The islands name in Spanish means deep bay and her name is Bahia Honda located at mile marker 37 and she is 500 acres of lush green life. Her surrounding waters are filled with great snorkeling and from her shores you can see a piece of history! Henry Flagler’s, Florida East coast highway constructed between 1905 and 1912 ran beside her as the first railroad to take the original “Snowbirds” to roost in Key West for the winters. They would roost at Henry Flagler’s hotel, the still operational Casa Mariana, but that is a story for another day. I am transfixed as I stare at the large picture capturing the sunrise off Bahia Honda because I have seen it in real time. I have looked into the horizon down the line of that great old bridge. She is still standing as a testament to the perseverance of man. As I look into the picture, I see the sunrise break through the clouds streaming golden strands of light onto the coke bottle green water. The water glistens as it swells and falls in soft undulation beneath and around the historic pillars of the old railway. Those old pillars hold the twists of defunct metal high above the reach of the Gulfs salty waves. It is there that the artist captured this sunrise moment in time, off the shores of Bahia Honda in the middle keys. My clients have seen that sunrise and so they wanted to see it again and again. This picture will hang in the middle of their own private island in the space that creates the between for them, their living room. They will start their day with a captured and shared sunrise through art above their sofa and end it with the real sunset outside their windows every night. Let’s take a look at the additions that these homeowners made to wake up their space and let the sun shine in from Sunrise to sunset.
This is a normal gardenia in which the living room has two windows. The views could not be really appreciated through the two windows so the homeowners opened up the wall to the views and the light. When they removed the wall between the windows the entire space opened up to the new addition. The homeowners added a large glass room so that they could see the sun set each night and it is beautiful! However, they still wanted the TV to remain in what was the old living room. They would still watch TV in that room.
• Only two walls in the living room
When there are only two walls in the living room the TV needs to be placed on one of them. Which one? We decided to place the TV on the smallest wall. I have done this before and it works out great if you balance the space properly. The TV is attached to the wall and there is a console that is beneath the TV. The secret to making this work is balance. We always have to swing a chair out beside the console to balance the visual weight on the other side with the sofa. The sofa resides on the only other wall and we have room for a narrow side table on the side near the short wall and a small round table fits in the pie shaped space created by adding another chair to the space.
The large art piece titled “Bahia Honda Sunrise” hangs above the sofa beautifully. This picture is done in “Old Florida” Style so it is the colors of sepia and green water washed with golden light.
• Anchor the space with a rug
We anchored the space with a rug that pulled all the colors of teals and blue hues from the picture above the sofa. The rug also acted as a visual connection between the dining room rug and the sunrooms rug. We laid it on an angle to create a sense of motion and make an 8X10 rug appear larger in the space. It seems to pull you into the sun room that is cozy and so you will want to linger.
Before entering the sunroom the first thing to notice is that the opening is trimmed out in beautiful casement molding. The white casement molding creates a picture frame affect and the entrance pops against the wall color.
• A comfy seating area
We placed a great sofa in the sunroom for napping while viewing the sunset or accommodating guests for a get together. We added two brand new chairs the homeowner’s purchase that had a great Tommy Bahama look to them. The homeowners also had a great coffee table they just purchased, to finish off the sunroom setup. We needed to ground the space and we decided we would add another animal rug! This rug has more white than the one under the dining table and was the perfect visual connection to the dining room. This room is a great space to enjoy the sunset and look at nature through a big picture window.
• Window treatments
In a room like this the homeowner’s did not want to see the window treatments when they were up and they needed them to be easy to use. The homeowners chose crystal pleats. Crystal pleats are like honey comb blinds that gather compactly at the top of the window and fade into the white trim. Also, for ease of use, they raise and lower on a remote control! This makes large windows easy to deal with and the investment will save the homeowner’s much aggravation. Remember, to always use white treatments such as blinds, crystal pleats and verticals. When open you want them to fade into the surrounding molding, so white is best.
• Lamps make a statement
In the before pictures of this house the lamps were very non-descript and common. When we changed the art and opened up the space to light we needed to up the ante on lighting as well. We chose unique lamps that look amazing and add a specialized touch to each space. Remember, that lamps are jewelry and they should be as uncommon as your specialized look.
So, Bahia Honda is a Florida State Park and opened to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. I hope that some of you decide to meander down one day and see the beauty of a Southernmost Sunset for yourself; or gaze at the historic bridge that forged out the tip of Florida. Once you do, it is a picture that is hard to forget.
P.S. –Attention, club presidents! I give free decorating programs! It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056
P.P.S Be sure to visit our home decor store, "The Finishing Touch" for your home good needs.