Global Grandeur Enchants in Alys Beach Home

An interior designer leans into vibrant Moroccan and Mediterranean styles for a standout residence in Alys Beach

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“Exclusive” is a word often used to describe Alys Beach, a walkable and private community on the Panhandle that has been gaining popularity since development began there in earnest in 2004. But it was the term “singularity” that was top of mind for Georgia-based interior designer Alison Baker when it came to tackling a home-away-from-home there for her longtime clients and their family. 

“The name of the house, Ocho Locos, says it all,” says the homeowner. “It’s named for our eight crazies, our children, and it reflects the intentional design of the house to accommodate them all, and to provide a space for everyone to mix, mingle, and have fun.”

While the owners wanted the living spaces of the 10,000-square-foot lakefront property, created by Grayton Beach architect Braulio Casas, to work in harmony with its Mediterranean exterior, Baker was also charged with prominently showcasing the couple’s ever-growing pop art collection. “A lot of the story of the interior came from piggybacking off those pieces,” she explains. “The artwork is very bright and colorful, so I wasn’t trying to overcompensate or do anything that might detract from it.” A giant acrylic, sphere-shaped fountain, for example, became a beguiling entry point into the house, especially once it was illuminated and joined by water walls and a “floating” walkway.

Arguably, Baker’s greatest challenge was to create a common thread throughout, especially since the home’s layout incorporates three stories and multiple courtyards, but the designer welcomed the test. “There’s connection everywhere,” she explains. “That way it’s not busy for the eye.” To start, she kept the palette simple, favoring neutral furnishings, warm woods and metals. Splashes of color mostly lean to blue-green or citron, nodding to a few scant painted exterior accents. However, Baker, whose work extends from Nantucket to Florida and the Caribbean, ensured there were no cliché beachy details, opting instead for a classic coastal style.

Classic doesn’t mean serious, however. Ocho Locos houses a spa, a rooftop deck often used for dining or entertaining, and the oft-used sunken lounging area known as the zaguán, adjacent to the pool. “That word is usually used to describe a passageway that leads to a courtyard or patio,” says Casas. “Ours is a space for respite like those found in the riads of Marrakesh.” As such, Moroccan influences, such as the arched entry and geometric tiles on the floor, are impossible to miss. These Moorish sentiments continue throughout the residence, but never overwhelm.  

Another popular spot is the kitchen, home to a seven-foot-long French blue Lacanche range. “A lot of the design in the kitchen came from working around that equipment,” says Baker, who selected a gold leaf, glass, and marble tile mosaic for the backsplash to frame the appliance, paired it with Cremo Delicato marble countertops, and called on Against the Grain in Atlanta to create a custom 70-square-foot bleached walnut island top. A massive, 52-inch bronze dome light fixture by RH crowns the room. “The lighting needed to be dramatic,” says Baker, “and that’s a statement piece for sure.” 

Nearby in the dining room, the approach to illumination was the complete opposite. Atop the large walnut table is Ochre’s Seed Cloud, an installation made up of 52 glass buds enhanced with LED. “It’s rather ethereal when lit,” says Baker. “You can even see it from the walkways outside by the lake. The effect is gorgeous.” 

In terms of outdoor environments, while the pool area is cherished by all who live there, it’s the rooftop loggia that dazzles visitors. Inspired by their travels, the homeowners insisted this space (dining room, living room, and kitchen in one) be topped with branches of eucalyptus, which provide shelter from the sun but don’t completely obscure its rays. “It’s full-blown entertaining out there,” says Baker. “There’s a sink, a grill, a bar and even a fireplace, and it overlooks the lake, which makes it a great spot to take in the sunset.”

Standing here, another word to describe the home comes to mind: enchanting.

Story Credits: 

Interior Design by Alison Baker, Alison Baker Interior Design, John Creek, GA

Architecture by Braulio Casas Architects, Seaside, FL

Text by Riki Altman-Yee

Photography by Jack Gardner, Valparaiso, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Entry Foyer

Console – Antique, Parc Monceau, Atlanta, GA

Colored glass vases – KRB Showroom, New York, NY

Runner rug – Paige Albright Orientals, Mountain Brook, AL

Sunken Seating Area

Seating designed by Alison Baker Interior Design, John Creek, GA

Fabric – Pindler, pindler.com 

Pillows – F. Schumacher & Co., schumacher.com

Flooring – Traditions in Tile, Atlanta, GA 

Family Room

Sofa – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Club chairs – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Side table – Antique Moroccan, Parc Monceau, Atlanta, GA

Drapery fabric – F. Schumacher & Co., schumacher.com

Area rug – Paige Albright Orientals, Mountain Brook, AL

Seating Area

Round lounge chairs – Palecek, Atlanta, GA

Cocktail table – Oly Studios, Berkley, CA

Kitchen

Cabinetry designed by Alison Baker Interior Design, John Creek, GA, and fabricated by Bell Custom Cabinets, Atlanta, GA 

Stove – Lacanche, frenchranges.com

Backsplash covering – Traditions in Tile, Atlanta, GA

Tabletop – Against the Grain, Atlanta, GA

Dining Room

Chairs – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Fabric – Sunbrella, sunbrella.com 

Antique bowls – Foxglove Antiques, Atlanta, GA

Lighting – Ochre Lighting, R. Hughes Showroom, Atlanta, GA

Main Entrance

Water globe sculpture by Allison Armour, allisonarmour.com

Rooftop Loggia

Sofa – Janus Et Cie, Atlanta, GA

Dining chairs – Janus Et Cie, Atlanta, GA

Summer kitchen designed by Alison Baker Interior Design, John Creek, GA, and fabricated by Bell Custom Cabinets, Atlanta, GA 

Ceiling designed by Braulio Casas Architects, Seaside, FL, and fabricated by Arkon Group, Inc., Panama City Beach, FL

Throughout 

Builder – Arkon Group, Panama City Beach, FL

Landscape design – Braulio Casas Architects, Seaside, FL

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