fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

Organic Modernism

Bringing Design to Life

By Jordan Staggs | Photography courtesy of Ken Ganeaux

In the coastal communities of Northwest Florida’s Scenic Highway 30-A, many elite custom homes line the beautiful pathways, walking trails, and white-sand beaches. Their facades range from traditional and Southern to clean and modern, and most interiors seem to capture the whites, soft blues, and sandy hues of the Gulf Coast. Interior designer Ken Ganeaux, who has worked on residential and commercial projects in the area for twenty years, strives to stand out in a sea of beach-inspired looks and colors.

Ganeaux’s midcentury-modern style is a refreshing yet classic look that, perhaps surprisingly to some, melds seamlessly into the 30-A area’s eclectic mix of architecture as his principles value both nature and practicality.

“Growing up close to Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright inspired me to move into form

and function in design,” Ganeaux shares, “relating the outdoors to the indoors, making sure everything in a space has a purpose, and bringing a sense of joy and comfort. Kelly Wearstler is my design idol; she has a very edgy, stylized approach that I relate to. Miró, Picasso, Damien Hirst, Chagall, Julian Opie, Anna Halldin-Maule, and Friedemann Buehler are artists I have been afforded the luxury of purchasing for clients.”

As a child and teenager in Pennsylvania, Ganeaux says he was always encouraged by his parents to embrace what he wanted and to learn how he could achieve it through being an independent go-getter. His father, an automotive engineer who worked for GM, Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi, no doubt passed along a strong work ethic, while his mother was the more artistic of the pair. “We were always taught the value of being self-sufficient and that life is not just handed to you; you have to work hard and stay focused to obtain the goals you set for yourself,” says Ganeaux.

Its elements incorporate a blend of old and new, with the natural furnishings lending a softer side to some of the sleek, hard lines found in a lot of new construction today.

It wasn’t too difficult for the young man to figure out what he wanted to do in life. “I have always had a love for all things in the home industry,” he shares. “I bet I rearranged my bedroom at least a thousand times when I was growing up. I scoured garage sales, curbside gems, and refurbished furniture to get the look I wanted.”

As an adult, Ganeaux made a move to Nashville and assisted on countless renovations and other home projects as he learned the skills and trades that would propel him forward in the industry for which he was so passionate. No job was too big or too small. These experiences prepared him to form his studio, Ganeaux Designs Inc., when he moved to Northwest Florida.

“I studied interior design, which gave me the skills of color theory, spatial relations, and styling,” he recalls. “Moving to the beach twenty years ago and forging a new path of working with clients through architect selection, home functionality, and even down to furnishing and the aesthetics of everyday life have been such rewarding experiences. They’ve ultimately resulted in valued personal relationships built between my clients and myself. I have made lifelong friends and traveled across the country to assist with other commercial and residential projects stemming from these ties.”

"What I love about living and working in this area are the amazing architects, designers, and craftsmen here and the sense of pride in one’s everyday skill set.”

His style of “organic modernism,” as Ganeaux refers to it, is a timeless mix of nature-inspired organic materials and more modern pieces that can be adapted to any architecture or location. Its elements incorporate a blend of old and new, with the natural furnishings lending a softer side to some of the sleek, hard lines found in a lot of new construction today. “Organic modernism is an aesthetic that speaks to me,” the designer explains. “I feel the architecture of the home sets the tone for the style of the interiors, while mixing old and new gives the home character and a sense of history.”

One of Ganeaux’s favorite examples of his style is a “his” bathroom design in a Gulf-front home along 30-A’s beaches. The challenging project first required taking over part of an existing porch to extend the bathroom while maintaining the porch’s integrity and aesthetic. The shower brought nature indoors with a gorgeous mosaic tile mural created by pixelating a photograph that showed the dunes, the Gulf of Mexico, and the surrounding vista. Ganeaux worked with a tile creator in Venice to achieve the look. “The mosaic adorns an entire wall in the bath, topped with a frosted-to-clear switch-activated window strategically placed for privacy,” he says. “This incorporated the feel of an outdoor shower with all of the modern, luxurious amenities of a spa at home.”

Ganeaux also consulted on design and worked with the talented Allyson Runnels of Laura Allyson Interiors and Premier Development Group to curate finish selections for owners to choose from when personalizing their residences in the luxurious Thirty-One on 30A Gulf-front property in Seagrove Beach. “I was given the opportunity to furnish the model unit, and I mixed contemporary, organic, and midcentury styles to achieve a very peaceful but elegant look,” Ganeaux says.

Often adding elements that stand out through textures, lighting, and unexpected materials, Ganeaux says he enjoys working on both residential and commercial projects, whether it is helping an owner fill their new home with the things they love or assisting realtors and property developers with staging. “Residential design gives me more of an opportunity to truly get to know my clients: how they live, what brings them joy, and how to find common ground between my vision and theirs to ultimately give them an emotional and physical connection to their new home at the beach. Commercial design is all about the functionality and durability of the space. It forces me to become very analytical, making sure every last detail is thought through.”

He continues, “Every project is treated with the same respect and nurturing. What I love about living and working in this area are the amazing architects, designers, and craftsmen here and the sense of pride in one’s everyday skill set.”

Although the world has experienced some setbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic—and the design industry is no exception—Ganeaux says he has been working through it and staying positive. “I am using this time to reevaluate my priorities and place importance on things that matter the most. Every day is a new day and not one to be taken for granted.”

— V —

Stay tuned to see more work from designer Ken Ganeaux when you follow him on Instagram @ganeauxdesigns.

Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine - The Art & Design Issue November 2021
VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail