Colorful Ideas Abound In This Happy Florida Home

Playful patterns and fun colors bring the bliss in this home-y oasis featured in HGTV Magazine.

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May 08, 2019

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

The House

Designer Nicole White’s idea of a nightmare used to be the suburbs. “I’d lived in Miami for over a decade in a cute condo, and I never wanted to give up my favorite restaurants or the nightlife,” she says. But after she and her then husband had a kid, Xavier, they craved more space and grass for him to play on.

Their search punted them to the burbs, where Nicole shed actual tears as the real estate agent drove them around. What changed her mood and attitude: a 1986 place in Sunrise, FL, with a roomy 2,028 square feet and a sizable backyard. The dismal interior—drab wood built-ins, forest green carpet, and a big hole in the living room ceiling—didn’t put Nicole off. “I was excited it was so horrible!” she says. It meant she could start from scratch and pepper it with her fresh and slightly eclectic taste, down to the painted stairs. Now there’s plenty of style and room to run in the yard—a win-win for the mother and son suburban converts.

Kitchen

Call it a Pinterest board come to life: Nicole dreamed about every part of this space long before she owned a house. She was especially obsessed with laying wide-plank porcelain floors that look like wood (from Floor & Decor) in a herringbone pattern. “It’s classic and exciting,” she says. For luxe-ness, she did a waterfall granite counter on the peninsula and marble hex tile on the backsplash. She got barstools from Overstock in her favorite color: “My orange chairs are the first thing I see in my kitchen, and they always make my day!”

Living Room

Once Nicole used this seafoam green color in a client’s home, she was smitten. She put it on just one wall to call attention to the sunlit glass doors and went gray (Passive by Sherwin-Williams) in the rest of the room, including the dining area. To max out seating, she chose a gray sofa from Macy’s and a leather lounge chair from Wayfair. “We call this room my mom cave—it’s my quiet place to curl up with a book,” she says. That coffee table is actually a West Elm bench; Nicole likes its slim shape. The green mirror, from HomeGoods, doubles as art.

Stairs

Every step is a hit of happy! Painting them was a simple weekend project: Nicole raided her collection of sample pots left over from design projects, chose four colors and put them on at random. The wall, filled with Xavier’s creations, is a popular stop on his house tours, says Nicole: “When guests come over, right away he’ll say, ‘Come see my art!’ ”

Xavier’s Room

He shares his mom’s love of orange, so Nicole surrounded him with a juicy, energetic shade (Outgoing Orange by Sherwin-Williams). A geometric Flor rug adds yet more brightness, and it serves as a plush spot for Xavier’s Lego rocket ship building sessions and (unsanctioned) soccer practice. The cute campaign-style nightstands and molded plastic rocking chair are from Overstock.

Fun fact: Orange is considered the most uplifting hue because of its sunrise-like radiance and warmth, says Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute. As the Frank Sinatra quote goes, “Orange is the happiest color.”

Master Bedroom

“After my divorce I wanted an ultra-glam bedroom, since it was a place I could decorate just for me,” says Nicole. She made it happen with dramatic black walls, velvet on the settee (from Houzz) and the curtains, and mirrored nightstands (from Overstock). The tufted linen headboard from Wayfair offers curl-up coziness. “It feels good to lean back there after a long day and snuggle with Xavier,” she says.

Guest Bedroom

Family and friends visiting from Jamaica get the boutique-hotel treatment. An upholstered bed from City Furniture, a bright bedspread from Schoolhouse Electric and crisp white sheets give the room five-star status. Nicole painted a 7-foot-wide navy stripe behind the bed and on the ceiling to create a cool canopy effect.

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Office

The previous homeowner had left the bookcase, along with a note to trash it. “I thought she’d lost her mind,” says Nicole. “It was the best gift!” She gave it a chic refresh with paint (Serious Gray by Sherwin-Williams) and acrylic pulls, and decked it out with finds from her travels. This is where Nicole plans work projects, so for creative inspiration she paired a rustic wood desk and a modern chair, both from Wayfair, then added a snazzy rug from Walmart.

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Backyard

This 1,000-square-foot space was just grass when Nicole moved in, but she had big visions for hangouts and barbecues. Enlisting her brother’s help, she created paver molds out of two-by-fours, then called in a cement truck. After the squares set, she sprinkled gravel between them. Black paint (Limousine Leather by Behr) on the fence, swagged string lights, and plenty of seating make it a welcoming gathering space. “After years in a condo,” says Nicole, “it’s a dream to have an outdoor area where people can come over for wine, dinner or both.”

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