A Rustic Coastal Retreat
By Jordan Staggs | Photography by Brenna Kneiss
“After living in Wisconsin for nine years, we loved the idea of renovating an old barn someday and adding modern touches,” says designer Suzy Accola, owner of Q Tile and Q Studio in Grayton Beach, Florida. The nearby Seagrove Beach cottage that she and her husband, Jim, created might not be an old barn, but the incredible wooden support beams and the upstairs flooring are made of reclaimed wood from a barn in Ohio. “In this home, we were able to mesh a modern beach barn with rustic and eclectic elements.”
The residence, tucked among lush vegetation and nature trails winding through flatwoods in the area locally known as Old Seagrove, highlights the design and decor prowess of this married team (Jim, the co-owner of Coastal Elements Construction, built the home) and the talents of architect Gregory D. Jazayeri.
Inspired by the scenery of Northwest Florida and the couple’s love of nature, the heart of the home is an expansive open-concept living room, dining area, and kitchen. Its thirty-five-foot vaulted ceiling also opens up the second-floor gallery with built-in shelving and a gaming area. Windows on the first and second levels of the great room allow lots of natural light to stream in and views of the surrounding landscape from every angle.
Accents throughout the space are a testament to the Accolas’ attention to detail and creative taste. “One of our favorite ideas, which truly makes us happy every time we sit in our living room, was hanging the clear Murano glass lights in Neo-Moroccan shapes at various lengths among the wooden beams,” Suzy says. “When they’re dimmed at night, my daughter calls them our ‘fairy lights.’”
The main level flooring is made of ash-colored vein-cut and brushed marble in a chevron pattern. With three kids and two dogs, Suzy says she appreciates the distressed and lived-in yet timeless look of natural stone.
Jim and Suzy found unique accent pieces from antique restoration shops in California, where Suzy spent her childhood. When looking for the key furnishings, Suzy collaborated with Melissa Skowlund, owner and designer of Summer House Lifestyle. “We had fun playing with the textures and colors to find the perfect furniture to fit the home,” Suzy says, “and the rug from Oasis Rugs & Pearl Home pulls the living room together.”
Bright green lacquered cabinets give the carriage house a fresh, modern feel, while the black-and-white patterned cement tiles add a creative but timeless edge.
Jim built the dining table himself using antique French metal gateposts for the legs, and it flawlessly reflects the space’s combination of farmhouse and modern styles.
Approaching the kitchen area, the first thing that catches the eye is the gorgeous geometric brass-toned chandeliers above the island bar; these were found in a small shop in Los Angeles. “The angles play on the angles of the backsplash,” Suzy points out, referring to the gorgeous white dolomite and river shell Joie tile by New Ravenna. “As the room was so open, we did not want the kitchen to look overly busy, but we incorporated a lot of ideas. The white BlueStar range and hood have an enamel finish, so we had Grimes Cabinets create a lacquered ‘car finish’ on the cabinets and the walls surrounding the pantry, refrigerator, and sandwich bar.” Suzy collaborated with designer Cindy McCarley, who provided beautiful drawings for the layout of the kitchen cabinets. “We left the island in a natural, lightly stained wood to add a rustic feel and to complement the ladder that reaches the upper cabinets.”
Steps away from the home, the carriage house offers a colorful contrast to the coastal white, blue, and tan tones in the primary residence. “We had fun treating the carriage house as a separate apartment,” says Suzy. “I think of it as a happy retreat for visitors, or for our kids later when they’re returning from college and in need of a little extra space before going out on their own completely.”
Bright green lacquered cabinets give the carriage house a fresh, modern feel, while the black-and-white patterned cement tiles add a creative but timeless edge. Large hexagonal whitewashed porcelain floor tiles lend a rustic element that ties the space to the main home.
“I have so much respect for the Accolas after working with them six years ago on our first show home, Maison de VIE in the WaterColor community.”
Also located in the quaint residential community of Seagrove Beach is the site of a new project for the Accolas, who are teaming up with VIE magazine for the VIE Beach House – A Show Home! This brand-new single-family residence will showcase a beach house-meets-Bohemian style designed to promote an ideal coastal lifestyle. Custom finishes and furnishings, inspired artwork, and top-of-the-line amenities will converge in a peaceful oasis near the Gulf of Mexico.
“I have so much respect for the Accolas after working with them six years ago on our first show home, Maison de VIE in the WaterColor community,” says Lisa Burwell, founder and editor-in-chief of VIE. In addition to that project, VIE produced the Modern Minimalist show home in Santa Rosa Beach and the Legacy Home in WaterSound Beach, Florida, making the Beach House its fourth rendition of a show home. “It’s going to be the best one yet. The lineup of sponsors and brand partners we have curated and chosen to align with is stellar!”
Partners will include Q Tile and Q Studio, Coastal Elements Construction, Gregory D. Jazayeri, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, American Leather, Brown Jordan, Summer House Lifestyle, Lovelace Interiors, SICIS, Porcelanosa, Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, Jonah Allen Studio, Frank’s Cash and Carry, Beach Group Properties, Cindy McCarley Designs, Grimes Cabinets, New Ravenna, Sabine Hill, Artistic Tile, and the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits, with more to be announced leading up to the home’s debut in the fall of 2020.
“It isn’t your typical waterfront home—it’s set only a block from the beach among the rustic landscape of Seagrove,” Suzy adds. “We love the sense of privacy, which lends itself to a courtyard feel in the backyard. The pool area will be a big surprise with the help of one of our favorite tile vendors and an amazing local artist. We are really looking forward to getting the creative energies flowing and rolling up our sleeves!”
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