Historic Neptune Beach Home is an Elegant Vision

During an extensive restoration, a beloved historic home in Neptune Beach gets a fresh update while retaining its original elegance and architectural grandeur


built in 1931 in the Mediterranean-Revival style, a magnificent two-story residence and guest house known as “Sea Rest” stood out from the others due to its elegant design. Situated alongside the Atlantic Ocean in Neptune Beach, Fla., the historic dwelling was constructed using locally manufactured sand-lime brick veneer and a clay barrel-tile roof — unique materials rarely used in older beachfront homes in the area. For nearly a century, the charismatic house stood as an iconic landmark on this same stretch of sand and provided a blissful retreat for the generations of families who gathered here for fun and relaxation.

A young Jacksonville couple fell in love with the charming home and the generous oceanfront lot it occupied. They originally purchased the property as a beach house, but over time, they decided to transform it into a comfortable year-round residence — with all the modern bells and whistles — while retaining its historic flavor.

The owners first commissioned architects Richard Skinner and David Case to help gracefully fit a large program of new work into the existing 85-year-old structure. They also called on interior designer Stephanie Jarvis, who worked closely with them and the architectural team to guide the selections for this fresh and modern update.

“The front of the original house faced a street parallel to the ocean that had been abandoned for some time,” Case says. “The owners wanted a new prominent entry to the residence, so we designed an octagonal tower to connect the original house with the new addition and to also create a new point of entry.”

Inside, a cantilevered helical stairway with a custom-designed forged-iron handrail carries one to the second-floor master suite and children’s bedrooms. The tower, with its pecky cypress ceiling, creates a hinge point between the 2,800-square-foot original structure and the new 5,400-square-foot addition, forming an “L” on the property. The new addition was positioned to coordinate with an existing rectangular pool and allow garage space at the adjacent alley.

A barrel-vaulted vestibule with recessed cove lights connects the octagonal foyer to the new family room. Finished with a coffered pecky-cypress ceiling and a cast-stone fireplace mantel, this inviting space centers on the sparkling turquoise-hued pool outside. Beautiful limestone floors were installed throughout the entire first floor and porch, and a new glass-arcaded hallway connects the foyer to the original living and dining room with enticing views of the pool and new addition. “The hallway ceiling features a combination of sweeping arches and groin vaults,” Case says. “They create a beautiful rhythm within the passageway while concealing ductwork to the exterior wall.”

Upstairs, a spacious master suite designed with an adjoining cantilevered balcony provides a serene retreat. The quaint outdoor space visually extends the bedroom while offering views of the ocean through elegant French doors.

“We went with very traditional materials and matte plaster walls,” Jarvis says. “We worked for a full day mixing just the right tone for the marmorino plaster. We wanted it to be warm, but still clean and pale.” A slight departure keeps everything feeling fresh and relevant. “We custom mixed the stain and lime wash on all the cypress ceilings and we chose to go with a pale beige on the walls rather than the darker colors typically used in historic homes,” she says. Custom mahogany windows and doors along with the dark color on the exterior trim add just enough of the expected richness found in Mediterranean-Revival homes to keep it feeling authentic.

Focusing on a bright, oceanic palette with tones of turquoise and blue — a personal favorite of the homeowners  — Jarvis reiterated the eye-popping hues in the furnishings, lighting fixtures and artwork throughout. She intentionally kept the downstairs rooms quiet when it came to walls, ceilings and flooring, thus enabling the architecture and views to become the focus, while the whimsical colors and patterns were layered in as accents.   

“Overall, we really enjoyed the challenge of making a wonderful old historic home relevant to oceanfront living for a young family,” Jarvis says. “It was everything they could dream up — a true homeplace with history, quirkiness and charm — yet a modern marvel with all the conveniences of today’s lifestyle.”

Story Credits: 

Interior Design Stephanie Jarvis, Stephanie Jarvis, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

Renovations Architecture by Richard Skinner and David Case, Richard Skinner & Associates, Jacksonville, FL

Builder Matt Carlton, Carlton Construction, Fleming Island, FL

Landscape Architecture Ben Dinkins, Ben Dinkins Landscape Design, Jacksonville Beach, FL

Text by Jeanne Delathouder

Photography by Jessie Preza, Jacksonville, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:



Stairway and ceiling treatment – Custom

designed by David Case for Richard Skinner and Associates, Jacksonville, FL

Stairway fabricated by Wonderland Products,

Jacksonville, FL

Ceiling fabricated by Carlton Construction,

Jacksonville, FL

Antique brandyboard – Whitehall Antiques, Chapel Hill, NC

Vintage Brighton side chair – Chairish,

San Francisco, CA

Blue-and-white vases – Blend Indoor Outdoor, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

Chandelier – Ironware International, Paul +, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

dining nook

Banquet – Beaches Woodcrafts, Atlantic Beach, FL

Side chairs – EJ Victor, High Point, NC

Fabric – Mally Skok, Travis & Company, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Dining table – Tritter Feefer, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Drapery fabric – Brunschwig & Fils, Kravet, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

family room

Sofa, stools and lounge chairs – Lee Industries, Interiors Trading, Jacksonville, FL

Sofa table – Oly Studio, New York, NY

Light fixture – Coleen and Company, Long Beach, CA

Shelving – Beaches Woodcrafts, Atlantic Beach, FL

Fireplace fabricated by St. Augustine Cast Stone, St. Augustine, FL

Area rug – Stark Carpet, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

living room

Sofa – Lee Industries, Interiors Trading,

Jacksonville, FL

Wood sofa table – Owners’ Collection

Lamp – Blue Hills Antique Show, Round Top, TX

Armchairs – Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams,

Mrs. Howard, Jacksonville, FL

Print accent pillow fabric – F. Schumacher & Co., DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

casual dining area

Banquette – Hill & Brown/Clarence House,

Holly Hunt, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Table – Rove Concepts, Vancouver, BC. Canada

Stools – Lee Industries, Interiors Trading,

Jacksonville, FL

Fabric – Joseph Noble, Paul +, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Chandelier – Whitehall Antiques, Chapel Hill, NC

powder room

White vanity – J. Tribble, Miami Circle, Atlanta, GA

Hardware – Addison Weeks, Ray Ware

Hardware, Jacksonville, FL

Mirror – Made Goods, City of Industry, CA

Wall lamps – Waterworks, Hollingsworth,

Jacksonville, FL

Wall covering – Bob Collins & Sons, Inc.,

West Palm Beach, FL

Area rug – Turkish Carpets, Inc., Houston, TX

dining room

Dining table – Tritter Feefer, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Chairs and bookcase – Owners’ Collection

Side chair – Circa Who, West Palm Beach, FL

Artwork – Gregg Irby Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Chandelier – Marburger Farms Antique Show, 

Round Top, TX

green bedroom

Bed – Redford House Furniture, Carson, CA

Bedside chests – Oly Studio, New York, NY

Blue table lamps – Bungalow 5, AmericasMart,

J Douglas, Atlanta, GA

Bench – Worlds Away, J Douglas, Atlanta, GA

Fabric – China Seas, Ernest Gaspard, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Desk – Bungalow 5, J Douglas, Atlanta, GA

Wall covering – Galbraith & Paul,

R Hughes/Holland & Sherry, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

blue bedroom

White bed – Redford House Furniture, Carson, CA

Bedside chest – Chelsea Textiles, D&D Building, New York, NY

Lamp – Gallery Designs, J Doulgas, Atlanta, GA

Bench – Ballard Designs, Atlanta, GA

Wall covering – Quadrille, Ernest Gaspard, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

guest bath

Vanity – Beaches Woodcrafts, Atlantic Beach, FL

Mirror – restorationhardware.com

Painted wood wall covering – Mirth Studio, Charleston, SC

Wall lamps – Hudson Valley Lighting,

Hollingsworth Showroom, Jacksonville, FL

master bedroom

Four poster bed – Oly Studio, New York, NY

Bedside chests – Oomph Home, Greenwich, CT

Lamp – Barbara Cosgrove, CODARUS, Atlanta, GA

Sofa – Lee Industries, Interiors Trading,

Jacksonville, FL

Sofa fabric and drapery fabric – Brunschwig & Fils, Kravet, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Wall lamps – Vaughn Lighting, Ainsworth-Noah, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Wall covering – F. Schumacher & Co, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Area rug – Stark Carpet, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

master bath

Vanity – Beaches Woodcrafts, Atlantic Beach, FL

Countertop – Any Old Stone, LLC, Jacksonville, FL

Fabricated by Marble Masters, Jacksonville, FL

Wall lamps – Waterworks, Hollingsworth,

Jacksonville, FL

Vanity chair – Ballard Designs, Atlanta, GA

Fabric – Lulu DK, Duralee, ADAC, Atlanta, GA

Flooring – GBI Tile & Stone, Hollingsworth, Jacksonville, FL


Wall and lime washed ceiling finishes – Artistic Finishes, Jacksonville, FL

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