Modern Baylife

Wrapped in White & Light


The transition from old world to new modern is not an everyday style move.
It’s a timeless style that stirs the soul, and attracts collectors around the world. Generally, home owners have a hard time giving up the treasures they have collected and curated through the years. How does one leave behind an acquired taste, for an altogether different aesthetic feel, along with the beautiful pieces that create it?

The owners of this inviting modern penthouse say the transition takes place as another look begins to draw attention. It might start with magazine photos, instagram feeds, or a visit to someone’s home. In that instant, the seed is planted at the moment of attraction. An image, a showroom, or any vision might stir a reaction to save or recall a fresh and captivating decor. Over time, almost without realizing it, the appeal in a differing lifestyle pulls slowly, but surely.

These condo dwellers formerly enjoyed an old world style…

These condo dwellers formerly enjoyed an old world style filled with antiques, mixed tastefully with contemporary art in their previous home in the Pensacola Historic District. As they browsed magazines and visited showrooms, they found this unrelenting attraction to modernized living. When planning their next chapter, they decided to live less-encumbered, to freely travel without home maintenance concerns. It just made sense to go all in with clean, upscale elegance.

This adventurous couple caught, and crafted, a new vision for a penthouse condo lifestyle overlooking Pensacola Bay. The owners knew that the condo location would be enveloped in light from the reflecting water and bright Florida skies. They chose to harness the light and allow it to take center stage in their home design. Creative input and vision from their builder, Mark Chastain and architect, Brian Spencer, resulted in a home of sophisticated white, with casual elegance. Throughout the condo, the light is radiant on bright days, and yet subdued as the light ebbs and flows from the expansive windows that welcome their outdoor view.

As avid art collectors, the owners chose to highlight favorite pieces of art and sculpture that define, yet transcend, a certain decor. A love for contemporary art shaped the design choices for this home. The colorful art collection became the main focal points for visible style in the home's large open space created for entertaining and cooking. The stunning kitchen of Italian glass cabinetry from Scavolini, with reflective countertops in light neutrals from Superior Granite, set the stage for the open view of the living area. The artwork adds bright color and flair to stacked marble walls installed by a local artisan, and supplied through Prosource of Pensacola. The stacked marble provides depth and texture to the stylish decor. Imaginative lighting from Urban Objects was selected with help from Sarah Gillette, to enhance the refined modern feel. Runway lights in the ceiling create leading lines that illuminate the walls of featured artwork.

The kitchen was skillfully designed by Laura Lawrence, CKD, to provide the owner’s with masterful culinary appointments. Miele appliances were selected from United Lighting and are beautifully incorporated into the spacious reflective kitchen. Friends frequently visit, and linger, to enjoy the view, ambience and fabulous food in this gorgeous white setting.

Similar to a white canvas, the reflective openness is an ideal backdrop for art connoisseurs. The stunning entry gives clues to the overall gallery feel of the home. The eyes are drawn to a piece called “The Birdnest" by local artist, Justin Gaffrey of Grayton Beach, that sets the tone for the entire space. New Orleans and Miami arts and design influence are also present, throughout the striking living, dining and bathing areas.

In this new chapter of travel and adventure, there is no doubt these art-lovers have designed a home that feels like a fine art gallery with all the comforts of a dazzling and elegant style.

Leslie Brown