Text: Lydia Somerville
Photos: Jessie Preza
When Beth Webb’s clients, a couple with three young children, approached her to work with them on a new house in Ponte Vedra, Florida, Webb didn’t hesitate to sign on. The new house would be the third she’d done for the family, and she loved working with the wife. “She is very decisive,” says Webb. “She does her homework and would bring me lists of flooring choices, finishes, and furniture. When we went shopping, she knew exactly what she wanted. It took maybe two days.”
For her part, architect Julia Sanford strove to give them timeless spaces filled with light. With seven bedrooms and ten baths, there’s a lot going on inside the walls. “We worked hard to make the roofline complex to mitigate the size of the house,” she says. “Dormers and windows break up the mass of the roof into a more human scale.” Inside, she employed textures to warm the rooms. Shiplap paneling, limewashed cypress beams, plasterwork, softly hued marble, and a pair of antique French doors add dimension and interest on walls and ceilings.
Just inside the steel front doors, a two-story foyer is flanked by the dining room and study. The husband uses the study frequently to run his business and can conduct conference calls from behind the French doors. But you’ll usually find the family in the back of the house, where the real action takes place. “They are very casual people, so they wanted the family space—kitchen, breakfast room, and living room— to be the primary focal point,” says Webb.
The wife wanted the new house to be fresh, functional, and family friendly. Webb concocted a palette that leaned warmer than their previous house, with honey tones replacing cool gray. The living room’s linen upholstery may not immediately strike one as family friendly. “The cream fabric was quite a bold choice for somebody with three little kids,” she says. “Performance fabrics were our friends.” Refined touches, like the wood beading on the drapery fabric and sofa pillows, elevate the room without making it off-limits to what Webb calls “Cheeto hands.”
The owners’ bedroom is detached from the main part of the house by a hallway. “It’s in its own wing with great views,” says Sanford. Webb worked to complement the architecture in her fabric choices. “The bold horizontal stripe echoes the horizontal shiplap walls and ceiling,” she says. “The scale of the drapery fabric also downplays the high ceiling and cocoons the space.” A chunky jute rug she calls “texture on steroids” is also surprisingly soft underfoot.
A house so bright and open still needs a refuge from the light, so Webb created a masculine room for the husband with leather chairs, a jute rug, and limewashed paneling. Intended for watching sports, recovering from a day in the sun, or chilling with friends, it’s the space that proves that in this house, there’s room for everybody.