Back to the future

I’m a Tampa girl all the way and as such, I have a deep love for South Tampa. If you’re from these parts, there’s a good chance you feel the same. Today’s offering is a very short romp through the brick streets.

This is the opposite of new construction and I have to say, when you sell a lot of new/newer homes, they all start to look the same. Not much character, new landscaping, bare streets-yawn. I’ve always preferred the personalities of the South Tampa/Hyde Park  gems and my dream home has always been one of the original Craftsman-style homes. Oh yea-We’ll do more on this, as well as South Tampa in general. For now…

Not new construction.

Obviously the second one is new/newer, but you won’t really see this type of architecture in too many places in the Bay Area. Fantastic. Wouldn’t you love to see the inside of that baby??

The little guy on the left? I looked it up-it sold in April, 2016 for 499k. Yes. That’s correct. What was that? Oh yeah-it’s a 2 BR, 1.5 bath, 1500 sf home. With no pool. Nothing. That’s it. $499,000. Good grass, though.

These are the same house (duh) but it was too big to fit in one frame. Gorgeous home with beautiful landscaping, a porch to die for, a shit ton of personality, and oh dear god I’d live there in a minute! I really want to peek under that skirt. We have Frank Lloyd Wright homes here in the hood and I’ll certainly do some stuff on that. Get some good pics. How often do you get to see an original gem like that? Oh South Tampa…I wish I could quit you.

Not sure what’s happening with the first one. It looks like it needs a trip to the nail salon.

The one on the right is mid century modern and is a fantastic example. I just was not able to capture just how cool that little guy is, but wanted to share anyway. I’d sell my first born for that middle house.

The first one is newer, but fits in nicely with the area. The other two are great examples of ugly ducklings worth a zillion dollars. I’m sure the insides are updated. Perhaps they haven’t had time to do any lawn work. Just saying.

You can definitely see where the homeowners have made changes over the years, but they have stayed true to the architecture. Heart emoji.

I’m a sucker for a porch.

Rounded doors? Yes, please.

I’m a fair and balanced reporter, so I thought you should see the underbelly of South Tampa. I’ll let you decide if the this is appropriate any place on earth.


Tough to look at, right? Don’t stare too long.


Oooohh. Touch me right there.

Finally. A model home that is just right. Doesn’t take itself too seriously and it looks like someone lives there. Oh, there are tons of pictures. It was a 2 story house and I loved almost everything in it. So-if you don’t like to look – well, if you don’t like to look, what are you doing here?

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This lamp makes me swoon.

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The upstairs was whimsical and had a super cute dog theme and if you don’t love dogs, I don’t even want to know you. They did a really good job of choices and placement.

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I love the fishnets they used for curtains. Good imagination. And that purple/lavender wallpaper kinda makes me want to go to the dark side.

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This lamp. Goodness. The glass is fabulous and I love that the inside of the shade matches. You sexy little bitch.

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The white on white canvas is textured. It tickles.

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Oversized pictures can be tricky but this one works perfectly at the end of this hall. Tip of the hat to you, designer.

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This lamp. Yes, please.


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Nice legs there, little lady.

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These croquis are super fun. I think I would have painted them, though. A face, maybe some clothes.  Or they could have been on a tandem bike. That would’ve been cool.

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Oh dear. The owl. Will we ever escape?

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The boys’ room was pretty cool. They took that football theme all the way, didn’t they? And yet, the football is upside down. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t on purpose, but it cracks me up.

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Behind this little glass Jane Russell, what do you see? Could it be granite that clashes with the back splash? Because that’s all I see. Every single day. If you’re blind and someone picks out your house for you, remember to ask if the curtains match the carpet. Jeez, people.

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This bedroom is unisex, as far as I’m concerned. Again it has wallpaper I actually like. Super cute fake books.

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Love the Bowler hats.

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I love these glass knots, but I sure am starting to get sick of seeing them. Scale back, designers.

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These chairs give me the vapors. Sexy and smooth.

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These organic “things” (whatever they are) are visually interesting and I don’t think I’d get tired of them in 10 minutes. Tip of the hat.

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All of the pieces of paper stuck in the base of this lamp were little love letters. Swoon.

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A builder detail, but this is finally a backsplash I could live with. Maybe.

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So it’s pretty obvious that this house pleased me. A solid A, for sure. A good portion of that, I admit, was because of the dogs. I’ve been waiting for a designer to incorporate some realness up in here. A lot of creativity and it worked. The whole thing pulled together nicely.

My favorite surprise

I went to a community that has a couple of builders I’m not crazy about. I don’t like the community or the two builders, but I have someone looking in this specific price point, so I thought I’d hop in and get some info. When I do stuff like this, I really never look at the model because they usually suck. So my brain took a while to absorb the disparity between the builder and the designers they hired.

This house was done in a bohemian, rustic theme and I loved it. Only one fuck up, but still a solid A. And the fuck up was really the builder’s, so no points taken off for it. To what do I refer? This monstrosity:


I really didn’t think anyone actually used these outside of a potting shed in Vermont, but here it is in the model home. It’s ugly as shit no matter where it is, but it would be more appropriate at the farm.

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I can’t even tell you how much I love those brick columns. I had to adjust myself. As you can see, it’s earthy and livable. This is a house that isn’t sterile like most of the models I see. It felt warm and comfortable. A shitload of wood and brick, two of my favorite three design elements. It looks more like someone does live there, but they straightened up for guests.

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Holy crap-look at the sconces. We’ll be getting under the covers with sconces very soon

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I LOVE the touch of whimsy in the bathroom. And I love that they chose two different colors of fish. Tip of the hat to you, designers.

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Oh god, the lamp

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What did we learn today? We learned not to judge a house by it’s neighborhood or it’s elevation. This one had nothing to offer in either of those categories, but the inside made me ridiculously happy.

A custom home in Wesley Chapel

Well color me surprised. And delighted. I found this gem while looking for properties. And oh, guess what? The sales associate decorated it. I know, right? So there is hope for the amateurs out there. This gets an A, straight up. She stayed true to the architecture of the house, didn’t overdo it, and she was on a strict budget. So, that’s why this gets a A. I have definitely seen professionals not do as well as this one. It’s thought out and functional. And score! The dining room table is from Rooms to Go and so are the sofas. You can’t really see the detail on the sofas very well, but I was really surprised. The two floor candles are from Pier One and I always love a good floor candle.
I had to do two videos because in the middle of filming the master bath, my phone rang and turned the video off. I didn’t realize I hadn’t captured the master bath until I got home. So, sorry about that. Just trust me, it was big and laid out well. The sinks were on opposite sides of the bathroom. I love that because my husband seems to think that if he can’t actually see a million little hairs on and around the sink, then he hasn’t shaved. Or something. I don’t know what goes through the mind of a man, but mine is messy. Ewwwww, boys!!
Part one:

Part Two:















A Refreshing and Solid A

Lookie! I found a beautiful house to share with you! The floor plan was fantastic. It was a little too big (for me, as I tend to like them a little smaller) but it has two owners suites, a favorite feature of mine. So let’s discuss. Was there granite? Some. There was a generous amount of quartz. Love that. The color palette was soft and the decorator is fantastic. (My love of lighting continues and I still have more to come.) She did not disappoint! She chose the blue and brown palette, heavy on the blues and neutrals. Fantastic accent walls, just the right shade, perfect furniture choices, inside and out, and Fake Food!!! And again I’m really noticing the nested tables. We’ve seen these done before, but not as pretty of an outcome.

A couple of things that really caught my eye and made me super happy: The baby’s room. She did an aviation theme and even carried it through to the origami maps over the crib. Adorable. Also, in the children’s room, she has framed some Dr. Suess. They look really cute. And finally, bright pink and black room was really pretty. She has taken some bags from Chanel, Coach, and a few others and framed them. The effect is interesting and it’s not at all too girly. Fantastic, interesting choices. And this builder also uses the wood shelves in all of the closets. Love it!! Take a look.


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A South Tampa house on the smallest lot in the world

If this house looks vaguely familiar, it’s because my very first post was on this exact same floor plan. This company took this floor plan and bought a house in one of Tampa’s most expensive neighborhoods, razed it, and built this big ass house. Let me say this though, this one is about a zillion times better. They put a shit load of upgrades, NO GRANITE!!!!!!, marble, fantastic lighting, beautiful tile floors set in a herringbone pattern, and this time I took a picture of the outdoor seating areas. The staircase is open. The other is not and it really makes a huge difference because there is a very dark dead zone right in that foyer. I really don’t like some of the side tables used and I really don’t like the kitchen stools. All of the walls were a soothing gray and there were many blue accent walls. I really should say ceiling. You can see it in the first still picture. The color palette is a turquoise, green, and blue situation, which, by the end of the day, felt a little blah. I never thought I’d say that because I really love that combo, but I found myself really wanting more of a statement. Perhaps a coral. I love the way the sliding glass doors are framed and of course, the patio off the kitchen. The walls were all rounded.

The kitchen counters were a solid white quartz with a marble backsplash and the island was black cabinetry with a marble counter. I hated the white quartz, but the overall effect was good. All of the counters in the bathrooms are white quartz. This house has my favorite thing in a model home: fake food! Lots of it. I don’t know why that makes me so happy. The bathrooms and bedrooms were a nice shade of blue. This house has two master suites and the second one was  blue stripes. I normally don’t care for the multi-colored rooms, but his one was fine. Overall, an A-. Points taken off for the modern stools that don’t feel like they belong and the accent tables. I liked some of the accent tables, but there were enough in a white lacquer to make my eyes google out. So, no to lacquer.

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This big ass house made me super happy

It has granite. I’m just going to get that out of the way. I’m also going to end the suspense and tell you this house gets an A. Solid A. I couldn’t get video, so deal with that, but I got great pictures. This baby was from one of my favorite builders and weighed in at about 4200 sf. Normally I don’t go for the big ones like this, but the layout was perfect and the decor really made it feel cozy. I know. I hate that word, but it fits here, so let’s discuss.

4/3.5/3 and was being offered for the low, low price of $830,000. The girls room was red and black and featured ladybugs! I loved the detail on the ceilings. Everywhere I looked was a new detail.

The lighting in this house made me almost delirious. Fantastic. The decorator also found some kick ass art work, too. Most of the art on the walls were somewhat three dimensional and it was really hard to get some of the detail. All of the bathroom lighting was mounted in the middle of the mirror. The ceilings were maybe 15ft tall and the mirrors went all the way up. And they were framed. Nice touch. Upstairs there was a wraparound balcony. It was delicious. The pool alone was $114,000, but the cage went up both floors. There were 2 outdoor tv’s downstairs and one upstairs on the balcony. And of course an amazing outdoor kitchen. And finally, even though I’m not a fan of the bathtub, the one in the master was surrounded by a green/gray glass stick tile. Beautiful.

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Well, Well, Well

I know you’re thinking I hate town homes and you are right. But today. Today may have shifted things for me a bit. I found one that I love! Not like, LOVE! It’s 1900+ sf, 3/2.5/2. It has that god awful granite, but it still managed to charm me. It’s an end unit, which means there’s a lot of light, and it is really laid out nicely. I accidentally stopped the video half way through, so there are two videos for this one. Also, there’s another white iron bed. Love! The upstairs has a split plan with a loft in the center. Good layout, nice design, a solid A.

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Don’t try this at home

This was a smallish, unassuming townhouse that made me smile. The decorator made some bold color choices. She chose sand color walls and mostly lime green and purple accents. This is not something to try at home kids, because this could go south very easy and I daresay, based on the zillions of homes I’ve been in, this color combination is easy to get wrong.

Having spent the day in this house, I think the success with this particular home is that the  colors were used sparingly and they are easily changed out. The lamps in this house made my day. Beautiful. The girls room upstairs (finally) had a female athlete on the wall. My favorite color is pink, but I do NOT like pink walls or the way most decorators go out of their way to make sure you know the gender of the person living in the room. No No No. I’d like to see a more grown up girls room at least once.

In spite of the pink paint, I loved the fabric of the curtains and the dresser in that room. The boys room had a vague sports theme without being over the top. The master had wood floors, which I love in a master bedroom. Also, Granite. Why must we always have granite? The upstairs baths had quartz (!!!!!) , at least. And whoever the builder used to install their wall tile must have had a few at lunch. There is nothing worse than having a tile backsplash and being able to tell where the sheets began and ended.

This house is whimsical and I’m not penalizing the decorator for the granite. It was about 2500 sf and had an open floor plan. Oh, and P.S. – They had fake food. I love fake food. And yes, I took pictures.

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