What do Ireland’s coast and Cape Cod have in common? Both come together, style-wise, in this Jacksonville, Florida second home, a charming family getaway for Gavan and Orla Duffy. When the couple saw this oceanfront lot for sale in Ponte Vedre Beach, Orla knew it was perfect. “We both grew up in Ireland and were surrounded by water,” she says. “Ever since we met 28 years ago, we’ve always wanted our own place on the beach.” The clapboard style of the house was inspired by a summer when they lived on the Cape in Martha’s Vineyard. As another homage to their shared memories, they named the house “Rosebank,” after Gavan’s grandparents’ home in Ireland with the same name.
From the start, the Duffys planned for Rosebank to incorporate their cultural history. “We needed a home that would hold up to the lifestyle dictated by four children, a big golden retriever and lots of entertaining,” says Orla. “But I also wanted a mix of modern and European — something different and unique than you usually see on the beach. We’re Irish and have traveled all over the world, so we wanted to bring those touches into our home.”
To merge antiques with day-to-day living, Orla turned to Jacksonville interior designer Carol Kirchner of Villa Decor & Design for help. Kirchner embraced Orla’s philosophies, sourcing additional items from Europe or salvaged materials to contribute more of an aged patina to the new beach house.
Carol even made sure guests got a dose of Ireland when they first walk in the dining room. “I had ‘Slainte’ (the Gaelic word for ‘Cheers’) wrapped in zinc letters and attached to the top of the buffet,” she says. Orla approves of these sentimental gestures, saying, “That’s the way we like to welcome people into our home.”
Thank you to the Duffys for allowing us to take a peek inside your beautiful Florida home. And thank you to Jessie Preza Photography for the beautiful photos of the Duffy home.
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