Valentine Tour of Homes Brings SoWal Style Feb 14-15

February 11, 2015 by SoWal Staff

Valentine’s weekend typically means romantic dinners and flowers, but for South Walton beach lovers, it includes the annual Valentine Tour of Homes, presented by the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County and The tour is known for showcasing stunning interiors, architecturally acclaimed homes and picturesque settings bringing inspiration to tour goers’ winter weekend at the beach.

This year promises to be one of the best tours to date with the most diverse array of homes on tour, including a cabin on Lake Powell in Inlet Beach, two iconic townhomes in Seaside’s Ruskin Place and a brand new Cypress Dunes beauty. 

The event opens the doors of seven special South Walton homes to participants on Saturday, Feb.14 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event, valid for the entire weekend with one entry per house. Tickets can be purchased online at (through 2/13/15) and locally at Smith’s Antiques in Destin, Fusion Art Glass in Grand Boulevard, the Bayou Arts Center in Santa Rosa Beach, Sundog Books in Seaside, and Hidden Lantern Gallery in Rosemary Beach. Tickets will be available at Homes 1, 2 and 7 throughout the weekend for $30. 

Additionally, ticket holders will have a chance to win a painting “Heart Pieces” from South Walton’s 2015 Artist of the Year Francisco Adaro by stopping by the 30A Beach Girl Gallery in Ruskin Place to enter. Adaro’s work will also be showcased at this gallery with pieces on sale throughout the tour weekend. The 30A Beach Girl Gallery is located below one of the homes on tour, “Le Sanctuarie.”

"Each year, we aim to include a diverse mix of homes that offer architectural, historic or artistic significance," said Jennifer Steele, executive director of the CAA. "This year, the homes have features that range from rustic to modern, minimal to eclectic and cozy to luxurious.  We are especially proud that one of the homes has been featured in Architectural Digest.”


Grayton Beach - “Hix Six”,  60 Cottage Street, Designer: Janet Taylor

This three-story home sits at the edge of Western Lake in Grayton Beach overlooking the Gulf and Grayton Beach State Park. Set at the end of historic Cottage Street, the home features wrap around porches.


Inlet Beach - “The Cabin” on Lake Powell, 600 North Walton Lakeshore Drive, Architect:  Darrell Russell, Remodel Designer: Coop Cooper, Landscape Architect: Deck Designs by Aaron Lewis.

Located on serene Lake Powell in Inlet Beach, this rare gem affectionately known to the homeowners as “The Cabin” brings to mind the term rustic luxury.  It is truly a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of 30A, yet close enough to Rosemary Beach to feel not too removed.
With an outdoor deck overlooking Lake Powel complete with outdoor shower and tub, this 1980s cabin features recycled heart pine floors and a large screened front porch from which to view all of the delightful birds, squirrels and raccoons.


Watercolor - Smith-Stackable Home, 1302 Western Lake Drive, Architect: Looney Ricks Kiss Designer: Susan Byrd of Pizitz

This traditional Florida Cottage in addition to its full size carriage house is situated in the heart of Watercolor overlooking a picturesque park on a lush corner lot. The cottage evokes a light airy feel with its sleek yet traditional interior design, and attention to detail by Pizitz’s designer Susan Byrd.  The outdoor livings spaces are as impressive as the interior making this a must-see along the tour.


WaterColor - The Triplett Home, 433 Western Lake Drive, Designer: Janet Taylor


Seaside - “Stairway to Heaven,” Ruskin Place - 302 West Ruskin Place, Architect: New York Architect Alexander Gorlin, Designer: Alexander Gorlin

This wonderfully iconic and classically modern residence overlooks picturesque Ruskin’s Artist Colony Park. The monumental bluestone staircase & sculptural I-beam metal & concrete structure greets and leads tour goers to the elegant second level living area, wrapped with double height metal framed glass walls. A viewing balcony extends the gracious living space into the tree-lined park below. White marble counters enhance both kitchen and master bath. Conical skylit & pebbled master bath’s walkin shower basks with light from rooftop terrace above. Arrival to the roof terrace provides magnificent views of the sparkling Gulf & the spiral to Heaven provides one of the highest vistas in Seaside, with stupendous views in all directions.

Seaside - “Le Sanctuarie”, Ruskin Place, 201 Ruskin Place, Designer, Laura & Michael Granberry. [photo courtesy 30A Vibe]

This rare residence owned and interior designed by Laura & Michael Granberry is located in Ruskin Place Artist Colony in the heart of Seaside, FL.  The first floor is used as the owners’ shop and gallery, featuring the work of local artists, including 2015 Artist of the Year Francisco Adaro.  The second floor feels like an elegant loft space with its 11 foot ceiling made of pecky cypress and cedar beams and open floor plan. The Master suite with gulf views and a 2nd bedroom overlooking Ruskin Park are located on the third floor. Laura and Michael use the fourth floor tower as an inspiring design studio and office, and above the tower is a viewing deck with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and all of Seaside.



Santa Rosa Beach - “La Sirena,  Cypress Dunes, 271 Cypress Drive, Architect:  Andrea Plunk, Studio A Architecture, Landscape Architect: Islander Landscaping, Designer: Jamie Bachelor – Duh, Pensacola.

An 800+ bottle wine cellar is one of the many must see features of this stunning home. Spectacular Gulf views from all three floors and hand crafted, one of a kind furnishing make this home a standout on this year’s tour.

The proceeds from the self-guided annual tour benefit the CAA’s Educational Giving Program, which provides grants to Walton County teachers and scholarships for students to participate in supplemental and continuing art education.  

For more information about the Valentine Tour of Homes and the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, call 850-622-5970 or visit

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education. The vision of the CAA is to make Walton County a creative place in which to live, work and visit - a destination for cultural and artistic excellence where lives are enriched, economy is stimulated and community is strengthened.


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