Welcome to Part I of our Before & After series, Transformed: Orchid Cove, where we are diving deeper into the details of our Orchid Cove project, a whole home renovation project in Sarasota.

Our clients had a great eye for the hidden potential of the home they purchased in an established, waterfront neighborhood full of mature trees and character homes. They also knew the design needed a complete overhaul in order to properly update it to reflect their taste, and to better suit their growing family’s needs.

Luckily, this is where we come in! ARI fully developed and brought their dream to life, carrying it out to completion with our TRANSFORM service from top-to-bottom design, drafting, renovation administration, all the way through to final installation of all furnishings, window treatments, and decor.

The entry Foyer had interesting bones, but was and in need of an update. A double-height volume means an opportunity to create a strong, central focal point for the home, able to be viewed from both upstairs and down by introducing a patterned stone floor. At the grand staircase, we carefully laid out a wood paneling design, painted white, to bring this Foyer to its full potential. A new stair railing cleans up, and modernizes, the visual order of the space. Timeless and sophisticated, yet also totally fresh and bright, the Foyer now sets the tone for the entire home.

Renovations often involve a lot of decision-making about what to demolish and replace, and what can still be worked with in order to achieve the overall vision. In the Orchid Cove home's Foyer, we cleaned things up by removing niches, but preserved the architecture. We were also able to reuse the existing red oak stair treads by having them stained a dark accent color. This way they did not need to be removed and replaced, and now create a beautiful contrasting element. 

Renovations also involve some challenging nooks and crannies, which can actually become some of the most interesting aspects of the design. One such spot at Orchid Cove was the small, circular floor space beside the Foyer staircase. The dimensions made it a challenge to furnish, due to the small radius of the curved stair. We knew we wanted a tall, round table to go here, with an interesting base profile, and of the right height to place fresh flowers and greenery- so, about 30" high. The options were very slim for tables of that taller hight but smaller radius, so we commissioned the perfect hall table to be custom made. It is hand-crafted locally from solid, turned wood, and we chose the stain color to complement the refinished red oak stair treads. They were (literally) made for each other!

The foyer opens to reveal the Formal Dining Room, another highlight of this character-filled home. Since our client had decided to replace all of the windows with stronger, more energy efficient, new windows, we had the opportunity to help evaluate the ideal shapes from both the inside and outside of the home. Arched windows now help anchor a Modern Mediterranean style update to the front facade, while also adding interest to the interior.

We embraced the low ceiling by adding architectural interest in keeping with the home's character, a layered sense of old-meets-new. The mural wallpaper is a conversation starter, featuring a black-and-white jungle with pops of blue in the birds. Furnishings and fabrics feature a curated mix of finishes and textures, that feels interestingly eclectic, but carefully chosen to be harmonious and well-balanced. The dining room now feels collected, lively, and inviting.

So much can be achieved with good millwork design! Ok, and furniture... and also drapery... but for this Great Room's transformation, it all started by re-designing the millwork. Our objective was to visually unify the focal wall of windows, transforming the disparate, floating pieces into one, grand feature. We then carried the paneling around the room, which was also a visual callback to the Foyer staircase.

A key feature of the newly updated home office is the custom millwork design that offers a combination of open display and closed storage. Functional, sliding cabinetry doors in the center glide open with beautiful, faux tortoise shell finish pull hardware, to reveal more storage space and shelving.

Fresh paint finishes, new furniture and lighting, and custom window treatments update and complete the space. Color and texture are layered in with textiles, and an inviting new space to land with a laptop for work-from-home days has been created.

Not pictured, a gallery wall of favorite family photos opposite the desk further personalizes the room.

This brings us to the end of Part One! If you love diving into the details behind the finished photos like we do, you'll want to stick around for Part Two, when we explore the kitchen. There will be challenging curved walls, more custom millwork, and creative solutions in store!