Fresh Start in updated Odessa home
Couple creates new memories in lovely lakefront home
By Amy Diehl | Photos by Johan Roetz
This Tampa couple searched a long time for just the right house before circling back to this lovely lakefront home in Odessa just as it came on the market. In one of those odd coincidences in life, they had previously stopped to admire this home while looking at another house in the complex and by chance, the home came up for sale some months later. It was love at first sight from the moment they walked in the door. “We took one look at the house and that was it!” the husband exclaims.
Space for family
Right off the bat, this house met a lot of the couple’s unique requirements, the most specific being that they needed an in-law apartment for the wife’s mother. Sure enough, this home had a full in-law suite upstairs including a small living room with a mini kitchen and a balcony overlooking the pool as well as two separate bedrooms and third room that this family uses as a home workout facility.
This 7,400-square-foot home, with its sage green exterior walls and stone accents, stands out among the tan Mediterranean-designed homes in the neighborhood. The previous owners had incorporated a French country look and had put a lot of care and attention into the design of the home and features. For new owners, the house was practically move-in ready besides getting the floors refinished. It just needed their personal belongings to make it a home.
Despite having only lived in this house for a year, it has the appearance of a lifetime of memories. For this couple, who actually got married in the house after they moved in, this home has been about combining their lives and starting fresh together in this new space. Helping them to create the look they wanted was Sherri Johns, the longtime Sales Manager and Design Consultant for Annabelle’s, a 32-year-old fine home furnishings store located in Odessa. “Some of the furniture came from the husband’s old house but pretty much, with a few exceptions, the new pieces came from Annabelle’s,” Johns says. “They made their decisions together and they ordered many pieces in advance so as soon as the floors were ready, everyone was here to move them in. They had to buy a house to fit the furniture!” she laughs.
Rooms with distinction
The foyer faces the small formal living room, which features a handsome baby grand piano and a gracious Stanford sofa. Rich draperies accentuate the view of the pool and the lake beyond. Nicole Brioni, the owner of Designer’s Confeccions Inc., made all the draperies in the home as well as updating the landscaping. “From contemporary to traditional, every room tells a story about its owners: how we work, play, relax, renew or cook,” she says. “Every photo should convey the vision behind its creation.”
One wing of the home features the husband’s study, which the wife jokingly refers to as “the President’s Room.” Floor-to-ceiling custom cabinetry and an oval wood desk by Emerson et Cie create a commanding presence. Books, family photos and mementos artfully fill the bookcases. Johns worked closely with the couple to get the rooms just right. “Any good designer really listens to what their client says,” she explains. “Both of them have really great taste and they were so decisive. They were really easy to work with.”
In the master bedroom foyer, a beautiful Bombay chest by Anthology is accentuated by an original oil painting of Tinkerbell, a subject with special meaning to the owners that was purchased during a trip to Hawaii. A colorful, custom-made floral arrangement finishes the design.
Directly adjacent is the full master suite. Painted in a soft dove grey and complemented by ivory carpeting, this soothing space features a furniture suite of dark wood by Bernhardt. 60-inch round Michael Thomas chaises upholstered in grey silk feature striped silk accents that match the window treatments. Even the recessed ceiling is painted a matching grey for a feeling of calm and serenity. The spacious master bathroom offers dual sinks, a large freestanding soaker tub and a separate walk-behind shower. High windows allow natural light to fill the space.
On the other side of the home, the formal dining room is the wife’s favorite area in the house. The huge wooden circular Bernhardt table invites diners to linger. “I always wanted a round table. It keeps people talking to each other,” the husband says. For this room Brioni created lush red silk cascades to add more drama. She used the window treatments that were left by the previous owner and reworked them for the guest room.
The west wing is home to a fun, playfully designed kids’ room for the couple’s young son and a guest bedroom attached by a jack and jill bathroom as well as a laundry room and garage access. A gracious courtyard garden, reminiscent of those lovely Charleston gardens tucked behind brick walls, is accessible from both bedrooms as well as the nearby game room. Beyond this are the spacious kitchen and family room, the real gathering point in the home. The kitchen, obviously built with the chef in mind, has granite countertops and pecan wood cabinetry with seeded glass insets and a center island of ivory tones. The Thermador gas stove has a dramatic hood, while the side-by-side refrigerators offer plenty of food storage space for big parties. The eat-in countertops have comfortable, substantial seating as well as a nearby table for casual dining.
This open floor plan incorporates a large living area with comfortable couches facing the side-by-side fireplace and television. For big events or just plain great weather, the full corner wall of glass recesses to create a truly indoor-outdoor living space. In fact, that huge outdoor space is a big plus for this family. “It’s the only reason I bought the house,” the husband jokes. With its multiple seating areas and big outdoor kitchen there is plenty of room. He and his friends will often move the game table outdoors for some cigars, cards and guy time.
Enjoying Mother Nature
The outdoors of this home are as beautiful as the inside. In the front, the mature garden beds include tall evergreen spires, palms and flowering bushes that punctuate the lower plantings of hardy shrubs and flowering perennials. Pops of colorful annual beds give it some zest. “A home’s exterior is its face to the world, reflecting passion and personality. Capturing it takes planning and care to show its full effect,” Brioni says.
A large screen enclosure protects guests relaxing around the natural freeform pool and waterfall from the hazards of biting insects and offers a lovely place for both entertainment and play. Beyond the enclosure, a lush lawn leads back towards the lake and tucked to the side, the wife’s vegetable garden and a large play structure for their son, offer practical uses. It is easy to see that this couple loves everything about their home. All in all, this home completely fits the bill.
Designer: Sherri Johns, Annabelle’s Fine Home Furnishings; Furniture: Bernhardt; Stanford; Ambella; Maitland Smith; Lorts; Lexington; Michael Thomas; Reual James; Fairfield Chair; Anthology; Emerson et Cie; Accessories: Classic Florals; Maitland Smith; Sarreid; New Century Art; Howard Miller; Castillian; Drapery: Designer’s Confeccions Inc.; Annabelle’s Fine Home Furnishings; Bedding: Michael Amini; Plants and flowers: Tampa Bay Nursery & Landscaping; Pool: Natural Springs Pools
To see this article as it appeared in the Tampa Housetrends magazine,
please visit our July / August 2012 Digital Edition, pages 22-29.