Windermere Wonder

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This lovely “Spanish colonial” inspired home on Wauseon Bay was truly a labor of love. The young couple with four children under the age of eleven had me smiling the moment we met. It was a year of devoted collaboration. The original home was “modern Italian” and as we structurally edited, the home took on a more traditional flavor.

Additions included custom cabinetry, stained wood ceilings, hand-made tiles, iron railings, interior and exterior stone, oak plank floors, alder doors and mill work and a pool/cabana area that rivals any resort property.

The furnishings were selected to be “child-friendly” including a turquoise leather sectional sofa in the family room. The theatre room is a popular destination for all … complete with a stage and curtains for the children to perform for friends and family.

above left: Hand-made tiles, right: Original walls were drywall

Theatre Room

DESIGN TIP: Selecting the proper size chandelier for a room.

  • A chandelier is not only a source of light…it is elegant jewelry for the home.
  • To figure out the right size for the light fixture, first add together the room dimensions; Then add 5.  Thus, for a 15 x 20 room, add 15 and 20 plus 5. Then substitute inches for feet. So, in this example, a chandelier that’s 40 inches in diameter would be ideal. I tend to go a little larger than this rule and you must take into account the ceiling height as well.
  • A long, rectangular table requires two chandeliers (A worthwhile investment if you decide to resell; matching pairs of light fixtures are worth more than the price of two singles.)

Windermere Home Filled with Warmth

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This home in my photography section is on Second Avenue in Windermere and on the Butler “chain of lakes”.   It is a second home for an Orlando family which serves as a base for extended family to stay while on frequent visits. Our goal was to create an understated yet warm environment utilizing family antiques, original oil paintings and all the comforts of home.

Visually the four sitting areas flow and connect through color, texture and rugs.  The overall feel was small European hotel lobby “vignettes”.

Go to the gallery to see more images in the Slice of Life and Sanctuaries sections.

Welcome …

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Welcome to the all new Tortoiseshell Interiors website! It is so exciting to share with you some of my projects, challenges and discoveries. I’ll also keep you apprised of new design trends, colors and tips on decorating.  Every project is a fresh “canvas” in which I have the pleasure of creating a beautiful personalized interior image.

The current project featured is a custom home on Lake Butler in Windermere. My initial design inspiration started with the two pantry doors in the kitchen.

I wanted them to feel like old screens doors one would find at a flea market or antique store. I painted them an expresso brown, had them “beaten up” and then added copper screen and bronze hardware.  Then lanterns were added inside the pantries for functionality, but also ambience.

The rustic, yet refined element carried throughout the house with bronze fixtures and lighting.

‘Til next time ….