Old Florida

My Grandmother used tin foil against the windows of her living room to keep the hot Florida sun out. She could always be found with her feet on a pillow on the coffee table between 1 and 3 in the afternoon watching her “stories”. This might have been an old cracker house on the side of highway 54 in Zephyrhills but the living room was elegant and air conditioned with a window unit that blew cool air all day long. The “youngins” were never allowed to sit on the green velvet occasional chairs that flanked the sofa of this wonderfully cool room that seemed most suited for adults. Since we did not understand soap operas and velvet chairs we ran through the groves picking oranges and digging for marbles that my father shot into the trees when he was our age. That house built of Dade County pine was small and not much to look at but we were blissfully unaware that it was anything other than a house of fun memories and looking back….real Old Florida life! For a taste of modern day Old Florida lets go back to the Belmore Cabana Villa from last week and see what other changes help reinforce the Old Florida Key West Vibe somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Accent Wall The-Lovers-Key-picture-and-the-hallway-in-pecky-cypress
I will give credit where credit is due! The man of the house loves pecky cypress and wanted to use it as an accent. The pecky cypress resembled in color Dade County Pine and I thought it would be great to use the cypress instead of the pine. We agreed that the foyer focal wall would look amazing covered in the cypress and the small wall leading to the master bedroom could use the wood accent as well. The color of the wood is perfect and the warmth and texture that it brings to the space really reinforces the Old Florida look quite well.

• In front of the accent wall
The homeowner really wanted to highlight the cypress and at first did not want anything on the wall. He then reconsidered when I propped a Gene Rizzo Sandhill crane in a perfect wooden frame up against the cypress. The frame and the colors of the picture are the perfect complement to the cypress. We added a white coral lamp, a pot of lavender, and a bowl of shells to finish the accessories on the table. The entry way table blends into the cypress as if we planned it that way! This is truly different and I love it!

• Flooring
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!

• Paint
The wall color is Rainwashed 6211 which is a neutral green based blue with just a touch of grey! The white molding and trim really pop with this paint color.

• Molding around the windows
Everything about this house is oriented for looking out through all the windows and doors toward the pool. We trimmed all the windows and doors in thick white molding and added headers to the top of all windows and doors. Treating the windows in this manner creates a picture frame effect. Each vista is more pleasing to the eye when framed in something lovely.

• New blinds
Since the homeowners wanted the windows to be open, they did not want to have blinds visible during the day. They selected the Graber crystal pleat. This is a honey comb blind that when lifted is hidden behind the molding and virtually invisible during the day. However, at night when lowered offers complete privacy.

• Five by eight Rug
When a house is completely tiled it can be rather cool, so the homeowners wanted a soft place to land in the living room. They chose a 5×8 palm leaf rug that was just enough to soften the living room a bit. The pool is so close and lots of family will be using the pool running in and out that we could only do a small rug.

• Built in corner cabinet with fireplace
The homeowners wanted a big TV but we flipped this house all the way around and that eliminated all the large walls. We were able to have a TV and small fireplace cabinet custom made to fit the corner. The TV angles perfectly in the corner and the TV works great in the space.

• Simple furniture
The living room furniture was purchase for lounging! The homeowner purchased a reclining couch and love seat to add to the current recliner. They were able to re-use the end tables and coffee table that were purchased with the house and the lamps too!

• Art
The large picture over the sofa is pure Florida and really re-in forces the look.
The title is “Lovers Key” by Alan Matlz and it looks like you could just walk into it and feel the sand between your toes!

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