Hidden behind a thicket of sea grapes on a generous lot located just off the ocean in Hobe Sound, Florida, this new 5-bedroom residence was designed for longtime clients—a couple with three college-age daughters. Inspired by the casual elegance of Anglo-Caribbean architecture, we designed the house with a sense of understated sophistication, family tradition, and the clients’ vibrant color sense, anchored by the property’s lush tropical foliage.

This new house has been built on the site of a former residence lived in for several generations by the husband’s family. The original house was filled with meaning for the family, but didn’t use the site well or suit the lifestyle of this more active new generation. Our task was to maintain the sense of memory and place that made the old house and property so special to our clients, while rethinking the footprint and layout to maximize usable outdoor space and gardens and a more relaxed way of living.

Our design for the new house allows for gracious connections to the outdoors from the every ground floor room, through generous windows and French doors. A loggia on the south side of the house is accessible from both the living room and the library, and a walled courtyard with fountain on the north side of the house is reached through the living room, kitchen, and guest suite. On the second floor, a large south-facing terrace overlooks the lush pool garden.

Wanting to keep a continuity of memory from one generation to the next, we also designed the new house using multiple meaningful elements and furnishings from the original family home. The paneled walls of the new, light-filled cypress library are clad with the original cypress boards salvaged from the library of the former family house, which sat in that exact spot on the site where the new room sits today. We were also able to preserve antique mantels and the Colonial Revival brass door hardware from the original house, other details that reinforce our client’s personal history and the connection between old and new.

For a family that loves to entertain and is actively involved in sports and the outdoors, all of the living spaces were designed to be truly lived in. We balanced a vivid color palette and lively tropical patterns with a mix of tailored antiques and an eclectic but intentional collection of more casual rattan, wicker and bamboo furniture.

Overall, the effect is an airy but elegant coastal charm—a balance of formal and informal living—that flows seamlessly from each room to the verdant landscape on the exterior, where the pleasant sounds of the fountain and rustling palm fronds fill the air.

To see this house as it was featured on the cover of Luxe Interiors + Design, please click here >

Landscape Designer: Cecilia de Grelle
Landscape Architect: Carrie Steinbaum
General Contractor: Wittmann Building Corp.
Photography: Eric Piasecki
Styling: Helen Crowther