Have you ever noticed how terms get loosely applied in our industry? A few months ago, we were approached by a client who wanted “Coastal” elevations for their project. Our first run of drawings were charming Low Country elevations (from the coastal regions of South Carolina) with big front porches and lap siding. When we presented our handy work to our client, he looked confused. “That’s not at all what I had in mind”, he said. “Let me send you a picture.”

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this was a brilliant move on his part. What he shared with me was indeed, completely different - a style first showcased in beautiful Rosemary Beach. Rosemary Beach is part of Florida’s panhandle on the Gulf coast. I gave my client “Coastal”, but I was on the wrong coast!

Shingle is one of the influencing styles for Rosemary Beach

This is a masculine style featuring stucco contrasted with large accent areas of shake shingles with heavy timber brackets and corbels. Often, there is a tower element and metal roof accents. The materials and rustic nature of the style are somewhat reminiscent of the Shingle style from Newport, Rhode Island.

 

The examples in Rosemary Beach are edgier, yet more laid back. Hence, a new, transitional style was born. The style has quickly grown in popularity in the southeast as builders and buyers yearn for something fresh while keeping with historical ties. I've designed variations with lap siding instead of stucco but also with great contrast between the main body color and the shake shingles.

So, what’s in a name anyway? With over 12,000 miles of coastline in the US, the regional styles are vary greatly. Specifying which region can bring an expected refreshing addition to a community’s streetscape!