Home of the Month | Sept-Oct 2017

Home of the Month, September/October 2017
800 24th Ave. N.

All the Changes, Great and Small
To transform the house on the corner of 8th Street and 24th Avenue so that it felt like their own, Charki and Doug Shafer have undertaken a wide variety of projects in the past  two years, both massive in their scope and specific in their detail. When they moved here
from Illinois, after retiring in 2015, they knew the layout and structure of the approximately 1929 home was quirky and unique.

Front of House 9-17


Their goal was to find ways to make it unique to their style and tastes as well, leveraging Charki’s eye for style and color and Doug’s impressive woodworking skills throughout every room of the house. Start in the front room, for example. When they arrived, the house featured a lot of dark colors and sconces, reflecting a period-specific preference that did not match their own. Using approximately three coats of paint to cover the dark shades, the Schafers lightened the color scheme and gave the room a bright, beach-like feel.Front Room 9-17

Charki even applied a faux finish to the dark red bricks around the fireplace,though until you get right up on them, it’s virtually impossible to tell that the finish isfake, not just a light-colored brick. The boat-themed décor and artwork also tell the taleof their boating interests; as a competitive sailboat racer, Doug and his team even have won “The Mac,” the famous (at least to Midwesterners) 333-mile race from Chicago to
Mackinac Island. The dining room similarly features a light, bright color scheme, as well as a mantelpiece that the Schafers added for visual interest. Again, it’s easy to mistake it for a real fireplace, but the mantel has been in the family for years, serving different functions as needed, including as a headboard for their daughter’s bed for a time.

Mantel 9-17

At the back, the doors to the backyard let in plenty of light, illuminating along with the chandelier they added to the room. Once more, in the kitchen, the color scheme is totally new, as are the open shelves. In this room, the Schafers tore down cabinets on one side and replaced them with the shelves, which Doug built himself to be sure they would be secure enough to hold the family’s dishware.

Kitchen 9-17

In line with their preferences, they also switched out the old stove for a gas-fed version and installed a big, bright white sink that opens the galley space. A vintage United Airlines sign tucked into the kitchen also hints at their pre-retirement careers, when both of them worked for the airline. At some point, they are considering cutting the wall between the dining room and kitchen, which would increase the light and flow even more. The rest of the downstairs features two bedrooms and a bath–likely the extent of the living space for the home when it was first built. But at some point, a previous owner took the full-house attic upstairs and converted it into the master bedroom. Thus, up aflight of stairs (which the Schafers painted by alternating the riser colors, using the various colors that make up their color scheme throughout the rest of the house), there lies a huge space, dedicated to their living quarters. The big bedroom is, of course, bright and open, leading on to a large bathroom that features a clawfoot tub, water closet with built-in shelving, and shower.

Bedroom 9-17

When Doug and Charki moved in, the bath also featured a small closet off to the side, in which was cut a small space, through which they might crawl. So crawl they did, adventuring through the little hole to find out what was on the other side. What they found was an extended attic space that ran along the entire length of the room, sitting unused under the eaves. By opening that space and building a new separating wall, they were able to create two totally new spaces. First, the new laundry room sits off the bath, with plenty of room for both the machines and a few pieces of convenient furniture.

Laundry 9-17

Second, on the other side, Charki designed a dream closet for herself, and they cut the door into the bedroom so that it was easily accessible. Doug kept the old closet, which sits on the opposite wall. Also along that wall is an office alcove, stocked with equipment and furniture that Doug built years ago. In each of these spaces, the slanted ceilings seemingly would offer a challenge, but the well-designed furniture and layout that the Schafers have installed make them highly functional. As the neighbor who nominated the Schafers to be the Home of the Month noted, all these projects were ones that, for the most part, Charki and Doug did themselves. But when it came to the big outdoor projects, they decided to call in some experts. Doug explains that he planned to paint the exterior himself, but after a 20-minute attempt to scrape paint in the Florida heat, he decided that perhaps hiring someone would be a better use of his time. They also express their strong satisfaction with Bluefield Painters, which transformed the previously yellow house to a deep and beautiful blue. Part of the challenge Doug faced in painting the exterior arose because it was taking place at the same time that Landmark Pools (another service provider the Schafers recommend) was digging and laying their pool. The backyard previously had featured a lush koi pond, which Charki admits was lovely and tropic, inhabited by a happy turtle. But every time they came back from a bike ride or finished an outdoor project, they found themselves inordinately jealous of the turtle and its enjoyment of the cool water in the pond. That seemed unfair, so they found a new home for the turtle (who is now named George and happily swimming in an even larger koi pond nearby) and built themselves a human “watering hole.” The lovely design of the pool fits the space in the back perfectly, and Charki notes that they are in it nearly everyday.

Pool 9-17

And thus, through hours of effort and a dedication to using their extensive skills, honed over the years by their enjoyment in undertaking projects to make all their homes reflections of themselves, Doug and Charki have made the latest iteration of this house their own.

–Elisabeth Nevins
Photo credits: © Elisabeth Nevins

Home of the Month | July 2017

Home of the Month, July/August 2017
800 27th Ave. N.

A House with Personality and Promise, Fulfilled

As Bebe Ocano summarizes it succinctly, “A cookie-cutter house is never going to be for me.” Along with her husband Chio, children Mariana and Lucas, and dog Coco, Bebe has embraced the challenges, difficulties, pleasure, and fun of turning the house with personality, at the corner of 27th Avenue and 8th Street, into a functional, gorgeous, and distinctive living space, all in the space of less than two years.

Front of house 7-17

Working as a Realtor, Bebe encountered the house several years ago, when it was available for rent. One of her clients was interested, so even though the 1915 home deeply appealed to her, Bebe linked the client to the owner. After about 18 months, when she knew that rental contract would be up soon, she contacted the owner and asked about any interest in selling. Chio was less compelled; the house had suffered some poor upkeep, and he did not quite see the promise that Bebe did. “Are you sure about this?” he asked, but Bebe assured him that she knew just how great it could be. But even still, after they completed the purchase, she barred him from even seeing the place again for two weeks, giving her time to paint all the walls white and to deep clean the entire house. Getting back to a foundation of white walls was central to Bebe’s vision. The home has stunning, utterly distinctive ceiling beams running throughout, and to highlight them, the surrounding features needed to provide a clean grounding.

Beams 7-17

By painting everything white—including the backsplash in the kitchen, after applying a primer for glass—the house gained a brighter, lighter feel. She also removed most of the window hangings, to let plenty of light in. The brighter space then provided an ideal backdrop for the wealth of framed art throughout the house, much of it painted by Bebe herself.

Kitchen 7-17

Once the white interior walls were set, and the family moved in, around October 2015, the real renovations started. Within the first few months, the Ocanos moved a partial wall about two feet into the living room (which includes what was, in the past, the front porch), such that it took on a simple rectangular shape, rather than featuring an alcove.

Living Room

Living Room

Living room after 7-17

Those two feet, put on the other side of the wall, became a new closet for the master bedroom. In addition, the family added wood floors throughout much of the house, changed out all the light fixtures, and sodded the back yard. But in one of the most creative and remarkable transformations, Bebe fixed an issue that likely had plagued previous owners for years. The three-bedroom home had space for both kids, but to access the third bedroom, Lucas would have had to walk through his sister Mariana’s room, each time he wanted to get in or out. It wasn’t livable, so Bebe took a close look and found a solution. By extending the hallway and adding a new door, she made the closet in Mariana’s room a little bigger (though the bedrooms themselves lost a few square feet each), and even more important, created separate entryways into
each room. All of this happened within the first few months of the Ocanos taking up residence. More recently, they also replanted the front yard (notably, even though the main door to the house is on 8th Street, the mailing address and thus official front of the house is on 27th Avenue). Next they painted the house a deep gray, a color that Bebe knew she wanted from the start. But when she stopped by Sherwin-Williams to order the color by name and requested exterior paint, the clerks gave her a strange look. “You can’t paint the exterior of the house that color,” they cautioned. But Bebe knew what she wanted, and she knew the deep, rich color would look terrific. As is often the question (at least in my mind), just how did she know? According to Bebe, when she encounters a layout or a color or a structure that doesn’t quite work, “I just look and see a solution. That’s actually how I started in real estate. Every time I would go to a house with my friend, who is also a Realtor, I would say, ‘I would knock this down, I would move this,’ and my friend said, ‘Bebe: You have the vision. You should be in real estate!’”

Art 1 7-17

This strong sense of what will look best serves her both in her real estate career and in her art and painting. That devotion to art is long standing; she studied graphic design in her native country of Guatemala. Therefore, another notable project at the Ocanos turned the small garage into an art studio, with bright light streaming in from French doors. A small air conditioner keeps it cool, and though the washer and dryer currently take up space, the Ocanos plan to build a small room off the main house soon, to move the laundry facilities there.

Art 3 7-17

Many of these projects would have gone much slower without the help of another Crescent Heights fixture, Tim Groves. He helped with the studio, a small storage shed built to look as if it is part of the main house, and the painting. According to Bebe, he can help with literally everything, which is a good thing, because she always has more home improvement projects in mind. At one point, she notes, she and Chio discussed how, with so many things to be done to the house, maybe it would be preferable to find or build a new house that they could make exactly as they wanted from the start. But in that case, they figured they would need to leave Crescent Heights, and neither of them has any desire to do that. This is home—filled with personality, with not a single cookie-cutter fixture to be found. In this sense, one of the oldest houses in our unique neighborhood is also one of the most iconic, representing all that’s great and appealing about finding a place of one’s own.

Art 2 7-17

—Elisabeth Nevins
Photo credits: © Bebe Ocano

Home of the Month | March 2017

Home of the Month, March/April 2017
844 27th Ave. N.

A Passion for Design, A Plan for Efficiency

Michael Monahan is an artist at heart, which means that he brings both a deeply felt respect for the visual and a careful consideration of how things link together to virtually everything he does. His newly built home in Crescent Heights is no exception. The painstaking attention that he, and his builder, paid to each step informs every curve, space, nook, and corner of the modern showpiece. Consider, for example, the windows—among the most prominent visual element when looking at the house from 27th Avenue.

Front of house 3-17

Michael enjoys the “visual shock” of the bright Florida sunlight as much as anyone, but he also was determined to make his house super energy efficient. Thus, there are few windows facing south. But upstairs, the bedroom at the front (north) features a large window, to let in plenty of consistent light, or what he calls “perfect artist’s light.” To the east, a bank of glass doors sits below a carefully engineered awning, designed following a detailed analysis of the sun’s angles, so that the sunlight does not hit directly. Instead, Michael had a short, bright white wall constructed; the light reflects off the wall, flooding the living space with bright light, without also filling it with heat.

Livingroom 3-17

Or note the kitchen, with plenty of cabinet space tucked behind flat white doors. The cabinets are designed to hold plates and glasses, as well as kitchen appliances, so the counters never need to be cluttered with gadgets. The carefully constructed space not only makes it easy to keep things clean, but it also fits well with Michael’s preferred minimalist aesthetic and design philosophy.

Kitchen 3-17

Such preferences were a large part of why he ultimately decided to build a new house, rather than find an existing one to buy, when he began the process of looking nearly five years ago. An admitted fanatic for the Sarasota Modern style, Michael sought out available alternatives but quickly realized that nothing for sale would meet his precise and well-defined needs for space, light, and energy efficiency. In particular, working from home as a graphic designer—a career he took on, and took to, after several decades of dedication to being an artist and teacher—he knew he needed a good office space in which he could design but also hold conference calls. As he learned more, he also came to identify some additional, highly pertinent needs, such as avoiding flood issues and, if possible, minimizing the termite risks. Thus Crescent Heights became a viable candidate neighborhood. When an old cottage, in bad shape and primed for demolition, came onto the market, he started in earnest on a project that would take approximately two more years to complete. He already had a builder: Richard McGuiness of Modern Tampa Bay Homes (MTBH). Using plans provided by MTBH, Michael brought his vision to bear, requesting adjustments and changes to ensure the final result fit his needs. Thus for example, the construction used concrete block all the way up, instead of the conventional choice of
joists and beams on the second story, so that he could put termites (mostly) out of mind. Over the course of about seven different renovations to the plans, Michael made the house a few feet wider but insisted on a minimal slope to the roof. That way, he could gain square footage without dominating the wide lot with sloping eaves. Not everything was exactly the way Michael might have preferred it though. In a nod to the potential need for resale appeal, he agreed to have an 18-square- foot closet in the master bedroom, though his clothes take up only a small portion of that. The upstairs laundry room is also large, because the builder noted that most buyers prefer plenty of space in which to fold clothes, rather than having the washing machine tucked into a closet. Ultimately then, the design for the overall space—at 2088 square feet—was somewhat larger than what Michael might need, but it strikes a balance between what he desired and what represented the best-thought- out choice for future contingencies.

Front of house 3-17 angle

With its southern exposure, the lot also enabled the installation of solar panels over the garage, which Michael made sure was large enough that it could support sufficient panels to transform his energy usage to net positive. That is, the home creates and stores more energy than it uses.

Electric Bill

The super energy efficiency also comes from the white membrane roof, hurricane-resistant and energy-efficient windows throughout, and various other design elements, all dedicated to the proposition of achieving energy neutrality. Once these big questions were settled, “everything else just sort of settled in to place.” Although the construction faced several substantial setbacks, including the need to tear down an entire misplaced wall and a rainy season that flooded the first floor during construction, ultimately it was finished for not much more cost than what Michael expected to spend to purchase an existing home. The entire process was, he says, harder and longer than he expected. And yet, having done it once, he feels ready to try again someday, if the need arises. If and when that day comes, it will be motivated by his passion for design. But it will be informed by his careful plan for efficiency.

—Elisabeth Nevins
Photo credits: © Elisabeth Nevins/Michael Monahan

Home of the Month | November 2016

Home of the Month, November/December 2016
2324 7th St. N.

Building On, Building a Home

Walking up to the Kapes’s home on 7th Street N. gives a clear first impression of fun. The holiday decorations are always in season, the Spiderman door hanger tells you to swing on in, and the chalk art on the sidewalk shows the signs of afternoons filled with play and adventure. And none of those first impressions are wrong. But they also don’t tell nearly the entire story of this cozy, comfortable, and recently much enlarged home.

Front 11-16

When Emily and Cory Kapes first moved here, in November 2008, soon after their marriage, the little house was listed officially as a two-bedroom, one-bath home. Rumor has it that it was once the summer cottage of the Mueller family—the ones whose name is emblazoned across boxes of pasta on grocery shelves. As they initially looked at the house, Emily and Cory found themselves sold on a couple of great features. First, there were the gleaming, original, wood floors through much of the house, which Cory notes was “almost the main reason we bought the house.” In general though, the home offered the style they loved, with detailed moldings and chair rails and quirky leftovers from its original design, like the massive ceiling vent that houses a huge (no longer functional) attic fan. Second, there was the funky little cottage on the back of the property, which adds a loft- style bedroom and bath, some storage, a place for the washer and dryer, and a half garage for their kayaks, lawn equipment, and other adventure gear.

Cottage 11-16

It makes for a great space, ideal for when guests come to visit. The space, the style, and the amenities thus were perfect for the newlywed couple, who made just some minor adjustments, like building a comfortable deck out back. When their twin sons Parker and Owen arrived in 2011, the space worked well for a while too. But then it came time for potty training, and the single, Jack-and- Jill bath between the master bedroom and the boys’ room became clearly insufficient. In addition, the added laundry loads required by two small children made the location of the washer and dryer—in the cottage in back, past outdoor space where, according to Emily, spiders particularly love to weave huge webs—less convenient as well. Determined to make the most of their adored home, the Kapes (with the help of a great contractor) reconsidered the entire layout. The house was essentially an elongated L-shape. By filling in the gap, they could transform it into a long rectangle, and all they would lose would be some “overgrown shrubs and one tree” that were taking up space in the backyard. What once were windows were transformed into doorways, decorative shelving, or walls, as needed for the design.

Kitchen shelf 11-16

The resulting renovation, which added about 200 square feet, totally altered the flow and design of the house, in ways that are so natural that it is hard to imagine it any other way. By undertaking the substantial construction and renovation, the Kapes also were able to adjust the roofline, such that from the outside, it would be hard to tell what is original and what is new. On the inside, what had been the master bedroom, in the front of the house, became the boys’ room. The original bath remained connected to that relatively large room, but the door to the other bedroom was walled in, and the result is a totally undetectable alteration.

Boys' room 11-16

The second bedroom then became the master, with a new closet (gained from an underused linen closet that had been attached to the Jack-and- Jill bath) and a passageway to the newly constructed, utterly beautiful, en suite bath. The long space tucks the shower into one corner, with a water closet into another. And then through a door, we find a separate room where the washer and dryer now sit.

Bath 11-16

The new bath also connects to what was once a back porch and now serves as Cory’s home office, when he isn’t on the road working for Warrior Sailing, a nonprofit that facilitates adaptive sports, particularly sailing, for wounded military members. Meanwhile, Emily explains why the art on the walls mostly consists of pictures by Parker and Owen. She’s surrounded by a wealth of art everyday, in her job as the curator of the massive collection maintained at the corporate headquarters for Raymond James—which soon will be featured in a new museum that Tom James plans to open on Central Avenue in 2017. Thus in this busy, bustling house today, the walls feature pictures of and by the kids, and the sidewalks are filled with chalk drawings. Furthermore, the boys have their bath, the parents have their bath, and the washer and dryer have an interior space, unmarred by any spider webs whatsoever. What could be better?

—Elisabeth Nevins
Photo credits: © Elisabeth Nevins

Home of the Month | March 2016

A Gem of a Home, Not So Hidden After All

Sometimes the renovations to a Crescent Heights home are attention grabbing and impossible to miss, like when neighbors put on a new front porch or build an addition or plant a massive palm in their front yards. And sometimes the improvements are a little more subtle, hiding from plain view. But even in this latter case, neighbors notice and appreciate all that homeowners do to make these streets beautiful and friendly. That’s evidenced by this issue’s home of the month—nominated by another family for being a perfect example of how Crescent Heights members strive to be great neighbors.

Specifically, the nomination asking that Michelle and Dan Sargeant’s home be the next home of the month noted how they had recently repainted the exterior and greatly improved the landscaping. Those details certainly have made the cozy two-bedroom house prettier and more appealing from the curb.

3-16 front of house

But what the family has done inside—and what they plan to continue doing—is just as lovely. As Michelle explains, from the start, she took a creative approach to life on 26th Avenue. She purchased the house in 2009, even before she met Dan. At the time, there were so many homes in the area in which the owners were underwater that she actively considered, she estimates, about a dozen short sales during a nearly two-year search. The first time she saw her house, she crossed it off the list of possible purchases because her furniture wouldn’t fit. But the second time she saw it, Michelle realized that she could switch things about, moving her dining room table to the front, enclosed porch. Doing so meant that the nook off the kitchen could feature a perfect fit: a butcher block cabinet that aligned perfectly both with the existing décor and the space. Once the furniture found the right rooms, moving in became a no-brainer.

3-16 cabinet

Already loving the house and St. Petersburg, Michelle soon met Dan. They worked for the same international firm, but whereas Michelle was assigned to its Tampa headquarters, Dan worked in the office in the Philippines. After they got married, they took off on an adventure, with a base in the Philippines but trips to cities all over Asia: Singapore, Bangkok, and Bali (Michelle’s favorite), to name just a few.

While they were gone, for the first few years, family members took care of the place. In 2012, the Sargeants started renting out their house. By the time they returned in 2014, they found that their charming 1936 house needed a bit of TLC. Outside, they redid a collapsed fence in the backyard, transformed the dirt yard into a grassy pasture, and added decorative beds to enhance the interest of the space. As mentioned, they painted the exterior, and they replaced virtually every exterior door in the house.

Inside, they patched and fixed the walls, prompting Michelle to explain that she has been hesitant to hang much art. The spare canvas of the walls thus highlights some beautiful decorative touches, like a functional wall hanging of cutting boards and a side table that holds local seashells and a wedding portrait.

3-16 wall hanging

The portrait is also significant for its link to Michelle’s in-home business. While in the Philippines, legal regulations prevented her from working locally. But Dan also had purchased a nice camera, and as Michelle jokes, he used it a few times before putting it aside. Looking for something productive to do, Michelle began learning about photography—both the art and the science that underlies modern developing techniques.

By the time the Sargeants returned home in 2014, Michelle had expanded her repertoire and determined the kind of photography that called to her: women’s couture and fine art portraiture. Her company provides what Michelle considers a necessary service: “Every woman should have at least one beautiful portrait of herself when she looks her best,” she asserts. “I would give anything to have a beautiful portrait of my mother.”

In support of her growing business, the second bedroom in the Sargeants’ house features backdrops and portrait supplies pushed to the side. But the master bedroom is a suite, with a sitting area that serves as an office, along with a set of double closets, then another closet in the main bedroom area.

3-16 bedroom

The master bedroom thus is sizable, but Michelle and Dan have another plan for where they will lay their heads. In what is, in Michelle’s words, “the coolest thing in the house,” a bookcase in the main living room slides on a track to reveal a staircase leading to the attic. It remains unfinished for now, but someday, they hope to finish it off as a luxurious master suite, hidden from view most of the time by the secret stairs behind the bookcase.

In the meantime, they simply have to make sure that Max the handsome cat does not sneak up the hidden stairs while they aren’t looking, then get stuck behind the bookcase.

3-16 bookcase

So it just goes to show: We see what we see in the neighborhood, but our clever and creative neighbors are always doing more. At the Sargeants’ house, the improvements are subtle, ongoing, and meaningful; they are also what prompts others to recognize it as a lovely addition to the neighborhood.

—Elisabeth Nevins Caswell, Photo credits: © Elisabeth Nevins Caswell

Home of the Month | November 2105

Let’s be honest. We all may love Florida, but most of us came here later in life, after years spent growing up elsewhere. There simply aren’t that many of us who are truly, lifelong, native Floridians. But two of our newest neighbors can make that claim; they even can point to generations of Floridian ancestors who came before them! With that unique perspective, Amy and Kevin Kelso have designed, built, and inhabited a home that is both uniquely Floridian and a perfect fit for an established Florida.

Having lived in Florida for their whole lives, Kevin and Amy knew both what they wanted, and what they didn’t, when they began building this new home on a vacant lot on 24th Ave. They had lived for 25 years on Snell Isle, building their careers and family and spending lots of time and effort renovating the home they had. But rising flood insurance rates and an empty nest drove them to find another option. One day, driving by the empty double lot with the builder’s signs staked in the ground, they quickly saw the promise and contacted the builder, which had planned to build a spec house here.

2015 11 front of houseAnd in a way, the builder did: It was built precisely to Amy and Kevin’s specifications. Kevin did his own online search for a bungalow that would fit on a narrow lot. From this foundation, they adjusted, added, and shifted elements to ensure the home was exactly what they wanted and needed. For example, they knew that they no longer wanted to spend their weekends pushing a mower, so they created a Florida-friendly front yard that, once established, will require little upkeep. They added bamboo along the side and back to ensure their privacy on the somewhat narrow lot. In the back, rather than more yard, they made sure they had a parking pad, in addition to the garage. That’s needed because Kevin’s truck—required to be able to tow his boat, a demand that many good Floridians understand—takes up a lot of space.

Inside the home, they also paid close attention to what would work for them today and in the future. As Amy explained, they hope to stay in this house for the rest of their lives. So while designing it, they followed recommendations contained in the “Boomer Smarts” books and guides published by Amy’s cousin Mitzi Beach (see www.mitzibeach.com). The “Boomer Smarts” plan suggests making homes accessible, even before their inhabitants require accessibility considerations. As Amy explains, “You don’t have to be old to think about things that can keep you in your home.”

Thus, the downstairs floors are all laminate (though they look remarkably like hardwood). All the doorways—many of them featuring pocket doors—are at least three feet wide, so that if they ever need mobility assistance, Amy and Kevin can easily get around. The master bedroom is downstairs, and the shower in the master bath is open, easy to access, and equipped with a stability bar. None of these features are needed yet, nor are they likely to be required anytime soon. But by stylishly adding them to the design of their house now, Kevin and Amy have prepared for most possible eventualities as they age.

2015 11 shower      2015 11 kitchen      2015 11 kitchen 2 story

In the meantime, though, they have hosting to do, and they designed the house with those current needs in mind too. Quite simply, the kitchen is remarkable. It was large in the original design, and it was one of the few elements that Amy and Kevin decided to keep. A two-tiered island features a cutting-height rectangular shape, attached to a curved-edge, square seating area. The sophisticated granite on the island is complemented by silestone counters over the cabinets, then matched with a patterned backsplash. Rising above the kitchen is a balcony, because in this expansive-feeling floorplan, the kitchen opens to a two-story seating area.

Just off the kitchen, you find one of the most fun elements of the house: a butler’s pantry that features a wet bar, housing a two-tap kegerator. Kevin and Amy love craft beers, especially those available in St. Petersburg’s local scene. Explaining the presence of such features (as if any explanation were needed), they also tell stories of generations of hospitality and a family legacy of some serious barbeque.

2015 11 loftThe décor is cleanly and beautifully Florida as well. In addition to decorative fish sculptures and art, the upstairs loft (above the kitchen) is developing a Key West theme. Their son lives in Key West, running fishing tours, and they love the island as well. Just past this loft, a bonus room hosts Rays posters and paraphernalia, along with a cozy couch, ready for lounging and watching movies—just as soon as they find some break in their hectic schedules to lounge, that is.

Also upstairs, two guest bedrooms are connected by a cleverly designed Jack-and-Jill bath that spans the staircase. For now, the cats Kaki and Chloe have laid claim on one of the bedrooms, but the open and inviting space makes it ideal for guests to spread out and enjoy the upstairs suite all to themselves.

Ultimately, the careful and thoughtful design of this new home make it a gorgeous addition to the neighborhood. The home at 765 24th Ave. might be brand new, but its proportions, décor, and design—along with its inhabitants—feel as if they have always belonged here.

Photo Credits: ©Elisabeth Nevins Caswell


© Copyright myCHNA