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On a recent trip to the Florida Panhandle, friends introduced to me to Design on the Gulf, a lovely shop that literally knocked my socks off. It is housed in an unassuming strip mall-type building that’s easy to miss if you don’t know where you’re going. I had the happy occasion to meet the owner, Dale Trice, and get a personal tour of his store when I visited.

After spending years in the competitive grind of Atlanta, Dale decided to move his operation down to Florida. He has a great eye and a large following, and his collections are so sought after that it’s not unusual for customers from the Northeast to come in and clean out his inventory. Since his prices run circles around the toney shops in and around NYC and Boston, Design’s treasures are always quickly snapped up.


The marble bowl? For sale. The pooch, not likely.


What I so adored about the shop is its fresh personality. From Gracie and Zelda (the resident pooches) greeting people as they enter, to the room filled with exquisite hand-loomed, custom-designed rugs in every color of the rainbow, this place is a must-visit. I’ve been coming to the Destin area for over 20 years, and I can’t believe I’ve just discovered such a find. Even though the underlying theme is nautical (lots of sea shells and coral), the store also carries tons of interesting accessories and wonderful architectural elements that are relevant for all types of dwellings, not just beach houses.

Let’s take a tour!


Located smack dab in the middle of the Panhandle, Design has lots of seashells and seaside-themed accessories. The closer you look, the more treasures you’ll find.



This gorgeous floral arrangement is made from dried flowers and leaves.



These two architectural pieces make a beautiful statement and can easily be used in many different settings.


For all of you who serve eggnog in a punch bowl during the holidays, consider a new twist with this octopus bowl whose arms beckon you to the elixir within.



This photo is chocked full of fabulous finds. Notice the gorgeous chairs, tureen and hurricane candle holders. The leaf pattern on the hurricane adds a delicate feature to the piece.



Here, the use of white accessories offers a nice contrast to the large wooden piece in the center of the mantel.



Alone, cowry shells are a familiar beach find, but when piled together, as they are here, they add an interesting element to a table setting. Design has great gift items like this salad bowl and pair of serving spoons.



A dramatic coral centerpiece makes a compelling statement.



There are lots of garden urns for sale, but the detail on this one makes it worth the haul back home. (And did you know, your shower is a great place to use a multi-purpose piece of furniture like this.)



Similar to leopard print, bamboo motifs are timeless. I like the interesting dimension it adds to this table setting here.



A favorite bookshelf addition is a conch shell. They add lovely color and texture to an otherwise dark setting.



At Design, you’ll even find a small amount of jewelry on display.


Not sure what I like more, the cabinet or the treasures inside.



Design has an extensive collection of fine rugs, including hand-hooked, cotton rag, bound seagrass, hemp, sisal, needlepoint, wool dhurries, kilim, Oushak, Soumak, and Persian wool tufted from around the world. All striped cotton and wool rugs can be ordered in whatever size, colors and any geometric pattern that you prefer.



Interesting throws and pillows are scattered around the store.



For an entrance hall or on a buffet, this planter makes a gorgeous statement.


And as a final nod to the nautical theme, we end with a collection of whimsical books. And that’s all she wrote, so to speak!

Design on the Gulf

4281 E Scenic Highway 30A

Seagrove Beach, FL  32459

Toll Free Telephone:  866.231.4844

For more information, visit the website:

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