Gulfside Serenity in Gasparilla Island Beach House

A Montana couple trades mountain living for the seaside charm of a sophisticated beach house in Boca Grande

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the fact that a newly renovated home in Boca Grande is a place that visiting friends and family are eager to return to comes as no surprise. The small town on Gasparilla Island off the southwest coast of Florida is known for its friendly, welcoming lifestyle, and the Montana couple who purchased the 6,267-square-foot, four-bedroom, waterfront house considered the move a homecoming of sorts as the wife grew up in Florida.           

As much as the homeowners were enchanted by the barrier island location, they didn’t want a stereotypical beach house. Instead, they hoped for an airy space reflective of their new environment, with a nod to the warm, natural elements they loved when they lived in the West. And they wanted interiors where their adult children and growing number of grandchildren would feel at home in when they visited. In came designers Skye Anderson and Rain Houser, co-owners of Urbaine Atelier in Bozeman, Montana.        

“The home was quite dated and the finishes were very dark,” says Anderson.“We’re lucky that we were coming at it from a different area and a different mindset.”                   

Reimagining the home, which was built in 2000, happened in three stages. The couple purchased the home in March 2020 and decided to move in right away and offer pandemic respite to their kids and grandkids. That meant the first step was furnishing. “They just wanted to be able to get in and live there,” says Anderson, “so Rain and I went to work right away.” The duo had collaborated with the homeowners on six other properties, so the familiarity with their style facilitated quick decisions that emphasized comfort, functionality, and, in some cases, whimsy. The move-in happened in May.                                

Next up, in 2022, came an update of the home’s bathrooms. The designers removed the original built-in vanities, tubs, and showers and replaced the flooring as well. The primary bath now features a freestanding tub, new vanity, and plumbing fixtures, as well as Kelly Wearstler floor tiles with a pattern reminiscent of ocean waves. Even the original headboard-panel walls were updated. “There are a lot of traditional elements throughout the house, so we decided to reinstall it at a different scale and paint color to work with everything else,” says Anderson. The design team also refinished the existing oak floors to a natural, neutral tone. “In Montana, we love wood and use it on most of our architectural finishes,” says Anderson. “Here, it wasn’t a lot, but we used it when we were able to.” The idea of whimsy was kept front of mind to ensure the traditional elements wouldn’t become staid. The oversized black wicker chairs in the entry foyer and the floor pillows and wall art in the junior primary suite say that the home is a place for fun. Pops of color—turquoise on the indoor and outdoor dining chairs, soft blue on the front door, and pink in the upstairs primary bedroom—offset the otherwise neutral palette, a departure that the designers knew the homeowners would welcome. The client-designer familiarity was a bonus. “We work remotely with multiple clients who have second residences or vacation homes,” says Houser. “It could be perceived as a challenge, but it actually makes us extremely efficient.”

Houser points to the third and final phase of the project: the update of the kitchen. Dark hunter green and cherry-wood tones gave way to elegant cabinetry custom crafted in Sarasota. The countertop and oven hood slab were locally selected as well. Light fixtures nod to a nautical sensibility and the chandelier in the nearby dining area is crafted to flutter in the breezes from the Gulf. The entire house is designed to make the most of the local environment and enable the homeowners, who spend nine months of the year here, to extend their hospitality to those they love.         

“Gasparilla Island is such a special place and this such a special house,” says Houser. “Once you’ve been here, you’re charmed by it immediately, and you definitely want to be invited back.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Skye Anderson & Rain Houser, Urbaine Atelier, Bozeman, MT

Text by Kelley Marcellus

Photography by Tara Correa, Sarasota, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Entry

Entry table, decorative chairs, and mirror – McGuire, bakerfurniture.com

Bench – Lulu & Georgia, luluandgeorgia.com

White pottery – Boca Blooms, Boca Grande, FL

Area rug – Woven, woven.is

Living Room

Sofa and armchair – Verellen, verellen.biz

Swivel chairs – McGuire, bakerfurniture.com

Cocktail table – Verellen, verellen.biz

Drink table – McGuire, bakerfurniture.com

Area rug – Woven, woven.is

Kitchen

Cabinetry – Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Sarasota, FL

Stools – McGuire, bakerfurniture.com

Pendant lighting – Cuff Studio, cuffstudio.com

Breakfast Area

Table – Stone Yard, stoneyardinc.com

Banquette – Creative Window Treatments, Punta Gorda, FL

Fabric – Brochier, brochier.it

Chandelier – Fisher Weisman, fisherweisman.com

Dining Area

Table – Black Creek Mercantile & Trading Co., blackcreek.mt.com

Chairs – Verellen, verellen.biz

Buffet – Four Hands, fourhands.com

Chandelier and sconces – Fisher Weisman, fisherweisman.com

Primary Bedroom

Bed – Crate & Barrel, crateandbarrel.com

Lounge and bedside lamp – Verellen, verellen.biz

Chest – Crate & Barrel, crateandbarrel.com

Macrame wall hanging – Caralarga, caralarga.com.mx

Stair fish pouf – Big Stuffed, bigstuffed.com

Area rug – District Loom, districtloom.com

Primary Bathroom

Tub – Blu Bathworks, blubathworks.com

Accent table – Arteriors, arteriorshome.com

Flooring – Kelly Wearstler, Ann Sacks, annsacks.com

Cover Porch

Table – B&B Italia, bebitalia.com

Hanging swings – Kettal, kettal.com

Throughout

Builder – Outer Bidge Construction, Englewood, FL

Millwork – Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Sarasota, FL

Window treatment – Creative Window Treatments, Punta Gorda, FL

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