Home & Design

The mudroom hallway features a Thos. Moser blanket chest and a portrait by Peter Combe.

A Moroccan rug grounds the living area, where a bird mobile made of sheet metal hangs above Universal Furniture rattan chairs.

A stripe of epoxy resin embellishes the elm dining table.

A collage by the owner is paired with a Phillips Collection console beside the coral-hued front door.

The house, clad in board and batten, backs onto the Gulf of Mexico.

Island Chic

Jamie Merida spotlights bold, modern art in a vintage-Style cottage on Sanibel Island

“When every room has a million-dollar view, you don’t have to do a lot,” declares designer Jamie Merida. He’s referring to a custom-built retreat he recently decorated for a client who hails from Maryland. The beachfront dwelling overlooks the Gulf of Mexico on scenic and secluded Sanibel Island. Conceived in 1920s Florida cottage vernacular, it showcases its owner’s eclectic aesthetic via whimsical, contemporary art. “She’s an artist and a collector,” Merida observes. “My job was to curate her collections and make them shine—and then to fill in any blanks. 

Against a traditional backdrop of shiplap siding and weathered oak floors, Merida introduced a fresh palette of white walls and upholstery that reflects the light, ensuring the owner’s distinctive paintings, sculptures and collections take center stage (vintage sand pails from the 1930s playfully displayed on a bookshelf, for instance). Pieces done by the owner also adorn the walls—primarily collages of textiles, paper and paint. 

No sooner was the project completed than Hurricane Ian arrived. “The owner barely got one season,” Merida says ruefully. Though the main floor was destroyed, luckily most one-of-a-kind pieces were saved. Designer and client are already at work restoring the home.

Architecture: Leslie Kelly, Leslie Kelly Architecture LLC, Wilmington, Delaware. Interior Design: Jamie Merida, Jamie Merida Interiors, Easton, Maryland. Builder: The Wolter Group, Fort Myers, Florida. Landscape Architecture: R.S. Walsh Landscaping, Fort Myers, Florida. Styling: Charlotte Safavi.

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HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

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