At the edge of the Indian River Lagoon sits a gracious new home as much in keeping with its Riomar neighborhood as it would be in Bermuda or the British West Indies. Bruce and Christine Pitcher began to see their dream take shape when they landed on the perfect location. “We knew we wanted to build between the bridges,” says Bruce. “This was an ideal spot.”
The couple and their two sons had become enamored of Vero Beach years ago during vacation breaks and moved into the newly constructed home in November 2021. “We hired Gregory Anderson for our architect,” Bruce adds. “The original plan was much larger, [with] more bedrooms upstairs, but we decided against that. Our children are off to college, so we’ll be empty nesters.”
First, an early 1970s-era home was razed, giving way to the blue dream the couple envisioned. The front is a clean white offset by navy blue shutters facing the neighborhood lake, visible through mature trees. A second-floor balcony, which draws the eye upward with its custom white railing, is balanced by two oversize arched windows below and capped chimneys above. Symmetry is a theme inside and out—a goal of the Pitchers that was realized beautifully.
Stepping into the living room, modern meets traditional with a white coffered ceiling and hidden linear air vents. A wall of French doors opens to the pool and a pair of covered porches. A soft Chesterfield sofa, one of the few pieces from their Baltimore home that belonged to Bruce before they were married, is reimagined in a rich lapis velvet reminiscent of the ocean on a windless winter day.
Black-framed mirrors in a delicate oval petal shape face the abstract Cat Tesla painting in swirling shades of cornflower, periwinkle, and aqua. The light-as-air chandelier over the dark-wood traditional dining table sets off the painting without getting in the way. “Blue is such a calming color,” notes Bruce. “We didn’t want reds or yellows, and we weren’t interested in color trends.”
Al fresco living is a breeze with an outdoor kitchen and grill surrounded by a bar and deep seating. Shellstone adorns the floor and rises around the see-through gas fireplace, which changes color. Bruce likes to grill, and both he and Christine are football fans. “Christine attended the University of Alabama, and we came here from Baltimore, so on game days, we turn it red for the Crimson Tide, and for the Ravens, the flames are purple,” he beams.
The couple had no trouble coalescing their vision once they found their property. “I never saw the property before signing a contract,” Christine laughs. “Bruce loved the view and the neighborhood, and that was enough for me. I can’t imagine us being happier anywhere else in Vero.” They agreed on a clean, no-clutter look that was easy to live with.
“One of my non-negotiables was a great butler’s pantry,” Christine says. A hidden walk-in pantry is opposite, where all the countertop appliances reside, so that the white quartz kitchen counters can show their style. A work island in rich shades of blues, grays, and charcoal sits opposite the range, and the metal range hood anchors the large space. Laser-printed marble tiles on the backsplash are a modern take on vintage stone tiles from Morocco or Italy. A custom-built white oak eating island in a dark mahogany stain seats eight and connects the kitchen with the family room. A tray ceiling joins both rooms and adds a comfortable atmosphere.
The Pitchers knew this build would be a multiyear partnership, so their choice of designer Jill Shevlin was a careful one. “Bruce was very hands-on with our builder, Ed Crocker, and I knew he would be equally so with the interior designer,” Christine notes. “From personally selecting tile locally and walking with us for what felt like miles at the Atlanta design center, Jill and her assistant Charlene Cartwright worked seamlessly with us to produce the lovely end product we call home.” Shevlin understood that the open kitchen and family room would be used extensively, and she recognized the scale she had to work with. “The space is really generous, so we needed larger pieces to balance it,” Shevlin explains. The chandelier over the eating island is one such statement piece that has substance and style.
Shevlin collaborated with the Pitchers in the kitchen and settled on a triangular layout with
a matching refrigerator and freezer on one side, the range in the middle, and, on the other side, the work sink flanked by two dishwashers, offering a good flow with plenty of work space. They decided on a slim soffit to define the kitchen and allow the cabinets and statement range hood to go to the ceiling.
Masculine elements are reflected in wood floors stained in a dark mahogany hue, lightly wire-brushed for a warm but lived-in look. “These days I do a lot of light floors for that beachy vibe, but I have gotten more compliments about this floor than just about anything else,” Shevlin says. “It stands out because it is unexpected.” Wood also warms Bruce’s office, where paneling throughout sets off glass cases filled with autographed footballs and cabinetry with leather-covered hardware. Paneling-clad linear vents are some of the details that make Bruce’s favorite room uniquely his.
Bedrooms reflect the individual tastes of each family member. In the main-floor master, soft fabrics suggest a quiet retreat. On the second floor, up the stairway custom built by Ed Crocker, the boys’ bedrooms are suited to each. They received as much attention to detail as the main rooms, including gear-inspired mirrors and industrial-chic sconces. A game room sits across the hall from another fun “flex space” that Christine calls the “river room,” named for its grand view.
In dual master bathrooms, elegance and livability partner. Bruce loved the multifunction “smart mirror” he saw with Shevlin and Christine in Atlanta; it sets off his sink and wood-paneled cabinetry, extending the office look. A shared oversize shower in subtle blues joins the two spaces.
Christine’s side features blue-veined marble counters and white marble floors that flow to a dream closet disguised as a sitting room. “My closet, or ‘boudoir’ as we jokingly call it, is a small retreat where I like to have a quiet cup of coffee or curl up with a good book,” says Christine. “What I like best is privacy in a houseful of males.” Clothing and shoes are hidden behind custom cabinetry. A coffee maker and desk encourage a bit of morning work in this true flex space.
The Pitchers like to entertain both friends and family, including Christine’s three sisters. “Our vision was to have a home that was timeless, inviting, and made people happy when they walked through the front door,” Christine says. The stunning result is a hit right out of the park.