single family home

I don’t play favorites

Well ok, actually I do. This little guy totally made me look. It’s super neutral, and you know I like a pop of color, but I’m still giving this props. I’m gonna straight up do something I never do and that’s mention the builder. CalAtlantic has long been a favorite of mine. They put out a good product and are a dream to work with. So that. And-their decorating is (usually) spot on. I’ve posted stuff from them before, but I was gun shy about mentioning the builder. Breaking my own rules here, kid.

Let’s begin with knick knack paddy whacks. This is another house that relies heavily on turquoise, which is fine with me. So far I still don’t want to throw up when I see it, so that makes walking through the house less messy.

Here’s the part that the designers had nothing to do with. I couldn’t get more pictures because there were realtor things going on (top secret, don’t ya know) and I didn’t have the freedom I usually have. So as much as I’m crushing on the house, I have embarrassingly few pictures to show for it.

Textured walls are my new favorite thing and don’t be surprised if 6 months from now you are reading this blog and I’m trashing textured walls. It’s ok to change your mind. For right now, I’ll take it.

Everything in these top four pictures makes me smile. The second picture is the food pantry in the kitchen. I know, right? Obviously stairs make the cut and I love the built in entertainment thingie. It matches the kitchen which always makes me happy.

That bathroom sink is awesome except you’d be cleaning that bitch constantly and would literally have no time to enjoy the textured walls. Good lamps, good lighting. And the coffee table at the top makes me want to stay up past my bedtime – wink wink.

Now you’re gonna think I’ve lost my damn mind, but as I was leaving, I saw this sweet little bowl, vessel (whatever they’re called) and it caught my eye. Love it.


Right? Super simple and easy to overlook, but I thought it was pretty and well placed. Tip of the hat to you, CalAtlantic. Werk it.

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.


Unexpected Surprise

There’s a builder here in the hood that I don’t love. Don’t want to rag on any builders, but it is what it is. So, you can imagine my surprise when I go there and the interiors are pretty. It’s a disconnect like that clear Pepsi from a few years ago. Tastes the same, but you just can’t get on board. Sadly though, it ends up with a B-. Details, people.

I love a courtyard. It’s a tease, ya know? It just says “Come up and see me sometime”.

I’m crushing big on these textured walls. It was like river rock. Beautiful. And this chair at the bottom – just a hint of mid-century. A shout out, if you will.

No post would be complete without lighting to swoon over.

I love the hanging lamp that looks kinda Moroccan.  And now, let’s take a look at this…


This builder has managed to take the three things I hate the most and smashed them together. Granite, bathtubs, and wallpaper. I can just hear the people at a conference table all corporate and shit, and they look at each other and say WOW! Why didn’t we think of this before??

It’s giving me the middle finger.

Huge House in Wesley Chapel

I can’t tell you how jazzed I am to see no granite. Granite has become some kind of standard as to what makes a “nice” kitchen. It chips, it’s tough to clean, and everyone seems to choose the same color palette. Really? People-you can do better.

This house has Zodiaq and I got the shivers when I saw it. I kinda had to control my squeeling reflex because other people were around. This is not really in the hands of the designer, but a very nice surprise nevertheless.

This designer has used a beautiful color palette and the cohesiveness is very impressive. Only 1 misstep, but it’s one of my pet peeves. Those damn pictures in the hall. In spite of this, it gets a straight-up A.

Two videos because I’m not that great. Watch, enjoy. Oh, and I figured out how to put speech bubbles in the videos. More opinionated commentary for you!!


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Oh god the risers on the stairs make me swoon.

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The grouping of pictures below is one of the things that makes me want to stab myself. There is no circumstance where clusters of pictures like this is acceptable. They’re never hung straight and the pictures themselves are always slightly skewed. That drives me nuts. Just put something else there.

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See those pictures?? Just awful.

Texture is always good. I enjoyed this little vignette in the spare bedroom.

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The lighting in this house was mostly uninspired, but there are some other details that offset that.

Wait-I totally take that back. If the lighting isn’t good, it gets a full letter downgrade. So it gets a B. Actually, a B-. The grade is fair, mostly because of the sexy beast of a sofa and the stairs. Great use of turquoise, though. You get the point, but you aren’t overwhelmed with it. As Martha would say – It’s a good thing.

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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I’m going to tell you straight out, I completely forgot about this one and I don’t remember the stats on it. It was a brown and blue color palette that is really starting to show up in a big way. I enjoy those colors but it feels old fairly quickly. I like the girls room in this one. It wasn’t so girlie, but had a nice flair to it. I hate the stripe walls in the office (or formal living room, whichever you prefer. (They were using the space as an office.) The bar stools were fabulous. There was really nothing wrong with this house except that after a couple of hours, it felt ho-hum. I tired of it fairly quickly. I don’t like that. But, it did have crown molding and wide baseboards, two of my favorite things. Overall, a good effort, but a B-.

P.S. This video was done before I knew to turn it sideways. Sorry.

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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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