While the population of
Seaside, Florida, is well below 5,000, more than 1 million people have lived in this
New Urbanist town since its inception in 1981. This fact comes from Dhiru Thadani, a Washington, D.C., architect, urbanist and educator who served as an artist in residence in Seaside in 2011 — the same year he received the Seaside Prize, which recognizes "significant contributions to the quality and character of communities."
In the massive book
Visions of Seaside (Rizzoli, September 2013), Thadani documents much more than firsthand observations of his stay; he thoroughly recounts the history and evolution of the pioneering community, highlights many of the place's distinctive buildings and presents a wealth of unbuilt proposals to learn from. This ideabook looks at the town and the principles it has become famous for, followed by a closer look at some of its architecture.
The look takes its cues from old fisherman's shacks and barns that once populated the region, and has evolved to highlight metal roofs, large porches, double-hung windows, clapboard siding, pitched roofs, exposed rafters and picket fences and railings. It’s a style that first took hold in neighboring Seaside, Florida (the Jim Carrey film
The Truman Show was shot there), and has taken on a new life by incorporating sustainable, locally sourced materials for the exterior structures and more sophisticated, pricier interiors.
For Houston couple Brad and Denise Williams, the town became the perfect spot where Denise could finally use her two decades of notes and magazine clippings to create her dream vacation home. After Chick completed his construction, Denise outfitted the space in a simple and clean design with blues, greens and beiges that seem plucked right from the beach.
Houzz at a Glance Who lives here: This is a vacation home for Brad and Denise Williams.
Location: Watercolor, Florida
Size: 4,731 square feet; 4 beds (plus bunk area), 4 1/2 bathrooms, plus a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment