Grayton Beach Vacation Home is a Chic Escape

Love of family and friends anchors this clan to its favorite vacation spot--the magical shores of Grayton Beach


Fragile, dune-lake ecosystems are very rare. They are found in a handful of destinations worldwide, one of which is Grayton Beach on Florida’s Panhandle. The shallow-bodied freshwater lakes formed thousands of years ago are filled by wind-driven tides and rainwater and flushed with saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. Slender dune lines buffer one body of water from another. On this beachfront, a family of six built a second vacation home along a famed stretch of  Walton County’s scenic beach road, Highway 30A.

Homeowner Cheryl Hix had been interior designer Janet Taylor’s first client, and in an ironic twist became her last before she retired. “She sold the first house to build this one beside it … and she is one of my very best friends,” Taylor says.

Sudden setback restrictions halted any new construction on the Grayton Beach strand when the second vacation home was conceived; and, when the bans were lifted, there was an equally sudden rush to break ground. The new 7,800-square foot vacation home, now a reality, is an understated expression of the clients’ larger-than-life personalities. “Cheryl  brings her big picture ideas and concepts to me; and I make them workable,” Taylor says.

While Taylor was the lead designer, her business partner, interior designer Amy Kelly, was in the office where it all happened. “The studio space was small,” Kelly says, “and we were never more than two or three feet away from each other.” As the client and the lead designer hammered out the overall vision and details, Kelly evaluated space analysis, floorplans and lighting placement, along with sourcing fabric and furniture selections. “With two living areas, two bar areas, four en suite guest rooms plus the master suite, we worked collectively on options … or eliminating options,” she says.

When doors open to the dune lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, the movement of sea air reaches the interior. Here, paved floorings and beamed ceilings express a fresh, Anglo-Caribbean vibe that can trace its lines to European and island influences. Earthy elements including reclaimed wood bring the outside into the living room that flows through to the dining area with its wine bar. The custom, chilled wine wall showcases a love for Veuve Clicquot champagnes. Poured in place, Tadelakt countertops — an ancient Moroccan proprietary blend of concrete and plaster — tops custom cabinetry upholstered in vinyl, edged in metal and accented with silver pulls.

Nearby, the kitchen is proportioned to accommodate husband Parker Hix, the family’s tallest member, even though everyone, including four college-aged daughters, takes a turn at preparing and cooking gourmet meals. “They’re all fabulous cooks,” Taylor says. With elevated cabinetry sporting a La Cornue range and countertops at 38 inches high, the kitchen is customized to suit each chef du jour.

Adjoining the upper-level family room, a “teen lounge” centers a cluster of guest rooms. When it came time to furnish these suites, Kelly called upon the upholstery services of Mark V Jordan Studio. With four adult daughters, who all attend the university in nearby Tallahassee, this home is converted into a dorm when the girls and their posse retreat on weekends. Each of the four guest rooms features a tone-on-tone color palette — teal, rose, gray and navy. Instead of closets, the design team chose cabinets that provide more storage and create more space for twin sets of queen-sized beds.

At day’s end, the serene, spa-like master suite is where Taylor’s “Type A” clients come to unwind. Yet, they do have to vie for the best view from the velvet chaise. The winner? The family’s French bulldog: Stevie Hix.

Story Credits: 

Interior Design by Janet Taylor, Taylor and Kelly Interiors, Santa Rosa Beach, FL and Amy Kelly, Kelly Collective Interiors, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Architecture by Tom Christ, Christ & Associates, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Text by Marimar McNaughton

Photography by Brittany Godbee, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

living room

Sofas and chairs – Verellen, High Point, NC

Chair fabric – Romo Fabrics, DCOTA,

Dania Beach, FL

Accent pillow fabrics – Harlequin Fabrics, Nessen Group Showroom, Dania Beach, FL; Nobilis,

Jerry Pair & Assoc., Hollywood, FL

Artwork, stools and chandelier – Owners’ Collection

Cocktail tables – Oggetti Designs, MDD, Miami, FL

Clear round accessories on cocktail table – Global Views, High Point, NC

Consoles – Noir, Gardena, CA

Area rug – Jaipur Living, Inc., Acworth, GA

dining area

Table – Drift With Anne, Fripp Island, SC

Chandelier – Owners’ Collection

Dining chairs – Palecek, High Point, NC

Centerpiece – HomeGoods, Destin, FL

Built-in cabinetry and wine wall – Grimes

Cabinets, D’Iberville, MS

Vinyl – Maxwell Fabrics, IDS, Naples, FL

Wall covering – Q Tile, Santa Rosa Beach, FL


Cabinetry and island – Grimes Cabinets, D’Iberville, MS

Backsplash – Q Tile, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Range – La Cornue, Paris, France

Counter stools – Palecek, High Point, NC

family room

Sectional – Restoration Hardware, Tampa, FL

Print accent pillow fabric – Ferrick Mason, Studio Four NYC, New York, NY

Floor lamp – Lightology, Chicago, IL

Lounge chairs – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Fabric – Maxwell Fabrics, IDS, Naples, FL

Cocktail table – Oggetti Designs, MDD, Miami, FL

Artwork and occasional table – Owners’ Collection

Chandeliers – Arteriors, Carrollton, TX

Area rug – Jaipur Living, Inc., Acworth, GA

lounge area

Bar and shelving – Grimes Cabinets, D’Iberville, MS

Countertop – Cambria, S&S Granite,

Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Swivel chairs – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Leg sculpture – Owners’ Collection

Veuve Clicquot artwork – Ashley Longshore,

New Orleans, LA

blue guest room

Beds and upholstered wall – Mark V Jordan Studio, Montgomery, AL

Benches – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Bed, wall and bench fabrics – Designers Guild, Ammon Hickson, Inc., DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Blue-print accent pillow fabric – Camengo,

Nessen Group Showroom, Dania Beach, FL

White-print accent pillow fabric – Kravet,

Hollywood, FL

Table lamp – Circa Lighting, Atlanta, GA

Blue chandelier – Currey & Company, Atlanta, GA

Drapery fabric – Opuzen, Ammon Hickson, Inc., DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

gray guest room

Beds and bedside table – Mark V Jordan Studio, Montgomery, AL

Headboard fabric – Lee Jofa, Atlanta, GA

White-print accent pillow fabric – Nobilis,

Jerry Pair & Assoc., Hollywood, FL

Wall covering – Phillip Jeffries, Atlanta, GA

Woven baskets – HomeGoods, Destin, FL

Light fixture – Arteriors, Carrollton, TX

master bedroom

Bed – Mark V Jordan Studio, Montgomery, AL

Headboard upholstery – C&C Milano USA,

New York, NY

Print accent pillow fabric – Christopher Farr,

New York, NY

Throw – Owners’ Collection

Table lamp – Arteriors, Carrollton, TX

Chaise – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

Drapery fabric – Kravet, Hollywood, FL

Area rug – Jaipur Living, Inc., Acworth, GA

master bath

Vanity – Grimes Cabinets, D’Iberville, MS

Countertop – Cambria, S&S Granite,

Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Accent soap table – Owners’ Collection

Wall sconces – Circa Lighting, Atlanta, GA

Wall covering and flooring – Q Tile,

Santa Rosa Beach, FL

loggia/pool area

Sofa and armchairs – Restoration Hardware, Tampa, FL

Reclaimed cocktail table – Owners’ Collection

Wall sconces and fan – Lighting Etc., Inlet Beach, FL


Interior doors – E.F. San Juan, Youngstown, FL

Builder – Charles Sibley, Sunset Partners, LLC, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Facebook Comments