Tim Baker’s journey to Draper Lake Coastal Village has been a long one, but he could not be happier with the end result. “Our family came to the Destin area on vacation for years and years,” says Baker. “At first, we rented the same house for a couple of weeks every summer, then after looking around in Destin, we purchased a condo in Adagio in the 30A area. We fell in love with the lower density and the thoughtful planning in the communities here.” As time passed, Baker realized that this was where he wanted to spend the rest of his life, and he began looking in earnest for a permanent home. While he was out cycling, he stumbled upon Draper Lake. The private, gated development on one of Florida’s few coastal dune lakes was created in partnership with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, who also designed Seaside, Rosemary Beach, and Alys Beach. They envisioned Draper Lake in the tradition of Adirondack mountain-lake villages and retreats and created a sustainable community that embraces and endeavors to preserve the natural beauty and tranquility of its unique setting. “The Draper Lake community pushed all the buttons for me,” Baker says. “With the help of some extremely talented people, I was able to conceive and construct what seems to me to be the perfect home.”
Geoff Chick, who serves as town architect for Draper Lake Coastal Village and who was instrumental in crafting the design code, explains that a large part of the appeal of the community is the thoughtful way it was laid out to preserve large amounts of undeveloped land. “The master plan includes a 100’ setback from the lake, and lots are clustered together to minimize the site impact and leave large open view corridors to the lake and the Gulf of Mexico,” says Chick. Builder Deron Strickman of Luke & Blue’s, LLC served as general contractor for the Baker home and worked closely with Baker and Chick to bring the project to completion.
Tim Baker thinks of this as his primary residence, even though he still travels for business about half the time. The three-level home is approximately 3,750 square feet of heated and cooled space, with four bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths in the main house, plus a carriage house with one bedroom, a full bath, and full kitchen, bringing the total to 4,500 square feet. Baker zeroes in on two favorite features that make the home special to him. “Of all the living spaces, I absolutely love my man cave,” he says. “It’s the bottom floor with bifold doors that open it up to the outdoors and to the outdoor kitchen and grilling area. There are Murphy beds in custom cabinets, a regulation poker table, and of course a TV and sound system, and plenty of space for hanging out.” His other favorite area is the third-floor living space with its two cantilevered decks – an open-air deck off the living area, and a covered screened deck off the master bedroom. “The decks really join the interior with the outdoors, and focus on the views and the beauty of the setting,” he says.
The vision of the original planners, of Draper Lake Coastal Village itself, and of the design and construction team, has resulted in a home that, in Tim Baker’s words, is “just about perfect. It has all the advantages, all the amenities, I could ask for. I’m so glad to be here, to have this place for my children and grandchildren to visit, and for me to call home.”