As we start making this home ours, I wanted to blog about the home in its purchased state. We are already so caught up in renos, painting, decorating that it becomes easy to forget just where we started.
When we began looking for homes, it was in the middle of the HOTTEST market on record in Florida. We would anxiously wait for 1 yes 1 home to hit the market in the area we wanted. In comparison, in the same area, there are HUNDREDS of homes on the market.
Where were we looking? A place called Fishhawk, Lithia. It is a pocket just outside of Tampa, and is known to have really highly rated public schools, as well as a diverse community of people, a lot of whom came here from Canada and northern states. We are thankful for friends who gave us MUCH needed help and guidance in where to look and why!
Just for some perspective, since Orlando is the place everyone knows in florida, here is a wider view to show you relation to Orlando. We are approx an hour 15 mins from Orlando(with no traffic)
After trying to find a home in Fishhawk with so little inventory, we decided to look on the outskirts of it in neighboring communities still within the same school district.
A listing popped up that was much more than we wanted to spend but looked like it checked a lot of our boxes. I ignored it for a week, when my husband said lets just check it out and see what the higher budget gets us.
After seeing this home we realized this was MUCH better than being in Fishhawk! There is no traffic getting into our neighborhood. Its small with only approx 65 homes and gated. Our HOA fees are also much lower and you get bigger lots for less $$!!
Take a look at listing photos to see what we saw. I will sprinkle the things we love about it between the photos.
This is definitely the opposite of what we had in Toronto, but nothing some love and upgrades can't fix. The home is 20 years old as well but was taken care of meticulously.
This is the front view which design wise shows well but color wise was a "miss" for me. Nothing some repainting and landscaping can't change.
Our vision is to clean up and remove a lot of the bushes and re-plant more tropical plants and palms. Also brightening up the house with a lighter shade to allow the greens to really pop!
This is the first room you walk into from the front doors. Back to my right(not pictured) is an office. The open door goes into the master suite and as you can see the wall straight ahead is open to the backyard!
When I first walked in, I didn't see the house. I focused immediately outside to the open wall, pool and waterfalls!
This view is looking back towards to the front door. Office on the left and a dining room on the right.
Here is the office (top) and dining room right when you walk in.
From the dining room/front door area you walk through an archway into the kitchen. I have to be honest the colors shocked me as I would never choose these. The previous owners were specific in what they wanted and that was dark, cozy and spa like. For me, I was already planning all the coastal light colors!
What I focused on in the kitchen was quality of cabinets, countertops and if they can last for a while before I want to re do the whole thing LOL! The big open family room just on the other side of the counter was a highlight! I always wanted big floor to ceiling windows into a garden space and boy did this room deliver! We actually call it our jungle room since you feel like you are right outside in our mini garden!
Here is looking into the kitchen from the family room. The owners were so sweet and left the ivy and red paint for me but unfortunately I had to retire both. I do know they would be happy knowing we really love this place and are truly creating it to be what we want.
This is the family/jungle room! My first thought was remove all the window coverings to let ALLLLL the natural light pour in! At first we didn't even realize there was another set of sliding doors to the patio behind that loveseat! And top right there is a dine in area in the kitchen overlooking the pool/deck.
Heres another view of the jungle room from the corner by the windows. I was SO excited to see a fireplace even though we won't use it much. It will still be my fav spot at Christmas! Believe it or not we had frost one night in February that damaged some of our tropicals!
You can also see the stairs leading up to the second story.
Wrapping behind the kitchen is an under stair pantry (first door), main floor washroom(second door) and a guest room(third door)
This is the main washroom behind the kitchen. I have already done a few changes in this one- mostly cosmetic for now. Eventually I would love to retile the shower, update the shower trim and replace the granite to white.
I also need some ideas on how transition from the 1980's fluorescent box light units LOL!
This washroom has a pocket door as well attaching it to the guest room.
This is in the guestroom facing the washroom. You can see out the door, down the hallway into the jungle room.
This room was a selling feature as well because it is situated so perfectly behind the kitchen and continues around to the front door. It gives guests easy access to the entrance.
If you leave the guestroom and turn right and continue down the hallway to the main entrance you pass the laundry room which opens into the garage. This was probably the one thing I really didn't like about the home. Having over 3700sqft of space and the laundry room is barely a closet size. BUT with it being the biggest downfall, I was able to adapt just fine.
Continuing past the laundry room, you end up back in the main area by the front door. If you continue, you end up in the master bedroom.
It's huge. For me that wasn't a plus since I don't have anything to put in it. I also won't sit in that room especially with all the other places in the home.
Here you can see there is another set of sliding doors going out to the pool. Of course I was going to remove the heavy dark drapes to have the blue water reflect in.
Once we moved in and all the large heavy furniture was gone this room was massive!
Behind this view is the hallway into the master bath.
You can barely see the doors in the hallway, but those are our closets. One side is a shallow mens closet and the other side is a full walk in closet for me ;) There is also a smaller linen closet just before you hit the washroom.
This gave me instant resort vibes with the bamboo wall detail but also mixed with the 80's with the fluorescent lighting again. I have plans in this room too but slow and steady. There is a lot of house.
I forgot to mention CARPET! I hate carpet so much! Despise it! Our master, staircase and upper floor is all carpet. That is on the list to be replaced as well!
The washroom is big as well. As you can see it needs updating but for now it will stay as is being only 2 of us use it and see it regularly.
The listing photos do not show the staircase leading upstairs or the hallway. When you come up the stairs this room is immediately on your left. The previous owners used it as a media room.
This was the first room we renovated as it is Lilijas new beach inspired bedroom. That will be a separate blog post.
Here are pictures of the other 2 rooms. There is still a 3rd bedroom upstairs as well. Total 5 beds plus office and this bonus media room.
One of these rooms have already been painted and finished as a second guest room. Blog coming soon!
Ok. Moving back downstairs to my main love - the pool and backyard.
This is the main patio area right outside the main room through the sliding glass wall.
The doors in the picture go into the master bedroom. There is also a set of doors that go into the kitchen area as well as more doors into the jungle room.
The house almost mimics a U shape wrapping around the patio in a way making it ideal for entertaining. We can open all the doors and never be away from anyone.
The covered pool area is really big which was unique. Most houses we saw had a much smaller screened in area.
The separate hot tub was also attractive since most have one just built into the pool.
Here is another angle facing the kitchen doors. You can see there is also a bar with BBQ already built which louis loved!
This set was just outside the jungle room and eat in kitchen area. We have a dinette set here now.
This view is from the right back corner of the house which also has a shower and washroom! When we looked at the house we could not find the 3rd main floor washroom. Well it was outside!! It is SO convenient to have it outside. No wet messes in the house!
In this view you can see the washroom door. The fishtank is now gone AND we painted the lanai area a gorgeous white! More to come on that!
There you have it! A walk through of our home from the listing perspective! Since I love to remodel and decorate, I could envision this house the way we like it. The bones, flow and outdoor area are perfection. Now it's time to just modernize!
To finish off here are a couple more pictures of the backyard "jungle".
The lush backyard is what I was looking for. We are in a neighborhood but feel far from them with all the vegetation!
Keep in touch for more blog posts about renos we do and before & afters!