My clients from Boston or Philadelphia, New York or Baltimore, Chicago or Pittsburgh all have something in common. They want to leave behind the jewel tones, the earthy colors, the antiques, the Persian rugs, big homes filled with details, printed fabrics and intricate furniture. They are headed to Florida dreaming of light and bright , of elegance and simplicity and open and airy and easy living.
Want to come in from the beach with sandy feet? No problem. Step onto your sisal rug, flat weave carpet or cool tile floors in shades of silver, taupe or white.
Grandchildren are visiting and you are feeding them snacks their mother never would? Let them spill on the leather sofa, the slipcovers you throw in the wash or the nova suede.
Impromptu company for cocktails after the beach or tennis or shopping? Entertain in the dedicated bar area use the refrigerator drawers stocked with
wine, spritzers, beer and those great ready made snacks from Trader Joe’s.
Your bathroom? Breathe deeply in the spa you vacation with, the walk-in shower, heated towel racks, and rain shower heads and jets. Get today’s weather report on the flat screen mounted above the vanity, only so you can be grateful you aren’t shoveling that snow falling back home.
And every Floridian knows that you must learn to make reservations instead of dinner, so stock your kitchen with quick cycle dishwashers, big refrigerators for ice and snacks and fresh Florida grapefruit. Instead of space for the Cuisinart, make room for the juicer. Florida is all about healthy living. Smoothie prep and a place for all Florida’s fresh fruit is a must. Refrigerator drawers come in handy here.
Show off those sea shells and golf trophies and art show artefacts on open shelving. Spread out with lots of counter space in white quartz, or marble or gray or taupe Silestone or Caesarstone. Catch that sunlight with light cabinets and illuminate your space with LED strips and recessed lighting. Enjoy a quick breakfast at the breakfast bar, I mean, who needs a dining room table when your favorite table is reserved already.
Light and simplicity spell elegance. New and visiting Floridians want beautiful things too; fine furniture and stunning fabrics, art and luxury. In Florida less is more.
Restraint makes a simpler life. Florida is a lifestyle. a relaxed way of living, it’s all about easing into the day, leaving work and weather behind. It’s about being with friends and family, and all about being out. Out to the beach, the park, the open water, the golf course, the mall, the club. It’s about boating and fishing and freshness and reconnecting with old friends who happen to be here, too.
As a Florida designer my focus is making life easy for my clients. I float vanities so they are easy to clean under and the bathroom feels more open, select lighter finishes so that they stay cleaner and reflect the light. I plan for appliances that really do the work. I select great ice makers, roomy refrigerators, glass cabinet fronts, one-touch faucets that make clean-up a breeze, fabrics that feel lush but clean up in a jiffy. natural fabrics, cottons, linens and silks. Yes silks that are washable and breathe.
I use colors that feel cool and create lightness, and I select furniture that is enveloping and comfortable. I make spaces that are easy to use and be in, and receive family and friends.
I want my clients to walk in the door and shed the stress, the work, the trials of working and living in the cold. I want them to enjoy Florida and the openness and light.
After all , they are snowbirds. And they still need a nest.