Houzz Tour: Tropical Comfort and Style for a Florida Family

Photos by Alexia Fodere

House at a Glance
Who lives here:
A young family
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Size: 5,200 square feet (483 square meters); five bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms
Designer: DKOR Interiors

The home is a spec house the couple picked up before construction was completed. Large glass openings, patios, decks and balconies provide views of tall palm trees and the Intracoastal Waterway. Along with the homeowners’ penchant for bold moves and a whimsical vibe, the surroundings inspired the decor. Sometime during the design process, the homeowners and designers started referring to the home as “The Coconut House.”

The soaring window bay on the front of the house fills the foyer with light and provides views of the palm trees. “The ceiling lights were here already and we decided to keep them. They set a whimsical tone,” Ronderos says. “There was a bit of an Alice in Wonderland feeling,and they also wanted a ‘Festival of Life’ concept. To me that evoked being at a festival and watching artists make items, giving them each their own identity. “ Sculptural chairs with wooden frames and rolled upholstery lend that unique, organic vibe.

“Every item in the house has its own identity and every room has a surprise,” the designer says. “That settee is French and it almost looks like it’s draped with a quilt. It has that quality of comfort we wanted throughout the house.” Ronderos covered the walls in a textured wallpaper. The design team also curated the art in the house. Using lots of live plants indoors played a large part in creating the tropical vibe.

These windows are opposite the matching set in the foyer, and the same globe-shaped light fixtures continue across the ceiling. This public part of the house is large in scale and is open to the kitchen and dining area. “We didn’t want to divide it into two square areas,” Ronderos says. Instead, this portion of the living room is a more expected rectangular space, while behind it Ronderos placed a more whimsical arrangement around a circular rug.

The diagonal of the Minotti sectional sofa gives it an unexpected look. The two chairs in front of the window provide a more intimate spot for talking. The rug has an organic pattern with splashes of different deep blues. “The draperies we added look like a knit open weave and feel casual,” Ronderos says. “We even went casual with the flower arrangements to make it feel super comfortable in here.”

The marble fireplace surround was existing, but the team added recessed walnut-stained ash shelves around it. “We went really monochromatic with the accessories. One tip I would give people with display is to choose items in the one color. This will unite items of different scales, shapes and textures,” Ronderos says.

Another way they addressed the scale was to divide the open space into two separate areas for seating.

“We wanted to create a feeling of escaping the stressful world and being in the present moment,” Ronderos says. The circular area includes a pair of unconventional chairs with yarn-like fiber wrapped around bamboo, a playful hanging chair and a soft teal curved sofa that follows the lines of the round rug. “The hanging chair really sets the tone. It says, ‘Come and relax in here,’ ” Ronderos says. The pair of chairs, by Palecek, incorporate woven materials into more contemporary shapes.

These living areas are also open to the kitchen. While DKOR completed a full renovation of the kitchen, it preserved the long sculptural line of lights that had already been installed in the house.

The kitchen is by Italian company Snaidero. The streamlined cabinetry, free of hardware, provides a calm backdrop. The sleek island has integrated LED lighting.

In the dining room, the design team installed a bar along one wall and a triptych in deep blues and greens on the other. The live-edge dining table adds an organic element with presence. The walls are covered in a grasscloth-like textured wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries.

The backsplash is a deep blue herringbone tile. “I told them we had to go bold there — it’s a bar,” Ronderos says. “Going so deep in color made it feel more rich. We needed to make it elegant and make sure the tile didn’t make it feel like a bathroom!”

Before, the couple’s bedroom was open to the bathroom on either side of the TV wall on the right — not the arrangement the couple wanted. The design team added wood to either side of the wall to close it off, adding a hidden door within the wood on one side.

Ronderos designed an extra-high upholstered headboard to stand up to the large proportions of the room. “Throughout the house we wanted to create things that were really over the top,” she says. And the multicolored glass globe lights add a funky surprise. “We wanted there to be a surprise in every room,” Ronderos says.

Closing up the openings between the bedroom and bathroom added more wall space to the bathroom. The vanity and tub are new. The dressing table chair’s unique upholstery adds the fun surprise in here.

“The homeowners have a lot of their extended family stay with them, and they wanted this bedroom to feel like the VIP bedroom,” Ronderos says. “This is my favorite room in the house — you feel like you’re in a jungle.” The wall mural, live plants, bamboo furniture and outdoor views give the room the ultimate tropical vibe.

“The Coconut House neon sign was an absolute must-have,” Ronderos says. “That has become the nickname for this tropical house. And it really shows that not everything has to be so serious in design.”

“While the other bedroom makes you feel like you are in the jungle, this one makes it feel like you are floating above it in the clouds,” Ronderos says. “It’s a matter of calm versus lively when choosing a guest room. We were trying to provoke emotions in these rooms. ”

The designer notes that you don’t have to go expensive to go luxe or bold. “With this room we bought everything retail. There was nothing custom,” she says.

One of the homeowners is a jewelry designer and needed work and display space in her office. The couple also needed the space to be flexible and serve as a guest room sometimes, so the team gave them a funky daybed that’s also used as seating.

The bright coral walls bring in a tropical hue the jewelry designer loves. The team customized the shelves, backing some of them in a wallpaper that brings in natural texture and provides a great backdrop for her creations. It’s not shown, but they placed her desk under a window in here that gets the best light.

“The wife gave us about 50 different wallpapers she liked for the baby’s room and we helped her whittle it down to the choices that best suited their style,” Ronderos says. Expecting her first child at the time, she fittingly landed on storks.

This content was originally published here.

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