With its cobblestone streets, brick sidewalks, and cachet as one of “America’s Most Romantic Small Towns,” Rosemary Beach lured a Nashville family to purchase a vacation home and engage longtime design partner Jonathan Savage to reimagine the property.
The client’s trust in Palm Beach- and Nashville-based Savage ran so deep that they barely raised an eyebrow when he declared the entry foyer would become the dining room—a first in his long career. Savage felt strongly that the oddly shaped room could become a fabulous combination dining area and reading room. Since the space is a connecting point between the home’s two wings, he says he knew it would be the ideal gathering place and adhere to his design philosophy of “transforming spaces and making them personal.”
Another Savage space transformation sits adjacent to the kitchen: the home’s breakfast nook-turned-reading room. Savage says he knew that for the quirky room to work, it had to be a dual-purpose space. With only a trio of bar stools in the kitchen for seating, he believed this was a “clever” meeting spot and dining option.
“I’m a fanatic for details and for breaking the rules, but when you have clients who believe in you, you can do anything,” says Savage. “It’s stepping outside the box and maximizing the spaces,” which was Savage’s mantra throughout the 4,800-square-foot, two-story home with four bedrooms, four en suite baths and two powder rooms.
Savage selected a neutral color palette with pops of color for an “overall chic, casual coastal beach house vibe—not seashells on the seashore decor.” He prioritized texture with limestone flooring and Venetian plaster.
The client’s main directive? A casual and tranquil environment to relax and entertain friends. That, plus a large backyard pool area where they could comfortably lounge directly from the pool or beach without fear of damaging the furniture. Savage maximized family-friendly fabric throughout—including on the Christian Liaigre sofa in one of the living room’s three conversation spaces. On the first floor, he used durable fabrics, including the stain-proof Holly Hunt vegan leather Verellen ottoman that anchors four Ferrell Mittmann chairs upholstered in indoor/outdoor tweed. In the kitchen, he used easy-care woven Palecek wicker barstools.
For what Savage says is “one of the larger backyards on Rosemary Beach,” the designer kept things simple to allow the home’s Lew Oliver architecture to shine. He gave the family more places to gather alfresco, including a covered outdoor lounge area and conversation chairs in the pool. His final touch before he turned over the keys was to toss three black and white beach balls into the pool. “Because everyone loves a chic beach ball,” he says.
Interior Design by L. Jonathan Savage with Travis Hill and Randi Stovesand, Savage Interior Design, Nashville, TN
Exterior Architecture by Lew Oliver, Inc., Clarkesville, GA
Text by Michelle Payer
Photography by Julie Wage Ross, Memphis, TN
Table – Jean de Merry, R Hughes, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Chairs – McGuire, Baker, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Chandelier – John Boone Inc., New York, NY
Drapery – Pierre Frey, Jim Thompson, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Centerpiece – Brice, LTD., ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Sofa – Christian Liaigre, R Hughes, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Fabric and pillows – Holland & Sherry, R Hughes, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Cocktail table – McGuire, Baker, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Accent chair – Antiques and Beyond, Atlanta, GA
Sconce – Apparatus, R Hughes, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Area rug – Fibreworks, Louisville, KY
Counter stools – Palecek, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Pendant lighting – Apparatus, R Hughes, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Table – J. Robert Scott, Jerry Pair and Associates, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Chairs – Palecek, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Banquette – Lee Industries, Conover, NC
Artwork above banquette – Mckenzie Dove, Pryor Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
Artwork on wall – McKenzie Dove, Pryor Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
Chandelier – J. Browning by RH, Restoration Hardware, rh.com
Window treatment – FRET, Ainsworth Noah, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Window treatment – Pierre Frey, Jim Thompson, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Living Room Grouping
Club chairs – Ferrell Mittman, Ainsworth Noah, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Fabric – Zimmer + Rohde, Ainsworth Noah, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Ottoman – Verellen, High Point, NC
Drink table – Gregorius Pineo, Jerry Pair and Associates, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Console – Michael Berman, Los Angeles, CA
Sculpture on console – Baker, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Floor lamp – J. Browning by RH, Restoration Hardware, rh.com
Drapery fabric – FRET, Ainsworth Noah, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Area rug – Fibreworks, Louisville, KY
Stripped side chair – Barlow Tyrie Inc, Moorestown, NJ
Planters – Kolo Collection Studio 321, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Teak chairs – Sutherland Perennials Studio, ADAC, Atlanta, GA
Side table – Emissary, Chamblee, GA
Wall accessories – Full Pot of Flowers, Pompano Beach, FL