Blue Sanctuary

Many of my readers write me and ask me why I go to Key West so often? If you are wondering, I will share that with you today. I have been going to Key West for 22 years so it feels like home even though I don’t own a home on the island. I don’t like to fly anywhere and the drive to Key West is absolutely beautiful. I go twice a year because I buy art from a local artist for my clients and it is a place that I can go to see the familiar and truly relax. Long morning walks beneath blue skies and water as far as the eye can see provide hours of slow and calming fun! Sunset sails, trips to the Dry Tortugas, and boating to the sand bar have provided much fun in the sun through the years. Even as you read this I will be in my southernmost sanctuary since Key West has opened and we wanted to pick up our art before the island gets too busy. While I am in my sanctuary down island let’s take a look at the living room of a Begonia Model that provides sanctuary for its’ owners somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

Paint Begonia Model that provides Sanctuary for its’ owners somewhere in the heart of The Villages.
The home is brand new and the paint was the original color. I don’t know the name of the color but it works well in the space so there was no need to change. The color is a neutral tannish color.

• Windows
Many of the homeowners that I work with do not want the expense of custom valences made from fabric. Instead they like to invest the money in something that will stand the test of time. We surrounded the large slider with large molding on the sides and a big header at the top. This molding creates a frame that highlights any view and adds architecture to the space. The windows had blinds which we left in place and trimmed around the window. The header acts as a valence to cover the mechanics of the blind. Once all the windows are framed out there is visual cohesion and the windows look finished and bright. If you notice, there is no crown molding but it is not that noticeable because the window molding draws the eye and the windows look amazing!

• Furniture placement
The homeowner is a reader of my column and liked the way the furniture looks when it is flipped around in a Begonia living room. We moved the TV to the small wall beside the slider. This TV position allows the homeowner to see the TV from the kitchen, and the living room while enjoying the water view. We moved the sofa to the wall between the windows and it fits that space perfectly. By moving the sofa to that wall we freed up the wall that opposes the sliders. This will allow us to place the two reclining chairs on the wall that the sofa used to occupy. We were concerned that the two reclining chairs would hit the wall when reclined because they are not wall- hugging. All reclining items should be wall hugging for best use of the space. We placed each chair at a slight angle and that allowed plenty of room to recline. We added a table between the two reclining chairs and a lamp for reading. With the couch on the wall between the windows the room was open and felt much bigger. We angled a small club chair inward toward the room so that the seating arrangement could be rounded out and complete. The sofa received two new and small side tables and matching lamps. We used the coffee table in front of the sofa and were still able to have room for the ottomans that accompanied the reclining chairs.

• Rug
The room needed a rug for color and for the very important job of covering the floor outlet that was no longer needed. The rug is a powerful pop of cobalt, navy and light blue against a background of grayish white. A great rug will make a great statement.

• Art
When the sofa is moved to the wall between the windows, which is the natural focal point of the room, the wall above the sofa needs something spectacular. The perfect complement to the rug is a photograph canvas by Alan Maltz. This canvas is a photograph of a mangrove tree and it is titled, “Free Spirit”. The base around the tree is sand and ocean water and it seems to be glowing with light. The gold from the light offsets the blue notes in the art and works well with the accent pillows on the couch. We placed two new offerings from Gene Rizzo titled, “The Lookout and The Guardian”. These are water colors of a great blue heron and a white egret surrounded by penetrating blue sky. All the color notes in the art and rug complement each other to create a beautifully open living room.

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.

Before and After Pics Below