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Miami Home Restoration With Art Deco Touches

Couple improves a 1926 Miami home to its Art-Deco grandeur.

Kathryn and Dan Mikesell just can't seem to settle down. The couple has completed two restorations so far in the Morningside neighborhood of Miami. Their latest project, a 1926 house combining arts and crafts style with art deco influences, was featured on HGTV's Generation Renovation.

"We had just finished modernizing a house two blocks away, and we decided to undertake restoring a house in the neighborhood," says Dan Mikesell. "We looked for a few months and were struck by the external architecture of this house."

The house was vacant and Mikesell says they had to locate the owner. They put in an offer and three months later they had the house. While they were attracted by the external architecture, Mikesell says they really found a treasure when they stepped inside.

"We saw the house had most of its original features: Leaded windows, art deco bathrooms, original staircase and unique tile floors. Also, it had large walls that would allow us to hang our oversized art."

They set right to work on a two-year restoration and soon the old home was buzzing with activity. At one point there were 10 contractors at work simultaneously. The project also had its share of difficulties. They brought in a stainless steel craftsman for to create custom counters in the kitchen.

"That project finalized one night at 2 am," Mikesell says. "Re-plumbing without breaking any of the original tile work was also a very challenging aspect of the restoration."

Mikesell says finishing up the majority of the renovation before their first child was born was probably the most rewarding part of the project. But since then they've found their third house project and will soon be relocating. They moved out of the house in mid-October and will move on to their next house on Dec. 1.

"This one is a 1950s 'Miami Modern' architecture. It has a very open floor plan and we are excited about making it a Mikesell house," he says. "While we grew very attached to this home and will always remember it as the place where our two children spent their initial years, we like to tackle home projects as it is a great creative outlet for us."

And if you've ever thought getting a home ready for the market was hard, try keeping a house in show-ready condition during one of the worst hurricane seasons in the history of Florida.

"The two hurricanes that directly threatened Miami presented unique challenges to us, as our house was for sale at the time," Mikesell says. "As a result, we put our 50-plus hurricane shutters (many on the second floor) up at the last minute, and took them down once the winds subsided. For one of the storms, we put them up at 6 pm on a Friday night and had them down by 10 am the next day for a house showing."

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