105 S. Founders Lane | By Erin Oden
At Coastal Luxury, we have had the pleasure of marketing and selling some of the coast’s finest beach homes. Recently, showcasing this special Watersound Beach residence has been one of those magical professional experiences. Perched along the Gulf-front sprawling dunes of the coveted WaterSound Beach community, 105 S. Founders Lane is a timeless residence with a quintessential New England aesthetic that defines Watersound Beach and balances elegance and sophistication with seclusion and tranquility. Winding boardwalks connect an impressive mile of sugary-white sands and crystal-clear waters of the Emerald Coast to the countless community amenities, the bustling Scenic Highway 30A and the coveted Watersound Club. In 2015, 105 S. Founders Lane was constructed by a powerhouse group of renowned talent, including architect Jeff Dungan, builder Russ Porter of Regal Stephen Construction and famed interior designer Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors. This dream team met to discuss the magic behind the 30A luxury home.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER 304 AND THE EMERALD COAST?
JEFF DUNGAN: It was around 2000, and a family in Birmingham reached out to work with them on a project in Carillon. It was like the Wild West at that time on 30A. The economy was blazing, and people were building seemingly everywhere down there at the time. It was new and fresh, and the opportunity was like fish in a barrel.
RUSS PORTER: l’ve been here for 17 years. We moved from Houston, Texas, after Katrina hit New Orleans and we discovered 30A through visiting. We thought it would be a great place to raise a family and made this home ever since.
ERIKA POWELL: I discovered 30A as a college student in the late ’90s. I studied at Auburn University and would trove here with friends during college when on breaks. I saw firsthand the tremendous growth that was happening during those visits and for that reason moved here after graduation to pursue a career in interior design.
HAVING AN ESTABLISHED PORTFOLIO OF PROJECTS ALONG SCENIC 30A, TELL US ABOUT WHAT MAKES THE COMMUNITY OF WATERSOUND UNIQUE TO YOU?
ERIKA POWELL: WaterSound is such a unique community when compared to the others along Scenic 30A. I love the nod to New England architecture and design, it feels cozy, yet fresh. The beach landscape is stunning with rolling dunes and wooden walkways. It’s unlike any other community along 30A.
RUSS PORTER: We built our first house in WaterSound and fell in love 17 years ago. It was a fairly new development and one of the premier communities. and still is. It is a unique location south of 30A, gated, with all the additional amenities that it provides.
JEFF DUNGAN: We actually designed the Watersound Beach Club. We have done many homes in WaterSound and owned a property there for years. What I loved then and still appreciate about WaterSound is the quiet and calm sense it has about it. There is a peaceful nature with it that is wonderful. It’s in the layout of the place and little walkways and the sinuous boardwalks that so elegantly blend in with the dunes. It’s in a mile of beach that feels like you own the place when you go out to the Gulf.
WHAT WERE THE ORIGINAL VISIONARY ELEMENTS AND FEATURES THAT YOU WANTED TO BRING TO LIFE IN THIS PROJECT? WHAT ARE THE UNIQUE HIGHLIGHTS THAT DEFINE THIS STUNNING BEACH HOME?
JEFF DUNGAN: With such an investment you want to make the absolute most out of it. So you get creative and you carve out little spots here and there for porches. You break the garage off as a separate piece and slip a little plunge pool in the new space created in between. It’s about the experience of the place more than it is about a floor plan.
RUSS PORTER: We tried to capture both the aesthetics and the vision of WaterSound through St. Joe with more of a Nantucket look and style of house. We also tried to capture the views of the coastal dunes from the second to the fourth floor of the house.
ERIKA POWELL: The furnishings we selected were chosen based on durability and function. Knowing the house would be a high-end rental, we focused on materials that were not only beautiful but that would hold up against the elements that rentals are often subjected to – sunscreen, wet swimsuits and sand.
105 S. FOUNDERS LANE IS NESTLED ON THE ICONIC SPRAWLING DUNES OF OLD FLORIDA WITHIN A COMMUNITY THAT BOASTS AN IMPRESSIVE FULL MILE OF BEACH FRONTAGE. HOW DID YOU FOCUS THE DESIGN PROCESS TO CAPITALIZE ON THESE UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS?
RUSS PORTER: We tried to design a house that fit in with the aesthetics that St. Joe was looking for and their vision with bringing the Nantucket feel to the 30A market. And we designed around those elements such as cedar shake roof, the siding of the house and the palette and the colors of the house.
ERIKA POWELL: The living room, primary suite and tower are the three spaces that face south with gorgeous expansive Gulf views. We did our best to furnish the home in a way that was not only beautiful from within, but also in a way that drew attention out to the porches and beyond.
WHAT TIDBITS DO YOU HAVE TO SHARE WITH ANY FUTURE OWNERS OF 105 S. FOUNDERS LANE?
ERIN ODEN & KRISTEN WILSON:
WaterSound Beach is our favorite community along 30A because St. Joe has done such an incredible job of preserving the natural coastline. The top three floors of 105 S. Founders Lane provide breathtaking views of the Emerald Coast, with a third-floor primary suite that faces the Gulf and a fourth-floor watchtower that provides an amazing space to enjoy the stunning sunsets of WaterSound Beach.
ERIKA POWELL: Just like the current owners, you are lucky to have found this gem of a home! Views like this don’t come along very often. And with a house so well appointed, it’s sure to be a place memories are made for many years.
For more information about 105 S. Founders Lane, visit searchcoastalluxury.com.