Rosemary Beach Real Estate

Rosemary Beach Real Estate

The Homes of Rosemary Beach

“The essence of Rosemary Beach comes from the careful arrangement of its public spaces and private homes.” – Coastal Living Magazine

In 2012, Coastal Living selected Rosemary Beach as the site for their Ultimate Beach House, celebrating their 15th Anniversary of Coastal Living Idea Homes. They felt it was the perfect destination. So have over 650 other homeowners. The village of Rosemary Beach has over 650 completed homes. When fully built out it expects to have over 800 dwellings. What makes a residence in Rosemary Beach so unique? Certainly, the town’s sense of community, its layout and amenities and the glorious dunes and beach that run alongside the town are all contributing factors. But, careful guidelines merged with respect to individuality of the town’s homes have also contributed to Rosemary Beach’s environment.

The town planners have set out guidelines for 12 basic building types with the intent to establish a character to each neighborhood. Every home in Rosemary Beach is custom designed and is architecturally arranged to meet each owner’s tastes, needs and lifestyle. Yet, each dwelling is “an inextricable part of the fabric of the town”. Town planners have periodically met for intensive design charrettes to refine the town’s code book in effort to reinforce the integrity of their initial concept and its coastal character, yet allow owners to build their dream home.

While public buildings in Rosemary Beach are modeled after the architectural flavor of the Dutch West Indies and Bermuda, as well as the historical style of Charleston, St. Augustine and New Orleans, homes can adapt this Pan-Caribbean influence as long as the style and materials knit well with the European colonial feel of the neighborhoods. As an example, the 2012 Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House drew upon the British Colonial Architecture of South Africa, an ocean away from Caribbean architectural influences yet both draw on roots of British colonialism.

The dozen dwelling types to choose from are more about the use and placement within the community than about “theme”. They are not plans or models as is typical with most new development. They are guidelines to protect the character of each neighborhood.

While Rosemary Beach draws upon several architectural influences, over half of the twelve dwelling types draw from West Indies colonial architecture – style that draws heavily on the European building traits that were adapted for warm, tropical weather. Shuttered windows and doorways keep air circulating. Steep roofs shed rainwater.

However, the foundational element of West Indies is just that – a building raised up on a masonry foundation to elevate the first floor and provide big porches to enjoy the balmy breezes and visit with neighbors. Cars are restricted to alleyways located behind homes, and the town’s pedestrian scale ensures that everything is within no more than a five minute stroll.

Rosemary Beach’s 12 Home Types

  • Arcade: Arcade buildings are designated for their mixed-use. They range from 2 ½ stories to 3 ½ stories high. In each, the first floor must be dedicated to commercial use. A ground-level arcade gives these buildings their name. The arcade connects the series of shops, eateries and balconies.
  • The second floor can be either a residential dwelling, or used as an office or additional commercial space. The third floor is residential only. Since the Arcades are primary town center buildings and face public parks, their style-guideline is New Orleans and West Indies.
  • Flats: The flats are three story buildings with “flats” ranging from over 1100 square feet to 1700 square feet. They front St. Augustine Square, so their architectural style harkens back to heavy timber and stucco walls of the square’s namesake.
  • Live/Work: In the French Quarters of New Orleans, shops line the streets and above them are residences with balconies. The live/work unit draws on this concept in that its first floor must be used for retail while the second floor can be either residential or commercial. The live/work buildings have a front balcony and a second floor rooftop patio. The architectural style draws on the French Quarter.
  • Courtyard: The Courtyard buildings are located along Rosemary Beach parks. They have 2 to 2 1/2 stories with a balcony overlooking the park. They also draw from New Orleans design in that they have an interior porch and courtyard. They have an attached carriage house. The size of these units ranges from 1800 to 3200 square feet.
  • Townhouse: The Townhouses are influenced by the West Indies with their full-front balconies on their second and third floors. They feature a separate carriage house. The townhouses range in size from 2,500 to 4,000 square feet.
  • Sideyard House: If you love the look of the homes of Charleston, South Carolina, you will love the Sideyard House. Laid out like Charleston’s homes, these residences have a front balcony along the boardwalk, a detached carriage house and, of course, the prerequisite side court. These homes are two or more stories in height and range from 1,400 to 2,800 square feet.
  • Small House: The “Small” Houses range from 1,200 to 2,000 square feet. As with the other houses, these homes are two or two and a half stories and feature a tall two-story front porch and a detached carriage house. They also have a unique feature typical to homes in tropical climates, a “sleeping porch”. These dwellings are influenced by West Indies architecture.
  • Large House: The large houses also favor the West Indies influence with their two-three story wrap-around porch. Sized between 2000 to 4000 square feet, these homes also include a detached carriage house.
  • Park House: The Park House residences look to St. Augustine, Florida, for their architecture. They have a front stop, a front balcony and a detached carriage house. They range from 1600 to 3200 square feet in size.
  • Beach House: The Beach Houses of Rosemary look to the architecture of the homes along the white beaches of the West Indies. They highlight a 2-story wrap-around porch. As with the Park Houses, these also have a detached carriage house. The larger of the beach house styles, these homes start at 2000 square feet and size up to 4000 square feet.
  • Beach Cottage: The Beach Cottage is the smaller beach residence, starting at 1000 square feet and running as large as 2000 square feet. The 2-story cottages offer a front porch the height of both floors and a separate carriage house. The Beach Cottage style also permits the option of a 1-story dwelling. The gulf-front Beach Cottages front the conservation easement at Rosemary Beach.
  • Large Courtyard House: The “Large Courtyard House” runs as big as 5000 square feet. It may be either one or two stories in height. It features an interior courtyard, front stoop, front balcony and a detached carriage house. The style of these homes is very reminiscent of the courtyard homes of St. Augustine.

The Materials and Finishes of Rosemary Beach Homes

The characteristics of these 12 styles are guidelines. The arrangement and number of spaces within the home plans is custom. The windows, roofs, and columns can be adjusted. What is paid close attention to, however, are the colors of the dwellings.

Rosemary is decked out in a palette of rich but toned down, colors such as chocolate, dune gray, Spanish moss, sage green, moss olive, pecan, fall straw, Atlantic spray, summer glow and terra cotta. These subtle natural tones were selected based on the landscape that distinguishes Rosemary Beach. Florida Rosemary grows naturally in South Walton. It is not related to the edible herb which is a member of the mint family. Instead it is a wild plant – also coined a srub mint – that has adapted to the heat and dryness of Florida summers. It is a rich sage in color with new growth being almost Chartreuse in hue – and the earthy tones of Rosemary Beach’s color palette were chosen to enhance this native scrub.

The other means of pulling together the various old-word architectural styles of Rosemary Beach is the careful selection of authentic, time-tested construction methods and materials. Homes that face the boardwalks are clad in wood lap siding, cedar shingle siding or stucco. Roofs are required to be metal or shake shingle. Deep eaves provide shade from Florida’s hot afternoon sun. High ceilings on the porches and interiors of the homes draw breezes through houses. Fountain-filled gardens, courtyards and porches serve as outdoor rooms. All this creates the special environment that can only be found at Rosemary Beach.

November 4, 2022No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *