Not all beach houses are full of driftwood, turquoise and fish motifs. Homeowner Carrie Faletti drew on her love of Spanish Revival houses and time spent in Europe to create a different kind of coastal home. “We wanted the look of a more curated home, not a newer build,” she says, of her Seagrove, Florida, home. “We focused on adding design elements that gave it a more historic, grounded feeling.”

The Atlanta-based realtor bought the house with her husband Paton in 2006, when the house was only two years old, choosing the Seagrove part of 30A after a lifetime of vacationing along the popular Florida Panhandle. To transform the home from a typical rental property to a richly layered family house, she began with architectural details. 

“We didn’t take down any walls, but every room was changed in some way,” says Carrie. She found a source in Greenwood, South Carolina, Vintage Elements, for reclaimed wood beams that would add character to ceilings and the fireplace. “New flooring installed in a chevron pattern has the look of wood but is actually durable ceramic tiles,” says interior designer Cindy Dunaway, who helped with the renovation and new furnishings.

New front doors, custom-made locally out of mahogany, add a warm, welcoming touch to this 30A beach cottage. Although only 1,800 square feet, this Seagrove, Florida, home is packed with special features.

The front doors open into this welcoming living room, which, even with neutral furnishings, is warmed up by an antique rug, old wood beams and a stunning chandelier.

When Carrie Faletti bought the house, living room floors were covered with builder-grade 18-by-18 beige tiles; the renovated version now features herringbone-patterned tiles with the (very believable) look of wood.

A guest bedroom features a retro vibe.

Built-in bunk beds provide more efficient sleeping options than the single bed that was in this room before. Cubbies with shelves are a handy addition to the custom beds.

Kitchen tiles were custom-made by Paul Barchilon Ceramics to match the cabinetry color and fit the Spanish-Revival motif.

“We loved the scale of these big crane prints, and they fit perfectly in our Spanish style,” says interior designer Cindy Dunaway.

“I’ve always loved a shell chandelier, and this one is a little bit glam,” says Carrie, who bought the dining area light fixture from Frontgate. “This one is made from Abalone shells, and I like how these particular shells reflect the light. It’s not overly ‘beachy,’ unlike some of the clunky antique shell chandeliers.”

A goal throughout was to use a red, white and blue color palette and keep the look not-so-beachy. “We used an antique red and blue oriental rug in the living room, which is of course not typical of beach design,” says Cindy. Living room furniture by Charles Stewart Company is a step up from most seaside selections, although the designer upholstered with Sunbrella fabrics for long-term endurance. Lacquered walls in the master bedroom, navy cabinetry in the kitchen and black dining chairs are a few other examples of this new take on coastal decor. High-end light fixtures also elevate this home, from a glam version of a shell chandelier in the dining room to a Spanish Revival-inspired chandelier in brass from Restoration Hardware that anchors the living room.

A mystical painting the Falettis picked up in Cuba adds even more personality in the living room, another example of why this project stands out to the designer. “They’ve had the house for 10 years,” says Cindy, “but they really transitioned it well from being a rental to a special place for themselves and filled with their personal touches.”

High-gloss navy walls distinguish the master bedroom.

As part of the renovation, previous French doors were replaced with windows to allow for a cozy sitting area in the master bedroom.

A sunburst mirror, a favorite design trick of Carrie’s, sits above an exotic chest in the master bedroom.

The master bedroom light fixture is big on texture but purposefully neutral to allow other elements in the room to stand out.

A Restoration Hardware vanity in dark wood is a focal point of the master bath remodel.

A favorite painting from Cuba decorates one side of the living room. Upholstered furniture is by Charles Stewart Company.

We think you’ll agree that this fabulous home is anything but your run-of-the-mill beach house. Thank you so much, Carrie, for sharing a peek into your Seagrove oasis, and thank you also to Colleen Duffley for the beautiful photos!

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