Overlooking the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle, a luxurious oceanside village known as Alice Beach Contains many hidden gems. Fragile alabaster white houses surround the city with a green nature reserve, forming a harmonious cohesion that gives way to playful interiors. One example, Todd Home, is home to part-time Dubai residents Leslie and Jerry Todd and their two children, Justin and Brinley Todd. The beach house’s interior design reflects their penchant for traveling the world.
After purchasing their plot in Alys Beach – a luxury planned community located along the scenic 30A boardwalk – the Todds approached city architects Marianne Khoury Vogt and Eric Vogt after seeing some of their residential work. “The first thing Leslie said to us was ‘I’m a relentless sympathizer. “I love symmetry and want it in my house,” Khoury Vogt recalls. “That’s how the design process began and we implemented it.” The symmetry and restrained elegance of the house can be seen in the sculpted, sinuous staircase, the clean lines of the tall facade, and the geometric coffered ceiling.
Away from an intentionally formal street front, the interiors give way to a vast oasis inspired by Moorish, Egyptian and Moorish elements. “The front of the house gives no evidence of these elements. Once you get inside this aspect of the design is revealed. As a result, the house has a character that is somewhat divided by design,” Khoury Vogt reveals.
The courtyard house, with its central patio and vast loggia, features both mashrabiyas (traditional Islamic screens featuring intricately carved woodwork) and a repeating 8-sided star on the green doors made of sea foam and lattice. “Stylistically, it’s not an overtly Middle Eastern home, but the individual details, especially the patio, resonate that way,” explains Khoury Vogt. The open, symmetrical plan also includes Moorish elements in the vaults, and the prominent use of zellige tiles adds to the overall effect, as well as the landscape centered around palm trees and cypresses.
Like Tod’s, Khoury-Vogt hasn’t rooted in one place, spending her childhood in the Middle East (Lebanon and Abu Dhabi), and her formative years in Paris, all of which influence her synergistic design collaboration. “Leslie has a very good eye and she has furnished the house. But we had to make sure that things were set right according to the size and size of the rooms,” says Khoury Vogt.
The Todd House is full of art and antiques the family has collected from their travels over the years: “They have some beautiful pieces. Jerry’s mother is Egyptian and there was an old wooden cabinet she had kept, so it was completely repurposed in the house,” as Khoury Vogt reveals. The cabinet’s carved doors now house a permanent home as part of Jerry’s office library.
“It’s a reflection of their lives, and it makes the home experience even more rewarding because they can point out all these things they’ve collected during their travels,” Vogt says.
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