Coastal Charm Aplenty in Rosemary Beach Home

Ocean-inspired hues and natural textures breathe new life into an airy seaside getaway in Rosemary Beach

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One of the first of what has become an evolving chain of utopian communities along Florida’s iconic 30-A Highway, Rosemary Beach has been drawing residents to its idyllic coastline for years. Designed by renowned architects Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the area’s dwellings recall the quaint architectural styles of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Charleston, and New Orleans. Neighborhoods interconnect by boardwalks, footpaths, and pedestrian lanes, and secret pathways lead to tennis courts, swimming pools, the beach, and a charming town center. Here, many of the homes have been refreshed, remodeled, and given new life for new generations. Such was the case with a three-story, 2,324-square-foot residence in the heart of the city thanks to the talents of award-winning interior designer Ashley Gilbreath, who purchased the property as an investment some time back. 

“My family and I have spent many years vacationing in Rosemary Beach, so it holds special memories,” says Gilbreath, founder and principal designer at Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design in Montgomery, Alabama. “It’s family-friendly with beautiful architecture and within walking distance to great shops, restaurants, pools, playgrounds, and the beach.”  

The alluring beachfront property (purchased by new homeowners shortly after Gilbreath’s aesthetic overhaul) required interior and exterior renovations that were extensive. The design team reconfigured the footprint and window placement throughout, revamped the outdated color palette, and created an open, airy, and clean vibe starting at the front door. Euro-wall doors that connect seamlessly to the terrace were installed, allowing the public spaces—living room, dining area, and kitchen—to become one. “You get the sound of the ocean, the breeze, the views—all of it,” says Gilbreath. “It’s a great entertaining space. We removed the original doors to the porch, and now the entire oceanfront exterior wall opens up, bringing the beach inside and creating a more spacious feel. The view is amazing.”  

For its relatively small square footage, the newly reconfigured layout can pack a lot of guests—an absolute essential for a family beach home. On the third floor, an adorable loft space overlooks the living room where kids can feel connected yet secluded in their own little hideaway. This magical escape sleeps three and features cocoon-like built-in beds with draperies and plenty of play space. The second floor includes a generous queen bedroom, and the first floor holds a sizeable primary suite, a queen guest bedroom, and built-in bunk beds tucked into the hallway for extra guests. Above the detached garage, a private guest house includes a bedroom and a sleeper sofa. 

The oceanfront landscape’s subdued natural tones inspired the home’s exterior colors. “The interior palette also reflects the hues you see at the beach,” says Gilbreath. “It is calm and serene and doesn’t scream color. It’s family-friendly and focuses on durability and livability—wet swimsuits and sandy feet are not off-limits here.” 

Many of the home furnishings were hand-picked from Gilbreath’s own Montgomery shop and online store called Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, which showcases an array of one-of-a-kind finds she acquires from all over the world. Some of her favorite pieces in this beach house include the kitchen’s antique rolling butcherblock island, which she found in France, and a collection of beach hats hanging on the kitchen wall.  

“I enjoy mixing old with new to achieve a lived-in, comfortable feel, and that’s exactly what we did here,” says the designer. “Throughout this project, our main goal was to create a timeless aesthetic because, as we all know, when on vacation at the beach, it feels as if time stands still.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Ashley Gilbreath, Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design, Montgomery, AL

Text by Jeanne de Lathouder

Photography by Emily Followill, Atlanta, GA

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Terrace

Table designed by Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design, Montgomery, AL  

Chairs – Homeowners’ collection 

Side chairs – Summer Classics, Birmingham, AL 

Lantern – Legendary Lighting, Mississippi, MS

Living Room

Blue sofa – C.R. Laine Furniture, Hickory, NC 

Armchairs – C.R. Laine Furniture, Hickory, NC

Wicker chair – Jeffan International, LLC, Chattanooga, TN 

Cocktail table – Dovetail Furniture, Los Angeles, CA

Chandelier – Texture Imports, High Point, NC 

Area rug – From Jaipur with Love, India 

Breakfast Nook

Table – Elegant Earth, Birmingham, AL 

Chairs – Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, Montgomery, AL

Banquette – Hickory Chair, Hickory, NC

Chandelier – Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, Montgomery, AL

Children’s Loft

Garden stool – Emissary, High Point, NC

Pillows – Serena & Lily, serenaandlily.com

Drapery panels – Pindler, pindler.com

Area rug – Dash and Albert, dashandalbert.com

Family Room

Sofa – C.R. Laine Furniture, Hickory, NC

Chair – Vintage, Schwung Home, High Point, NC

Cocktail table – Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, Montgomery, AL

Lamp – Homeowners’ collection

Chest – Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, Montgomery, AL

Drapery fabric – Kravet, kravet.com

Kitchen

Cabinetry – Grimes Cabinetry, D’Iberville, MS 

Decorative glass shelf designed by Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design, Montgomery, AL, and fabricated by Gowan Iron, Montgomery, AL 

Rolling island – Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, Montgomery, AL

Stools – Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com 

Chandelier – Texture Imports, High Point, NC

Primary Bedroom

Bed and headboard upholstery – Mark V. Jordan, Montgomery, AL  

Side table – Made Goods, Atlanta, GA  

Lamp – Visual Comfort, High Point, NC 

Wicker chest and stool – Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, Montgomery, AL

Drapery fabric – Colefax and Fowler, colefax.com 

Area rug – Dash and Albert, dashandalbert.com

Guest Bedroom

Bed upholstery – Mark V. Jordan, Montgomery, AL  

Side table – Serena and Lily, serenaandlily.com 

Hanging light designed by Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design, Montgomery, AL  

Decorative wall art – Parish by Ashley Gilbreath, Montgomery, AL

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