Southern Comfort

Sounds of voices trailed off and rose into the air as I moved close to the soft lapping water, slipped off my flops and sunk my feet in deep. Soon the show would begin and refreshed from the water, I moved to sit on the piling at the end of Simonton Street. The atmosphere around me grew quiet as if all creatures great and small waited for this time when day meets night and softness relaxes the island. The sun in shades of red, orange and pink quivered as it kissed the ocean filled horizon. The slow descent and quick disappearance of fire into the deep left the mangroves and sails on boats going by back- lit and appearing two dimensional. I like to sit here in this place and let the mental clutter wash into the sea while I surround myself with the comfort this southernmost place can bring. Webster’s dictionary describes comfort as “ease of body or mind; to console, cheer, or gladden”; all wonderful words but how do we put them into action when it comes to decorating your home in the south? Let’s take a peek into the dining room of an Ivy model to see how southern comfort and beauty combine somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• PaintInviting and Colorful - Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
The walls of the house were a light brown color that was neutral but the wall color absorbed so much light. The homeowners requested a lighter home and they wanted color. The wall color is Rain washed 6211.This color is from the fundamentally neutral line and is indeed neutral. The color is a green based blue with just a hint of gray. The green and gray in the paint work together to bring the blue into a state of neutrality so everything goes with Rainwashed. Remember, if you want to utilize natural light in a space use an eggshell or satin finish so the light can be reflected by the paint. Flat paint no matter how light the color will always absorb light because it is flat.

• Wainscot the space
White wainscot always brightens a space and looks particularly great with black furniture. The white wainscot works to add high contrast against the black furniture and the result is light giving and dramatic. We moved the server that belongs with the table into the space and installed the wainscot to fit over and around the server. The server now looks custom to the space and a bit more unique. However, if the homeowner moves another server will fill the space just fine because most servers are similar in size.

• Crown molding
We installed seven inch crown molding throughout the main area of the house. The seven inch crown looks best in spaces with ceilings that are nine feet or higher. The molding is MDF seven inch crown. I like the MDF molding best because it can mold tightly to the ceiling and the joints when cut right fit so tight they cannot be seen.

• Add the leaf to the table
I try to add the leaf to the table when possible. I don’t like having to store the table leaf under the bed only to have to pull it out when entertaining people. I like life to be easy and simple so if we can keep the leaf in the table then I always try to keep the table long. This table looks great longer with the leaf because it is a more proportionate scale to a dining room this size.

• Rug
The rug that was originally in the dining room was moved to another part of the home. We moved the rug that was in the living room into the dining room and purchased a new living room rug that we will see next week. The old living room rug looked great in the dining room and was the right size too.

• Large mirrors
This dining room has a large wall that opposes the large sliders with fabulous views of the golf course and great sunsets. We needed to reflect all that light back into the space and show the view off in the dining room. We installed two Palladian mirrors that are 72”high and 48”wide. These two mirrors reflect so much view that it feels like two large windows have been installed. They fit between the molding and the wainscoting perfectly.

• Sunset Art
Nothing is better than a sunset especially one captured by the official wildlife and fine arts photographer of Florida, Alan Maltz. This sunset is a perfect representation of a most beautiful winter sunset in Florida. The colors of the sunset reflect the colors that can be seen across the golf course every night just beyond the homeowner’s back yard.

• Chandelier
The new chandelier was purchased from an online retailer and it has a champagne finish that almost matches the finish of the mirrors. The chandelier is a classic metal bamboo drum. I like this chandelier because it is big but it is open. I like that even though it is open it makes a great visual statement in the space.

• Accessories
The homeowner likes to keep her accessories to a minimum. We added a few items and a runner on the table. Also, just a lamp and some vases look great on the server. If you have great art and great mirrors, what more do you need?

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.