Seaside Kaleidoscope

Designer Paige Schnell updates a classic Seaside cottage with an exuberant mix of blues and greens while retaining its original character and charm

House exterior
Photography by Jean Allsopp

For a week’s vacation or as a second home, there’s a lot to like about spending time in Seaside. After owning a place for several years in the popular beach town, a couple decided it was time for updates and turned to 30A interior designer Paige Schnell of Tracery Interiors.

Constructed in 2006, the house reflected the charm of Seaside’s architectural aesthetic and boasted a congenial layout that had served the active family well, as both their own getaway and a rental property. Approachable and familiar, the wood-framed structure features a straightforward gable roof, tall windows, Bermuda shutters, and wide steps leading to a deep front porch.

Front porch
The back door sees a lot of traffic and is designed with the beach in mind. A protected alcove offers easy access for beach bags, swim toys, and chairs. Hooks provide a convenient place to hang wet towels and bathing suits.

Built of timeless materials with good bones and a gracious open floor plan, the house had endured years as a vacation rental. As a result, the interiors definitely needed updating. Like many vacation homes on 30A, the main living spaces happily reside on the upper level to capture breezes and afford privacy. “We accentuated these positives and reconfigured certain spaces to make the most of what was there without adding square footage,” says Paige.

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Just through the double glass doors, a conversation area offers a welcoming introduction of things to come. Bathed in natural light streaming through tall windows that extend to the floor, this cozy den, outfitted with a plush blue rug, a comfy blue sleeper sofa, and a painting of 30A’s iconic tree canopy along Western Lake, offers a gathering spot on the first floor. Balancing tradition and durability, Paige transformed the original pine floors that had yellowed over the years. Now sanded, refinished, and bleached with a soft whitewash, the heart pine is the color of aged driftwood.

Primary bath
In the primary bath, sleek tiles, fluted white oak cabinets, and a tower storage unit make for a luxurious retreat in the same space as the original.

A sunny stairway ascends to the second floor. In keeping with the easygoing attitude of a beach house, interiors marry the best aspects of a contemporary plan with furniture placement spelling out functions that create a sense of balance. Front and center at the top of the stairs is a kitchen suited for casual entertaining. A sleek white range hood, white shaker cabinets and a large dining island establish a fresh look. The existing antique brick floor, now cleaned and refinished, is a pleasing counterpoint to the white horizontal wood paneling and exposed trusses.

With its marriage of classic Seaside style and contemporary appointments in nearly every room, this beloved cottage is more captivating than ever.

An abstract palm wallpaper pairs with the existing vanity updated with a bright coat of green paint and new brass fixtures.

New and Noteworthy

Several new venues have recently opened up along 30A, joining beloved old favorites.

Day Trader Tiki Bar
With courtyard dining and a series of open-air bars, the Day Trader, located next to Seaside’s iconic Obe Pavilion, offers Polynesian-inspired coastal cuisine and festive umbrella cocktails.

30A Greenway Station
Located near Eastern Lake, 30A Greenway Station is a new mixed-use development that includes The Lodge 30A, a variety retail outlet, a coffee and ice-cream shop, and three other restaurants. A new access to the Point Washington State Forest hiking trails provides designated parking, picnic tables, and bathrooms.

Down Island Gulf Seafood Restaurant
Offering wood-fired seafood and a raw oyster bar, Down Island is a chef-owned and family-operated restaurant.

Three Sons Bar-B-Q
If you’ve already had your fill of seafood, check out Three Sons Bar-B-Q for a casual family eatery that takes great pride in slow-smoking pork, beef, and chicken to perfection in their primitive pits.

Folly Club
The Folly Club at Palm Folly Brewery is an upscale taproom offering hard, sparkling fruit seltzers.

Raw & Juicy
The beloved Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse in old Grayton Beach just got a fresh infusion with Raw & Juicy taking over the café.


Interior Design: Paige Sumblin Schnell and Anna Kay Tisa of Tracery Interiors, Rosemary Beach, Florida
House is available for vacation rentals: Splendor in the Sand

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