Old Florida Style: Decorating Ideas for Old Florida Homes

Posted by Tamara Berryman on Friday, June 13th, 2014 at 6:40pm.

If you buy one of the vintage homes in the “Old Florida” neighborhood of Country Club Shores on Longboat Key, you will undoubtedly want to keep its character in mind as you decorate. Whether your sense of style leans toward traditional or modern décor, you may choose to incorporate some elements of your tropical island surroundings in your decorating scheme. Here are some ideas to keep the allure of your paradisaical location present in your Old Florida home.

Bring the outside in

One of the easiest ways to keep your island surroundings within an arm's reach at all times is simply to bring it inside! Collect some pretty seashells and display them in a mason jar or even in a soap dish. A jar of beach sand displayed in a bathroom will remind you that the water is literally right outside your backdoor! Other outdoor elements that you might consider bringing in as part of your decor are sea glass and tropical flowers (but remember not to pick flowers that you find on the land surrounding the beach itself).

Echo the color palette outside your front door

Take a look around the next time you walk outside, and see what colors speak to you. Warm sand, the cerulean of the sky or the teal of the ocean are all excellent colors to bring into your home. As accents, you might choose the orange that you find on a bird-of-paradise bloom, or perhaps the pink of the hibiscus growing outside your door. You'll also find several shades of green to choose from, if you'd like to incorporate this natural-looking color.

Consider choosing white furnishings

White is a color that will make a room appear cool and breezy, even if the weather outside is anything but. Dark, heavy furniture may not give you the island look that you are looking for. Consider antique white wood or even white wicker for a more tropical feel.

Flowers, flowers everywhere

Plants and flowers are a great finishing touch for any home, and particularly a Country Club Shores home situated on beautiful Longboat Key! Look for large blooms in colors like fuchsia, purple, orange, yellow or white. Place them on your dining table, coffee table, plant shelves and anywhere else that you can to create a tropical paradise right in your own home! Small palm trees and fruit trees can go a long way toward making your coastal home say, “Florida!”

Let the sun shine in

Be sure to part your curtains or open your blinds in order to let the sun in. The side of your house facing the south and west are going to be the warmest when the sun enters, so keep that in mind; open those window coverings in the mornings, but you might choose to keep them shut in the hot afternoons. Windows facing the north and east won't heat up as much, and you can let that sunshine pour in all day long.

Use cool, natural materials

Linen, cotton and denim evoke feelings of cool airiness. Choose these cooler fabrics when it's time to pick out pillows for the sofa or new bedding. Heavy fabrics like fleece, velvet or corduroy are cozy come winter, but don't have the same island feel. During the colder months, consider using chenille or a loosely-woven knit for your throw blankets; these will be warm and snuggly without looking too heavy in an island-inspired home.

Don't be afraid to be a bit kitschy

While you might not want to go overboard on the beach theme, it's fine to bring in a bit of tropical-themed whimsy if it goes along with your decorating style. There are plenty of area stores, particularly on nearby St. Armand's Circle, where you can find signs, nautical decorations and wall hangings. If you're hesitant, somewhere like a guest bathroom, guest bedroom or lanai is a great place to experiment.


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If you are considering one of the luxury homes on Longboat Key, a home in Country Club Shores may be just the answer that you're looking for. This is definitely a tropical location, so you can decorate your island home to your heart's content! I can show you available properties whenever you are ready to start looking, so give me a call to set up an appointment.

Tamara Berryman

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Listing information last updated on May 30th, 2020 at 2:15pm CDT.

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