Isle of Bright: It always feels like summer at this vibrant Sea Island retreat

Parker Kennedy Living duo David Ecton and Lance Jackson used bold colors throughout the circa-1970 townhome
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Sea Island home
Calling their design look “preppy with an edge,” David Ecton and Lance Jackson of Parker Kennedy Living mix Palm Beach style with modern accents. For added texture, the living room includes gold poufs from Worlds Away and bookcases covered in natural sea grass.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

You’ll rarely see “greige” as the dominant scheme in a Parker Kennedy Living project, but the firm had even more of an excuse to amp up the bright colors when its principals decorated a house on Sea Island. “We definitely like adding the ‘wow’ factor,” says David Ecton, who, with partner Lance Jackson, makes up the formidable Atlanta design duo. Channeling their idols David Hicks and Billy Baldwin, the two not only delivered their trademark happy hues and lacquered furniture for this vacation house, but also proved they have some serious remodeling skills.

The coastal Georgia house was purchased by Atlanta business partners Chris Geeslin and Michael Wrigley. “We originally bought it as a potential rental,” admits Chris. “However, once David and Lance completed the project, we felt it was more of a sanctuary than an investment and decided to make it a vacation home for our families.”

The PKL fellows often design all-white kitchens to let other rooms steal the show, color-wise. Shiny surfaces, such as the tile backsplash, make the room seem bigger.
The PKL fellows often design all-white kitchens to let other rooms steal the show, color-wise. Shiny surfaces, such as the tile backsplash, make the room seem bigger.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

The dated, circa-1970 townhome was quite a challenge. David and Lance gutted all 2,500 square feet to open up the downstairs and squeeze in more beds upstairs (there are eight children between the two families).

As a bold welcome to guests, the entire two-story foyer was painted a bright blue (Sherwin-Williams’ “Commodore”) and paired with leopard-print carpeting and a white Chippendale stair railing designed by PKL. Abstract paintings by Dallas-based artist Kelly O’Neal line the staircase, adding a sophisticated touch to the Palm Beach style. “The homeowners love modern art, so we filled the house with overscaled works,” says David.

Color also plays a starring role elsewhere in the house. A sitting room has neutral textured wallpaper, but the window treatments and ceiling wear a contrasting deep blue. “The clients were apprehensive about the painted ceiling,” recalls David. “They kept asking us, ‘Are you sure?’ But now everyone says it’s just stunning.”

The designers commissioned custom pagoda-shaped headboards for one guest room, left. As a nod to Lily Pulitzer’s famous color scheme, they added a touch of pink.
The designers commissioned custom pagoda-shaped headboards for one guest room, left. As a nod to Lily Pulitzer’s famous color scheme, they added a touch of pink.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

The blue-and-white combination flows throughout the downstairs, but there is more variety in the tighter quarters upstairs. “We kept the main level more modern and open, but the bedrooms seemed so much like that original era—with small spaces—that we decided they were made for ’70s furniture,” says David. The designers updated vintage pieces with paint and fabric. Each bedroom features a coordinating palette of patterns and colors, including—surprise!—a quiet master bedroom filled with neutral tan and chocolate tones.

Aside from the fun visual pops, the house’s new layout encourages relaxation. The kitchen/family room, for instance, packs a lot into one area. “We love spending time in the family room,” says Chris. “It’s got the wet bar, heart pine floors, fireplace, and view of the marsh . . . It’s just perfect for entertaining.” An adjacent deck provides plenty of seating for evening cocktails. “Sea Island is just a great place to retreat,” says Chris of both the town and the house. “It’s like a scene out of a movie.”

A curvy outdoor sectional gives everyone a view of the peaceful lagoon. An assortment of pillows are from Target.
A curvy outdoor sectional gives everyone a view of the peaceful lagoon. An assortment of pillows are from Target.

Photograph by Christina Wedge

Pro resources: Parker Kennedy Living, parkerkennedyliving.com. Foyer and family room Artist: Kelly O’Neal, koneal.com. Fabrics: Schumacher, fschumacher.com. Rug: Surya, surya.com. Woven wallcovering: Phillip Jeffries, phillipjeffries.com. Lighting: Currey & Company, curreycodealers.com. Poufs: Worlds Away, worlds-away.com. Pillows and other accessories: Target, target.com. Master bedroom Woven arm chair: Phillips Scott, phillipsscott.com.

This article originally appeared in our Summer 2016 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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