The Feathered Nest

What do Henry Ford and Thomas Edison have in common besides being historic inventors of the two most important things that changed people’s lives today? They wintered in Ft. Myers Florida. What do Henry Flagler and Marjorie Merriweather Post have in common besides being historic tycoons? They both wintered in Palm Beach Florida. Today you may visit Henry Flagler’s most famous hotel “The Breakers” if you want to spend a chunk of change and likewise you may visit the former Post residence which is now Mar a Lago! I am sure that the tradition of wintering in Florida started before these big names began meandering down to the Sunshine State but they are a very traceable testament to the history of this popular tradition of escaping the cold to head south. We now call people who winter in warmer climates “snow birds” and the tradition is more alive than ever! Let’s take a peek inside a newly feathered nest that awaits its owners’ return next season somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Initial visitWarm and Inviting, Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
When I first walked into the colony model the space felt a little cool because all of the walls were white and the flooring was all tile. There was very little art to adorn the walls and not enough furniture to feel inviting. The homeowners wanted a home that felt warm, inviting and comfortable.

• Paint
We decided to paint the walls Biscuit SW 6112 to add warmth and light to the space. This color is a neutral color that is a mixture of tan, peach and crème. Everything goes with Biscuit and the color is timeless.

• Dining Room
The secret to a colony villa dining room is to use all the space wisely. If you have a table and four chairs as pictured in the before, you need room to pull all four chairs out when you want to use the table. However, we wanted to create more space. We did this by purchasing an extremely comfortable upholstered bench to use as seating on one side of the table. We placed the bench beneath the window against the wall. This bench will not move and people can slide into the bench to use the table. This allows us to have about two more feet of width that will not have to be devoted to chair pullout. We placed one chair on either end of the table and we angled a third in the corner by the sideboard. This created so much space and room for more chairs if needed. The bench is so comfortable the homeowners find it easy to linger at the table in the morning to read the paper or watch TV while having a second cup of coffee.

• Sideboard
The dining room felt large now and we had room for a server. A server in the space allowed for much needed storage and it is a great place to add a lamp for lighting at night.

• Large arch mirror
Don’t be afraid to use large items in small spaces. The large arch mirror is perfect above the sideboard. The mirror is 72” high by 48” wide and it reflects all the light coming in through the slider. A mirror can never be too big when it is reflecting light because it is a mirror and in this case a mirror that looks like a window. It is the most popular because it is the most effective and it’s pretty.

• Large art
We hung a large painting of a blue heron by water color artist Gene Rizzo on the one available wall of the dining room. When creating a beautiful small space, think larger and less. Larger items make a greater focal impact and help a space fell less cluttered.

• Lighting overhead
In the colony, I like to remove all the lights that hang down from the ceiling and replace them with the modern version of track lighting. By doing this in the dining room we eliminate the need to center the table and we get more light. I replaced the table chandelier with a six light track with LED lights. The single light above the door was replaced with a single LED which illuminates the artwork on the wall behind the door.

• Large rug
The original rug was small and under scale and did not absorb sound at all.
We replaced the small rug with an 8’ by 11’. This added sound absorption and color! Also, we added a felted rug pad under the rug for softness, protection of the rug backing, and more sound absorption.

• New furniture
The homeowners bought new furniture for the living room. They each have a chair and ottoman of their own and we placed the new sofa on the wall beneath the window. In this model you cannot worry about centering the sofa under the window so don’t. Once the art is up and the table and lamps are placed it will look natural to the space. The new furniture was chosen in a soft teal and it looks great with the rug in the space and most of all it is comfortable.

• Focal wall
The focal wall is so big in this space that a little TV and nothing else will not look right. We added a shelf and some art above the TV to create a focal wall. Also, we added candle sconces for soft light at night.
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Before and After Pics Below