Gulf of Mexico Vacation Chic by Jonathan Parks Architect

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A vacation house on Boca Grande Island in the Gulf of Mexico is full of splashy primary colors, crisp white, and easy-living style in this Hawley house by Jonathan Parks Architect. The idea behind the 5,500-square-foot home is relaxation, family time, and maximizing both splendid views of the waterfront and circulation of balmy offshore breezes. (Note the ease of indoor/outdoor transitions: every level of the house has a balcony or patio.) Lighted at dusk, the home exudes a cool blue glow, at least partly explained by the generous swath of sea-blue along one retaining wall next to a stone-edged planting bed. Further primary touches: a soft blue wall and lounge chair backing contemporary art; whimsical yellow lights on an outdoor terrace that’s otherwise black, white, and gray — not to mention cheery yellow dishes next to the white kitchen island.

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Moving indoors, you’re quickly treated to bright red loungers and chairs, as well as two playful “crayon” accents in one bedroom that echo those primaries. Not to be outdone, of course, the third primary makes an appearance in that room in bright yellow bedding! Further reinforcing the cool blue end of the spectrum are both an internal courtyard pool and a spacious bath with a cheerful aqua-blue tile backsplash. This uncluttered, simple palette, coupled with expansive windows and high ceilings, creates an ambience that’s serene without being dull, contemporary without being bland. It’s worth pausing for a moment in the sleek white-and-stainless kitchen, to enjoy the vista from large windows that afford the cook a view of water on three sides. The overall effect is warm, friendly, relaxed — a successful retreat.

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Written by Janet Butler

Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).