Big Adventure

“What was that?” I said as my heart raced and the sound came again. Off in the distance we heard a loud guttural grunt with a low rumbling growl and then silence. Cicadas singing in unison stopped as the sound came again. Scott and I were deep in the mangrove maze off Key West kayaking and it was hard to distinguish if the sound was near us or far away. “This could become a bad B movie if that crocodile is on the move!” I said with panic rising and suppressing the need to scream. “Just paddle calmly and no jerky moves so we don’t tip!” my husband said a little stressed as well. As we paddled for what felt like forever the path became wider and the branches opened to vast amounts of water. Relief washed over me as we moved away from the thick mangroves and that awful horrible sound. I should have stayed on my glass walled balcony sipping something and watching boats go by! From now on, decorating homes will be quite enough adventure for me. Let’s take a peek into this completed living room just outside the heart of The Villages.

• Homeowners requestVisual Bang for the Buck! - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
The homeowners loved the house but wanted a more finished feeling in the space. There was nothing in the room that stood out and they wanted to have something that created visual drama.

• Big walls
The room has two gigantic walls and they both needed something but the “something’s” that we chose had to blend rather than be visually competitive with each other.

• Paint
The room needed paint to make the newly added molding stand out and to unify the space. We chose a color called window pane 6210 because we were inspired by the area rug. Also the couch fabric has subtle hints of the wall color woven into the fabric. This wall color is so soft that it felt natural in the space.

• Molding
The homeowner wanted to add crown molding to the walls and in the ceiling trays. That type of molding is always great but I suggested that they add more. The wall that connected the kitchen and the living room needed white wainscoting to break up the wall and visually connect the wall to the kitchen. The same wainscoting was added to the kitchen island so that it would be visually connected to the kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinets were a shaker style white cabinet which the homeowner liked and we decided to install a simple wainscot with straight clean lines like the shaker style so that everything would look visually cohesive.

• Focal wall
The TV wall is the largest wall and the natural focal wall of the living room. The wall is set back in an indentation and needed some molding to make it stand out. We added a casement molding to the outside of the indentation and then we added a casement molding to the inside wall of the indentation. Finally, we painted the wall between the moldings white so that it looked as if we framed both areas out with white. If you are thinking of using this technique as your own, remember that you can add as much molding as you would like.

• TV and Art
The TV wall is so long that a TV was not enough. We added a large picture from their home in Michigan to one half of the wall. We added a wall shelf below the picture and that allowed them to add more family photos. Finally, extra ottomans are stored beneath the shelf for quick and easy access for guests.

• Listen to the room
Since we did not want to have competing focal points we let the room establish what would live on the large wall that connects the kitchen and the living room.
This wall opposes sliding glass doors that flood the room with light. This wall wanted mirrors! However, the wall is so big we needed three large arched mirrors. We hung them above the chair rail and they look magnificent. If you are wondering if you could have a mirror that is too big or too much mirror, the answer is no because it is a mirror! Mirrors reflect light; therefore they will only open up any space because they reflect light.

• Hurricane sconces
We added black hurricane sconces between each mirror for soft candle light at night. The candles are the electric flicker flame that can be turned on by remote and they look real!

• Pendants
This house needed impressive pendants! When you walk into the living room the kitchen cabinets and the island are in the line of sight. The pendants that they had were so small that they looked minuscule and in most houses that would be fine but in this house the pendants have to make an impression. The new pendants have visual heft at 12 inches in diameter and they really stand out with the cabinetry as the backdrop.

• Area rug
The homeowners already had the area rug but it think it is worth mentioning that it was a very large rug. Sometimes it is hard to find a large rug that is affordable so they had a rug company cut and bind the exact size that they needed and it turned out great.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.