What makes a great coastal house?

1. Simple massing. That means one main roofline that stretches over the vast majority of the house. Smaller rooflines over porches and lesser portions of the house may branch off the main body, but you want to avoid a lot of complex rooflines with no single dominate structure. In general, the simplier the overall house structure, the more curb appeal.

2. A fantastic, deep front porch. Side and rear porches are just as important. However, it's that big, welcoming front porch that really sets the stage for a great coastal home. Think 12 feet deep - plenty of room for chairs and a table or a porch swing.

3. Columns. I love round columns on a Southern house, but square can be just as good. It really depends on your look.

4. Wood walls. Wood walls are beautiful, especially painted. White tends to be the default color down here in Florida, but don't be afraid of going with a bold color. Remember, it's just paint. Wood walls can add a lot of depth and elegance to a home. They do cost more than traditional flat walls though so consider using them in the main rooms.

5. Throw in some different textures. In this house, we added in brick accent walls in the entrance and around the fireplace. A whitewash finish or painted brick is a really nice touch. Using traditional exterior materials like brick or stone on the inside of a house is a fun way to bring it all together.

6. A HUGE kitchen. I love a practical kitchen with a big island. You can never have enough space in a kitchen. A large island gives you extra room to dole out projects to helpers and set out plates.