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From Never To Forever

Marion De Vogel’s sand castle helped make her husband, Willem, a believer in the Vero Beach lifestyle

Stylized pecky cypress walls wrap around the master sitting room, where an inviting sitting area facing a wide-screen television beckons.  Additional texture is seen in the carpeting and window treatments.

Stylized pecky cypress walls wrap around the master sitting room, where an inviting sitting area facing a wide-screen television beckons. Additional texture is seen in the carpeting and window treatments.

If ever there was a perfect time of the year for Marion de Vogel to introduce her husband, Willem, to Vero Beach, it was in March, the beginning of “mud season” up North — a time when frost comes out of the ground, snow starts melting and spring rains combine to create a mucky mess.

For Marion, whose great-grandfather, Arthur G. McKee, co-founded McKee Botanical Garden, and whose father, Arthur McKee Latta, managed the grounds, it was like coming home. For Willem, who had made it clear from the beginning that he wanted nothing to do with the Sunshine State, it was grin-and-bear-it time.

However, after experiencing the Vero Beach version of the Florida lifestyle, Willem began to have a change of heart, and last summer the de Vogels moved into their new two-story, four-bedroom home on the barrier island. In contrast to their traditional residence in New York state, their Vero abode has a more contemporary feel that celebrates their new life together.

Avid equestrians, the couple was brought together by mutual friends. It’s their shared love of horses that led them to artist, photographer and filmmaker Roberto Dutesco, whose striking images of the wild horses that live on Sable Island off the east coast of Canada set the theme throughout the open great room of their home. A white canvas, brushed with subtle shades of sand and sky blue, provides the perfect background.