By the Sea

If interior design and architecture were siblings, they’d be rivals, always vying for the most attention, making “look at me!” leaps with an eye-catching pillow or a dramatic vaulted ceiling. But step inside this Alys Beach, Florida house and right away you know these relations get along.


  • Interiors: Marcus Mohon
  • Construction: Alys Beach Construction
  • Architecture: Brandon Moss and Michael Imber
  • Photography: Johnny Valiant
  • Story: Sarah Latta
  • Publication: Coastal Living
Marcus created a largely British Colonial interior within their home's Dutch Colonial-inspired exterior. "I lived for five years in West Africa and had a business in Cape Town, South Africa, where I traveled extensively through nearby wine country," says the client. "I fell in love with the area - the people , the wine, the architecture." This worked well with the house's decor, which shares some of the same components. "Above all else, what makes you feel settled and relaxed in a home is cohesion," says Marcus. In this case, it's this all-too-rare balance that creates a breathe-easy effect. The payoff? A subtly exotic, stress-free retreat by the sea where every single room is lived in and loved.
The kitchen extends from the living/dining rooms and takes advantage of light from the large, wide-open window. The dark colors are intentional - charcoal Spanish-Mexican encaustic tile adds subtly exotic flavor that's a welcome break from brilliant outdoor rays. The tile inspired the room's gray palette and introduced a hint of mint, picked up in the porcelain backsplash, that alludes to the green Gulf waters outside.
The simple wood vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom is painted a soft sage color to create a soothing space for seaside slumber. Marcus kept the British Colonial theme strong, adding an ornately carved four-poster bed with cane head-and-footboards that reflect traditional English design mixed with exotic Caribbean craftsmanship.
My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea.
Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

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