Today, we’re heading south to Rosemary Beach in Florida, where Memphis-based designer Lee Pruitt has transformed a beach condo. He has combined stunning, clean design components and a signature beach palette with the traditional charm of a gracious Southern interior. Enjoy the trip!

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

Interior designer Lee Pruitt is known for adding a hint of the unexpected to traditional surroundings. For example, he removed wood stair rails in this hallway and replaced them with dark green, velvet roping. The end wall is concrete tile with encrusted shells, the backdrop for a 19th-century, Chinese demilune table made of bamboo and a gestural metal sculpture.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

The dining room area features a painted Italian table, painted French side chairs and woven rattan armchairs. The Italian Venini glass is a stunning centerpiece to the room.

The style of this summer home is reflective of Rosemary Beach itself, which was founded on the principles of new urbanism and traditional neighborhood development. The original vision for Rosemary in 1995 was to build a classic beach neighborhood, and today, the 107-acre, gulf-front development is popular with vacationers who appreciate community, neighborhood and convenience.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

Lee transformed a 2,000-square-foot Florida condominium with minimal personality into a showplace on Rosemary’s Barrett Square. The family room emphasizes light, airy fabrics with dark accents.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

Beach-inspired decorative accessories unite interior spaces with the outdoors.

Lee is a creative professional whose outgoing Southern charm is apparent in his personality and design work. He is known for sophisticated interiors mixed with unexpected elements, and his primary inspiration is always the homeowner. For example, in defining the interior of this summer retreat, he never veered from the client’s request for a light and airy mood.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

Bold rug patterns, a variety of statement light fixtures and symmetrical placement of large and small objects add energy and visual movement throughout the home’s sleek interior.

Also, because this family asked for a quick turnaround, Lee put this six-month project into overdrive and, instead, completed it in four. From December 2013 to March 2014, the entire renovation included new paint colors, cabinets, tile, light fixtures, wall coverings and window treatments, furniture, decorative accessories, floors, interior doors and hardware … and all were in place in time for this Memphis family to enjoy summertime at the beach in a new vacation home.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

The master bedroom emphasizes traditional white. The antique, gold-finished iron bed is from Oly Studio.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

Varying styles some together in one vignette: a mid-century, modern lacquered chest topped with a collection of porcelain vases, Kerry Joyce hand-painted linen shades, a Rose Tarlow chair upholstered in quilted linen and a concrete form end table.

Lee describes the original condition of this Florida condominium as a “sheetrock box painted in yellow.” Today, this beach retreat on Rosemary’s Barrett Square is far from its bland former state. Preceding every design decision, he took into consideration the relaxed beach setting, beginning with a palette of rich, natural colors to unite interior spaces with the outdoors.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

A trumeau with encrusted shell detail is the focal point in the master bedroom seating area.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

This shield-shaped coffee table is covered in faux shark skin.

While relaxed living was of utmost importance, Lee did not abandon his trademark use of picture-perfect, gracious elements. Forward-thinking ideas are plenty, but timeless elegance is predominant. There are pleasing vignettes throughout, but no dramatic trends are in play; instead, there is a smattering of tasteful whimsy in modern patterns, decorative accessories and contemporary furnishings.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

In the master bath, there is a unique wall covering of ungrouted bleached pebbles. The flooring is brick-joint, polished raindrop slate, and the vanity was custom built with a taller chest in the center.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

Of course, the home’s functional character is on trend and streamlined, but aesthetically, the emphasis is on updated combinations of enduring elements. For example, the dining room table and chairs, tailored window treatments, handsome wood flooring and traditional white throughout are all safe, sophisticated choices. However, it is Lee’s staging technique that gives the final product its fresh appeal.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

This Philippe Starck Ghost Chair is one of Lee’s favorite items in the home. It adds a light and airy touch of modern to a traditional guest bedroom.

Bold rug patterns, a variety of statement light fixtures and symmetrical placement of large and small objects add energy and visual movement throughout the home’s sleek interior. Beach-inspired materials—jewel-toned glass, clear Lucite and shells—are used on lamps, decorative mirrors and walls to repeatedly connect with the outdoors in color and texture.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

In the children’s bedroom, Lee designed a two-tiered bed with built-in bookcases in order to fit the small space. A whimsical vintage rattan chair and Sputnik chandelier lighten the mood of this children’s room.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

There are fun beach colors in the children’s room with a traditional flat-weave, striped area rug and jewel-toned lamp.

Unique wall coverings, many of which are textural, greatly influence the mood of this beachy setting. Venetian plaster walls, which are cool to the touch and slightly reflective, are dominant in the main living area. Adjacent to the dining room, two hallway walls are covered in shell-encrusted concrete tile, and another distinctive wall is in the master bath, where there is a covering of bleached pebbles. In the powder room, a mother-of-pearl wall covering is regal in appearance.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

In the powder room, a mother-of-pearl veneered wall covering is regal in appearance.

Because this family spends much of the summer season at the beach, a highly functional kitchen was an essential part of the renovation. The corner kitchen is masterfully blended into the main living area with cabinets painted to echo fine furniture. Marble countertops and a tile backsplash complement the traditional white of surrounding rooms. Covert storage of appliances and utensils maintains color and form in the room. While this open area provides bar seating and all amenities necessary for preparing the grandest of meals, it never sinks into a state of disarray with uninviting clutter due to careful planning.

Rosemary Beach home by Lee Pruitt | Image credit: Julie Wage Ross

Because this family spends much of the summer season at the beach, a highly functional kitchen was an essential part of the renovation.

This home is not only a beautiful showplace in the Rosemary Beach community, but also an ideal background for building memories with family each summer at the eastern end of scenic 30A.

Resources:

Interior Design: Lee Pruitt

All furnishings: The Shop at Lee Pruitt Interior Design

Photography: Julie Wage Ross

Contractor: Carl Rudolf, Panama City, (850) 596-0024

Location: Rosemary Beach, FL

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