Steve Neidhart and his wife Bridget dreamed for years of finding the perfect spot for their retirement home. “We had been coming to Santa Rosa Beach, buying and selling investment real estate, since 2004,” he says. “We started with a condo, and in 2011, we progressed to a house in Seagrove. It’s a great house, but over the years we figured out what we want in a home – and a location – for the long term. We love Inlet Beach for its laid-back Old Florida neighborhood feel, yet it’s just a short walk to the shops and restaurants of Rosemary Beach. We wanted to be south of 30A and close to the beach, but not on the beach. This neighborhood and lot met all those criteria.”

The Neidharts purchased the Inlet Beach lot four years ago, thinking they would build a house to use six months of the year, and to rent the rest of the time. “For several years we had been regulars on the Cultural Arts Alliance Tour of Homes. We noticed that interior designer Janet Taylor always had several houses on the Tour, and we came to love her casually elegant beach style,” explains Steve. “We interviewed several designers, but once we met Janet we were so impressed by her knowledge, not only of interior design, but also of construction, that we hired her on the spot. Janet provided the right level of involvement, offering suggestions but letting us steer the course so the house would reflect our tastes.” Taylor was involved from the beginning, and brought her casual, eclectic style and married it seamlessly with the Neidharts’ wish list and budget. “We worked very well together,” says Taylor. “We were able to situate the house to maximize the incredible views and the ocean breezes, and we created an interior that contains everything the owners wanted, and spectacular outdoor living spaces.”

There were some challenges in the design phase. “When we roughed out the design we knew it would have to be tall to capture the Gulf views, but we had seen other houses that looked like skyscrapers – tall and boxy,” he says. “Fortunately, we had a large enough lot that we could taper the house from left to right and front to back, giving it a more natural flow yet still high enough to provide the views. We wanted the first floor to include a seamless transition to the outdoor pool area, which we accomplished by using the same paver flooring in both areas and incorporating a three-panel sliding glass door that disappears into the wall. We also can open a garage style window in the carriage house kitchen to bring the outdoors in.”

Taylor’s attention to detail created an interior that is comfortable and casually elegant. Her use of coastal colors and textures throughout the six bedroom home makes for a calming effect. The Neidhart’s favorite pieces in the home are from a local artist. “We particularly love our pieces from local artist Vicki Denaburg that depict the area where we live. South Walton is such a beautiful place and she captures that beauty perfectly in her work.” The other hands-down favorite is the pool area, complete with swim-up bar, big screen TV, comfy captain’s chairs and nearby firepit. Taylor says, “The pool area just flows from the main house and the carriage house. The sliding panels that open both wings of the house to the pool are wonderful – it all becomes one giant living space.”

185 Banfill Road Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459

850.650.8511 Destin, Florida


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