Welcome to our next chapter, friends! After a lot of planning and thoughtful consideration, we have made the decision to buy a home in Florida! I'm so excited to bring you along on this journey with us as we transform this somewhat-dated Mediterranean style home into our own tropical oasis!
After living in Connecticut for a decade, we have been feeling ready for a winter getaway for a long time. My husband and I are both totally summer / beach people and somehow those New England winters were just feeling colder and longer every year! After the events and experiences of the last year and a half, we realized life is too short to wait, and this just felt like the right time to make a move! (When you know, you just KNOW, right?!).
We had been looking all over Florida and weren't actually planning on buying a place quite yet, but when we stumbled across this place, we knew we needed to move fast. We saw it the morning it was listed (and actually before they were planning to show it at all) and immediately fell in love. We had seen so many other homes that could probably have worked (I see potential everywhere, almost to a fault!), but this one was different. I felt it in my heart the moment I walked in the door. Even though the painters were here and the house was a mess, it still took my breath away. My husband and I couldn't stop looking at each other trying to communicate our excitement while keeping our best poker faces on (probably not very well, lol!).
A couple of hours later, we were ready to make an offer, only to find out that the seller had just received a full price cash offer. We were so upset, but not surprised, as this was happening left and right. The realtors kept telling us they had never seen the market like this before, and they couldn't keep up with with the droves of people coming from places like New York etc. and offering cash, often sight unseen. So, we headed back north to CT with heavy hearts, regretting that we had hesitated for too long and missed out on our Florida dream home. Somewhere along our 2-day drive back, we got a call from our realtor saying that their cash offer fell through and wanted to know if we were still interested! We could not believe it but felt like it must be meant to be! After a few days (that felt like years) of extremely tenuous negotiation, we finally agreed on a deal!
My husband flew back for the home inspection while I anxiously stayed home with the kids. I had only seen the house for about 10 minutes total, so I begged him to FaceTime me during the inspection so I could see everything again (and take a million screenshots!). I ended up with a whole lot of blurry pictures and estimated room dimensions that served as the basis for many sleepless nights of mental redecorating! As someone from the North East with most of my experience in classic New England colonial style (and a brief stint in California coastal aesthetic), I was feeling a little out of my element with this house and started feverishly scouring pinterest for ideas of Spanish Colonial and Modern Mediterranean design.
This is not a style I have much experience with, but I am so excited to dive into it! I love the warm, welcoming feeling of the natural materials like reclaimed wood beams, plaster and lime washed walls, terra-cotta, limestone and travertine... it makes me feel like I'm transported to a peaceful Mediterranean villa and I can breathe a huge mental sigh of relief! I'm envisioning layers of warm neutrals, natural linen fabrics, white curtains billowing in the breeze, natural stone, accents of aged unlacquered brass and iron, rich wood tones, steel doors, soft lighting, sunlight filtering through palm trees, the sweet scent of gardenia and plumeria floating through the air, and the sound of water trickling in the fountain outside. Can you picture it too?
The home has such great bones already and I'm really looking forward to giving it a refreshed style, while staying true to its Spanish/Mediterranean architecture. I love the beautiful courtyard and double doors in the entryway, the 14' ceilings, arched doorways, tons of natural light, and open layout. It feels so private and surrounded by nature, and I love to bring that feeling inside. The style of the interior, as well as the surrounding landscape, immediately reminded me of 3 of my most favorite vacations (Hawaii, Bali, and the south of France) all rolled into one, and I hope I can bring out these vibes even more in my design!
Things we will be updating (eventually) include:
-paint (the previous owner painted some but not all of the rooms)
-floors (the current floors are 3" engineered maple with a dark stain, and they have definitely seen better days)
-adding a semi-builtin window seat in the playroom for toy storage
-bathrooms (probably the main hall bath and master bath first, and the kids bathrooms later)
-kitchen (the layout is pretty good, but all of the cabinets, countertops and fixtures are dated and tired, and I want to make some functional and aesthetic improvements)
-master closet (currently has cheap, warped mdf builtins, super gross carpet and an industrial fluorescent ceiling light)
-removing massive built-in tv unit in the living room (eventually would love to add a huge plaster fireplace, but for now we will just close out the wall)
... and of course furnishing and decorating the whole thing! :)
So, not quite as extensive as the renovations and addition we did in our CT home, but definitely enough to keep me very, very busy!
Thanks for following along with me as we make this house our home! Please check out my instagram reels (@designsixtyfive) for a video tour and progress updates! :)