When Elaine Bresnee and John Flavin moved to Vero Beach, they were looking for a sanctuary by the water. Several homes later they found it at 115 Waterway Lane in The Estuary, a small community tucked away among moss-covered live oaks in Indian River Shores.
“I play a lot of tennis, and I’ve been to every club in town, and I think The Estuary is the best,” says Flavin. “Pound for pound the quaintness, tranquility and natural beauty are everything we were looking for.”
With the custom millwork, built-ins, canal views and convenient location, there’s much to love about this home with the lushly landscaped front yard hinting at the natural habitat created by the ecologically abundant estuarine waters surrounding the area.
The house is fronted by dormers adding to the typical symmetry associated with West Indies architecture. High ceilings and French doors leading to the covered veranda open up the home to sunlight and outdoor living areas.
“This is a bright, happy house,” says Bresnee. “This house has amazing architecture. All the ceilings are different, and the millwork is tremendous.”
A Windsor ceiling in the family room adds greater dimension, defining the space so it doesn’t get lost in the open plan. Tray ceilings add visual interest to the dining room, den and master bedroom, and a coffered ceiling adds visual weight to the formal living area. Brazilian hardwood flooring extends throughout, making for a seamless transition from one space to the next.
The house was built for entertaining according to Bresnee. “A year ago the Garden Club held their big fundraiser here. We had 65 people for a sit-down luncheon and auction.”
The layout creates a buffer between the master wing and shared areas of the home. The dining room, wet bar, and butler’s pantry are situated to the right of the front entry allowing for a natural flow for gatherings of all sizes. Elegant affairs are carried off with panache in the more formal atmosphere of the dining room while casual events can spill into the outdoor living space.
The spacious, gourmet kitchen – boasting a gas stove, Subzero refrigerator and KitchenAid appliances – opens into the family room and breakfast nook allowing the cook to prep meals on the large island without missing out on any of the fun. Guests can gather around the gas fireplace while sipping wine and watching the sunset over the water. Sunlight floods into the family room through French doors that open to the covered patio and backyard.
Two generous bedrooms with en-suite baths, a laundry room, and a two-car garage are conveniently located for easy access and optimal privacy for guests. Attention to detail is evident in the décor of the bathrooms, especially the wallpaper and tilework. The bathroom in the rear bedroom doubles as the pool bath with a second entrance from the pool.
Bresnee admits she will miss the abundance of closets in the home. “We updated the house when we moved in four years ago. There is a tremendous amount of storage space in this house. All the closets are custom. They’re to die for.”
The master suite holds court on the opposite side of the house along with the den and a powder room. The dark richness of the built-ins adds warmth to the cozy bibliophile’s space.
The generous bedroom has a coffered ceiling and a view of the sunset through the bay windows and the French doors that lead out to the screened terrace by the pool.
The master bathroom features a large soaking tub, walk-in shower, double vanity sinks, his and her water closets, and walk-in closets. English wallpaper, custom curtains and mosaic detailing around the mirror finish the room.
Brick pavers and distressed wood add a charm to the outdoor oasis. The screened porch runs the length of the house with cozy seating areas and a built-in barbecue for grilling out on balmy summer evenings. The saltwater pool and waterfall provide a soothing backdrop to the tranquil setting.
The backyard is fenced with extra greenspace for Winnie, the current canine of the house. The area has plenty of shade cast by mature trees with more than enough sunny patches for pets and people to enjoy pleasant days.
Mangroves provide a barrier between the backyard and the canal adding to the feeling of seclusion. The private dock with running water, electricity and a 7,500-pound boat lift makes it easy to reach the Intracoastal Waterway within minutes.
True to its name, The Estuary is a sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife. “We see manatees, birds, people on paddleboards and in kayaks all the time,” says Flavin as he points to the place he spotted a manatee recently.
The couple is downsizing because they will be spending more time in Maine to be closer to children and grandchildren. “We love Vero. We like the quaintness of The Estuary. As long as there’s water around, that’s where we want to be,” says Flavin.
“This is a beautiful community with the added convenience of being close to town,” adds Debbie Bell, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty. “To get this quality of home in this location on the water is such an opportunity.” She says the community has a mixed demographic with to retired couples and families with young children.
The Estuary is a guard-gated community located in Indian River Shores. With only 89 home sites, the water-based neighborhood is reminiscent of old Florida. Streets lined with mature oak trees wind through tropical foliage buffered by lakes and canals.
Just outside the gates of The Estuary, the Indian River Shores Public Safety Department offers police, fire and emergency medical services. The Village Shops and Atlantic Ocean beaches are a short walk away with Ocean Drive shopping and dining, Riverside Park, Riverside Theatre and the Vero Beach Museum of Art just a few minutes’ drive.
- Address: 115 Waterway Lane
- Neighborhood: The Estuary
- Year built: 2001
- Lot Size: 113’ X 133’
- Home size: Approximately 4,288 square feet
- Construction: Concrete block with stucco exterior
- Bedrooms: 3
- Bathrooms: 3 full baths and 1 half-bath
- Additional features: Waterfront property with dock and 7,500-lb boat lift, outdoor grill, salt water pool, jetted tub, storm shutters, butler’s pantry, wet bar, wine refrigerator, Brazilian hardwood floors, and 2-car garage.
- Listing Agency: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty
- Realtor: Debbie Bell 772-473-7255
- Listing Price: $ 1,595,000