Elegant Touches From Home…
By Marcia Bradford
Step into Melissa and Mike Shelton’s 14th floor condominium at Grand Dunes in Destin and your eyes are immediately drawn to several striking accents in vivid shades of blue-green. There is the custom-made turquoise glass countertop on the kitchen island, the fish sculpture encased in aquamarine glass on an occasional table and the wall mural with tones of teal and tan, all of which serve to complement the sparkling turquoise waters, seen clearly through the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Gulf of Mexico.
Melissa Shelton drew her inspiration for the condo interior’s color scheme by taking in the view from the deck. “I saw the taupe colors of wet sand, the bright white of the dry sand and the beautiful blue-green shades of the gulf and wanted to bring them all into the design,” she said. “As a southerner, I also love antiques and wanted to incorporate some of my favorite pieces.”
To create a “coastal chic” style, Shelton worked with Cara Richardson McBroom, a licensed interior designer with Lovelace Interiors in Destin. “Working with Cara has been a dream,” Shelton said. “We were on the same page from the start; she immediately understood what I wanted and I just love how everything turned out.”
McBroom said she wanted to create a warm mix of natural and rustic coastal finishes, highlighted by several rich, sparkling accents. To accomplish this, she first had the walls, ceilings and cabinets repainted in shades of taupe. A backsplash of horizontally-staggered opalescent tiles was installed to give the kitchen more character and depth. But the the keystone piece for the whole design was the glass counter top from ARtistic Stone Works in Fort Walton Beach. “This brought a punch of color and looks just like water rippling when the light shines on it just right,” she said.
Touches from home
To make the unit feel more like home, the Sheltons, who live in Louisiana, used several of their antiques. “Mike and I are somewhat eclectic,” said Melissa. “We wanted a mixture of beach and more traditional elements – we like to call it beach elegance.”
In the living area, an antique pine sideboard and plate hutch became an entertainment console. Upper shelves were removed to provide a space for a flat-screen television and upholstered doors were added to the bottom section, hiding the electronic components. Driftwood buffet lamps with twine shades, by Uttermost, reminiscent of fisherman’s net and driftwood, completed the rustic look.
“We loved the idea of making this into a TV piece, because it brought so much warmth to the room and helped anchor and define the space,” McBroom said.
On the opposite wall, Shelton’s preferred design elements are combined using an antique white French Settee by Oly, topped with kidney pillows trimmed in abalone shells, centered below a mural commissioned from local artist Allison Wickey.
Colors and textures similar to the outdoor surroundings are seen in the linen-covered sofa and swivel chairs by Lee Industries, the woven seagrass cocktail table, by Artistica, and the Jute area rug, by Global Accents. A hand-woven wool and silk rug, from Designer Galleries in Destin, layered atop the jute rug, anchors the seating arrangement and creates a balance between rustic coastal and soft, rich textures.
An elegant focal point is provided by the Standing Chandelier by Luna Bella, a crystal chandelier on tripod base, with iron, gold silver and pearl accents, which sparkles in the sunlight near the window. Two Greek key ottomans, by Lee Industries, covered in silk blue velvet, add touches of color as well as additional seating, while the ripplefold seamless sheer drapes, made from an extra-wide Romo fabric, add to the soft, flowing feel of the room. Other decorative and functional pieces in the room include a reclaimed wood sofa table with a silver metal base by Worlds Away, the oval art glass with gold fish by Fusion Art Glass, a glass top side table with chrome base by Bailey Street and a small round antique mirror chairside table by Hooker Furniture.
Featuring an antique table that was faux finished by Polly Yokum, and a drum and amber crystal teardrop chandelier by Crystoramathe, the dining area is formal, yet fun. French cane side chairs with linen slipcovered seats, by Aiden Gray, and velvet host and hostess chairs, by Henredon, situated on a large hand-woven area rug by Peel & Company, mix rich elegance with and natural elements. Above the marble-topped console table, heavily adorned with shells and coral, a shell trumeau mirror by Currey and Company provides a reflective backdrop for a mermaid sculpture, decorated with shells and glass stones.According to Shelton, this piece pays tribute to her childhood desire to be a mermaid and her love of sea-life.
Comfort and fashion combine in the large master bedroom, where an upholstered wing bed by Oly is covered in a herringbone linen and flanked by antique mirror nightstands from Currey and Company. Tall crystal bedside pendants, purchased from Beautiful Lights in Destin, an art glass jellyfish on nightstand, from Fusion Art Glass, and a unique desk lamp from Luna Bella provide a soft glow to the room. One of the two guest bedrooms has been especially designed for children, with a large wooden trundle bedset, while the other has a great view of the beach and continues the color scheme of natural and blue-green hues.
After vacationing in Destin for the last 15 years, the Sheltons knew they wanted a vacation home in the area, Melissa said. “I lived there for five months when I was getting my SCUBA certification and just fell in love with the lifestyle,”she said. “The location of Grand Dunes is perfect. Even if we fly in and don’t have a car to use, we can walk or ride bikes to stores and shops. When we drive, it’s just a hop, skip and jump to places like Rosemary Beach and Seaside or to the wharf and shops at the west end of Destin.”
Additionally, Shelton said the amenities at Grand Dunes, from the private-entry elevators to the private pool, tennis courts, gym and owner’s lounge, were very attractive. Most important, however, was the view from the large balcony, which includes a built-in grill and hurricane shutters.
“We love the way the building is angled, so that we can see a beautiful stretch of beach and watch sunsets at any time of year,” she said. “Every month, we try to split our time between our first home in Louisiana and our second home in Destin. We love to bring our nieces and nephews, as well as other friends and family here in the summer, but I have also discovered the unique beauty of winter on the beach. One day in January, I looked out at the water from the deck and saw a large school of sting rays moving along the coast. It was absolutely stunning.”
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