Gifts of the Sea

I dipped my head under the water line to see what was in the water below me. The bright rays of the sun pierced through the crystalline liquid and things looked shimmery in the distance. I gave my mask a quick adjustment and everything became clear as I focused in on a vast field of coral. Moving over the ridge of coral I began to recognize sea fan gently moving back and forth, stag horn coral, and a myriad of colorful corals that I have never seen. Florida has the largest coral reef ecosystem in the Continental United States. The coral reef system spans 358 miles from the Dry Tortugas near Key West and runs north to Martin County. Of all of the gifts of the sea the coral reef is arguably one of the most important. The coral reef provides protection, shelter and food for a variety of sea life and oxygen for humans to breathe. In the world of decorating we love to use natural things to provide texture and one of our favorite things to use is coral. However, we would not want to harm our environment to get real coral so we use faux coral. Today there are amazing re-creations of our favorite coral shapes from the sea. Let’s take a peek into a lanai addition that pays homage to the coral reef by putting on display some of the coral reefs most loved species of coral somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Enclosed LanaiReady for Entertaining, Interior Design - by Ruth Dyer, most loved species of coral.
The homeowners wanted a lanai space that could be open or closed and remain completely functional for all occasions. The large doors open completely to create a seamless connection from the lanai to the pool area. What do you need to have a great lanai and pool space? You need a bar of course, with a large TV and large sitting area with flexible and comfortable seating.

• Bar area
This bar was designed to be a fabulous looking work horse. The homeowners went wall to wall with the cabinetry so that storage would not be an issue. They flanked the back wall with two large armoires for concealed storage and the middle cabinets are display cabinets for stemware and bar glasses. The sink provides the water source that is always needed when making adult beverages and the bar itself is large enough to use for a food buffet if needed. The ice maker is concealed beneath the bar so that the back bank of cabinets has a clean balanced look. The liquor is kept behind closed doors so that the area could remain light, visually cohesive and balanced.

• Bar Stools
The bar stools are made to linger. They are comfortable with an ample platform to accommodate a variety of people. The fabric is a performance fabric that is made for heavy use and highly cleanable. When you buy a performance fabric you don’t have to shy away from crèmes and light fabrics.

• Bar front
The homeowner had the front of the bar covered in a stone that looks like a form of cut coral. The stone blends so well with the granite that it provides a seamless visual movement from the front of the bar to the back wall all the way up to the coral presentation on the top of the cabinets.

• Lighting
The lighting for the bar area is very important because lighting sets a mood and needs to perform so that you can see what you are doing. Under cabinet lighting highlights the back bar and allows tasks to be performed without harsh overhead lighting. Above cabinet lighting highlights the coral pieces that are very different and eye catching.

• The coral pieces
The coral is all faux but it looks real! We purchased it from an online retailer and it is magnificent. This is not the stuff you buy at discount stores and it is worth every penny just for the look. The homeowners chose Elkhorn coral on the right of the cabinets and Staghorn coral in the middle of the cabinets. Finally, Carnation coral is displayed above the left armoire. The soft lights at night highlight the coral and cast shadows for a moody effect in the space.

• Center table
The center table acts as a receiving table. The clear glass shows through to the Bali inspired wooden base of the table. Every receiving table needs a beautiful arrangement to invite you into the space. The homeowners chose a large clam shell that was filled with a custom arrangement of white orchids. The orchids are the Winward orchid and they look and feel real. The clam shell is a light weight composite so that the arrangement remains light enough to move should the table be needed as a snack area.

• Seating area
The large seating area is indoor/outdoor furniture in a dark brown metal finish. The chairs and sofa look like something from a fine resort and they are very comfortable and versatile. The arrangement of the furniture is in the classic U shape which functions best for conversation.

• Side tables
When creating a conversation space in which you will be entertaining it is important that each person has a table and a place to put down their drink and food. Each chair has access to a table. The tables were placed so that when sitting no one has to reach back for a drink it is right beside them with easy access.

• Coffee table
The homeowners chose a large coffee table that is a work or art and has a bit of a modern Hawaiian look. The large table provides more space to place drinks or food for greater comfort for their guest.

• Rug
The rug is large! The homeowners wanted to warm up the space and they wanted the chairs completely on the rug. This rug looks like the waves of the ocean and makes the seating area inviting.

• Lamps
The lamps are amazing! The lamps are handmade ceramic pineapples on a clear glass base. They are made in Thailand and the bottom of the pineapple is covered in a navy blue glaze. They are a work of art that stands thirty five inches tall.

• Pillows
The homeowners chose two navy blue woven pillows and two embroidered pineapple pillows to finish the space. I love the way the back wall looks and the lamps and pillows perfectly complement each other.
Call Ruth your full service decorator at: 352-804-2056
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Before and After Pics Below