Written by: Christina Kleiner/Photos by: George Cott
Sometimes it’s important to slow down, sit back and embrace your surroundings. That’s exactly what an Atlanta, Georgia couple did when they decided to purchase a condo in the heart of St. Petersburg. “We own a beach house in Seaside and it is beautiful there,” says the wife. “But it’s not as convenient—the airports in the Florida panhandle are small and there aren’t many direct flights from Atlanta.”
Their busy careers dictate how much free time they have, so the couple wanted to find a convenient retreat that would allow them to hop on an airplane on a Thursday and easily return home to Atlanta on Sunday. “Tampa is perfect for us. We can get a last minute direct flight out of Atlanta for a great price and catch an Uber right to our condo,” adds the wife. “From there I can walk to the grocery store, catch a movie or visit the museum. It’s the perfect location.”
Calming water views
Initially, a condo wasn’t their top choice. The couple had looked at several homes in the Tampa area, but the water kept beckoning them. That’s when their realtor suggested that they check out a unit in Ovation, a luxury condominium complex in downtown St. Petersburg. “We walked in and I just knew this was the place for us,” says the wife.
Offering panoramic views of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg, their three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom condo is one of two units on the 18th floor of the building. The homeowners point to the floor-to-ceiling windows as the centerpiece. “It almost feels as if there aren’t windows—the views are unobstructed,” says the wife. “Even when it is storming, it is beautiful.”
The structural elements of the condo were in great shape, but the couple did want the interior design to fit their lifestyle. They enlisted the expertise of interior designer Terri White to help them update and bring new life to the living spaces.
“They wanted a light and airy atmosphere,” White says. “With those views of the water, they desired to work with water-inspired colors.”
The homeowners decided on a neutral color palette with beautiful pops of sapphire blue and aquamarine sprinkled throughout. They worked with White to make furniture and accessory selections that met their needs and fit their personalities. “Our house in Atlanta is more traditional, with stained wood and a brown and tan color scheme,” says the wife. “We wanted this residence to reflect the surroundings and the blues and grays seen outside seemed to be the perfect fit.”
A formal living room, with elegant furniture positioned to face the windows, greets guests as they come off the elevator. This is where those first hints of beautiful blue come into play. “People are starting to embrace splashes of color. Wallpaper manufacturers and fabric mills are focusing back on vibrant color–it’s great for energizing home design.”
White carried the touch of blue into the formal dining room. A round dining table surrounded by six tufted chairs and shimmering window treatments complete the look.
The homeowners opted to keep the kitchen’s original cabinetry and countertops, which serve as a beautiful backdrop to the adjacent family room. “We did replace the granite backsplash with glass mosaic tile that pulls from the other colors seen in the granite countertops,” says the wife.
In addition, White assisted the homeowners with removing the old flooring and adding beautiful wide plank, distressed oak hardwood throughout the unit. They also added a motorized lift to the built-in cabinet in the family room in order to hide the television when not in use. “We also removed old shelving and wallpaper from adjoining niches to make way for the colorful artwork and accessories,” says White.
Retreat within a retreat
The homeowner points to the master bedroom as her favorite space to unwind. The light and neutral color palette, luxurious fabrics and patterned window treatments serve as the perfect complement to the two-sided glass wall that wraps around the elegant desk tucked into the corner. “You can sit up in bed and watch a movie, read a book in one of the comfortable chairs, or you can step out on the balcony and take in the view,” says the homeowner. “The bedroom is just the perfect place to relax.”
And since reading is a favorite hobby for the couple, they insisted on creating a private, yet inviting, space to enjoy a favorite book. White worked with the pair to transform a den area into a quaint reading/library room. Rather than a simple piece of art on the wall, she suggested creating a focal point that could double as a display case for art and books. The result is a wood cubbie unit with LED backlighting. “We used the kitchen as our foundation by staining the cherry wood to be consistent with the millwork seen throughout the unit,” says White.
A serene sanctuary
There is something truly soothing about the water, so it’s no wonder the homeowners try to get away to St. Petersburg once a month. Even White has a hard time tearing herself away. “There is something so soothing about being up that high, when I am there I never want to leave,” she says.
“It’s not uncommon for me to land at the Atlanta airport after traveling for work and immediately hop on another flight straight to Tampa,” says the wife. “We have everything we need right there.”
Resources: Interior designer: Terri White Design; Contractor: Jesse Ackley; Kitchen backsplash: ProSource; Lighting: Ferguson