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Delta Magazine - Coastal Cottage with French Flair

Can a family of 16 - eight adults and eight children - find a common vacation destination that indivdually appeals to each person? Margaret and George Rea Walker of Leland have successfully met the challenge, finding the ideal spot for their family....

So, the search began down the Gulf Coast and ended when they discovered WaterColor, a 500 acre coastal resort and community and came upon two houses, one, which was near completion, and one in the first stages of construction - were available as a package deal.

Both homes are furnished with stunning French antiques, under the guidance of designer Lynda Mead Shea of French Country Imports and Shea Design of Memphis, Tn.

"Initially, I was overwhelmed at the idea of furnishing two beach homes, but when I met Lynda, she was absolutely the picture of serenity. She took on our project, invited me to shop with her in France, and she soon became like a member of our family," explains Margaret. The downstairs consists of one large, luxurious space. The ceiling beams lend much architectural interest throughout, while impressionistic oils on wood by Memphis artist Patti Smith accent the living area with the perfect splash of color.

Below First Image, The handpainted antique game table was discovered at the marche aux puces in Paris.

Second Image, Above the dining table hangs an Italian wrought iron, handpainted chandelier found in Paris, complemented by a pair of Italian sconces. The Louis XVI style handpainted chairs and polished steel mirror were also found in France.

Third Image, A Swedish demilune table provides an ideal base for the collection of antique French garden prints.

Fourth Image, Memphis based designer Lynda Shea with Margaret Walker of Leland.

Fifth Image, The foyer features a 19th century handpainted Swedish armoire found in Paris.

Below left, Featuring sprigs of coral on an array of classical pedestals, the fabric on the pillow shams in the guest bedroom set the tone for the design of the room. Above the bed is "The Four Seasons" collection of original oil on canvas by Memphian Stephanie Eggleston Harrover.

To the right, Accented with colorful seashore-inspired fabric by Pierre Frey, the master bedroom features matching nautical shell prints Lynda found at Trowbridge Gallery. The 19th century wrought iron garden bench is from France.

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