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Watering the Dream

By OCL Staff
Photos by Justin Itnyre

Love of the water — that’s what led Keith and Connie Werninck to build their dream home along a beautiful stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway. Its 10,000 square feet exemplify coastal living. Breathtaking views of the water and spectacular Florida sunsets can be seen from just about every room in the house, and the stately southern live oaks which surround the two-story home bring a sense of laid-back Southern charm to the couple’s spacious and open living area.

Keith Werninck’s experience as a former designer and builder in Freeville, New York provided a great deal of inspiration for the home, built in 1992, which combines that Southerncharm feel with formal elegance and an abundance of natural light — an important element in making the interior of the home match the lushious 1.25-acre exterior.

Connie’s favorite features are the cozy gathering areas throughout the property. The spacious galley-style, gourmet kitchen allows for cooking and entertaining; a billiard room sets the stage for a casual but spirited game of pool; the downstairs bar with its publike ambiance and stained glass accents serves as a place for gentlemen to exchange fishing stories. For inspiration, etched in glass above the bar is an image of the Werninck’s boat, the “Connie Kay.”

Keith’s favorite spot, the gentlemen’s study, overlooking the main living area, continues that sportfishing theme with angler mementos scattered throughout. Plus, the dock leading out to the Intracoastal and the St. Augustine inlet provides an instant opportunity to cast out when the fish are running. Connie, a fitness trainer for 19 years, also spends a lot of her time in the full exercise room adjoining the billiard parlor.

To take advantage of the natural beauty laying just outside the back door, the Wernincks built an expansive brick patio with an outdoor kitchen and fireplace perfect for seasonal oyster roasts and warm-weather grilling out. A pool for cooling off on hot summer days completes the package and makes the entire home seem more like a retreat than a day-to-day residence.

As with so many people, it is the water that brought the Wernincks to their St. Augustine dream home. It’s the water that keeps them here too.