Designed with a relaxed and youthful style in mind, this chic Sarasota home features hip coastal colors and a casual, beach house feel. Interior designer Tracey Rapisardi, along with her team at Tracey Rapisardi Design, brings fresh life to vintage pieces and adds her own distinctive Florida cottage flair to create this inviting design. “I designed the entire home to be both stylish and fresh,” explains Rapisardi. “You should feel like you can walk in with sand on your feet and a wet bathing suit.”
Rapisardi’s brought her signature look to this home through combining repurposed and restored pieces with custom made textiles and furnishings from her own design line, Sweet Summer©. “By designing my own custom products and collections, I can truly capture a style that you can’t find in any store,” comments Rapisardi. This home’s design incorporates a pallet of pastel blues, greens, and pinks on large swathes of white. Touches of silver, chrome, and steel add bits of sparkling light.
The welcoming tone is set on the front porch with two vintage chairs in a classic Key West design, repainted crisp white and given matching custom designed pillows. White and aqua refurnished stools offer additional seating for the occasional porch party. A metal beverage table is painted aqua and topped with green sea turtle cut-out chalkboard listing the cocktail of the day.
Within the living room, sunlight gleams off of the primarily white furnishings. A comfortable couch and armchair are accented by custom-designed throw pillows with varied patterns in turquoises, greys, and pink. The vintage coffee table is given a worn turquoise treatment to beckon bare feet. The focal point of the room, a surfboard decoupage art piece, was hand-crafted by Rapisardi using decorative papers and tapes, and displays some of the client’s favorite sayings. The metallic element is seen in the galvanized steel trays and chrome nightstand. Repurposed woven baskets and an ottoman are painted with wide stripes and a pair of overlapping zig-zag patterned rugs ties the space together.
The home’s cottage influences are easily apparent when moving into the kitchen by its use of small nooks and crisscrossed details on the cabinetry. A space between the refrigerator and window, originally a closet, was redesigned as a pantry, with New England-styled boxed-in shelving, bead board backing, and a set in butcher board counter. The room’s central island is also given a butcher block top and surrounded by bead board, placed horizontally for a more Southern feel. Above hang simple white warehouse lights. Dashes of sun-washed tropical colors are introduced through the kitchen appliances and accessories.
Set for casual fare, the home’s dining room features a custom-made wood table with folded zinc top. Four mismatched wood chairs are painted in individual turquoises and apple greens, while two custom upholstered Parson chairs sit at each end. A pendant light with white drum shade hangs above the table. A painted mat, custom crafted specifically for this space, lies below. In the background can be seen another of Rapisardi’s signature touches—large painted letter cutouts spelling out the “beach” vibe.
Linear and rectangular shapes define the bedroom, complementing the clerestory windows. The contemporary headboard’s wide planks are mimicked in the wall’s wide turquoise stripes. The client’s vintage nightstand was given new life through adding a new base, legs, and pulls, and painting it to match the space. The rustic cabin style is expressed here through the custom-built dressing room door with crisscrossed braces, hung on a galvanized steel barn rail. The white pine flooring is given a brushed, pale wash treatment in order to retain its natural appearance. Custom tropical print pillows and striped linens further the design’s themes.
Although intended for a casual lifestyle, Rapisardi’s design reveals an attention to detail in a multitude of little ways. Take for instance, the use of old-fashioned steel screening in the custom built screen doors and windows to be practically invisible and match the metallic elements elsewhere. Or, the way that the custom built staircase is given extra thick treads and a window pane landing rail to give it a “chunky” feel and segue into the wide lines of the bedroom above.
On the back lanai, the home’s relaxed Florida cottage style is completed with bead board panels around the perimeter and between the ceilings beams. A repurposed weathervane makes a one-of-a-kind chandelier above the pastel painted table and chairs.
“I want each client to be comfortable in their own home,” states Rapisardi. “This is a home to live in, not just look at.”
Written by Scott Hickerson
Photography by Tracey Rapisardi
Tracey Rapisardi Design, LLC
7182 21st Street East
Sarasota, FL 34243