Classic Cottage : Waterfront Living in Holmes Beach

This classic cottage on the sailboat deep waters of the Grand Canal in Holmes Beach seamlessly melds casual comfort and sophistication, while ultimately achieving the owner’s desire for a flawless transition from indoors to out. Formerly the site of a quaint 1960s cottage, homeowners Tina and Matt Ford enlisted Dan Gagne of Gagne Construction to craft a new home-base for boating and entertaining. Their desire was to recreate the charm of the original cottage with a modern spin to fit their family and lifestyle.

“The details are what make this project so unique. The home is just 2,378 square feet, but each room has a flair and character with architectural features and surprising highlights. Their vision was in the intricate details and we were able to offer a variety of clever products which they utilized to create something truly special,” says Gagne.

The home’s coastal elements are mixed with country chic touches to create an interesting take on this local design. Teresa Burgess, owner of Saltair, was responsible for the well-executed mix of unique and found items. Orange Moon Interiors owner and principal designer Kelly Kaiser’s hard finish selections throughout the three bedroom, three bath home deliver a vintage yet classy aesthetic.

Creating a cottage style is not always about relaxed fits and charming wood. John Matter, co-owner of Matter Brothers Furniture, notes, “Sometimes a little classic conformity can be just as inviting in a cottage design. The trend we are seeing is a more sophisticated coastal cottage.” With that in mind, the furnishings draw upon eco-friendly woods and a plethora of textiles and patterns to bring dimension and intrigue to each living area. The rustic porcelain tile flooring sits in dark contrast to the classic statuary marble in the kitchen and bath backsplashes and countertops.

The Ford’s desire for a refuge perfect for entertaining friends both indoors and along the water’s edge required Gagne to elevate the pool deck perimeter to maintain an easy transition between the living areas and outdoor spaces. The design results in a flawless flow, creating multiple seating areas for entertaining on the Grand Canal.

A loose stone driveway adds to the casual coastal feel of this waterside cottage. Carriage-style garage doors make an architectural statement The pure white doors and trim contrast well set against HardiePanel Vertical Siding in ‘Boothbay Blue’. ‘Buckeye Limestone’ brings texture and appeal around the foundation. The front elevation includes open tail rafters along the roofline and cupola. A standing seam metal roof in ‘Mill’ finish completes the carefree cottage elevation. The front porch welcomes guests with the look of exotic timber achieved through the use of Zuri Premium Decking for durability and a maintenance-free exterior.


The water is at the forefront from the moment you enter the living area. A soothing color palette provides relaxation and comfort. A woven banana leaf cocktail table is eco-friendly and functional, set in front of the down-filled sectional sofa. The slipcovers in durable Sunbrella fabric provide a casual appeal. A swivel glider chair in paisley print is also by Four Seasons. The shiplap ceiling is washed in a Sherwin-Williams white with custom crafted faux box beams to accentuate the soaring volume of the room. “The focal point in this room is the built-in with a collection of natural and unique items,” says Burgess. “Sea fans, a pony hair box, and a driftwood mirror add a layer of texture to the room.”

The continued use of eco-friendly furnishings ties the cozy semi-formal dining area into the rest of the home. The rustic rectangular table and six standard chairs are made of reclaimed wood, complete with original nail holes and imperfections for authenticity. The addition of two slipcovered dining chairs by Dovetail in taupe cotton achieves an element of soft sophistication. The eight light white-beaded crystal chandelier is both functional and feminine in contrast to the room’s more rustic finishes.

The kitchen’s use of contrasting white with pops of color and texture is an important design technique when creating a cottage feel. The solid surface Pompeii countertop in ‘Urban’ rests on a bold-colored Bahamas cabinetry by Medallion. The flat edges of the counters are reminiscent of the 1960s and an antique thirty-six-inch fireclay farmhouse sink add to the authenticity. A custom cypress wood range hood is a vintage focal point to the kitchen area and draws the eye toward the ceiling detail. Washed gray finish kitchen stools by Rivers Edge create another layer of texture.


“This is my favorite room in the house,” explains Burgess. “The hallmark of good design is when a room is both luxurious and livable, and this master suite has layer upon layer of textures, finishes, and fabrics that have created a room with elevated, yet comfortable, coastal styling. Light-toned cypress wood creates a feature wall filled with rustic charm. The Summerhill Collection in ‘Parchment’ complements the home’s coastal flavor. The bed frame is highlighted with inlaid cane in both the headboard and rails. Varying shades of blue and metallic hues in both lamps and accessories accent the soft quilted cream colored bedding. A regal tufted bench at the foot of the bed and two wing chairs by Johnathan Lewis in quilted chenille velvet add a traditional sophistication to the handsome master suite.

In the master bath, statuary marble in three-by-six-inch subway tiles adds sophistication to this calming owner’s retreat. Porcelain tile flooring is carried up the walls of the shower enclosure vertically for a cabana-like feel in the frameless glass enclosure. A small porthole window just above the shower bench is an eclectic element consistent with the home’s nautical touches. An abundance of natural light pours through the bay windows, and a vintage crystal chandelier and the use of white cabinetry panels on the skirt of the six-foot Jacuzzi tub complete the polished look.

Imagine heading below deck as you enter the clever bunk room with two sets of bunk beds designed in a nautical theme set against a shiplap wall. Each bed is highlighted with authentic caged ship lights. Gagne’s custom design uses dock cleats as hardware on the front of the built-in cabinetry and the storage drawers below each bottom bunk. The top bunks are accented with a natural manila rope from Knot & Rope to create the maritime bedrail. Classic blue and white stripe bedding with whimsical crab pillow accents and a natural grass rug adds the final textural element to this clever guest retreat.


Written by Lisa Mishler

Photography by Jimmy White Photography


Gagne Construction
214 Pine Avenue
Anna Maria, FL 34216


Saltair Interiors
5508 Marina Drive, Suite A
Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Posted By