At first glance, Christopher Lee‘s captures of this fresh and bright abode will tell a modern home story—but under the layers of thoughtful design by Alison White, are the beautiful bones of a 1928 Spanish bungalow. Pre-renovation, you would have found an unwelcoming layout and forced blending of styles—all of which Alison remedied with her clean aesthetic. Madison Modern Home put on the final staging and styling touches for a tour that shines.
From Alison White of Alison White Homes… I walked into this house, offer in hand, not knowing why an original 1928 Spanish beauty was priced so cheaply. Beyond the living room, it soon became apparent that what was once an original Spanish beauty had gone so, so wrong. A series of additions had left this adorable 1920’s bungalow into a jumbled hodgepodge of styles and a floorplan that made absolutely no sense. The kitchen was art deco style, there were glass block walls in every bathroom, the master bathroom had an atrium with a glass shower floor visible to the downstairs, a series of angled walls meant that there were no walls for beds in several bedrooms, there was a toilet on a diagonal wall, and one bathroom was divided into two large, almost empty rooms. But, perhaps the biggest problem was that one had to walk through a downstairs bedroom to get to the stairs to the second floor, which had been thrown on to the (then) back exterior of the house. I knew that I had to fix this house and restore it to its original glory! I scooped up this home the second day it was on the market, ensuring that it was in the right hands for what would be a major renovation.
I spent several days and nights working on a new floorplan that would relocate the stairs up to the front of the house, and open up many of the closed-off walls that had rendered the home maze-like. After removing the walls between the living room, dining room, and kitchen, I created an open “great room” concept.
As an unanticipated bonus, we were able to get two more feet in ceiling height when we opened everything up! By moving the stairs, and eliminating two bedrooms at the original back of the house, I was able to connect the great room at the front of the house with the spaces to the rear of the house via a breathtaking arched hallway inspired by Kate Marker Interior’s Hallway to Heaven.
Needing to find a way to disguise a structural steel post between the kitchen and dining rooms led to the addition of reclaimed wood from Ross Alan Reclaimed, which resulted in a rustic modern theme in the kitchen, which was then carried through to the rest of the home.
I aimed to marry charm and function with the renovation. I restored and repurposed a number of original windows in the home to keep the 20’s character. I replaced the front door with a custom Dutch door, so one could feel the island breezes on Naples Island where the home is located. I turned an unused side yard into a dog run and added a dog shower to make the home pet-friendly. I used Spanish tile throughout, from Arto, Original Mission Tile, and Fireclay, to update the spaces while keeping true to the Spanish style. And I moved walls to allow for more functional spaces within the home that would appeal to today’s buyers. The biggest compliment I received was when potential buyers were surprised to learn that the house hadn’t always been that way. I turned a maze into a functional home, with a mixture of high and low design finishes that appealed to everyone who came through.