Thursday, May 25, 2023

Florida Style & Design: The Coast Is Clear

Photography by Brantley Photography

Designer Erin Paige Pitts channels her love of coastal style and luxe livability into a renovated home in Boca Raton

Close your eyes and picture a fabulous, feel-good coastal interior. Chances are you envision open rooms filled with bright light, soothing colors, natural materials and a cleanlined modern style that’s as luxurious as it is livable.

We’re with you on that. Truth is, you’ve just imagined the spaces designer Erin Paige Pitts recently created for a client’s Boca Raton vacation home.

“It was just a big white box,” says Pitts, describing the original 5,042-square-foot spec home overlooking the sparkling waters of an Intracoastal canal. Her client loved the setting, but wanted much more from the featureless interiors. He craved something warm and inviting, open and modern, luxurious but flip-flop-friendly.

Above, tropical leaves add height to a group of glass bottles and collected accessories in the living room.

This may sound like a tall order, but it is right in Pitts’ wheelhouse. The designer specializes in coastal interiors, and her portfolio overflows with such dreamy spaces—engaging, elegant and easygoing.

When asked to describe a great interior, Pitts is quick with an answer. “When you walk into a room and everything relates and plays well together, but you can’t tell why,” she says. “It isn’t complicated to the eye, but it has lots of depth.” She created exactly this for the spaces inside this home, and offers insight into how she did it. Ready to be inspired?

Above: Designer Erin Paige Pitts transformed the entry’s staircase wall by creating a dimensional bluetoned grid and then filled the boxed frames with embroidered grasscloth by Crezana Design. “It was my way of keeping it modern with layered textures and shots of blue-gray that repeat elsewhere in the home,” she says.


Pitts chose Behr’s Mission White—“an off-white grayish cream”—to paint the walls throughout the interior. “It creates a neutral backdrop that unifies the spaces,” says Pitts, who prefers to put more vivid colors into furnishings and fixtures rather than walls.

“A vacation house should be relaxing, so I choose colors that bring the temperature down a notch,” she explains. For a designer specializing in coastal properties, it’s not surprising that water inspires her palette.

Above: Pitts staged watery art pieces on top of the dining area’s clean-lined console table. Below: dark overhead beams help to visually separate the living area from the kitchen and dining spaces. The kitchen boasts a waterfall-style island topped in Cambria Brittanica Quartz.


Pitts relies on texture more than pattern to deliver interest and depth to her interiors. When she injects pattern, it frequently references water. In this home’s living room, she dressed a main feature wall with head-turning wallpaper that frames the overhauled fireplace. The room’s pillows and Hombre stool feature similarly abstract water-like motifs, as does the dining room’s art, the master bedrooms’ draperies and its Phillip Jeffries wallpaper.


WONDERING WHAT TO DO with that dreary dining room used only once or twice a year? Erin Paige Pitts offers a stylish solution.

“A lot of people don’t want a dedicated dining room that sits vacant most of the time,” says Pitts, explaining that in many homes, a more casual dining area near the kitchen is the main go-to for relaxed meals and entertaining family and friends. For this home’s client, Pitts transformed a secluded dining room off the entry into a chic reading space that can double for eating and entertaining when desired. She anchored the room with a round, wood-topped table and installed built-in cabinets and shelves for storage, collectibles and books. “Now, it’s a fantastic multi-purpose space that gets lots of use,” she says.


To help foster the interior’s light and bright ambience, Pitts introduced highly reflective materials that repeat from room to room. She built up from the existing marble-like floor tiles that glisten underfoot. Shimmering blue-gray tiles clad the living room fireplace, while sparkling glass tiles dress the kitchen backsplash. Colored glass bottles gleam on tables and shelves, and reflective metal accents of brass and polished nickel animate accent pieces, hardware and accessories. “I like to play with light and bounce it around,” the designer says.

Above: Pitts positioned the dining table away from the door to promote the easy traffic flow and paired with a custom, free-standing banquette created by Delray Upholstery Company.


Pitts puts a lot of effort into creating interiors that look and feel effortless. Editing is vital to creating this effect. “I select some things that I want to grab your attention and choose others that don’t,” she says. “I create priorities.” In the living room area, for example, the bold wallpaper and tiled fireplace catch one’s eye immediately, while the modern white sectional and wood sofa table are more subtle. The dining room’s driftwood-like chandelier performs as the hero of the space, while below, the oval table and soft-hued banquet are equally beautiful, yet less attention-grabbing.

If everything in a room shouts, you won’t be able to hear anything. Pitts masterfully chose and orchestrated elements than meld into a harmonious whole.

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