Architecture, Gardening in the tropics, Interior Design

Happy House

It is official, we have sold our happy house in South Florida. We are delighted that a family with small kids will be making it their own. In this post, I am going to share pictures, memories, and a few design tips.

Location, location, location!

Jim and I purchased this property, which was a 900 square foot fixer 20 years ago. Since then, we added over 1,000 square feet! We tore down the “enclosed” porch you see on the left side of the below picture. Then we did an addition to increase the living room space, which also created a large primary bedroom and ensuite. A few years later we did a kitchen remodel, which gave us a much bigger kitchen at the center of the home. The last addition, was a large family room that looked out into the backyard tropical paradise we created over many years.

Yep, that’s the same house and us celebrating our purchase!

I had to convince Jim to add the front porch, which creates a welcoming entry into our coastal cottage charmer. The open plan living, kitchen, and dining area offers plenty of space to entertain. The kitchen features a 10’ island, built-in refrigerator, gas/convection range, two large pantries, as well as pull-out drawers in the cabinets. If you remodel your kitchen make sure you add plenty of drawers or pull-out drawers in your cabinets. They make kitchen duty so much easier!

Every cottage needs a front porch!
We kept all the original charm, including the wood floors.

Thoughtful, professional additions and renovations have added square footage, while keeping all the original solid wood floors, doors, and window moldings. Jim designed and built the cabinetry and shelves in the dining room. Just left of the refrigerator you can see the original wall, which is where the original 900 square foot house ended. We love color, so when I painted the back of the shelves, I used the kitchen island color as well as colors that are throughout the house. An easy way to find your color inspiration is to use a picture, rug or fabric you love to create a color palette that will be pleasing to you.

Primary Bedroom and Bath

The gracious primary bedroom overlooks the private garden. The primary bedroom features an ensuite bath with double-sinks, large shower, private toilet, and plenty of storage, as well as a large walk-in closet. I picked a greige wall color for the living and primary bedroom, which is a warm neutral color that appeals to most people.

The guestroom is bright and welcoming, as well as conveniently located just across the hall from the guest bathroom. Since we do not have kids, we created an office space, which has a comfy Murphy Bed for extra guests. We had a lot of storage in this house, but that meant lots of stuff to give away or pack! In our new house, as well as the new build in Montana, we are determined to have less stuff!

The large family room features impact windows and sliding doors, as well as stunning views of the backyard paradise. We spent almost all our time in this room! Do not forget to think about pets or kids when choosing fabrics. You will want to pick a sturdy fabric that will be forgiving. I made this mistake when I picked this beautiful dark blue couch, which was covered in white hair from our two Westies, Hanna and Toby in less than a day.

This room faces north, which in South Florida is perfect!

When the movers were loading our stuff into the truck, we spent our last few hours in the garden we created. Now this is going to sound a little bit kooky, but I believe the critters who now call our garden home stopped by to say thanks and goodbye. We watched as a pair of male cardinals chased each other around the side yard where the shed is located. The Painted Buntings visited the feeder filled with white millet. Zebrawing, Monarchs, and Giant Swallowtail butterflies floated and circled around us. A hummingbird zipped by close enough for us to hear his wings before perching on a low branch for about 15 minutes while we inched closer to admire him. It was a glorious last few hours!

We added every tree, plant, and flower in this garden.

One thing we will not miss is the amount of work this beautiful garden requires to look it’s best. Our new place has a small garden and outdoor space that will be just enough to keep our thumbs green. Stay tuned as we tackle our next project with our Ocean Dunes Fixer by subscribing below.


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