Fair   46.0F  |  Forecast »

When Daughter Knows Best

An island apartment comes alive as designer Winston Carney helps create the perfect home for her parents.

Interior designer Winston Carney, who grew up in Vero Beach and now has a studio in Los Angeles, transformed her parents’ second-floor Bayou West apartment.

Interior designer Winston Carney, who grew up in Vero Beach and now has a studio in Los Angeles, transformed her parents’ second-floor Bayou West apartment.

Very few people have heard of Bayou West, and that’s one of the things that made it so appealing to Jim and Laurie Carney. A unique part of Vero Beach history dating back to the early 1970s, it’s a two-story apartment complex behind the Quail Valley River Club at the end of Riomar Drive. After 40 years, it was beginning to show its age, but when the Carneys decided to return to the seaside town where they had begun their married life they zeroed right in on it.

“I’ve known about it from the very get-go, ever since it was built,” says Jim, who in 1965 was fresh out of college and one of the first teachers hired at the then-new Saint Edward’s School on Club Drive. “Most of the people who bought in the Bayou originally lived in Riomar or Central Beach. It was always a little secret and had really never come of age until recently.”

After the couple left Vero Beach they continued to keep in touch with long-time friends like Realtor Jeanine Harris. “She knew that Bayou West was experiencing a renaissance and her husband Bob said, ‘Call the Carneys, they just might be interested.’

“We talked and she told me about all of the changes that were going on there. I actually bought our first apartment sight unseen while I was standing on a balcony in Beacon Hill,” Jim chuckles. “When we were moving into our place Laurie started talking to a woman who lived just above us and she told her she was thinking about selling. It was one of four three-bedroom units in the complex and we wanted to have it one day.”

Read the entire article in the February 2012 issue