Just south of the Georgia-Florida line, find wide beaches, green fairways, and the historic town of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. For Sally and Trav Paulk of Valdosta, a vacation home there meant a chance to spend time with their five children and reconnect with a spot Sally visited often in her childhood. But in a world of bland and kitschy beach condos, they wanted something different. After buying a unit in the Amelia Island Plantation Resort, now part of Omni Hotels, they enlisted interior designer Tiffany Hinton of Lola Interiors in Fernandina Beach to bring in rich color, cool furnishings, and clever architectural features.
“This had been your typical ’80s beach condo,” says Tiffany, a native of the coastal town. “Lots of pastels—including beach-umbrella wallpaper in the hall bath.”
Remodeling was key to the new look. “We definitely wanted to open up the kitchen to the living space,” says Tiffany. She came up with a creative solution for a pipe that couldn’t be relocated, giving it the appearance of a brass pole with custom escutcheon plates. The Paulks were inspired by colorful artwork to give the go-ahead for dark green cabinetry.
Playful wallpaper and saturated colors throughout the condo make every room a visual treat, including a guest bath with a mustard-colored vanity and wallpaper of black-and-white blowfish. Teenage daughter Mary’s room includes wallpaper and a headboard fabric in the same brown woodland pattern. Nature-themed features are everywhere, but with a contemporary twist. Says Sally: “I wanted the home to be inspired by the ocean and landscape in subtle ways.”
Here’s how to get a piece of the island
The Amelia Island Plantation Resort (now part of the Omni Hotels) is a multi-use, 1,300-acre community known for its oceanfront property and golf and tennis facilities (plus the largest poolscape in north Florida). Homes range from $300,000 for condos to more than $1 million for single-family homes. With nine restaurants in the complex, Sally Vaulk and family enjoy the ease of using a golf cart to get around for evenings out.
The classic, beach-front Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, open since 1991, is a luxe landmark. With a focus on wellness, the hotel is rolling out new offerings like yoga nidra and meditation classes, new spa treatments (including some with CBD), and an in-house naturalist. Explore Fernandina Beach, the quaint downtown area with shops, restaurants, Victorian houses, and a marina. Amelia Island is about a six-hour drive from Atlanta (or a 30-minute drive from the Jacksonville airport), but once you’re there, it’s fun to explore the island on bicycles.
This article appears in our Summer 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.