Beach Dream a Taste
of Florida for Guest
in The Villages

The Grahams Guest BedroomThe Grahams Guest Bedroom

The countdown is at zero and that is where I am, at Mile marker zero! Hi Everyone from Key West! The way that I intend for this Saturday to go is to start with a long walk around the island. I like to see how things have changed. What is still in business and what is not in business? I love to walk by houses shrouded in lush foliage and see a cat lazing on the porch. They always ignore you because the Key West Cats are a bit snobby. After, our long walk, we like to hit the beach and that is where I will stay until 4:30. I have a massage scheduled at Prana at 5:30 and after that, Dinner! I am sure we will meander around to Sloppy Joes after dinner for a bit to see what’s shakin’ and then home to a great night’s sleep, ready to do it all again tomorrow, minus the massage.

Vacation for me is a true vacation. I like the familiarity of my surroundings because at this point in my life, it is relaxing. Webster’s Dictionary defines familiarity as: intimate, free, unconstrained, and well known. Aesop coined the term “Familiarity breeds contempt” so then if that is true we should not love the things that are familiar but we should despise them. Conversely, life experience tells me that people love familiarity and they love being surrounded by “the familiar” things in everyday life particularly in the world of decorating.  However, at what point do the familiar things need to be despised and kicked to the curb to make way for something better? Let’s see how these homeowners struck a balance between the familiar things from back home and the new things in their new world, when creating a guest bedroom that  all of their family can visit for a taste of Florida somewhere in the heart of the Villages.

• The story begins
These homeowners are planted firmly on Floridian soil now that they have sold the Northern Home. So much of their former life was left behind because they were Snowbirds for a long time. Their current Villages home was filled with new things but now the challenge was to integrate the old familiar things that had to be kept and used. Each season we finished room after room and the guest bedroom became the depository of all the leftover stuff that was acquired inexpensively to fill the house. We were able to put it together to look nice for a time but the inexpensive art had to go and the bedding had to be put to bed.

• Paint
The walls were painted a soft golden color but I can’t remember its name since it has been several years since I helped pick the color. However we still like it and it looks great!

• The Art
The art in the before picture is inexpensive and looks nice but definitely not for the long term and it does not really produce a Florida feeling. We decided to use a picture of the coastline of Florida with blue skies and sea oats. This picture is one of my favorite since it hangs above my desk! When you look at it you want to walk into it because it looks so real. The picture is actually a photograph that is made to look like oil.

• The bedding
We wanted something to really pop with the picture. Trina Turk bedding from a local retailer did the job! The crisp blue and white worked great with the color in the painting. We bought the queen bed set which included a coverlet and two shams. We needed the square white Euro’s and accent throw pillows to button it up. The accent throw pillows are the color of the sea oats in the picture they add a layer of depth to the bedding. The bedspread is the queen matelassé that is white and easily washable between guests. We folded the blue coverlet at the bottom of the bed to add color and thickness. The bed looks fresh, crisp and inviting.

• The side tables
When we discussed this room we thought we would put a small round table beside the bed to coordinate with the one side table that they already owned. However, they had a white desk in the front office that was replaced for something more to the husbands liking. The white desk was going to be sold to another one of my clients, but I had another plan! The day that we put the room together I pulled out the tape measure decided that it would fit and the white desk became the second side table. We placed the desk at the back of the room so that it was the side table to the left of the bed if you are facing the bed. The chair is a sentimental chair that the homeowner had and it looks really cute as place to sit down in the guest room. We hung a mirror over the desk as well, so that it could double as a makeup table for a guest.

• Lamps
We used fun and sophisticated lamps, bronze starfish! I love these lamps because they celebrate the sea without looking cheap.

• Window treatments
We used the existing rod and hung white side panels from it. These white window treatments further brighten the space.

• Familiar items
We were able to incorporate a Lenox vase from the homeowner’s mother and a family photo. Also, the chair at the desk is sentimental and we used the homeowner’s hope chest that she has owned since she was a very young girl.

In the end the familiar becomes new again because the backdrop is fresh and new.

So, as you read this wish me well, that my day would go like it was planned. I will have to let you know. I will begin my big week in Key West and embrace the familiar. I will see you back here next Saturday and let you know how it has been going. Until then wish me blue skies, moonlit nights, and a week of gorgeous southern sunsets.

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator in the heart of The Villages of Florida – 352-804-2056