Laid-Back Sophistication in Designer’s Passion Project

Inspired by everything fun and chic about waterside living, a designer creates an idyllic retreat for her and her family in Ponte Vedra Beach

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Imagine running out the front door, right onto the sand, and into the ocean, knowing that back at home a sun-filled haven with cozy furnishings and the soothing sounds of nature awaits. It may sound like one of those slow-motion TV commercials for five-star resorts, but interior designer Kendall Dennis managed to make the scenario a daily reality for her and her family. “We’ve had multiple people tell us that when they walk into this house, they feel like they can exhale,” she says of her new home, a 4,000-square-foot charmer on the main drive of Ponte Vedra Beach.

Dennis, who is originally from Long Island, grew up in Ponte Vedra Beach, but left to study interior design at Parsons in New York. Sure enough, Florida lured her back, and in 2019, after working with an interior design firm and then an architect, she decided to open her own studio in her hometown. Later, when she and her husband began looking for a place to start their family, they knew they wouldn’t have to go far. “Ponte Vedra Beach’s got a lot of charm,” she says. “It’s very laid-back, and relaxed, and it’s a family-oriented town.”

One day, while running on Ponte Vedra Boulevard, she spotted an overgrown lot across the street from the ocean. As the parcel was long and narrow, she suspected the reason it was undeveloped was because others had deemed it impractical. But her years of experience told her she could transform it into something special. After making the purchase in 2019, she drafted a floor plan for a courtyard-style house, and then sent it to a draftsperson to help with construction documents. “This was a passion project,” says Dennis. “I’d always done architectural drawings, but had never designed a home. It was a really exciting process.”

And a good hunch. Those initial sketches eventually yielded a two-story house with five bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths, and an above-garage office. “It’s not a traditional open floor plan,” she explains. “The house is a U-shape because it’s all designed around the pool.” The second story has a balcony that runs the length of the house, accessible from each bedroom via French doors. And on the main floor, a two-sided wood-burning fireplace connects the living room with an all-seasons space. “It’s my husband’s favorite spot for a cup of coffee on Sunday mornings,” she says. “The good thing is, we really had this shared vision from the start, of that constant indoor/outdoor connection and various outdoor living and gathering spaces. That was the key element in the whole design of the home.”

Another signature is the residence’s nearly all-white palette, which seems risky for a house with two toddlers and a husband and wife who love entertaining. “That’s the burning question everyone asks,” says Dennis with a laugh. “It’s my preferred palette and a direct reflection of the home’s location. Plus, everything here is washable, and really, really durable.”  To that end, the floors are whitewashed white oak planks, which easily hide tracks from sandy feet, and the only color she infused comes from live greenery or muted ocean blue accessories and art inspired by the water.

To the traveled eye, the home may recall places like Charleston, the Abacos, or any of the other destinations featured in those aforementioned TV ads, but to Dennis and her clan, it’s just picture-perfect home, sweet, home.

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Kendall Dennis, KCB Interiors, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Text by Riki Altman-Yee

Photography by Jessie Preza, Jacksonville, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Front Entry

Sconce – Bevelo, New Orleans, LA 

Terrace

Swings – Serena & Lily, sereneandlily.com 

Ottoman – CB2, cb2.com 

Small planter – Wisteria, wisteria.com 

Living Area

Sofa – Verellen, High Point, NC 

Blue pillows – Lee Jofa, kravet.com

White wicker love seat – Vintage, Palm Beach, FL 

Cocktail table – Sublime Original, Jacksonville Beach, FL 

Ottomans – CB2, cb2.com 

Wicker side table – Serena & Lily, sereneandlily.com 

Wicker rocker – Wisteria, wisteria.com 

Lighting – Visual Comfort & Co., Houston, TX

Console – Vintage, Palm Beach, FL 

Lamp – Jamie Young Co., jamieyoung.com 

Artwork above console – Thomas Hager, Jacksonville, FL 

Area rug – Fibreworks, Louisville, KY 

Kitchen

Cabinetry – Shiloh Cabinetry, shilohcabinetry.com

Hood – Kendall Dennis Interiors, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 

Island – Calacatta Caldia, Mediterranean Designs, Jacksonville Beach, FL 

Hanging pendants – Serena & Lily, sereneandlily.com 

Sconces – Visual Comfort & Co., Houston, TX

Acrylic cart – Vintage, Palm Beach, FL 

Family Room

Swing – Serena & Lily, sereneandlily.com 

Sofa – Lee Industries, Conover, NC

 Dining Room

Chairs – RH, rh.com 

Chandelier – Palecek, High Point, NC 

Mirror – Made Goods, City of Industry, CA

Outdoor Dining Area and Patio

Wicker chairs – Vintage, Palm Beach, FL 

Bench fabric – F. Schumacher, fschumacher.com 

Seating and lounge groupings – CB2, cb2.com  

Throughout 

Builder – Alesch Contracting, Atlantic Beach, FL 

Pool – Aqua Design, Atlantic Beach, FL 

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