La Vie en Rose
Davis Island home keeps history alive
By Abby Weingarten | Photos by Johan Roetz
In 63 days, starting January 4th, Homeworks Builders of Tampa took a 1945 ranch and replaced it with a new spectacular two-story fit for modern times. Dubbed “La Vie en Rose” (meaning “a rosy life”) and situated on Davis Island, the 67-year-old home was torn down and a new one was built just in time to be featured in the 42nd Annual Spring Parade of Homes where it bewitched a Navy family from Coronado, California.
They are the Bakers: Stephanie, Anthony, their two daughters, and baby girl on the way. The quartet-and-a-half moved in on April 7th, just six days after the 3-week Parade’s end. For Stephanie, who was seven months pregnant during the relocation, the fully furnished, turnkey residence was as much exhale-inciting as it was easy on the eyes. “It’s nicer than I could have ever imagined it being,” she says. “It was such a relief to have everything done when we got in there, and so beautifully. You want to get settled when you’re pregnant, and we were able to get right into the perfect house for us.”
Preserving a legacy
The original home born more than six decades ago as a 1,100-square-foot abode for George and Hilda Rose, a transplanted North Carolina couple. The couple raised three children there: Bob, Sam and David. The structure was first built for a military man who did not go through with the purchase (at the time, the sale price was $6,000).
Homeworks bought the property from the Rose sons in 2011, and under the company’s care, “La Vie en Rose” became a 2,943-square-foot home boasting four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms.
Coincidentally, there are parallels between the Bakers and the Roses. They both moved from other states and had (or are expecting, this month) three children. Both clans were committed to recreating the rosy residence’s charm, as was Homeworks design director Marilyn Perez. “We wanted to show how you can do a smaller home that is equally sophisticated,” Perez says. “We received a lot of compliments, most of them about our attention to detail and ability to infuse charm through design details such as the barrel vaulted ceilings, plaster fireplace and wood windows.”
Situated on a lot two blocks from the waterfront and village, the new house also includes energy-efficient double-pane windows, an 8-foot arched wooden front door, a gourmet kitchen connected to a family room with an eye-catching vaulted ceiling and rich oiled, 7½-inch plank oak floors.
The Bakers fell in love with the home’s signature details such as the freestanding soaking tub in the master bathroom, the mudroom message center and the rounded corners. The front porch and exquisite landscaping completes the home’s old-fashioned feel.
More than 650 people toured the property during the Parade. Homeworks had even created a Facebook page where potential buyers could follow the home’s construction timeline. “We realized pretty quickly how much interest there was in this house,” Perez says. “This is a very transitional style – contemporary details but not cold and sterile. There is a tremendous amount of interest right now in that concept of smaller homes with high-end upgrades and designer finishes.”
Feels like home
The Bakers were delighted with Perez’s vision. They loved the house so much they even purchased some of the furnishings and window treatments. When it came time to move in, they only had to pull up the luggage truck. “We were amazed with what we got for what we paid. In Coronado, you would get a very small house for this,” Stephanie says. “The Davis Islands are so similar to Coronado but so much more affordable, and they have everything we need.”
After living in a hotel for a week prior to the move-in date, the Bakers relished finally opening the front door to their haven and experiencing a little slice of cozy luxury.
The upstairs playroom keeps the toys from being scattered throughout the living room. A second floor guest room also allows the Bakers to have some “adult” space on the ground level and privacy when relatives visit.
The open floor plan in the kitchen is perfect for the expanding family. “We’re very excited to spend time on the screened-in porch and maybe enjoy a picnic in the back yard,” Stephanie says.
While the couple didn’t have a lot of say in the house because it was for the Parade of Homes, they say they couldn’t have made it better if they tried. “The designers were amazing,” Stephanie says. “They went above and beyond.”
Builder and designer: Homeworks Builders, Inc.; Carpet: Revolution Mills; Concrete and stone walkway installation: Demo Grade Paver & Sod (DGP&S); Curtains and hardware: The Curtain Exchange; Furniture and accessories: Crate & Barrel; International Plaza; Kitchen backsplash: Kitchen and Bath Design Center (KBDC); Kitchen cabinetry: Knothole Creations, Inc.; Landscape design: Missy Schukraft, Inkberry Design; Ornamental ironwork: Rustic Steel Creations; Outdoor lighting: Premier Outdoor Lighting, Inc.; Shower glass and mirrors: Ashe Glass and Mirror; Window blinds: Modern Shutters and Blinds, LLC; Wood flooring: Carpet Crafters Rug Company, Inc.; Electrical: RNM Electric; Plumbing: Plumbers of Suojanen Enterprises/The Pampering Plumber; Roof: Dockside Roofing; Structure wiring and security: HD 2020
To see this article featuring:
George and Hilda Rose, Davis Island historic home
as it appeared in the Tampa Housetrends magazine,
please visit our May/June 2012 Digital Edition, pages 66-73.