Ken Cooper, an entrepreneur and co-owner of the North American Dental Group, purchased this Vero Beach, Florida home with his wife Melissa in 2020. Located in the prestigious private community of Windsor (it’s owned by the Weston family), it was a diamond in the rough—in good condition, but begging for a modern upgrade or two. However, it was a challenge the couple was excited for—the pair loves interior design and consider it one of their favorite hobbies. The Coopers began work transforming their Georgian-style home to exactly what they wanted it to be, with nods to mid-century design, an easy indoor/outdoor flow, and a relaxed palette of natural materials.
The one-million-dollar renovation was a success, and the Pennsylvania-based couple now spends most of their time at Windsor with their three children. Over email Ken told us more.
Tell us about the community of Windsor. Where is it located?
The community is located in Vero Beach and situated on a barrier island between the Indian River to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Located along Florida’s Treasure Coast, Windsor is miles away from fast-paced city life. The community was established in 1989 and a passion project for the founders Hilary and W. Galen Weston. The new urbanist design by renowned town planners Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk was of great appeal to us. Windsor is relatively small compared to other private residential club communities in Florida with only 350 homesites. That was another draw for our family.
How did the location influence the design?
We transformed what was a very traditional and formal home into a more relaxed Mid-century modern design, accentuating the design style influenced by Frank Gehry. We appreciated the Georgian architecture within the 6-bedroom, 8-bath golf course home. Every finish has been renovated or restored, embracing indoor/outdoor living. Natural wood and stone are used throughout the house along with matte finishes to keep the tones as natural and organic as possible. True to the Mid-century design, flat planes, large windows, and integration with nature is accomplished with very wide, low footprints with large, open spaces emphasizing function and simplicity. Sited on a double lot, the home’s plan takes complete advantage of the panoramic views of the lake and Windsor’s championship Robert Trent Jones, Jr. links-style course.
What was the “jumping off point” for the project? Was there a particular design element you think defined the look and feel of the home?
With our love for Mid-century design and minimalism, we felt this home would be a challenging but rewarding project for us to take on. The classic Georgian elements and interior craftsmanship were beautiful and created a plethora of interesting architectural elements that we could lean into by minimizing the distractions that would otherwise compete against the beauty of the custom crown and Wainscoting. We selected a white palette and natural wood elements to allow the custom architectural features to breath and have their own space. We have three children, and we live a very active lifestyle, so we also needed to balance a casual and liveable feeling into this home. After significant time researching Georgian minimalism, and several months building project boards and selecting key pieces of furniture and art, we finally launched the project. The end result definitely has a “less is more”’ mindset; and we are very pleased with the outcome of the home.
What do you love most about your newly renovated home?
Various species of wood have been used in the high-quality flooring and furnishings. There are clean lines of teak, walnut, oak, and rosewood. While some of the faucets and hardwoods are sourced from Italy, most of the furniture, fittings and finishes including the limestone and hardwoods are made in America. Skipping past the mass-produced furniture store, the main methods of shopping for home goods were a combination of flea markets, vintage shops, and seeking out many of the unique modern furniture designers who mimic mid-century lines. Think of it as a treasure hunt back in time! Melissa rummaged around for furniture with clean lines and mid-century legs. She stayed clear of the usual bold graphic fabrics and kept the overall look organic and airy. Simple lines. Organic curves. Minimal fuss. The focus is on function while exquisite design features and materials match. Mid-century modern plant pots and lush greenery pair perfectly with understated rooms and a neutral color palette.
Ken shares more details in the slideshow.