toward the end of the summer, it seemed they would arrive after the grand opening event. Thanks to Edward’s reputation and connections in the industry, he called the president of Euro-Wall, who moved heaven and earth to ensure the windows were delivered so guests could experience the gorgeous Gulf views from the fourth floor. We are so very grateful!
Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights outfitted the home with their quintessential New Orleans-made gas lanterns that Duce May and Gerald Burwell curated with Bevolo rep Patty Palmer. The lanterns are a literal shining example of the details that make the house a stunning show home.
There are many more sponsors and partners that you will read all about as you turn each page in this special issue. The VIE team has given this project everything they’ve got, as they always do, and as I have said many times before, I am so proud of them. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
At the beginning of the show home process, my husband and I prayed for God’s blessing before the foundation was poured, that He would bless all of the partners and sponsors involved along the journey for their hard work and the spirit of excellence they all brought with them. I believe He has.span>
What I like to call “the year of the home” has been running strong for three years now, since the onset of the pandemic when we all began to spend more time at home. We are excited that a very fortunate family will soon be able to call 76 Heritage Dunes Lane North their home, as this house will become a lasting legacy.
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