Key West Time

On the last day of vacation, we decided to stay at the hotel beach all day and the weather was perfect! With the tide retreating and carrying away all the floating seaweed that is so prevalent in Key West, we were left to enjoy pure crystal green water! I grabbed my snorkel and mask and set out to see what I could see. Stingray were quite active kicking up sand as they moved from pier to pier and the occasional tarpon would make my heart jump as I watched their sparkly bodies swim into the deep. Worried that I might get an aneurism from my tight mask, I decided to head back and take a break when I saw a glint in the white sand below. I turned around and dove deep haphazardly grabbing hoping to retrieve this treasure. I pulled my mask back letting the oxygen flood my brain and what I held was a bottle; not any bottle it was a heavy dense old bottle covered with stuck on sand and small barnacles. I knew instantly that it would look amazing in a Belmore Cabana Villa whose homeowners are living in Key West time somewhere back in the heart of The Villages.

• Style
After Island-looks-Amazing The homeowner’s had a specific Key West style in mind and who knows Key West? Me! The homeowners had an amazing pool installed and wanted to bring that Key West vibe inside the home. The living room furniture had been repositioned to look out at the new pool and I suggested we do the same thing to the kitchen. To get a feel of how we could do that we took the dining room table and pushed it up against the bar to create a long island. This allowed the homeowners to see the idea but also live with how that work for them.

• The island Getting the island right was critical because it would become the dining table too! We shifted the table, added a leaf, removed a leaf, and measured to get the most comfortable size. With all the thought and effort that went into the island, I think we got it just right. The island added so much storage below, a great workspace on top and it can seat six people comfortably.

• Re-face kitchen This kitchen was half re-faced and half rebuild. We used all existing lower cabinets but we did add to those. We used many of the upper cabinets and we did add to those too! A Key West kitchen will be a bright kitchen so we went with white. We raised most of the cabinets on the back wall and added a wine rack. Also, we added a much larger cabinet between the windows to balance the end of the kitchen with the back wall of cabinetry. We placed headers and molding around the windows so they look visually cohesive with the kitchen.

• Every square inch On the opposite side of the kitchen we increased the size of the cabinet above the refrigerator offering more long term storage. Finally, there is a decorative niche’ on the angled wall beside the refrigerator that we turned into a closet for storage! When storage is at a premium, every square inch counts.

• Granite all the way The homeowner chose a beautiful granite with some movement but not too much. We had a 15 year seal added to the granite so that there would be no worries! Also, the backsplash is full granite as well; it looks shiny and so beautiful at night with the light shining down. An added bonus is no grout!

• Flooring This house is all about the pool! The flooring had to be conducive to water but had to look like wood. Most old Key West homes have hard wood flooring and the homeowners wanted the look of weathered wood full of character lines. They chose a ceramic tile that looks deceivingly real and it was laid with very tight grout lines. The tile planks were long with a rectified edge. This edge is achieved by grinding the tile to a perfectly straight edge after being fired in production. You need a really straight edge to achieve a tight grout line.

• Paint The wall color is Rainwashed 6211 which is a neutral green based blue with just a touch of grey!

• Décor A healthy dose of antiques will give you an eclectic Key West look. We added old pots to the top of the cabinets and of course old glass bottles. An old bread bowl with shells and candles adorns the center of the island. The only thing missing a six toed cat lounging on the counter!

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


Before and After Pics Below