Lauterbach Home in Regatta Bay

Written by Sabe Fink

When Diane and Dick Lauterbach decided to relocate from Sandestin to Regatta Bay, their initial plan was to purchase an existing home. “That would have been the easy way to go,” she says now, “but I knew in my mind what I wanted, and it simply didn’t exist.”

After considering all their options, the Lauterbach’s decided to build, so they turned to contractor and friend, Steve Shires, to guide them through the process.

“Steve had done work for us before, both building and remodeling, and he knew our taste and was willing to see us through the entire process,” says Lauterbach.

They settled on Regatta Bay for its quiet, laid-back, neighborhood feel, its active golf scene, and proximity to the heart of Destin.

“We sold our home and it took us a year to build this one, and we just couldn’t be happier,” Diane said.

Diane Lauterbach selected and designed the interior décor, but consulted with friends in the interior design and antique industries for more inspiration.

“I love antiques, and Dick has grown to appreciate them over the years. One of our newest acquisitions is an antique library card-catalog that we found in Charlotte,” states Diane Lauterbach.

The 4,150-sq. ft., lakefront Craftsman-style home, is the result of a careful collaboration between Shires and the Lauterbach’s and is truly an expression of the homeowners’ specific taste and lifestyle.

“We’re mostly empty-nesters,” says Lauterbach, “but the nest never seems to be empty! We have our large, blended, extended family – grown children, grandchildren and their friends – here all the time.”

The heart of the home is the huge open kitchen, with its two islands, two refrigerators, and sleek open design. The kitchen’s focal point is a stunning set of antique sliding doors separating the kitchen and pantry. The antique doors, from Charles Phillips Antiques located in Theodore, AL, have inset mirrors on each of the reclaimed wood door panels bearing traces of worn turquoise paint. The kitchen islands are topped with a unique leather-finished granite with inset cabinets and recessed lights, giving the kitchen its open feel.

“The kitchen is my favorite room in the house,” Lauterbach says. “I love to cook, love to feed people, and everybody wants to hang out there!”

Lauterbach points out two special pieces of art in the home, both of which hold great sentimental value.

“The watercolor of a young girl that hangs by the front door was painted by my maternal grandmother more than 100 years ago, shortly before her passing. Obviously, this is irreplaceable! “My other favorite is the painting of a blue dog over the fireplace, which takes me back to the first trip Dick and I took as a couple. I loved it at first sight, and I was thrilled that Dick felt the same way,” she says.

The living areas are open to the pool and pool house, featuring a wood-burning brick fireplace, a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen with Naturecast outdoor cabinets, and a custom faux-finished wood ceiling – all designed and installed by Shires. The pool and hot tub have a dark-blue pebble finish, with travertine pavers surrounding the pool area.

The home’s exterior landscaping reflects Diane’s love for the style of traditional English gardens, with slightly modified to make the most of subtropical Florida plant materials.

“I even have a small vegetable garden on one side of the house, and my two Meyer lemon trees have produced fruit all year long,” she says.

The master bedroom and bath create a private area that is both cozy and expansive. The high-beamed ceilings and wood-patterned tile floor set this area apart from other bedrooms in the home.

“We borrowed some ideas from our European travel for the bath, such as heated towel racks and a shower that can be either a steam shower or a conventional shower depending on weather and personal preference,” says Lauterbach.

On the second floor, an enormous playroom/media room/game room with a stunning view of one of the neighborhood’s many lakes situated between two spacious guest-room suites.

“I think, and Dick agrees, that the playroom is one of the best decisions we made. He loves the huge television for watching sports, and the shuffleboard table definitely brings out the competitive spirit in visitors of all ages – It’s a great gathering space for kids, grandchildren, and friends, and offers plenty of entertainment or just a place to relax and chill out,” Diane Lauterbach says.