The Cannatas find their slice of paradise on Charles Street in Alys Beach
By Todd Coston
When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, Catherine and Mike Cannata decided to make their move to 30A. With the help of Rita Montgomery as an agent and the talent of interior designer Ray Booth, the Cannatas created a beautiful year-round home in Alys Beach at 239 N Charles Street.
“I enjoyed an amazing girls weekend with friends in the 30A area,” states Catherine. “Mike and I had been looking for a beach house for several years but hadn’t decided where.” After a shopping trip and lunch at Pescado overlooking the ocean, the Cannatas discovered a new home away from home. “This water and beach is as pretty as anything in the Caribbean.”
Through enlisting the help of Coastal Luxury Real Estate Agent Rita Montgomery, the Cannatas found their ideal home, aptly named Ciao Bella, located at 239 N Charles Street. “Rita Montgomery did outstanding job showing us the different communities reviewing the pros and cons, or what they had to offer,” said Catherine.
Ciao Bella is a unique home in Alys beach. The open floorplan allows the inside and the outside to merge as the outdoor courtyard and doors open the home to create one large space. The Cannatas felt that Alys Beach also fit best for their lifestyle, boasting that “Alys is unique in that the architecture is amazing and the all-white houses are just prettier… We were also sold on the beach club.”
It’s no surprise that acclaimed Interior Designer Ray Booth would be a good fit for Ciao Bella. Ray developed a passion for the area some 35 years ago as an architecture student from Auburn, Alabama. Even though at the time it was a “vastly different place,” says Ray, with only early developments like the town of Seaside, “it was clear what a magic place it was with the beautiful dunes and crystal white sands.” Alys Beach had caught the designer’s eye. “There is an urban fabric that exists which allows a variety of architectural solutions that all still remain unique.”
Booth’s vision brought Ciao Bella to life. “Context is always key,” notes designer Ray Booth. “You have to know where you are to know what design is most appropriate.” He focused on elements that “felt both of the beach, but not limited by that.” Booth wanted the home to feel not only aesthetically pleasing, but also comfortable and practical.
Furniture plans allowed each room to merge with the adjacent, while focusing on the beautiful architecture of the home. He stuck with a color palette that utilized the beach, while welcoming deeper hues and colors such as soft lilacs “that one would find on the inside of an oyster shell.”
239 N Charles Street became not only an ideal year-round house for the Cannatas but also their own private oasis. “I really love everything about this house,” says Catherine. “Our master bathroom and bedroom are just a true sanctuary for us.”
Catherine and Mike have already met many close friends in the community, playing golf and throwing house parties. “Ciao Bella is Italian for hello beautiful,” mentions Catherine. “My husband is half Italian and occasionally throws around Italian words as if he’s fluent. Ciao Bella is a fun, happy greeting to all the beautiful people that come into our home.”