Design Philosophy

This following information has been crafted as a guide to illuminate the founding principles that define Paradise Key. It is presented as a tool to cultivate a complete understanding of the vision for the community and to guide you through the design and construction of your home in Paradise Key. It is our hope that this guide will contribute to both the fulfillment of our intentions and your own dreams.


In addition to some detailed text and illustrations, you will find photographs which exemplify highly desirable, prototypical executions of the style objective for this special place.


Design Inspiration

Jacksonville Beach and the St. Augustine region are often referred to as the First Coast. This name stems from a rich history of conquest, trade, politics, maritime commerce and raw natural beauty. The raw beauty of the area is what has inspired the natural aesthetic of the architecture here at Paradise Key. This architecture can be referred to as Coastal Beach vernacular. However, this style is derived from the organic nature of the area. The intent of this architecture is to have honest simplicity in its form and detailing, resulting in a beautiful integrity unique to your home. The use of ornamentation should be limited to well-crafted details and features that are functional and material based.

The origins of these details are rooted in the need for shade, ventilation, shelter from the elements and life’s activities. It is no accident that many of these coastal communities are full of cottages that employ the use of these important features & details.

The qualities of living in these communities are a combination of relaxed leisure and outdoor activities. Such activities range from afternoon naps on the porch, walks, intense sunshine and ocean breezes. Afternoon rain showers and star light evenings can sometimes accompany these activities.

The architectural features that best address these natural conditions are:

  • Porches for leisure and living
  • Significant roof overhangs for shade and rain
  • Well-organized rooms and high ceilings to allow for cross ventilation
  • Observation decks to assess the weather conditions, sunbathe or view a full moon

Architectural details that have developed through the years have been in a response to local materials, craftsmanship, and the community’s origins.

Such details typically found in these coastal communities are:

  • Bracketed or deep roof/eaves overhangs
  • Porches with or without screens
  • Porch columns and handrails with restrained, less elaborate and muted details
  • Simple eave details
  • Shutters that provide shade and or protection from the elements
  • Double hung windows for ventilation and screening of insects
  • Weather vanes to assist in the assessment of changing weather conditions

These details were often if not always executed with local materials and craftsman. Such materials and combinations of materials were derived from materials naturally available in the region:

  • Horizontal wood siding
  • Stucco
  • Wood board & batten
  • Select stucco & brick on chimney or foundation material
  • Metal roofs
  • Wood windows (which add depth, dimension and detail)