Photography: Venjhamin Reyes Photography
“Just do your thing.” Not many interior designers hear these affirming words from a client, particularly for a full home makeover. When Joelle Ebanks’ firm, Island Home Interiors, was given full creative control in transforming this luminous Treasure Coast home in Stuart, Florida, she was thrilled. Her client had fallen in love with her brother’s home, which Ebanks had designed, and wanted her own signature blend of Florida coastal and contemporary aesthetics.
The style is the foundational DNA behind Ebanks’ Orlando-based company Island Home Interiors, launched after years honing her eye at design firms in Naples, Florida and Washington D.C. Here, in the Sunshine State, she could fully indulge in her island roots by reimagining classic coastal style. “In design, I gravitate towards things that I grew up seeing in Jamaica,” she explains. “I love anything natural, with organic shapes, especially when juxtaposed with the modern.”
These elements flow throughout her client’s new home, where Ebanks composed a beach cottage palette of shiplap walls, sky-blue hues, fresh linen upholstery, wicker detailing and coral-inspired finishes. The designer infused these typical coastal materials with a sleeker edge, whether incorporating more streamlined furniture silhouettes or experimenting with wall panel patterns. The result is a sun-filled, effervescent home that suits the client’s love of entertaining. “She gave me design freedom, and in the end it worked out for both of us,” Ebanks says with a proud smile. “She loves to show it off to her friends and family, and I love to show it off to the world.”
Formal Sitting Room
The designer’s reimagined beach theme begins just beyond the front door, in this serene formal sitting room. Alongside the soft blue accents and white shiplap walls, Ebanks incorporated warmer organic textures — like custom cross wood beams on the ceiling, and wicker accent chairs — to balance the cooler hues. Stylewise, Ebanks pairs classic coastal details, like natural linen sofas and ocean photography, against more contemporary pieces, like the oversized marble coffee table. “I typically tend to select pieces that work harmoniously — metals, stones and greenery — and a few stand-out pieces to contrast,” she notes.
Carrying the same sky blue hue into the heart of the home, the center island becomes the most eye-catching detail of this chic kitchen, with pendant lanterns in a matching tone hanging above. “It was a really fun way to introduce some color without going overboard,” said Ebanks. Elements of glamor — like the large waterfall marble island countertop, the graphic stone backsplash, and the brass finishes on the sink faucet and cabinet door handles — further elevate these details.
Ebanks didn’t sacrifice coastal charm when composing the casual and practical family room. Using pale leather upholstery on the cushy sectional helped harmonize the otherwise overwhelming piece with the room’s beachy atmosphere, complete with shiplap walls, patterned curtains, warm wood furnishings and decorative coral. “Finding the right sectional for her took more hours than designing the entire house!” laughs the designer.
In this contemporary office space, a blue oriental rug and bamboo leaf chevron wallpaper bring contrast to an otherwise muted palette. “I loved the color variation,” adds Ebanks. “It added so much warmth to the space. When you touch it, you feel the actual knots of the bamboo.” The surrounding decor accentuates this textural quality, including the beaded net chandelier and warm wood sculptures.
Ebanks reinterprets the home’s signature paneling in the primary bedroom by creating a chevron pattern on the back wall, painted in Sea Salt from Sherwin Williams. Throw pillows in complementary shades of yellow and blue bring pops of the client’s favorite colors. A woven texture headboard, caned bench and chandelier accents featuring whitewashed wooden flutes underscore the space’s tactile quality.
The dreamy bath suite can only be described as pure opulence, with its brass fixtures, mosaic tiled floor and grand crystal chandelier floating above the decadent soaking tub. A serene photograph of rippling water completes the space’s sense of absolute relaxation. “I wanted the space to feel like you’re at a five-star resort’s spa, but in your home,” said Ebanks. Mission accomplished, indeed.
A quintessential Treasure Coast home wouldn’t be complete without a Florida sunroom patio, and Ebanks took full advantage of the home’s generous example. The designer created a festive oasis by carving out gathering areas with modern wicker furnishings, from the poolside loungers to a classic peacock chair. A matching sofa and armchair set also surrounds an outdoor coffee table made to mimic the textured look of Staghorn coral.
For even more coast design inspiration, check out this next article!