When neighbors walk by the Berlins’ Ponte Vedra Beach home, they often remark on the windows. The splash of blue-gray, reminiscent of a beachside abode, is a hallmark of this house that sits at the intersection of luxury and livability. “My husband John has a little more of a formal side than I do. I appreciate a more relaxed feel,” homeowner Gwen Berlin says. “Overall, we wanted our home to be peaceful and tranquil … we love that.”
Enter interior designer Amanda Webster and her team, who worked with the couple to create a custom home with a coastal aesthetic that is a tasteful ode to the beaches nearby. “It is comfortable and calming,” project designer Ashley Cason says. “We do have a variety of layered furnishings and plenty of texture with the beams and wood tones. It’s very serene.”
Just beyond scalloped-edged stone columns capped in Bevolo lanterns, paver ribbons defined by grass block lead to the entry. Dueling two-car garages line a courtyard drive that centers the separate wings of this 6,000-square-foot home. On one side, the husband’s garage easily transitions into a mudroom, his office space and eventually the master suite. On the other side, the wife’s garage leads to her uncluttered office and ultimately the spacious kitchen.
Considered a showstopper with its 19-foot-high ceiling peaked with wood trusses, the great room exudes an organic elegance bathed in natural light that flows in through glass doors topped with clerestory windows. The space feels right at home with textured woods, namely the planked fireplace accent wall made out of distressed scaffolding boards. A large cocktail table is actually crafted of two reclaimed elm wood tables. Their waterfall design allows linen-upholstered foot stools to tuck neatly beneath.
Wood beams continue in the kitchen, where a rift-cut oak prep island runs the expanse of the space. “We needed something long and linear,” Cason says of the light fixture. “We definitely wanted an open design that you could see through.”
An airy aura flows through to the dining room, where crisp white cabinetry houses a wine refrigerator and extends to shape a wet bar. With a nod to coastal chic, hand-rolled clay beads that were sun-dried, dip-dyed, kiln-fired, and hand-strung on a wrought-iron frame cascade to create a spotlight center stage.
Tranquility prevails in the master suite, where the bed chamber is all about the view and the master bath is styled with his-and-her spaces. The shower, accessed by two doors from the separate wings, is a central juncture in the spa-like retreat. “Though I do share the space with my husband, I do need a bit of privacy,” the wife says. Feminine touches complete “her” side characterized by choice minimalist furnishings.
“I would describe my house as laid-back luxury … it’s totally livable,” the wife says. “We want everyone to sit on the sofas and use everything. There’s quite a bit of a lived-in feel.”
Interior Design by Amanda Webster with Ashley Cason, Andrea Colbert and Becky Demetriou, Amanda Webster Design, Inc., Jacksonville Beach, FL
Architecture by William Jaycox, Jaycox Architects & Associates, Jacksonville, FL
Builder Rick Morales, Morales Construction Company, Inc., Jacksonville, FL
Landscape Architecture by Sunscapes Landscape Design, Inc., Jacksonville, FL
Text by Alexandra Roland
Photography by Jessie Preza, Jacksonville, FL