Off the Page: ‘Beachside’

On the east coast of Florida, about halfway between the launchpads of Cape Canaveral and the manicured hedges of Palm Beach, lies the city of Vero Beach—aka “the Hamptons of Florida,” thanks to its charming village atmosphere and its concentration of billionaire residents. Author Hadley Keller’s Beachside presents a private view of the stunning homes in one of Vero Beach’s most unique planned communities, the regally named Windsor. 

First dreamed up by a Canadian couple in 1989 and planted on the site of a former citrus plantation, Windsor was designed by New Urbanists Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk—the same pair who planned Seaside on Florida’s 30A. Tucked alongside polo fields, a croquet lawn and a gun club is an array of homes with an architectural style that draws influence from Charleston and Savannah as well as the British West Indies. “Each square foot of land at Windsor is painstakingly arranged in a way that gently guides the eye and creates a natural, beckoning flow,” writes Keller, “but always, too, a delightful dose of the unexpected.”

Rather than reveal each featured home in its entirety, Keller focuses the chapters of Beachside on specific home elements that mimic that natural flow—from entrances to living rooms to dining rooms and kitchens and beyond. As any casual tour of a home would, the pages end out back, where brick-lined pools, bougainvillea-covered terraces and sun-soaked courtyards invite the reader to sit a while and enjoy the view. 

“These are dream houses—often for both client and designer,” Keller writes. “Largely unencumbered by much of the more banal functionality of a primary residence, homes at Windsor are, instead, artful expressions of their residents and designers set within the thoughtful framework of the New Urbanist ideal.”