Sunshine filtered through the vast canopies of live oaks raining down its golden light to feed the blooming azaleas below. The large grouping of pink flowers shimmered with morning dew and I slowed my van to a crawl to enjoy this fleeting and picturesque moment. If you are a photographer seeking inspiration then you should take your early mornings on the roadside near Lake Sumter Landing and Buena Vista to capture the shot of lush flowers and bright greenery in perfect bloom. These are some of the best days in Florida to enjoy the outdoors and get inspired. As I drove to my first appointment of the day my mind wondered to the world of decorating and thoughts of inspiration. Where do you find your inspiration and how do you make it come to life? Let’s take a peek into a Monticello Courtyard Villa to see how the space was brought to life by using art as the inspiration somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• ArtMonticello Courtyard Villa from the front of the house - Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
The homeowner brought with him from Texas two very large abstract canvases and one smaller canvas. They represented all the colors that he loved and he wanted the two canvases to be the inspiration for the space. Immediately, by looking at the canvases we knew we would use grey, white, bright navy blue and teal. It made finding inspiration easy when we used an artist palette to do the work for us.

• Wall Color
The walls needed to be neutral so we chose the paint titled, “Popular Gray”.
I like Popular Gray because it is a brown based gray. The brown in the gray tends to make the gray warmer and more neutral. Popular Gray is a wonderful color for those who want to try gray but are afraid that it will make the space look cold.

• White Accent wall
The homeowner wanted to get rid of the large entertainment unit. We did and he found a console that he loved to replace it. The console looked great but it did not do much on the large wall of this model. We needed to make the wall look complete without adding bulk to the space because this model can get tight in the living room if you’re not careful. We had the crown molding company add molding to the wall and create a grid of boxes. This treatment once painted all white, made the wall a statement wall and made the space look bigger. The white added lightness and brightness to the space while becoming a major focal point.

• Slider
The focal wall in this model has a sliding glass door which can be a bit awkward to treat. We removed the vertical blind and replaced it with a veritslide. This is a honey combed blind that slides to the side. When it is stacked back in open position it has a small stack compared to a vertical blind. Finally, we covered the mechanics of the blind with a white wooden cornice board with a crown molding top.

• Windows
The windows already had the slated blinds and they were brand new. We added large molding around the windows and white wooden cornices with crown molding tops to match the look of the sliding glass door. This cohesive look in this model is important because the windows line the side wall of the home so they have to look really good. Hot Tip: when adding white wood cornices to the top of the window; you should always add molding to the side of the window for a more finished and professional look.

• Furniture placement
We did buy a new sofa and recliner for the living room and that was all the homeowner wanted in that space. We placed two occasional barrel chairs in front of the window near the slider with an accent table. These chairs can be used as extra seating that is easy to move. Since the only piece of furniture on the large wall was the console there was room to flank the console with the barrel chairs should the homeowner need more seating in the living room space. Otherwise, they are out of the way and useable on their own in front of the window.

• Mirror
We hung a large arch mirror near the entry way that reflects the light from the opposing windows. The mirror looks like a window and fills the wall. We placed a bench beneath the mirror so that again, if he needs more seating the bench can be easily moved into the living room space.

• Rug
We chose a rug that is an abstract pattern and reflects all the colors in the artwork. The rug is an 8×11 size to fill the space and add softness.

• The art
We hung one of the large canvases to the right of the TV on the large focal wall. When you enter the home that large canvas is the first pop of color that you will see to begin the color story of the home. The second large canvas was placed in the dining room behind the table and it pops too! As you look that direction the canvas reinforces the color story that began when entering the home. A third smaller canvas was placed between the two windows and again reinforced the central theme of color in the space.

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