Organic Details Warm Contemporary Jacksonville Home

The design of a new family home in Jacksonville is influenced by its prime position along the banks of the St. Johns River


Those who reside in Jacksonville know their city is wholly underrated. Beyond being composed of more than 100 unique and historical neighborhoods, it boasts a massive stretch of riverfront property and is also home to the largest system of public parks in the nation. And although it ranks as the largest and most populated city in Florida, there is a small-town vibe that is impossible to miss. That’s why it’s not surprising to hear that when local designers Lisa Carrothers and Susan Doris were separately called on by Sandifer Design Build to handle the interiors of a custom home in Mandarin, there was instant camaraderie and not an ounce of competition.

The homeowners, Michele and Scott Ramey, had collaborated with Doris previously, but not with Carrothers, who has worked closely with SDB founder Nick Sandifer for many years. “It’s not every day that you see interior designers join forces and carry out a project completely in tandem,” says Scott. “Their process as a team was truly collaborative and it was clear that our needs were put first.”

Instead of reimagining the 1960s home that sat on the property at the time of its purchase, the Rameys instead chose to engage Sandifer to raze the structure and start from scratch. What resulted is a four-bedroom home with four-and-a-half bathrooms and an office that was custom-designed to meet the specific needs of the couple, their two college-aged daughters, and their two dogs. “In 2020, we would regularly take drives to explore new neighborhoods,” recalls Michele. “This area immediately appealed to us because it has an Old Florida feel with its canopy of oak trees in the front and the wide stretch of river in the back.” 

When it came to designing the new home, “we wanted spaces that would be 100 percent livable,” adds Scott. “For instance, we never used the formal dining room in our previous house, so in this one we chose to create a continuous, open space from the kitchen to the dining area to the living room where family and friends can congregate while being somewhat spread out.”

With the home’s picturesque view of the St. Johns River as inspiration, Carrothers and Doris adhered to a color palette of mostly neutral hues accented by vibrant shades of blue and green. “The family lives on the water amid cypress and palm trees, so it made sense to carry that influence to the interiors,” says Doris, who labels the home as “organic” at its core. While “organic” may be a recurrent descriptor, it’s highly accurate in this designation. According to Scott, to create the dining table that stands perpendicular to the kitchen island, a trio of cypress trees were quite literally plucked from the river behind the property. “I saw these beautiful trees sitting in the water and knew that we had to create something from them,” he says. Lisa drew up the dimensions for the design of a 100-inch-long table, and the couple tapped the carpenters at Jacksonville-based Eco Relics to execute their vision. “It’s not a story you hear every day,” says Scott, “but we love that there is now such a natural thread to the outside.”

To add extra warmth and less of the sterility that many contemporary homes possess, Carrothers and Doris incorporated brass finishes and fixtures in all of the living spaces. “With various wood tones and pops of navy and turquoise, we were able to evoke a modern yet tranquil feel throughout the home, while emulating its surroundings,” says Carrothers. “We didn’t rely heavily on patterns, but instead worked primarily with muted tones and solid colors. The end result is a family home that is contemporary in scope but captures the essence of a simpler time.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Susan Doris, Susan Doris Interior Design, Jacksonville, FL & Lisa Carrothers, LC Design Studio, Jacksonville, FL

Builder Sandifer Design Build, Jacksonville Beach, FL

Text by Mallory Jacobson

Photography by Muriel Silva, Jacksonville, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:


Living Area

White sofa – Kravet,

Blue sofa – Kravet,

Club chairs – Kravet,

Light blue ottoman – Kravet,

Cocktail table – Vanguard, Conover, NC

Sofa back table – Vanguard, Conover, NC

Cabinetry and fireplace designed by Lisa Carrothers, LC Design Studio, Jacksonville, FL 

Area rug – Kravet,

Dining Area

Chairs – Kravet,

Pendant lighting – Hinkley,

Buffet – Worlds Away, Memphis, TN

Area rug – Kravet,


Cabinetry designed by Lisa Carrothers, LC Design Studio, Jacksonville, FL, and fabricated by Grabill Cabinets, Grabill, IN

Island designed by Lisa Carrothers, LC Design Studio, Jacksonville, FL, and fabricated by Grabill Cabinets, Grabill, IN

Pendant lighting – Hinkley,

Primary Bathroom

Tub – MTI Baths,

Lighting cluster – Visual Comfort,


Residential designer – Clausen Residential Design, Jacksonville, FL

Stylist – Exterior House, Jacksonville, FL

Sconces – WAC Lighting, Port Washington, NY

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