Shore Thing

An Atlanta couple works with designer Liz Williams to create a peaceful Amelia Island retreat

Carol and Clay Moore have had a long-time love affair with Florida’s Amelia Island. For them, it’s more than a convenient beach getaway; they’re entranced by the change of seasons and the quaint town of Fernandina, not to mention the beautiful coastline and big waves (Clay’s a body surfer). Over the years, the Moores found themselves spending an increasing amount of time on the island. So, once their children were grown and gone, they downsized in Atlanta and upsized at the beach, purchasing a three-bedroom condominium there.

The condo was fully furnished when they bought it, but the orange-tinted wood floors, dark walls and pink-and-turquoise scheme didn’t exactly fit the new owners’ idea of a beach retreat. Plus, the décor was quite formal, right down to the heavy silk draperies. “We started over from scratch and intentionally kept accessories to a minimum,” Carol explains. “I wanted simple—very, very simple.”

To help with the makeover, Carol looked to interior designer Liz Williams, whom the Moores have collaborated with in the past on four different homes in Atlanta and Amelia Island.

“We both knew it was time to go with a color palette that was different from the buttery-beige colors I’ve used in the past,” says Carol.

The main goal was to create an instantly relaxing space that reflected the natural serenity of the ocean. As it turned out, a pillow fabric was the unexpected source of inspiration; its soothing blues and greens proved the perfect complement for the freshly painted whitish-gray walls.

In search of a certain few pieces for the new place, Carol’s passion for shopping had her scouring shops and flea markets. “Nine times out of 10 Liz would find a place for whatever I found,” says the homeowner. “She is amazing; everything came together perfectly.”

That said, Carol also believes Lady Luck played a role in the decorating process. “Anytime we said ‘we need this or that,’ it seemed to show up. When we were looking for old farm tools, I happened to find some at a flea market. And the same thing happened when we were looking for shutters.”

Looking at the finished product, it’s no wonder the Moores now spend more time on the island than in Atlanta. “It is such a peaceful place. When you walk in you can’t help but relax,” notes Carol. And isn’t that the point?

Liz Williams, Liz Williams Interiors, (404) 816-9868