An ocean-to-river paradise awaits in Ambersand Beach

From several vantage points within this well-thought-out beach house at 12760 Highway A1A, one can see both the sparkling blue Atlantic and the county’s treasured namesake, the beautiful Indian River Lagoon – simply by looking toward the east and then to the west.

This captivating, meticulously designed house uses both its ample interior space and its world-class views to great advantage in a home that families who love all things aquatic will find impossible to resist.

Flanked by low grasses and palms, a curving, paved courtyard leads to the attached, two-car garage. Also on the ground floor, through the double front doors, visitors enter the foyer, with its graceful Brazilian hardwood staircase to the second and third levels. From the foyer, a short hallway leads to a “breakaway” room with a bathroom, and the laundry room, the concrete floor beautifully faux finished to mimic tile.

Owners Marie and Ray Morrow use this light-filled space as a studio for artist Marie, whose colorful paintings and striking pieces created from gourds and palm fronds not only populate the studio but also delightfully adorn upstairs areas. There is, she comments, lots of wall space throughout the house on which to display favorite works. The Morrows decided to sell their wonderful home so she could be closer to her job as a teacher in Vero Beach.

Marie Morrow, who designed much of the interior, says this first-level space, which opens onto the pool deck, could easily be transformed into an additional bedroom, an in-law suite or even a teen “cave.”

The second level houses the sumptuous master suite with its arched, plantation-shuttered bay windows, exquisite millwork, and stunning Brazilian hardwood floor. The master bath, designed by Marie Morrow, is extraordinarily appealing: light pours in through plantation-shuttered windows, which occupy most of the exterior wall area. His and hers sinks flank the huge, Roman soaking tub, and there is a charming, built-in dressing table along one windowed wall. Here, the white woodwork glows against pale green walls, Saturna tile and Travertine marble cover the floors and shower. With generous use of windows, the homeowners can enjoy a water view even when relaxing in the tub, or grabbing a quick shower.

The master suite water closet offers a top-of-the-line Toto bidet with blow dryer; and the fabulous, millwork-finished, walk-in closet is designed to totally spoil the lady of the house with its thoughtful custom design and convenient electric outlets.

Also on the second level are two spacious en suite guest bedrooms and, of course, fabulous views.

The third floor houses a spacious, welcoming kitchen/living area beneath a vaulted, 14-foot ceiling, where family or guests will want to gather for food and conversation. Here you’ll also find some of the best seats in the house for enjoying the Atlantic, in all its many incarnations.

The chef’s kitchen features a large black granite-topped island with breakfast bar, double sink and plenty of storage, illuminated by a graceful, three-lamp, wrought-iron chandelier. The kitchen cabinetry is stunning – beautifully detailed, weathered, off-white, centered by a contrasting dark wood cooktop hood. Narrow cabinetry columns slide out to reveal clever cutlery storage; all the doors and drawers are flush. A millwork-finished, walk-in pantry further enhances the plentiful storage. Crown molding completes the striking kitchen.

In a three-section bay window off the kitchen is a casual dining nook, with access to the covered porch. A pass-through at the other end of the kitchen contains a butler’s pantry and leads to the formal dining room, with its view of the Indian River Lagoon.

Another striking room on the third floor is the office/den, with its vibrant wall color – Red Cent; white wood trim; glowing Brazilian hardwood floor; and bamboo/blackout shades. One of Marie Morrow’s favorite spots in this handsome room is the comfy window seat, flanked by built-in, floor-to-ceiling shelving and file-drawers, and a perfect hideaway for reading, daydreaming or simply gazing out at the lagoon. She says the den could be converted to a bedroom, if desired, with its half-bath up-graded to a full bath.

A major convenience in this three-level home is its roomy elevator, happily eliminating the need for schlepping bags, boxes, laundry and other inconvenient burdens from floor to floor.

When the Florida temperatures climb, it’s the perfect time to cool off in the inviting pool/spa, and, whenever you need a break, the beach is right outside your back door, along the wooden dune walkover, through a green canopy of sea grape.

Or perhaps the lagoon will beckon. The property includes 55 feet of river frontage just across A1A, with a private, 310-foot riverfront dock and a 10,000-pound, electric boat lift. Ambersand Beach is directly across the lagoon from Sebastian, opening up the opportunity for quick boat rides over to Capt. Hiram’s, the Tiki Bar and Grill and other boater-friendly spots to grab a bite to eat and perhaps explore the Working Waterfront exhibits at Crab E Bill’s or check out one of the frequent, fun events in Riverview Park.

Marie Morrow especially loves the fact that this particular stretch of beach is a favorite location for sea turtles to lay their eggs, March to November. She also explains that just offshore is where the Spanish Plate Fleet went down in a hurricane in 1715, the event from which the Treasure Coast got its name. A king’s ransom in treasure still lies out there somewhere, artifacts are being discovered, and treasure hunters continue to discover caches of gold coins in the local waters.

“So,” says Marie Morrow, “bring your metal detector.”

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