Text by Katie Ellis
Tucked away from the Florida sun, this shady Seagrove cottage welcomes friends and family for afternoons of fun in this seaside resort. The cottage’s crisp white exterior shines bright against its vibrant red double doors that open to an inviting screened-in front porch boasting a rich family history.
Lucy Armour says she and her husband, Jim, love decorating with things they’ve inherited from their families. Stepping onto the spacious front porch, the familial love is obvious, as the majority of the furnishings have been passed down from their grandparents. Not only have the Armours furnished the space with family treasures, the porch also pays the family another special tribute. “Jim’s grandparents had a house in the same spot ours is in,” Lucy explains. “We had to tear it down, but when we rebuilt, we wanted to make the front porch look just like the porch on the original house that everybody had used.”
And with its rich family history, this seaside cottage doesn’t host the typical beach décor, but rather, it displays a dressed up, comfortable country style. With an oak dining table, sideboard, walnut chairs, and plenty of seating areas, Lucy says the porch is like an extended living room.
“We live out here most of the time,” she happily admits. And, she says, with five children and eight grandchildren, it’s great to have a space where they can all comfortably spend time together. When decorating the porch with furniture not meant to withstand the elements, Lucy says she and her husband were conscious of their choices.
They added a layer of mildew-resistant paint to protect their heirlooms and porch furnishings. And Lucy says she learned early on to choose her outdoor pillows carefully. “If you cover down pillows and put them outside, they will mildew in a heartbeat out here,” she says, adding that regular polyester-fill pillows are not only inexpensive, but they won’t mildew. When decorating porch furniture, “slipcovers are by far the best route to go,” she adds.
Jim and Lucy want their home to be a place for people to relax, enjoy, and feel comfortable to put up their feet. And from the vibrant red front doors to the back patio, they’ve achieved a style influenced not only by location, but also by their family history. “It’s a fun house,” Lucy says, noting she hopes people have the same first impression.