Coastal Cool in Custom Ponte Vedra Beach Home

Thanks to savvy help from a design team, a new build in Ponte Vedra Beach is everything its young owners envisioned

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Sometimes, starting from scratch is simply meant to be. 

Soon after finding out they would be having twins, parents Blake and Liza Griffis set out to find a dream home in Ponte Vedra Beach that would accommodate their growing family of five. But, after months of exhaustive hunting, it became clear no such place existed. They would have to build that house themselves.

After switching strategies, the couple found an ideal lot on the Intracoastal with outstanding views of the water, and were soon working with an architect to create their ideal dwelling: a cozy home with high ceilings, large windows to flood the interiors with natural light, and plenty of room for the twins and their older sister to grow. In terms of interiors, their wants checked off a few boxes: clean, uncluttered, contemporary, coastal. Enter designer Lauren Leonard. “She knew exactly what we were looking for from the very beginning,” says Liza. “She got us right away.”

No surprise there. Leonard is well-versed in the art of balancing form and function, and she helped the young couple zero in on the pieces that would fit together to create the ideal party of five. “The homeowners and I were very in sync with the design plan,” says Leonard. “That made for a great collaboration.”

The design process got started with a muted color palette of whites, grays, and blues that pulls in the serenity of the water right outside the door—a much wanted vibe in a house with three young tykes running around.

In terms of material selections, Liza was realistic about her choices. “We definitely wanted things that could withstand actually living on them,” she says. That meant hard-working flooring in the form of concrete pavers on the first level’s high-traffic areas, and performance fabrics everywhere. Single-bench cushions on the living room sofas are less prone to lumpiness, and stain-resistant porcelain countertops in the kitchen hold up to wear and tear better than marble. 

Like many modern families, the Griffises live in their kitchen, so they insisted on certain touches like open metal shelving, which gives the space plenty of texture and contrast. 

While the aforementioned neutral palette keeps things relaxed, this clan also wanted bold color in certain spots. That included the family hangout room on the second floor, which dials up the fun with a bright sectional and a bar area with geometric tile. To really show off the room’s vaulted ceiling, Leonard added tongue-and-groove boards in a sky blue, and then painted the beams white for contrast. 

Although the kids were an important part of the thought process, they were a little too young to be thought partners in the design. The four-year-old’s request for a bedroom with rainbows and unicorns was answered with something just as pretty, but a little more enduring. Her ensuite bathroom is pretty in pink, with a sparkling wall sconce that matches the chandelier in her bedroom.

Knockout lighting is a theme throughout the home. “Illumination is the exclamation mark in a room,” says Leonard. “It’s a chance to do something special and different.” And she didn’t miss that chance, choosing seaside-inspired woven fixtures for many of the more casual family spaces, and going more grown-up with eye-catching and sophisticated chandeliers in the dining room and bedrooms.

The parents’ primary bedroom suite is an elegant space with subtly layered texture and color. The shell-shaped blue cut-glass tiles in the bathroom shower, a favorite of both the homeowners and their designer, were the jumping off point for the design. Against the deep blue background, the bathroom’s gold details look even more rich and lustrous. 

While building from scratch had its “moments,” Liza says she wouldn’t have it any other way: “Building your dream home is a big undertaking, but when you put your trust in a great designer, it can be a dream come true.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Lauren Leonard, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Text by Ann Kaiser

Photography by Jessie Preza, Jacksonville, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Dining Room

Table – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Chairs – France & Sons, franceandson.com

Buffet – Four Hands, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Artwork above buffet – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Chandelier – Visual Comfort & Co., visualcomfort.com

Area rug – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Office

Accent table –Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Sconce – Visual Comfort & Co., visualcomfort.com 

Panel doors – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Lighting – Visual Comfort & Co., visualcomfort.com 

Armchairs – CB2, cb2.com 

Entry area rug – Vintage, etsy.com  Office area rug – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL 

Great Room/Kitchen

Sofas – Taylor King, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Club chairs – Palecek, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Cocktail table – Serena & Lily, serenaandlily.com

Living room chandelier – Palecek, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Kitchen lighting – Gabby Home, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Stools – Wisteria, wisteria.com 

Back splash – Artistic Tile, Traditions in Tile, Jacksonville, FL

Family Room

Sofa – Taylor King, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Ottoman – Taylor King, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Lighting – Palecek, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Area rug – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic, Beach, FL

Daughter’s Bedroom

Daybed – World Market, worldmarket.com 

Lighting – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL 

Wall covering – Schumacher, fschumacher.com  

Area rug – Lulu and Georgia, luluandgeorgia.com 

Daughter’s Bathroom

Cabinetry – Custom, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Mirror – Uttermost, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Sconce – Regina Andrews, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Wall covering – Lulie Wallace, luliewallace.com  

Primary Bath

Tub – Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, fergusonshowrooms.com 

Chandelier – Visual Comfort & Co., visualcomfort.com

Wall covering – Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Primary Bedroom

Bed – Palecek, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Side table – Universal Furniture, Atlantic Beach, FL

Lamp – Jamie Young, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Chandelier – Palecek, Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL

Area rug – Annie Selke, annieselke.com

Throughout

Ceiling designs by Lauren Leonard Interiors, Atlantic Beach, FL 

Downstairs flooring – Peacock Pavers, peacockpavers.com 

Upstairs and primary bedroom flooring – Bellacera Floors, bellacerafloors.com

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