A Rosy Retreat in Vero Beach

Old Florida Style meets contemporary comfort in a family of five’s coastal vacation home

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When a couple from the North Shore of Boston began searching for a vacation home for their family of five, they set their sights on Jamaica, where they had spent many years holidaying at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay. But when a close friend advised them to consider John’s Island in Vero Beach, Florida, they serendipitously discovered that one of the available properties had the same street number and name as the cabin they’d occupied in Jamaica each year. The 1970s ranch house was all chintz fabrics, low ceilings, and small doors—but according to the homeowner, “It had such lovely bones.” 

She invited her long-time friend, Anthony Catalfano—an interior designer who had worked on their home outside of Boston—to see the property. During a walkthrough of the three-bedroom home, Catalfano immediately began sketching on the back of a napkin: This wall had to go, these doors should be replaced, and this low ceiling would be raised. “It was a charming setting,” he says. “I wanted to respect the old Florida look of it. I worked on refining the house.” 

With the aid of builder Ramie Darling, the house was gut-renovated. “We did it in three different phases,” he explains. “The interior, then the pool and back lanai, and then phase three: the cabana. It was really fun because of how much the [homeowners] fell in love with the house at the beginning.”

For the interior, the homeowner had her heart set on cheerful vibes. “But I wanted to  also have a sophisticated, relaxed feel,” she says. The inspiration for the decor began with a single fabric: the Sanderson capuchin monkey print which covers two armchairs in the living room. Catalfano was drawn to the fabric, calling it, “beautifully-drawn… and very old-world Florida.” From there, he chose a color palette that not only reflected the owner’s love of pink but also enhanced the tropical feel of the space with emerald greens and pale aquas. 

Paying careful attention to the concept of indoor and outdoor living, Catalfano designed rooms to draw the garden inward and the eye outward. The flowing spaces—from the open-plan kitchen to the sunroom to  the outdoor loggia to the cabana—were adapted to suit a family with college- and high school-aged children. “Everything in the house, even though it’s beautiful, is extremely comfortable and durable for the family. They didn’t want to worry about fragile fabric,” Catalfano says. 

When it was time to renovate the outdoor area, the dated kidney bean-shaped pool and scalloped awning were demolished. Landscape architect Warren McCormick—who has created many of John’s Island’s outdoor spaces—redesigned the pool, patio, and landscaping. The pool deck, bright with magenta-upholstered pool furniture, has multiple areas for the family and the children’s friends to hang out, sunbathe, or read.

The final stage of the project was the addition of a two-bedroom cabana. “We wanted to respect the scale of the house, so we designed everything with that in mind: to have it look like it was always there,” Catalfano says. He worked closely with architect Pamela Fernandez to create a cottage feel. The space was so tight, the architect claims it “was like building a Swiss watch.” But high ceilings add dimension and pastel built-ins create functionality while maintaining the joyful aspects of the design. The additional space helped the family through COVID-19 lockdowns, remote schooling, and Zoom calls.

“When you have a client that you have a long relationship with—we’ve been friends for over 25 years—it makes it easy and comfortable,” Catalfano adds. “This is the result of a great relationship with a client and friend.”

Story Credits: 

Interior Design by Anthony Catalfano, Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA and Naples, FL

Builder Darling Construction, Vero Beach, FL

Cabana Architecture by PNF Architecture + Design LLC., Vero Beach, FL

Landscape Architecture by Warren McCormick Garden Design, Tequesta, FL

Text by Diana Odasso

Photography Daisy Burns, Vero Beach, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Loggia

White wicker chairs – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Tables – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Sconces – Genie House, Southampton Township, NJ

Fireplace designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL

Sunroom 

Sofa and pillows custom designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL 

Sofa fabric – Kravet Fabrics Inc., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Pillow fabric –Thibaut Designs, Martin Group, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Wicker lounge – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Fabric – Sanderson, Martin Group, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Green accent chair – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Fabric – Brunschwig & Fils Inc, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Cocktail parson table – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Upholstered ottomans – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Drapery fabric – Kravet Fabrics Inc., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Area rug custom designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL

Fabricated by Barrier Island, Atlanta, GA

Dining Area

Dining table designed by Kravet Furniture, Kravet Fabrics, Inc., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Chairs – Theodore Alexander Furniture, M-Geough, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Lantern light – The Urban Electric Company, North Charleston, SC

Area rug custom designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL 

Fabricated by Fibreworks, Louisville, KY

Living Room

Sofas and club chairs custom designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL

Sofa fabric – Kravet Fabrics Inc., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Club chair fabric – Sanderson, Martin Group, 

Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Pink stools – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Cocktail table – Harrison Van Horn Inc., Los Angeles, CA

Custom TV Cabinet – Newton Kitchens, Needham, MA

Artwork above buffet – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Lighting – Vaughan, Studio 534, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Drapery fabric – Kravet Fabrics Inc., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Area rug custom designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL

Fabricated by Fibreworks, Louisville, KY

Cabana

Sofa custom designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL

Fabric – Kravet Fabrics Inc., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Wicker chairs – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Decorative table and side tables – Oomph Home, New Canaan, CT

Lamps – Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Parson table – Somerset Bay, Grand Rapids Furniture Co., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Lantern lighting – Visual Comfort & Co., Houston, TX

Round dining table – Design Within Reach, Cambridge, MA

Chairs – Kenian Fine Rattan Furniture, Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Main Kitchen

Island designed by Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Boston, MA, and Naples, FL

Chairs – Palecek, Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Lantern lighting – Visual Comfort & Co., Houston, TX

Patio

Lounge and chairs – Brown Jordan, Anthony Catalfano Home, Wells, ME

Fabric – Sunbrella, sunbrella.com

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