Sunsets and Chocolate

When a Floridian gets a chance to go to the beach they go and so I did! I walked onto the powder white sand at Lido beach and kicked off my flops. The granules felt cool and soft against the soles of my feet inviting me to curl my toes and press until sand invaded each space between them. Sunsets and sand are some of my favorite things in life and living in Florida allows us to get plenty of that combination. What could make a sunset better when the nights are still a little cool you ask? Coffee and chocolate of course! I sipped the creamy latte and pried open the dove wrapper to reveal the wisdom inside. “Chocolate won’t let you down”, the words sounded like a whisper in my head but no truer a statement could ever be recorded in time. As I looked out at the suns descent into the horizon line my mind wondered to the world of decorating, sunsets, and chocolate. Let’s take a peek into the dining room of a Gardenia Model in which this combination creates a warm and inviting space somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• PaintAfter the Room is Light and Bright!
The house was already painted when I arrived and as owners of a chocolate shop, I thought it was fitting that they chose Coco- whip 9084 for their wall color. This color is bit darker than I usually use but a very pretty color. The homeowner was having an issue with the house looking dark and they wanted to find a way to brighten the space and make it look more finished. If you are considering a wall color that is darker remember that you have to balance the dark with the light. So we added lots of white!

• White wainscot
The before picture shows the room with just a band of white chair rail. That was not enough white so we added a full wainscot. The old chair rail was removed and a new large chair rail was added to the wall. Below the chair rail we added boxes to the wall created with half round. The entire wall from the top of the chair rail to the bottom of the baseboard was painted white.

• Customize the wainscot
I love to customize wainscot! Usually, buffets can run from 36” to 40” inches in height which would sit above the chair rail. It does not look good if the chair rail runs behind the buffet so we jogged the chair rail up and around the buffet creating a custom look. This highlights the buffet and makes it look custom to the space. The white in the space now provides light and contrast to the Coco Whip paint.

• Columns
We added small boxes to the bottom of the columns and painted them white as well. This makes the columns visually cohesive with the rest of the dining room.

• Window
The sliding glass door that leads to the lanai was already cased out in molding and we added a header to the top of the molding. This large pop of white and the extra header at the top framed out the window in white and set off the view in the back yard.

• Rug
We moved the living room rug into the dining room because it was light. The 8×11 rug filled the space nicely and was wonderful pop of white on the floor.

• Mirror
We repainted the frame to a lighter color and moved the large mirror to the back wall. When the mirror is hung on the back wall it can reflect light from the kitchen window back into the dining room space.

• Large art
We needed a large canvas over the large buffet. We chose a canvas that was 60 wide by 40 high and it makes a huge visual impression. The scene is of course, a sunset. The blue hues, white sand and soft setting sun are perfect to add light and interest to the space.

• Sconces
Everyone loves the PB sconces and so does this homeowner! We added two to each side of the picture and filled them with electric candles that flicker like the real thing. With one touch of the remote the mood is right for coffee, chocolate, and a sunset!

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