Decorating your beach condo....

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX of Orange Beach

Tropical New Orleans-Inspired Interior

Family Investment Showcases
One-Of-A-Kind Views & High-End Interiors
By Peyton Posey  in Condo Owner Magazine
Editor's Note: Managing Editor Peyton Posey recently toured a newly decorated penthouse at Mustique. Below are comments from Posey, the designer and the owners regarding the design, style and overall atmosphere created by the interior elements.

Having owned a condominium at The Beach Club on Fort Morgan Road for several years, Gary and Kay Gilpin were looking for something unique and exciting. Along with Kay's sister, Janie Marsden Willis, and their brother, Frankie Marsden, the group found a West Beach penthouse in Gulf Shores that met their needs and more, they said.

Finding another Head Companies development, the group chose the 2,500-square-foot west penthouse at Mustique, Kay said. "We were with David Head (Jr.) for three years in our old unit at The Beach Club, and he's done Indigo, so we knew this was going to be a fine project."

A fine project indeed. The penthouse features unobstructed beach and water views, and is housed in what will be the last tower to be built at such height on West Beach, said Gary, adding that inside the condo from its location on the 21st floor, you could see Oyster Bay, Mobile Bay, Little Lagoon, the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Shelby and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Keeping this investment in the family was important, especially when it came to choosing an interior designer. Co-owner Willis, who is a designer with Jane Marsden Antiques and Interiors, their mother's shop in Atlanta, said she created an inviting atmosphere suited to the group's varying tastes and durable enough for rental guests.

"When choosing furniture, you must have good guts on the interior of the pieces-good frames. Then you can cover them with stain-resistant, durable fabrics," Willis said.

Choosing some of the most exclusive vendors and suppliers from Atlanta, Dallas and as far away as Italy, the décor of the condo is both traditional and contemporary, and makes guests feel like they are visiting a home away from home, Kay and Willis agreed.

The sisters said they chose pleasing color schemes for the condo, such as lime green and black and chocolate brown and powder blue. However, they also used pastel colors and nautical themes, such as seahorses and seashells, in the gulf-facing master bedroom.

Chosen during pre-construction by the developers, ICI paint in Oyster White is used in all the rooms. The 20-inch travertine flooring in the kitchen has been honed and filled, Willis said, and the carpet in the bedrooms is Bridlewood Honey from Shaw.

The 21-foot-by-22-foot great room, which features spectacular views through four floor-to-ceiling arched windows, features tropical prints in lime green and black. Offering ample seating for residents and guests, the living area is outfitted with a matching lime green chenille sofa and love seat, plus two pairs of rattan chairs-one black set from Palacek and one brown set from national retailer Pier 1 Imports.

Along with the large living space is the adjoining bar and kitchen, a 9-foot-by-16-foot area, which features amenities not often seen in a rental unit, Gary said.

"We're cooks, so we also have all the high-end gadgets people need in the kitchen. Guests have commented on the fact we supply anything they need," he said. For instance, guests will find items such as a garlic press, Cuisinart blender, crépe maker, cappuccino machine, waffle maker and more. The group also didn't fail to stock the penthouse with expensive China, Christophe silver, Gail Pittman pottery, wine and margarita glasses, and picnic supplies, Kay said.

Living Room & Bed RoomIn case rain keeps guests away from the beach and local attractions, the unit is full of games, Kay said. "We incorporated two, circular glass-topped tables within the unit that allow guests to be working on a puzzle or playing a game at one table and enjoying dinner at the other," she said.

For the lighting over each table, Willis chose two glass smoke bells purchased at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. Surrounding the curved bar are four bar chairs topped with faux alligator seats imported by the Marsden shop from Italy.

Off the living and dining area is the master bedroom, featuring a four-postered, king-sized pine bed and two walnut nightstands imported from Italy. The bed is covered with a pale blue mattelasse coverlet and pillows, plus a blue accent pillow embroidered with a bright sea coral design. Hanging on the two gulf-facing windows are blue floor-length curtains with a seahorse and seashell pattern that were customized in a workroom near the Marsden shop in Atlanta.

Besides the master bedroom, the unit features three other bedrooms. Off the kitchen, Willis turned what was intended as a media or bonus room into a bedroom featuring twin beds with chocolate-brown mattelasse coverlets, powder blue and brown pillows, and a matching patterned dust ruffle. She placed a blue and brown Roman shade over the window to create a room where guests can escape for a relaxing slumber, she said.

Also in the room are two walnut and iron benches at the foot of each bed, and a shared walnut and wicker table between the beds, both of which were purchased from Atlanta-based Indonesian importer Nadeau.

The back two bedrooms both offer amazing views of Little Lagoon, and one bedroom features an ample-sized balcony with a café table for two. The first bedroom is outfitted with turquoise, mattelasse-covered twin beds accented with distressed, antique-ivory headboards. The beds share a white wicker nightstand from Mainly Baskets.

The bedroom with the balcony offers a queen-sized bed and a dark green, wicker headboard from Mainly Baskets. The headboard and the ivory mattelasse coverlet are accented by the natural fern pattern on the dust ruffle. On either side of the bed are faux bamboo nightstands, creating a calm and clean atmosphere. This bedroom is the one Willis said she prefers when she stays at the penthouse.

The group tries to enjoy the penthouse together, but as a private rental unit, Kay said the demand by guests has kept the unit booked since they made it available for rental this past June.

"I do look forward to our (family) time here. You just can't beat coming in here and seeing the views that seem to go on for days. It's something you just can't imagine until you see it for yourself," she said.


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