Decor Excellence Flows Through This Vero Beach Home


Peak Retreat in Vero Beach

The interplay of cool concrete with tactile organic materials creates an ideal indoor-outdoor oasis in Vero Beach.

Vaulted Roof White Ceiling with Contemporary Staircase and Plants on Entry Table

Exposed beams and a modern chandelier from Design Within Reach complement the vaulted ceiling in the entry of this Vero Beach vacation home, where a Guéridon table by Jean Prouvé provides an ideal place to display freshly cut flowers. The custom wool flatweave rug is from Mark Nelson Designs in New York, and the vintage Danish chair is by Helge Sibast and was purchased through 1stdibs.

Chrome Lighting Fixture with Wooden Table and Chairs with Apples

A jute rug with a hint of silver from Mark Nelson Designs establishes the serene color palette in the dining area, where soft wool draperies made from Great Plains fabric from Holly Hunt filter the bright sunlight. At night, a custom polished-silver chandelier creates a cozy glow over a Parker table by Victoria Hagan and a set of Wegner Wishbone chairs from the owners’ collection.

Multi Level Zig Zag Staircase with Displayed Artwork

The steps of the custom zigzag stairway are coated with the same concrete microtopping as the floors. The custom oak-glass-and-blackened-steel railing likewise ties in with the built-in cabinetry and fixtures throughout. Tara Donovan’s Untitled (Rubber Bands) from the Pace gallery in New York is displayed on the landing.

Library with Floor to Ceiling Shelving, Colorful Books and Pops of Orange

Located in the one-story section of the house, the cozy library has been outfitted with a mix of comfortable furnishings, including two linen-covered sofas from RH. The coffee table is a custom piece by designer Kevin Dumais with gray travertine and cerused oak, and the woven-wool rug is from Mark Nelson Designs; the dark wall paint is Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal.

Low Fireplace Under Wide Flat Screen TV with Pool View

A hand-braided rug from Mark Nelson Designs adds color, texture and pattern to the casual living room, where the family enjoys lounging on the two 10-foot sofas from RH in front of the low-slung fireplace with an integrated television.

Black Eames Lounge Chair Close Up with Window Backdrop and Palm Trees

A swivel chair by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, a classic Eames lounge chair from Herman Miller and a coffee table, also from RH, finish the space.

Distressed Wood Cabinet Kitchen with Striped Stone Island and Black Storage

White Montclair Danby countertops, blackened-steel island drawers and a backsplash composed of hand-glazed ceramic tile by Heath Ceramics create contrast with the kitchen’s custom cerused-oak cabinetry fabricated by LaCortes Enterprises. Lacquered mushroom-shaped pendants by Jasper Morrison for Flos hang above the island; the ovens are by Miele.

Twin Bed Guest Bedroom With Rectangular Ottomans and Ceiling Fan

A tall paper lamp by Noguchi fashions an unexpected sculptural element between the guest bedroom’s two headboards covered in fabric from RH. Drapery fabric from Pindler joins leather ottomans and a rug, both from RH, to reinforce the room’s calming, neutral palette.

Master Bathroom with Frosted Glass Large Soaking Tub and Long Runner Rug

In the master bathroom, a floating oak vanity fabricated by LaCortes Enterprises with a gray-glazed finish complements the strong pattern on the slab of marble on the shower wall. The pedestal tub is by Victoria + Albert, and the sconces are custom and were manufactured by Trans-Luxe in New York. A runner by RH adds an organic feel.

Bottom Floor Great Room Opening to Moody Pool with Outdoor Furniture

The great room can be opened to create a true indoor-outdoor experience with a garden courtyard on one side and a covered poolside living area on the other. The living area is furnished with a quartet of slipcovered lounge chairs from Room & Board and a dining set from RH. Black-framed sliding doors made by WinDoor and installed by H.B.S., Inc. provide a striking counterpoint to the home’s white exterior and neutral interior color scheme.

Right Near the House Moody Pool with Access to Interiors and Exteriors

Nearly every room in the house has direct access to the outside, including the second-floor master bedroom, which opens to a covered patio with a beadboard ceiling and exposed beams that overlooks the pool constructed by A&G Concrete Pools.

In his best-selling book, Outliers: The Story of Success, author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell examines the notion that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to master a skill. If true, the design-minded owners of a modern stucco-clad dwelling in the seaside town of Vero Beach have surely mastered the art of creating the perfect house. “We have real estate issues,” the wife and mother of three sons explains. “We enjoy looking at properties at length and have done many projects over the years.” 

In the process, the couple developed a strong relationship with architect Thomas Hoos, who had worked on three previous homes with the owners, as well as with Manhattan-based designer Kevin Dumais, with whom the couple also collaborated on several past projects, including their primary residence in Nashville. So, when the time came for their most-recent undertaking, they called on the design duo once again to bring to life the modern house they were envisioning for their new vacation home in Windsor, a “new urbanism” community by architects and town planners Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. “It takes the old urban principles and town planning ideas from Europe, as well as in Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah,” Hoos says of the charming community that features a walkable village at the heart of the development and a golf course that surrounds it. 

While strict codes dictated many aspects of the design, the new abode and guesthouse were built around a private courtyard, where the designers had the freedom to take the house in a more modern direction. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors in the great room, for example, can be opened to create a spacious indoor-outdoor area alongside the pool, and there is a grand covered veranda off of the second-floor master suite as well. “We wanted to create a seamless transition to the outside,” Hoos says, “so the exterior paving is very similar to the poured-concrete flooring found inside, and the ceiling plane goes straight out, interrupted only by the drapery pocket.” 

In fact, the concrete patio extends into the water itself as “floating” pavers, which offer a place to sit and dangle one’s legs and also create a reflecting pool at the shallow end. Nearly every ground-floor room in the home offers direct access to the pool, including the lofted two-story entry foyer, which has floor-to-ceiling doors that can be opened to connect the front of the home with the L-shaped courtyard. The foyer also serves as a bridge between the single-story library to one side and the two-level structure with the main living areas on the other. “The foyer was designed as an open pavilion with an indoor-outdoor feel that links both the one-and two-story forms,” Hoos says. 

A floating concrete stairway makes a dramatic sculptural statement in the main living areas and also acts as a screen between the foyer and dining area. Its blackened-steel-and-wood railing with glass panels complements the bronze elements throughout and allows the natural daylight to filter in unobstructed. Builder John Huryn and project manager Andy Swetz oversaw the construction of the staircase, where concrete was poured over a wooden form with steel plates that were welded to the railing. A top coating was then carefully troweled to ensure a flawless surface. “Building a modern home looks a lot easier than it really is,” Huryn says. “But there’s no trim or moldings, so everything has got to be right on the money.” 

A bank of custom cerused-oak cabinetry defines the dining area and flows into the open kitchen, which has been outfitted with a large island with a marble countertop and blackened-steel drawer fronts. Blue backsplash tile plays off of the living room’s light blue sofa upholstery as well as the swimming pool just outside. “Each tile is slightly different, so you get this natural variation, which is really pretty,” Dumais says. “Plus, it brings a bit of a tactile quality into the space.” 

That quality can also be found in the one-story library on the other side of the foyer, a bright indoor-outdoor space that Dumais warmed up by painting the walls in a dark charcoal hue and incorporating linen draperies on each side. “It’s a library, so we wanted to go a bit darker and richer, but it’s so bright and light that it doesn’t feel too dark,” the designer says. “It’s harmonious with the rest of the interior palette but sets itself apart.” A woven-wool rug and linen-and leather-covered furnishings add a handsome coziness, a look that continues throughout the home with a mix of comfortable furnishings, both midcentury modern and custom, that fashion a chic yet casual setting in mostly earth tones. 

The same formula applies to the bedrooms, which were furnished with textural rugs and organic materials in neutral hues that soften the home’s concrete flooring. Oak cabinetry does the same for the master bathroom and also complements a slab of marble with strong vertical veining along the shower wall. “The color palette and texture carry through the entire home,” Dumais says. “There is a continuity to the spaces that is very tranquil and cohesive.” 

With a teenage son still at home in Nashville, the owners tend to take turns using the home during the year, and you can often find the wife entertaining friends by the swimming pool or the husband and his buddies enjoying a weekend golf outing. “We wanted a fun, bright house, and we love it,” the husband says. “We’ll be using it for years to come.” 

Tate Gunnerson

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