One Great Room

By Carol Tisch Photography by Sheila Lackey December 1, 2011

A Vintage Cottage

Patience is a virtue that has finally paid off for Susie and Mark Holt. The owners of Posh on Palm, Sarasota’s beloved emporium of shabby-chic home décor, are living the lifestyle the shop embodies in a 1920s cottage on Casey Key. “We’ve been looking for years, and finally found the little beach cottage of our dreams,” Susie says.

The cottage has Gulf-to-bay views and only a single-lane road separating the home from the beach. “You don’t find a panoramic view like ours in a tiny cottage today. I think it’s one of the oldest left on Casey Key; all the others have been torn down and replaced with elaborate homes,” says Susie.

The couple relishes their beach time. “Every morning we count at least 15 dolphins and five manatees as we sip our coffee, and in the evening we watch the sunset with a glass of wine,” Susie says.

A Vintage Cottage: Posh on Palm

1 Husband-and-wife team Mark and Susie Holt filled their beach cottage with the plush chairs and sofas with washable linen slipcovers they sell at their store, Posh on Palm. 2 Original heart pine floors installed in the 1920s didn’t need refinishing; they’ve withstood everything, and “We love the old, funky look,” Susie says. 3 Silver blue is Susie’s accent color of choice, used for endless throw pillows and bouquets of hydrangeas she picks up weekly at Whole Foods downtown. 4 The Holts travel across the U.S. and France foraging for vintage furniture and accessories—like these early 1900s French chandeliers—for their store. 5 Collections of ironstone pitchers and flower pots, old “spritzer” bottles, and vintage lace sewn into front door curtains are all flea market finds. 6 Mark created built-ins of salvaged kitchen cabinets the Holts had in storage and dramatized the entrance to the tiny kitchen with an old Victorian door. 7 Shabby-chic beach cottage touches include the requisite hand-painted sign and a shelf for beach hats at the entrance to the home.

Designer’s Tips

‘‘Living at the beach is all about relaxation. The shabby-chic look evolved because it’s romantic, and the old chipped painted wood and washable slipcovers are easy care.”

“Vintage furniture can be beautifully refinished and repurposed into charming conversation pieces that save landfill space and are exclusively yours.”

“Mix modern with cottage for a casual and comfortable look. Cottage style can be anything from clean and minimal to frilly and old.’’

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