By Marcia Bradford
After staying with friends at gulf-front condos along Perdido Key for several years, a couple from Memphis, Tenn., became so enchanted with the area that they decided to buy a second home on this scenic stretch of coast. Although their first inclination was to find a place directly on the gulf, they found their dream spot when real estate agent, Keri Hutchenson, with ResortQuest of Perdido Key, introduced them to La Serena, a luxury condominium community on River Road.
“From the moment we saw it, with its lovely views of the back bays, we fell in love with it,” said the owners. “It is such a beautiful place, and it’s so peaceful.”
Shortly thereafter, they purchased a fourth floor unit. Later, when a larger penthouse unit became available, they sold the fourth floor unit and moved up to the spacious five-bedroom, five bathroom unit. Interior designer Betsy Duncan, owner of Coastal Dreams by Design, helped decorate both units, moving many pieces up from the fourth floor and adding new furnishings for the expanded space.
For the owners, the interior design of the new penthouse unit started with tiling and painting. With Duncan’s input, they developed a lovely second home where they can also host family and friends.
“Betsy was very helpful and guided us toward the furnishings that fit the space in terms of style as well as size and color,” said the owners. “We do not plan to ever rent this condo, so we brought several of our own pieces and she was able to create a décor that is comfortable and attractive.”
Duncan said that the owners “are very creative people and knew exactly what they wanted.”
“Initially, we based all the colors in the living room on an area rug they wanted to use. We selected all the fabrics and paint from this,” Duncan said. “Additionally, one of the owners is an artist…so we brought down many pieces she had worked on.”
Among the colorful items decorating the dining area are two of the owner’s paintings based on one of their favorite movies, “Endless Summer.” Plans are under way to set up a studio in one of the smaller bedrooms so that the owner can paint whenever she is in the area.
When selecting furnishings, Duncan said she sought high-end pieces that were in step with the high-quality construction and luxurious look of La Serena. To this end, she chose the living room sofa and chairs by Capris, dining set and bedroom furniture by Stanley and custom window treatments by Window Décor and More.
“This experience was very special to me, because every piece was considered so carefully,” Duncan said. “The owners did not just like the unit, they loved it. And it is very eclectic, which makes it more interesting.”
In addition to the welcoming, stylish interior with its extensive views of the water, the couple also appreciates the community amenities, including a waterfront resort-styled pool and Jacuzzi spa with designer cabanas, indoor enclosed heated pool and Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, fitness center and lighted tennis court.
“Since moving here we’ve gotten a kayak so that we can paddle out around the bays, stop at the islands for picnics and see the wildlife up close,” the owners said. “We have found that this quieter spot on Perdido Key is just right for us. And now that we have the larger unit at La Serena, it will very likely become our retirement home.”
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