open house: gulf getaway

June 19th 2014 Comments: 12 Topics: , , ,

This is another entry in a series of posts titled “open house” in which we offer photographic tours of selected projects.
070015_Rosemary_Benecki_McAlpine_EGDines_021With the first hint of summer season in the air, our sails naturally lilt toward the call of the sea. Salt air tickles the senses and flashbacks of the annual sweaty, sandy visits of our childhood conjure remembrances of all things coastal. We’ve been honored with a number of commissions of beach sidled second homes. These are always fun projects; carefully constructed egos are left in town with the dress clothes and casual finds its way, not only on the body, but in the architecture.

This particular house, built in the bucolic town of Rosemary Beach, Florida is one of those dressed-down designs. Built by Benecki Homes and featuring slip-covered bleached-out interiors by the talented Melanie Turner, the house presents a fairly stoic face to the street. One enters the house, Charleston-style, through a solid gate and underneath the shade of an overhanging second floor loggia. The house immediately opens onto a courtyard, featuring a cooling dip pool and landscaped oasis. A good house is like a good person, you really don’t get to know their character until you are fully invited in.

I’ve never understood the trend to decorate beach houses in hot, bright colors. This house appropriately goes in the opposite direction. Once inside, the seemingly serendipitous interior is draped all in blanched white, like a summer house where sheets covering furniture have yet to be removed for the upcoming season. Touches of pale, pale blue recall the azure sky and gulf just outside. Cordially welcoming the unshod and un-showered, this family beach retreat seems to emotionally abate the heat and offers refreshing shelter to visiting vacationers.









Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley

Photography by Erica George Dines

Note: All of the upholstered furnishings shown in the photographs are from the McAlpine Home line manufactured by Lee Industries.


  1. Ann says:

    Love the elegant simplicity….. and especially the reference to sheets covering the furniture! Sweet memories.
    The graceful lines and detailed architectural features stand alone without fussy , bright furnishings, and I’m typically a color girl! Just lovely – wish it was my house. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sorry, but not up to your usual standard. Interior in particular.

    • Sorry you feel that way but, keep in mind, all the houses we design always have some sort of definitive budget. Some are big and some are small but they always exist. This house in particular was built for a contractor (and dear friend) and his family as a speculative project. TheY lived in the house for a while and then sold it. As you might know, speculative projects have very tight bottom lines. We chose to spend the money wisely where it counted and cut back where it did not.

  3. donna says:

    Could you please advise me as to the flooring on the bathroom floor

  4. Mary Jo Bochner says:

    I think this home is appropriately designed for the beach. It is absolutely stunning!

  5. I love the work you all do. I have a specific question about an item on this post, but I have to gush for a moment. I grew up going to my aunt & uncle’s beach house, next to this community. We would walk around what would become the now fully realized Rosemary Beach and admire the beautiful architecture & interiors. As a child, I had no concept of New Urbanism, Neoclassical Architecture, or romantic interiors. But, I knew these environments made me a feel a certain joy and ease that other places did not. I believe I owe much of my now adult tastes and aesthetics to this experience. Your team, and the work you do have had such an impact on what I aspire to and appreciate in design as a whole. You also make me proud to be from Montgomery, AL 😉

    About the natural blinds seen in the bathroom and kids’ room – can you advise on your source? Thank you!

    • Thanks for the gush! Wish I could help you with the blind source but Melanie Turner, the interior designer, supplied those. I suggest you contact her through the link to her website that’s provided in the post.

  6. Lovable Architects design and interior Designing!

  7. Robert Ward says:

    I really admire your talent. I had the chance to see your commission in The Woodlands, Texas, and was amazed at how well everything was done. It was perfect! This home in Rosemary Beach is so charming. Would you tell me what choice of white paint color you used on the walls throughout the inside of the home? Thank you.

  8. Anne Plosser says:

    Could you please give me the details on the dining table? I’m in need of one just like it.

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