This Florida Beach Home Is Globally Inspired

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Written By Jim J Neal

Alys Beach, a luxurious beachfront resort overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Florida Panhandle has many hidden treasures. The town’s alabaster white, crisp houses are surrounded by lush nature preserves, which create a harmonious environment that allows for playful interiors. The Todd Home is a part-time residence of Leslie and Jerry Todd, and their children Justine and Brynley Todd. Their passion for travel is reflected in the interior design of their beach house.

After purchasing their lot at Alys Beach, a luxury planned community along the scenic 30A corridor of Florida, the Todds reached out to Marieanne Khoury Vogt and Erik Vogt to discuss their plans. They had seen their residential work. “Leslie told us that he was unrelentingly symmetrical. Khoury-Vogt recalls, “I love symmetry and want it in my home.” “That was how the design process began and we delivered that.” The home’s symmetry and refined elegance can be seen in its sculptural winding staircase, tall facade and geometric coffered roof.
“The home is somewhat divided by design.”
The interiors are a vast oasis of Moorish, Egyptian and Moroccan elements that extend beyond the street facade. The front of the house does not reveal these elements. Vogt says that it’s only when you get inside that the design aspect is revealed. Khoury-Vogt explains that the home now has a “partially split personality” by design.

The large courtyard house features a central patio and an expansive loggia. It also has mashrabiya (traditional Islamic screens with intricately carved woodwork) as well as a repeated star motif (8-sided) on the latticework and seafoam green doors. Khoury-Vogt says that although it isn’t an explicitly Middle Eastern style house stylistically, the details, particularly the courtyard, are very Middle Eastern. The open and symmetrical design also features Moroccan elements in the cabinetry. Additionally, prominent use of Zellij tiles and landscaping that centers around palms, cypresses, adds to the overall effect.

The family’s high ceilings and latticed panels provide a light foundation for their eclectic yet clean pieces. Khoury-Vogt grew up in Paris and her childhood was spent in Lebanon and Abu Dhabi. “Leslie is a talented designer and furnished the house. Khoury-Vogt says that we had to scale the items to fit the room.

During trips to Dubai, embroidered textiles, colorful artworks and carved wood details were found.

Mashrabiya screens from the Todd family were used as cabinet doors in this office. The Todd House is filled with art and artifacts the family has collected from their many travels over the years. Khoury-Vogt reveals that Jerry’s mother was Egyptian. She had an old wooden cabinet she kept on her, so she repurposed it into the house. Jerry’s office bookcase now has the cabinet’s carved doors.
Vogt says that the home is a reflection in their lives. Vogt adds that it makes the home experience more meaningful as they can point out all the objects they have collected on their travels.

The house’s architectural design matches Alys Beach’s alabaster-white style, but incorporates the uniqueness of the Todd family.

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