Let’s travel today. We haven’t done that in quite some time, have we? If you didn’t know better, you might think the house above is a typical old antebellum mansion in the South, but if you have vacationed in Seaside, Florida, you will recognize the white picket fence with the small signs naming the town’s homes. The house isn’t an old Southern mansion at all. It was actually built in 1989-1990 and operated for a number of years as Josephine’s French Country Inn – the only bed and breakfast in Seaside. I have been unable to locate any good interior photos from when it was run as Josephine’s, but from the descriptions I’ve read, it was dark, filled with many pieces of mahogany furniture, and had brass light fixtures…not exactly what you usually have in mind when you think of accommodations at the beach, but at some point in its 15 years of operation, it was voted one of the top twelve inns in America by Country Inns magazine. Apparently people liked it, but the owners retired, and the inn was sold in 2007. The new owners wanted a new look for the inn, so they hired Barbara Bradley Baekgaard. Do you recognize that name?
Let me give you a hint…
How about the name… Vera Bradley?
That one probably rings a bell. In fact, I bet many of you own a handbag or two with that name on it. 🙂 I am not much of a fan of the florals and paisleys, but my all time favorite handbag is a Vera Bradley one I own like this one:
So where were we? Oh yes, the inn…Barbara Bradley Baekgaard is one of the co-founders of Vera Bradley,and she was commissioned to brighten up the interiors of the inn. And boy did she brighten them up with color and pattern!
Here is the dining room…
(Don’t you love the slipcovers on the chairs?!)
The lobby wasn’t quite as bright,but I like the green mats with the P. Kauffman Artissimo fabric on the sofa.
Check out this bathroom… red wicker!
On June 8, 2007 the inn reopended as the Inn by the Sea, but by 2009, it was on the market for sale again. 🙁 This time it finally sold as a private residence on July 5,2012. But the story doesn’t end there. Now the house is available as an 8 bedroom rental…perfect for family reunions or small weddings. So now I want us to take a look at how the interiors of the home have changed from when it was the inn.
This room was formerly called The True Blue room in the Vera Bradley Inn.
Here is how it looks today in the rental house. It appears they kept the wallpaper and some of the furnishings, but the pretty plaid carpet and some of the linens have been changed. Doesn’t the former carpet make such a big difference?!
Here is another blue bedroom from the inn, this time with buffalo check carpet. 🙂
And now as it appears today. Same bed, chairs, and wallpaper, but again the unique carpet is gone.
Obviously, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard is fearless when it comes to combining colors and patterns. 🙂 My favorite room from the inn was The Sunset Room.
It still has its toile mixed with red today in the home as a rental (but I like the white matelasse better.) This room is located in the carriage house behind the main house and available as a separate rental if you need a smaller space.
I also like this yellow toile bedroom in the rental, and the check carpeting is still there. 🙂
I think the lobby area may be very much like it appeared in the inn.
But the owners made big changes in a new living room, dining area,and kitchen. My guess is that this space was formerly the dining room in the inn.
I think they did a beautiful job with it! Don’t you?
I could not find a photo of how the porch is furnished today, but this is what it looked like when the house was an inn…super pretty with all that blue and white!
So are you ready for a beach trip? Looks like a nice place to stay with a large group. (It can sleep up to 22!) I hope you enjoyed seeing how it has changed over the years.
I wonder if someone will turn it back into an inn in its next life. 🙂
Until next time…
p.s. Jenny Steffens Hobick had her wedding at The Inn by the Sea, and she has a nice post about it here.
(Looks like she stayed in the True Blue room.)