While kitschy palm tree prints and seashell motifs are de rigueur in the Sunshine State, fashion blogger and designer Blair Eadie preferred a style that leaned more Palm Springs than Palm Beach for her 1920s Sarasota, Florida getaway. She and her husband Andrew snagged the cottage-style vacation home three years ago, and have since completely transformed its interiors.
Think graphic black and white patterns, pops of bold, saturated color, and midcentury moments mixed with contemporary elements, all layered atop what the couple calls “good bones, a linear layout, and no shortage of character.” And by character they mean the result of a series of previous renovations that left them with ceilings so low in parts of the home that six-foot-four Andrew could not even stand up. It had dangerous wiring within the walls, three different roofs layered on top of each other, plus a master bedroom with a door leading to the kitchen and the smallest bathroom in the house.
No matter, though. Situated on a flag lot, the 1,900-square-foot home offered what felt like, for two Brooklyn-dwellers, an abundance of both privacy and space. And Blair and Andrew saw potential in the floor plan, opting to take on an extensive 18-month renovation that ultimately left them with four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and, in some spots, a 5-foot-higher ceiling.
The resulting expanse of continuous white walls and concrete flooring—that felt old-meets-new and also kept the home cool—left the couple essentially with a blank canvas. Blair, known by 1.6 million Instagram followers for her instantly recognizable and highly curated fashion aesthetic, then enlisted the help of Havenly design and creative VP Shelby Girard to help translate her sartorial sensibilities for an interior environment.
“The design had to be playful, unexpected, and full of personality, just like Blair’s wardrobe,” says Shelby. “You can have more fun and take more risks with second homes, especially in a destination like Florida. There is a pervasive vacation mentality and mindset.”
To bring warmth to the stark contrasts of concrete and white, Shelby added a Blue Ivy by Clare paint accent wall in the living room that draws the eye and helps separate the space from the dining and sitting areas. With the pool situated in the center of the home, accessible by four sets of French doors, the wall reflects a water-like hue, and two Rove Concepts Womb Chairs carry the tone into the sitting area.
Colorful artwork sourced from Soicher Marin and artists like Chicago-based Pooja Pittie—who Andrew commissioned to create a custom 48″ x 36″ piece in moody greens and soft pinks as a Christmas gift to Blair—and a vintage rug with blush, turquoise, and red threads reflect Blair’s fashion-forward eye.
“We always joke that Andrew lives by a less is more philosophy, while I have always subscribed to the idea that more is more,” says Blair. “But we both agreed that color made sense for this house. What I love about fashion is that you can easily change an outfit. With interiors, the choices are much more permanent.”
That said, Shelby grounded the space with a white Herman Miller-inspired oversized pendant by Design Within Reach and a vertically channeled leather sofa by CB2. She carried the moody green tones from Pooja’s painting—and from the Areca palm trees through the windows—to the dining area, adding six midcentury chairs around a white concrete table, at which Blair and Andrew both work from home.
In the guest bedroom, Summer’s Day paint by Benjamin Moore marries the foliage of the outdoors with the atmosphere inside, so the couple refinished some of the room’s vintage furniture in the same shade. Blair says it “reads as a neutral.” They also added wood paneling to the walls and a caned bed by Serena & Lily for dimension.
“We made decisions not particularly traditional for Florida, and local suppliers generally sell what’s popular in the area,” says Blair. “Shipping the tiles would have cost twice what they were worth, so I convinced my brother to schlep them to my parent’s house in Virginia in his 10-year-old Mini Cooper at Thanksgiving and then mom and dad brought them the rest of the way.”
You’ll also see pink on the front door, where the pair had originally wanted black but did not want to repaint every six months from sun fading. Because of the sight line from the front door to the sunroom, they found a striped orange and pink couch from The Inside that brings the tones together. The room’s graphic black and white Ikea rug mirrors the rugs in the sitting area and on the patio.
It also plays well with the black and white accented floors in the kitchen, which is otherwise streamlined, with a restructured appliance layout that keeps the space open, and without upper cabinetry distracting from the raised ceilings. They closed off the master bedroom door to add extra counter space.
Above are the three original design schemes from Havenly.
“We struck a balance in the interior so the effect would not read overwhelming or busy,” says Shelby. “The three initial design schemes had slightly different color palettes and furniture directions, and we landed on a mix of beautiful midcentury classic designs alongside quirky contemporary pieces.”
Blair and Andrew added 2,000 square feet of pavers to the outdoor space because, as Blair laughingly tells it, she “does not do yard work.” Add the heated pool and the home is the ultimate vacation destination—for now, that is. “It has been such a blessing to have space where we can get outside in the sunshine and fresh air,” says Blair. “It has really made me think about how long I will call New York home.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest