February 2, 2018
Country singer Luke Bryan and his wife call Nashville, Tenn., home, but they also wanted a vacation house where they could retreat and spend time with family and friends. With two young children of their own and three adopted, the couple primarily needed a casual, family-friendly home. Their longtime designer, Chad James of Nashville-based Chad James Group, worked to transform a 1990s house in Santa Rosa, Fla., into the haven his clients were looking for.
The four-story home is set right on the white sand beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. With this stunning view in mind, James wanted to allow the ocean to take center stage, but he first had to take out the existing kitchen.
“The biggest challenge was that the house looked like it had come out of one of the most thrilling episodes of ‘Miami Vice,’” said James, referring to the 1990s television show and its often pastel-colored sets. “We were able to pull back all of the 90s greatness and provide our clients with a kitchen that best suited their lifestyle.”
Using only hand-drawn plans, he redesigned the kitchen with an open floor plan and a layout that took advantage of the windows. The result is a simple white kitchen with carefully chosen materials, like cabinetry finished in a hue similar to classic milk glass. These cabinets, which are paired with copper hardware for a colorful accent, feature a subtle blue undertone to help balance the intense sunshine from the windows. Adding to the white palette is Alabama White marble countertops – a nod to the designer’s home state – and a mosaic marble tile backsplash.
“I have a favorite moment – right when the water meets the sky,” said James. “It’s always such a beautiful dark blue. I used that blue as an accent color, and everything else pulls from the palette of sand and sea grass with neutral and natural colors.”
The blue-painted island serves as the accent. With a small prep sink, white pendants above and bar seating, this piece will serve as a gathering area for the family and their friends.
“The island design was honestly meant to be as user friendly as possible, while also providing a pier for friends and family to gather round and tell stories of that big fish that got away,” said James, who added that the bar stools – and many other furniture pieces – have easy-wash slip covers.
An Oasis Inside the Retreat
Since the original master bath was broken up into smaller rooms, James wanted to open up the layout and maximize the space as a whole. After taking out a massive bathtub – which was surrounded by beveled mirrors – he reconstructed the space so the focus could be on the view instead of the clunky fixture.
“I wanted to have a wall that anchored the room,” said the designer. “The vanity was created on such a wall to provide much-needed space to get the morning started, while also reflecting the ocean in the mirrors.”
While the room has several floor-to-ceiling windows, a translucent white curtain can be drawn for privacy. The new freestanding tub is also near a small window that looks out on the master bedroom balcony and the ocean, so a bather can still see the beach.
Meanwhile the shower is in a secluded corner of the bath and away from the windows. To make up for the lack of natural light, the designer installed marble tile throughout the shower to brighten it and retain the bath’s spa-like feel.
“My favorite part of this project was the day our clients arrived to a completely ‘turn-key’ home that had been outfitted for their enjoyment,” said James.
Designer: Chad James, Chad James Group
Photographer: Alyssa Rosenheck
Backsplash Tile: Robert F. Henry Tile
Bar Stools: Lee Industries
Cabinetry: Custom Built by Chad James Group
Countertops: Alabama White Marble
Hardware: Liberty Hardware & Sire Cabinet Hardware
Pot Filler: Brizo
Wine Fridge: Sub-Zero
Bath Tub: Delta
Chandelier: Currey & Co.
Drapery: Classic Cloth