Inside a Couple’s One-of-a-Kind Island Retreat

A couple retires to the Vero Beach barrier island home of their dreams, with views from every room

11
Picturesque views fill every window in this riverfront home on the barrier island, augmented by plenty of open-air spaces and decor that brings the outdoors in. Photography by Jessica Glynn
Picturesque views fill every window in this riverfront home on the barrier island, augmented by plenty of open-air spaces and decor that brings the outdoors in. Photography by Jessica Glynn

Talk about perfect timing.

When a recently retired couple from the Midwest went looking for a place on Vero Beach’s barrier island where they could build their dream home, up popped a listing in a river-to-ocean golf community that fit their wish list to a T. The site, with encompassing views of the water, was just what they had been hoping to find.

Picturesque views fill every window in this riverfront home on the barrier island. Photo by Jessica Glynn
Picturesque views fill every window in this riverfront home on the barrier island.

After conferring with Charles Croom and David Lyons of Croom Construction Company, the couple went in search of an architectural firm to turn their vision into a reality. They chose David Moulton and Scott Layne of Moulton Layne PL, who then referred them to interior designer Rod Mickley.

The result of their collaboration is a one-of-a-kind island retreat that celebrates the couple’s glass-filled-to-overflowing outlook, love of family, and active lifestyle. With alfresco living, dining, and relaxing spaces plus a putting green complete with sand trap, infinity-edge pool, and dock with boat, it’s no wonder guest rooms fill up fast. 

Croom isn’t surprised as he recalls early conversations he had with the owners when they were looking at property. “The wife was familiar with Vero and the barrier island community from having owned property here years ago. They both love the water—she to scuba dive and he to fish, so being surrounded by water was a huge intrinsic draw.” 

After enjoying outdoor activities such as scuba diving and fishing, the couple wanted to come home to a retreat that kept them surrounded by water. Photo by Jessica Glynn
After enjoying outdoor activities such as scuba diving and fishing, the couple wanted to come home to a retreat that kept them surrounded by water.

While the location itself was a definite draw, there was time-consuming site work that needed to be done prior to vertical construction. Once underground drainage, structural pilings, retaining walls, and fill were in place, the build could begin. From the first shovel in the ground to move-in ready, the project took two and a half years to complete. It was everything the delighted owners had envisioned—and more.

“We were all fully vested from day one to bring the owners’ dream home to reality,” says Croom, “and we did.” 

Gathering spaces are dotted with modern but warm touches. Photo by Jessica Glynn
Gathering spaces are dotted with modern but warm touches.

“Moulton Layne did an amazing job designing so many unique and inviting places that capture the incredible views the property offers,” Croom points out. “The house is basically on a peninsula, and there are views from every room in the house, which is a rare accomplishment.”

Gathering spaces are dotted with modern but warm touches 1. Photo by Jessica Glynn
Gathering spaces are dotted with modern but warm touches.

Moulton notes that was the goal from the very beginning. “With Croom’s assistance we rented a hydraulic lift that enabled us and the owners to see potential views from various heights and locations. They were amazing,” says Moulton, recalling impressive bird’s-eye images. 

With that, Layne turned to the drawing board. The result is a two-story “Neo-Caribbean Georgian–style” residence with porches and railings spanning the width of the upper level. 

A circular driveway and fountain form a welcoming committee, while palm trees, flowers, and columns border the entrance that opens to the living, dining, and kitchen area. There are also two guest suites. 

A decorative stairway and elevator lead to the second level and the master bedroom, his and hers bathrooms and closets, a sitting room, kitchenette, and small laundry. Glorious sunrises and sunsets, guaranteed.

While the kitchen is complete with a large cooking area and two islands for seating and storage. Photo by Jessica Glynn
While the kitchen is complete with a large cooking area and two islands for seating and storage.

Covered breezeways connect two symmetrically placed buildings: one to the north, the other to the south. Each has a two-car garage, office, and half bath on the first level, with guest bedroom, bath, sitting room, and kitchenette on the second. Perfect for family and friends intent on escaping snow, ice, and below-zero temperatures. January, February, and March are busy months 

In addition, two single-story structures on the west side of the main house give a nod to the owners’ love of outdoor living and entertaining. The first is the pool house. Enclosed with sliding glass doors, it’s a popular game space with pool table, kitchenette, and bath. The other is a covered open-air living and dining area with fireplace and large-screen TV. If needed, roll-down screens and hurricane shutters spring into action.

A masculine and nautical feel permeates one of two offices in the spacious home. Photo by Jessica Glynn
A masculine and nautical feel permeates one of two offices in the spacious home.

Everywhere one looks, the choice of furnishings, fabrics, and accessories charm. “There are so many wonderful touches throughout the home: the bar, both offices, the sitting room, exterior living spaces, pool and spa. The list is huge because it was a very special project,” Mickley enthuses. 

Bright indoor spaces show off artistic lighting and give a nod to the surrounding water life. Photo by Jessica Glynn
Bright indoor spaces show off artistic lighting and give a nod to the surrounding water life.

“The owners were open to things they hadn’t done before,” he adds. “They wanted each space to be its own, so everything is very individual, very special. What I try to do is put unexpected things together, like the funky modern chair and stone coffee table in her office, and somehow it all works.”

Mickley admits the wife’s office is one of his favorites, and it’s no wonder. Bright and cheerful white walls, upholstered furniture, and rug provide the perfect foil for that funky—and very pink—chair. Then there are the draperies with happily hopping bunnies, a Hunt Slonem design. 

Not to be outdone, the husband also has an office, which Mickley refers to as his man cave. With soft gray textured walls and rug, blue and white upholstered furniture, an antique sailboat, and a sculpture of an ever-hopeful fisherman, the room reflects the individual it was designed for. 

“The husband is an avid sportsman who loves to fish. That’s why Layne located his office near the dock with views of the water, which made him super happy,” Mickley grins. 

Mickley also observes, “One of the interesting things is that the husband and wife’s offices are the same size, but because they are decorated so differently, you would never know it.”

After spending time working in their offices, fishing, scuba diving, or golfing, the couple enjoy a glass of wine and charcuterie in the bar room. As Mickley notes, “The blue lacquered wall and lighted quartz backsplash between the two wine coolers really set the area off.” 

Nearby, a sink-into sofa, chairs, and coffee table with Scrabble set beckon. As always, there’s a view to be enjoyed.   

First- and second-floor views drink in the pool and the lagoon. Photo by Jessica Glynn
First- and second-floor views drink in the pool and the lagoon.

“The owners really enjoyed the process,” Mickley says. “They’re business people who didn’t micromanage. They let the professionals do their job.” 

The open-air living and dining area is a popular gathering place that includes a fireplace, large-screen TV, and water views on all sides. Photo by Jessica Glynn
The open-air living and dining area is a popular gathering place that includes a fireplace, large-screen TV, and water views on all sides.

Those professionals included landscape architect August Schwartz, who created the putting green and sand trap, along with a pathway to the dock in a plan that involved bringing in the largest farm-raised live oak trees that could be managed via a flatbed semi. 

When asked if there’s one thing that stands out, Croom doesn’t hesitate. “The chemistry and tight communication of the Croom, Moulton Layne, Mickley team and the owners. Building lasting relationships long after the build is over is our goal, and we nailed it!” 

Facebook Comments