Text by: Tiffany Carboni
The former architect for the Town of Rosemary Beach, FL, Tim McNamara knows the neo-traditional area well. So well that when he and his family designed and built their own modern Dutch Caribbean-style house they were decisive about what they wanted—casual comfort and convivial colors that speak to the newly developed neighborhood’s vibrant seaside spirit.
At the heart is the kitchen, which is part of the home’s welcoming great room designed for entertaining all the senses. “We like to think we have lively personalities, and that the colors we chose reflect that,” the architect says.
The tall apple green cabinets were custom built to accentuate the room’s 10-foot height and lead the eye to the Mondrian-style ceiling in which the rectangle-square grid is randomly painted in yellows, reds and greens. Framing the views and abundant Floridian sun, windows, French doors and transoms are painted a festive red.
Frosted glass cabinet doors help bounce light while allowing the colors of the cabinet’s content to add their own flair to the room’s hues. Each letter of the alphabet is etched on a pane for an additional sense of whimsy. “There’s no rhyme or reason to the order. I wish I could say it was symbolic of something, but really it’s all just for fun,” says McNamara.
Fire engine red chairs are set around the oval marble dining table where the McNamaras’ three teenage boys jockey for position to do homework and hang out with friends who are always flowing through the house. “This is definitely the party house. We are constantly entertaining,” he notes pointing out the adjacent patio’s outdoor sofas, television, fireplace and fountain. It’s a wonder how guests pull themselves away.
Black granite counters matched with wood strips painted jet black complete the eye-catching effect that also includes top of the line stainless steel appliances. When it came to deciding on the range, the Wolf, with its signature red knobs, won hands-down.
To make it easier for guests to watch the cook at work while staying out of the way, McNamara designed the spacious island that doubles as the main prep station. Three low-profile stools allow foot traffic to breeze effortlessly around them. Above the island hang two pendants creatively fabricated out of, what else but seltzer bottles.
“Some people are afraid of color and having fun in the design of a kitchen,” explains McNamara. “Don’t be afraid. If it doesn’t work, repaint, replace. Especially here in Rosemary Beach, one can get away with this sort of décor more so than in other parts of suburban Florida. Regardless, the most important thing about designing a kitchen is that it’s right for you.”