What Makes a Great Living Environment at the Beach

What Makes a Great Living Environment at the Beach

We sat down with Mary Cook, the designer responsible for two stunning soon-to-be-unveiled model homes at 365 Ocean, to talk about what makes a great living environment at the beach. Mary is the founder and principal of Mary Cook Associates, a firm nationally recognized for exceptional interior design.

In addition to the models, Mary also lent her considerable talents to creating elegant yet comfortable surroundings in which to gather with family, friends, and guests in 365 Ocean’s common areas, including the Lobby, Club Room, and Pool Area, applying her unique holistic design approach which she calls “Return on Environment,” or ROE. The term reflects the measurable net benefits communities and individuals gain from environments that enable them to do, feel, and be their best.

Mary Cook talks about what makes a great living environment at the beach
Mary Cook, Founder & President of Mary Cook Associates

Q. In your book, The Art of Space, you talk extensively about “the Seven Fundamentals.” Can you tell our readers how you used those Seven Fundamentals in your designs for 365 Ocean?

Mary Cook: From the beginning, we learned to observe people and then design environments around how you want them to feel there. We started with an understanding of how someone wants to feel when they arrive at 365 Ocean. That inspired the aesthetic. Then we worked with every square foot of space as we arranged furniture and furnishings to elevate the way they live once they are there: lively conversations with friends, relaxed get-togethers with family, beautiful sunsets at the beach. When an environment inspires people to want to be there and then invites them to linger longer, the memories of those times are lasting. And that is what great environments are all about.

Q. What are some of your favorite new color palettes for oceanfront homes, and why?

MC: The cool color palettes of blues, greens, and greys combined with warm whites or neutrals are very popular now. My favorites for waterfront palettes are crisper and fresher. I love the blues and greens extracted from nature paired with a deep navy like a night sky. Also, a rich emerald green paired with a warm neutral sand or khaki.

Q: What are some of the ways a 365 Ocean homeowner can integrate their personal style (that may have nothing in common with the beach life) into their new home décor and still achieve that feeling of “being on vacation”?

MC: Whether your home at 365 Ocean is a vacation home or a primary residence, you’ll want to steer clear of designing in a strong theme or gimmick. Design and style your home in whatever aesthetic makes you feel best when you are there, but keep it low stress and as maintenance-free as possible. You’ll want to enjoy the time at the beach and the special times that a home on the water can offer. If you are always fussing or worried about making a mess, it will take away from the fun!

We couldn’t agree more! And we’re eagerly anticipating our October Model Grand Opening, when we will be presenting the gorgeous model homes Mary Cook and her talented team have created for YOU! Stay tuned to our Facebook Page and website for upcoming details!

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