Contemporary on the Coast

Zen-like in its simplicity, this upscale Florida retreat captures the essence of coastal living in a very unique way.

By Jamie Siebrase
Photography by John Sciarrino, Giovanni Photography 


Welcome to paradise! When their longtime clients purchased a third-floor condominium on a Ritz-Carlton property in Naples, Diane Breckenridge Interiors owner Diane Breckenridge-Barrett and designer Megan Barry say they wanted something very different from their home in St. Louis.   

A glam entryway sparkles with a suspended chandelier and a dazzling mirrored chest, setting the stage for a fresh, refined scheme carried throughout the dwelling. The aqua and coral throw pillows on the L-shaped sectional in the living room were the impetus for a contemporary coastal look rooted in layered neutrals: a cream sofa and a slick coffee table, along with light underpinnings that include tan walls and porcelain tile floors. All-white rooms are relaxing, but they benefit from colorful infusions. “The throw pillows really stand out, making a great first impression,” Barry says. An aqua Davis & Davis rug, custom-matched to those pillows, was another smart addition. 

Textiles might have kicked off the design process, but the first thing we noticed was the view from the balcony. Pocket doors open fully to a wraparound porch, and when it comes to indoor-outdoor living, it’s hard to beat this set-up. Wrought-iron patio furniture is outfitted with creamy cushion sets — “the kind you want to sink into,” Barry says. “Every little detail counts,” she continues, pointing to black Wilson Lighting fixtures (in the living room) and tiny statement buttons on the outdoor seating that pick up on the arched framing of picture windows. 

Between the living room and kitchen, in a space intended for a formal dining room, Barry built a family room with swivel chairs upholstered in a woven fabric that brings a casual element to a modern area defined by clean, geometrical lines. One common problem with seaside aesthetics is that collections of seashells and driftwood can make a home feel like a souvenir shop. Barry easily avoids that with low-key accessories. Case in point, a built-in bookcase appointed with white embellishments that pop against a coral back panel. 

With coastal design, the view is critical. Standing in the kitchen, the homeowners can see across their family and living rooms, all the way to the balcony. To accommodate the homeowner’s extended family, Barry sneaked in extra seating at the granite kitchen bar, opting for low-profile stools. Espresso cabinets and a glass mosaic backsplash support a modern motif. 

“We used lighter cabinets for the bar to add interest and define the space,” Barry explains. The adjacent eat-in kitchen is more transitional than the rest of the home, with bay windows, a decorative chandelier, a round wooden table and high-back chairs covered in faux leather and trellis-patterned fabric.  

That colorful room with the bright coral walls is a den that does double duty with a gray pullout couch for extra guests. Located off the kitchen, Barry says, “We wanted this to be a fun and bright room.” Barry shook things up by decorating with dark accents and a funky white shag rug. 

The master bedroom is one of Barry’s favorite rooms. When the homeowners asked for “something soothing,” she drenched the walls in a soft aqua, and added plenty of big, soft and whimsical pieces, including an upholstered bed, comfy wingback chairs, a gilded dresser and sheer, tone-on-tone drapery. A neutral rug covers most of the floor, but a little hardwood still peeks through, opening to a private balcony. “There are elements of Florida design, but this isn’t your typical vacationer home,” Barry points out. 

Designer: Breckenridge Interiors, 314-727-2323