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The Seaside Style History

Our History

“The dream of a Simple, Beautiful Life”

Time was, families coming to the beach stayed in simple cottages…in beach towns where porch-sitting and strolling were activities as important as swimming and sunbathing.

In 1946, on one of the family’s summer pilgrimages to the shore, Robert Davis’ grandfather, J.S. Smolian, bought 80 acres near Seagrove Beach, on Florida’s northwest coast. His intention was to build a summer camp for his employees, but unfortunately, economic and political conditions never favored the idea, and Smolian’s dream never materialized. However, his grandson, Robert Davis conceived an idea more visionary than his grandfather ever dreamed.

In the late 70′s, Robert and Daryl Davis toured the South in their 1975, red convertible Pontiac taking inventory of the architectural features that give small towns their distinct character. In collaboration with Miami architects Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the Davis’ determined that the small town itself was the best model for designing streets and for locating the principal elements of the community. These elements were used to create Seaside, a sensibly laid out town that would have all of the necessities and pleasures of daily existence within walking distance of one’s residence.

In 1982, Robert and Daryl built two houses in Seaside before the master plan for the town was taken beyond the conceptual stage. While Robert was busy planning and designing, Daryl used her entrepreneural ingenuity to create a buzz in this remote new town to spur interest in buying real estate. She started simply with a Saturday market. Scouring the local area for straight-off-the-boat shrimp, fresh baked bread, home grown tomatoes and watermelons, Daryl displayed her wares on wood picnic tables under canvas umbrellas on the beachside of town.

When Daryl Davis began her open air market at the beach, she did not know that she would be setting an international trend in coastal style. Out of necessity she began by selling fresh produce to Seaside visitors, because, back then, Seaside was a long way from the nearest grocery store. Complimented on her simple style of dress, she began adding similar articles of clothing and home décor to her offerings. From these early experiments in Seaside’s first retail laboratory, a collection of stores evolved that showcase the Seaside Style. It is the luxury of simplicity. Sunlight glowing through white cotton curtains as they blow into a room…caressed by ocean breezes, a soft rope hammock in the shade of a wide porch…the comfortable elegance of cotton sundresses and sun-bleached straw hats…screened porches and white picket fences…the taste of crabs caught at the ocean’s edge…this is the Seaside Style. Now an adjective for architecture, interior design, fashion and food, Seaside Style is more than design. It is a way of life.Today The SEASIDE Style®, The SEASIDE Style® | Beach, The SEASIDE Style® | Kids and Perspicasity, offer wares that exemplify this simple, timeless, and comfortable way of living.

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