Beach House Blues in Paradise by the Bay

A vacation dream home in the Panhandle offers surprises around every corner


Gregory and Pamela Breedlove are no strangers to Florida real estate. Over the past two decades, they’ve acquired and renovated a number of homes along County Road 30A in the Panhandle—a scenic stretch of land that hugs the coastline, beloved for its sugar-white sand and crystalline blue waters. So when the Breedloves came across a lot atop a 30-foot bluff in Paradise by the Bay (a private community adjacent to Alys Beach), they knew they had found something special. 

After debating what kind of structure the land would best accommodate, the couple decided that a family vacation dream home was the way to go. Soon they were assembling the team with the chops to turn that dream into reality. Gregory saw the work of architects Darrell Russell and Jonathan Hampel by coincidence; the firm just happened to be working on a project two lots away from the Breedlove site. A lunch and a proposal later, the studio was hired. Melanie Turner Interiors came onboard after Pamela and Gregory toured a Turner-designed beach house in the area. “I looked her up and loved her ideas,” says Pamela. “She has a unique take on what a beach house should be.”   

Although neither the architects nor the designer had worked with the couple before, their collaboration was effortless. As the team hashed out the floor plan, Pamela outlined her must-haves: optimal views of the water from the front door to the rooftop deck, unexpected rooms from which to enjoy those vistas, and here-and-there architectural surprises to delight the eye. “I hate to use the word ‘transitional,’ but I think that’s the term that best describes this house,” says Hampel. “Traditional detailing was implemented, but we stripped it down to its most basic form.” 

As far as the interiors go, Pamela came to Turner with a specific (albeit somewhat unusual) color palette request in the form of two Hermès scarves in varying tones and intensities of blue, green, and white. “The idea was to create an ombré effect,” says Turner. “Bolder and brighter on the first floor, and then softer as we went higher in the house.” (All in all, the residence boasts 11,900 square feet of space, spread out over three floors and a rooftop deck.) 

The sum of all these directives—both structural and aesthetic—is on display throughout the home. This sophisticated beach house bears none of the clichéd trappings that the term conjures up. The elegant tenor of the home is initially set in the foyer—first with Tulle Current, an abstract painting by Sally King Benedict that celebrates the pleasures of the life aquatic, and then with a custom curved staircase constructed to seemingly float within the room. 

The home embraces an open floor plan that never subtracts from the water views. Each room’s function is clearly delineated by style decisions. The living area balances a vibrant citron-hued area rug with sculptural chairs for a gallery-like vibe, punctuated by four impossible-to-miss ombré light fixtures. Neutral tones dominate the family room where the Breedloves’ penchant for evenings at home is reflected by a billiards table and an oft-used wet bar. 

As for the aforementioned architectural surprises? There are a handful. Up three steps from the living room is a library in an inky shade of blue. Adjacent to the dining room is what the Breedloves call “the jewel box,” a white and blue perch of a space with windows on all sides that’s perfect for breakfasts and sunset cocktails. And then there’s the fourth level of the home: a rooftop deck that was originally outside the scope of the project’s budget. Pamela and Gregory felt that the space was an absolute must-have, and agreed to increase the budget to make it happen—the right choice by all accounts. 

“The views from the rooftop deck are just spectacular,” says Pamela. “You can literally see the curvature of the Earth, and see the coastline from Destin to Panama City. It’s exactly what anyone who loves water would want.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Melanie Turner, Melanie Turner Interiors, Atlanta, GA

Architecture by Darrell Russell and Jonathan Hampel, A Boheme Design, LLC., Inlet Beach, FL

Builder Jared Smartt, Earthbuild, LLC., Inlet Beach, FL

Landscape Architecture by Kendall Horne, Kendall Horne Landscape Design, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Text by Luis R. Rigual

Photography by Layne Lillie, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:


Upstairs Terrace

Lounge and chair seating – Restoration Hardware,


Bench – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Entry table – Julian Chichester, High Point, NC

Stairway designed by Melanie Turner Interiors, Atlanta, GA

Fabricated by Bay Side Stair Company, Jasper, GA LIVING ROOM AND LIBRARY 

Sofa – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Fabric – Perennials Fabrics, Dallas, TX

Fuzzy chair – Bernhardt, Lenoir, NC

Occasional chair – Bernhardt, Lenoir, NC

Drink table – Global Views, Atlanta, GA

Cocktail table designed by Melanie Turner Interiors, Atlanta, GA

Console table – Bradley USA, Atlanta, GA

Table lamp – Arteriors Home, High Point, NC

Ottoman under console – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Fabric – Kravet,

Hanging pendants – Currey and Company, Atlanta, GA

Fireplace designed by Melanie Turner Interiors, Atlanta, GA

Area rug – Miami Circle Floor Coverings, Buckhead, GA

Womb chairs – Knoll, Atlanta, GA

White cocktail table – Bernhardt, Lenoir, NC

Artwork – Leftbank Art, Atlanta, GA

Area rug – Surya, High Point, NC

Family Room

Sofa – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Fabric – Perennials Fabrics, Dallas, TX

Pillows – Donghia/Kravet,

Chaises – Lee Industries, Conover, GA

Blue pillows – Kravet/ Lee Jofa,

Center benches – Restoration Hardware,

Drink table – Arteriors Home, High Point, NC

Side table – Noir Trading, High Point, NC

Table lamp – Arteriors Home, High Point, NC

Artwork above sofa – Leftbank Art, Atlanta, GA

Sconces – Arteriors Home, High Point, NC

Drapery fabric – Romo, Inc., New York, NY

Area rug – Miami Circle Floor Covering, Buckhead, GA

Family Room Bar

Cabinetry and shelve fabricated by Karpaty Studio, Atlanta, GA

Artwork – Vintage 

Family Room Game Area

Wall banquette designed by Melanie Turner Interiors, Atlanta, GA

Fabricated by Douglass Workroom, Chamblee, GA

Gold accent table – Noir Trading, High Point, NC

Artwork – Leftbank Art, Atlanta, GA

Pendant lighting – Circa Lighting, Atlanta, GA

Pool table – Restoration Hardware,

Carriage House Guest Suite

Cocktail table – Made Goods, Atlanta, GA

Bed designed by Melanie Turner Interiors, Atlanta, GA

Fabricated by Douglass Workroom, Chamblee, GA

Area rug – Miami Circle Floorcoverings, Buckhead, GA

Rooftop Deck

Lounge seating and side tables – Restoration Hardware,

Fabric – Perennials Fabric, Dallas, TX


Flooring – Francois and Co., Atlanta, GA

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