Softer Sunsets

Clouds feathered across the sky, their tips tinged with golden light. The skyline above the trees appears as a prism of colors gently glowing in the horizon where hues of blue, orange, and pink mesh together creating a visual dream. I love watching autumn and winter sunsets to enjoy the symphony of colors that Mother Nature has to provide. Though we don’t get the changing leaves of trees providing an explosion of autumn color hear in Florida, we are rewarded with extra brilliant sunsets this time of year. The tones turn from hot oranges to plenty of pink and coral showing the softer side of a Florida sunset. Just as Mother Nature changes her color palate in the world of decorating we do too! Let’s take a peek into the living room of a Gardenia model and see how the homeowners changed their palate to capture the softer side of Florida somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• UpdateAfter Image of Living room Gardenia model - in the Villages of Florida.
This room was flipped quite a few years ago when the homeowners asked me to use what they had and make the room feel larger and more finished. All the existing furniture had to stay and be re-used. I rearranged the furniture, added a rug and art and all the accents were red or green. The room looked great at the time years ago when it was done but like Mother Nature the homeowners began to desire the softer side of a colorful Florida life so the red and green had to go.

• Paint
We did need to update and freshen the paint because the old paint was the original paint and had a touch of green which we no longer wanted. The new color was Patience 7555 which I have described many times as the perfect crème. The new wall color added brightness to the space and rich creamy warmth to the walls.

• Remove valences
We did take down the valences and have shutters installed. The blinds needed to be replaced and this time the homeowners decided to add shutters. The shutters come with their own trim work so they look complete once installed. However, we wanted a little bit more so we added a header to the top of the shutter. The header draws the eye up making the window look bigger and also visually ties into the sliding glass door treatment.

• Sliding glass door
The sliding glass door does not require a privacy treatment which allowed us to encase the door with large trim work and a header. The header and trim work visually tie into the shutters which provide great visual cohesion. When entering the space and looking at the windows they pop with all the white trim and most importantly, they look dressed and done. Trim work to windows and doors always adds visual value with often translates to dollar value at the sale of the home.

• New couches
The furniture layout was already in great shape and the room was open. However, the homeowners wanted the red couches gone! We purchased new couches in which we could customize the depth of the seat, the foam density, the cushions and so much more. We chose a fabric with both navy and crème woven together. The fabric is a high performance fabric that will stand up to wear and tear and clean up easily.

• New recliner
One of the homeowners wanted a new recliner but not as large as the previous recliner which he found to be uncomfortable. We found a great slim recliner in a navy blue fabric that he sits in more than the couch because it is so comfortable.

• New side chair
The homeowners decided that the gingham chair could leave and a new swivel rocking chair took its place. If there is a big game and company arrives the chair can easily be moved into the viewing area of the TV.

• New Rug
The new rug is amazing! The pattern is a beautiful mixture of light and dark blues on a background of greyish crème. The rug is 8’by11’ and fills the space luxuriously.

• New Art
This time the homeowners wanted to see some Florida life pictures and who better to capture that than Gene Rizzo. We chose his water color prints, “Conch Cottage” and “Cracker Cottage” to hang together over the sofa. The colors in greens, blues, pinks and corals hone in on the softer side of Florida and the two houses are great representation of the mixed architecture that is so prevalent in Key West. Also, on the side wall we hung a large water color by Gene titled, “Dinghy”. This picture is a boat on the sand of a beach and the color of the water in the art worked perfectly with all the blues in the space!

• Lamps
The space needed new lamps all around. We placed matching lamps on each side of the sofa. These lamps complement all the colors in the space uniquely. Different colors can be seen in the finish as light moves through the space. Finally, we added two more lamps to the space, one by the recliner and one by the swivel rocker. These lamps have a mixture of soft white and a teal green showing through. They are the perfect finish to 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