Cozy Up

Chestnuts were roasting on the streaming fireplace video and Jack Frost did not nip at our nose. Yuletide carols were played by Alexa and folks wore light sweaters to their Christmas shows. Yes, a Florida Christmas is definitely not a Christmas of those traditional songs but now that Christmas has past and old man winter is on the way, we can still cozy up for the season! January is typically the coldest month of the year in Florida so it might be nice to snuggle in with a good book while a roaring fire crackles on the television. The best place to snuggle in is a nook and every home should have one. Webster’s dictionary defines a nook as an interior angle formed by two meeting walls or a small often recessed section of a larger room. So, if you are wondering where you could have a nook let’s take a peek into two Gardenia models to see how warm and cozy a nook can be somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Gardenia’sHome Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida, House number one, front view. Gardenias
Both homeowners have Gardenias and they both did not use the kitchen to eat. They preferred to eat in the dining room or on the lanai overlooking their beautiful views.

• Removing the window in nook #1
In a regular Gardenia there are two windows in the kitchen. The homeowner of house one, added a golf cart garage to the front of the house. When the golf cart garage was added to the front of the house it took away the window in the kitchenette area. To balance out losing the light from the large arched window they added a side window back into the space. Since the homeowners were not using this space for eating that left one question, what do we do with this space and the answer was to make it a nook!

• Comfy place to sit and read the paper or have coffee
The homeowners of house one did not think they would have any use for this space, and I did not want to leave it empty. They had two teal chairs that they did not want in the living room any longer and I thought they would be perfect for the nook. I love them in the nook!

• Add a window into the space
Although we removed the windows from the nook, that is no reason not to have sparkle and light! We hung an arched mirror in the dining room, and we hung the exact same mirror across from it in the nook! The arches look like Palladian windows and they reflect each other to add light and sparkle to the space. Also, they fill up a really big wall. Now when you walk into the house and look into the nook, the space looks balanced and natural with the mirror acting like a window. The homeowners report that they do use this space for coffee and the paper.

• Big art Too
The art that the homeowners chose to hang in the nook is big. We chose large to make a visual impression and balance with the height of the mirror. This picture is a sunrise at Smathers Beach in Key West. You can almost hear the water lapping onto the sand. The artist Alan Maltz snapped this picture on his way home. He said he wanted the picture to look like a painting and the light was so perfect that he felt he had no time to find his soft filter lens. So he breathed onto the lens of the camera and took the shot. It did turn out like a painting and it looks amazing in the space. We added a Zebra rug to create an unexpected pop and anchor the space.

• Mini Library house #2
For house number two, we decided to make the space into a mini library. We pulled a large backers rack out of the hallway and placed it against the only full wall in the space. We made the bakers rack a form of storage for books, accessories and a small lamp. We laid down a jute rug to warm up the space and define it. Then we placed two chairs in the space, so that if they wanted to have a conversation with someone they could sit down and talk. We added a pouf to put their feet up, a side table and a lamp. Also, we had to raise the chandelier so that no one would hit their head. The space took on the feel of a little library nook. It is very inviting and comfortable, in fact so comfortable, that the homeowners have gone from never using the space, to using the space every day.

P.S. –Attention, club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

After Pics Below