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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inspiration from the Florida Keys

We spent a delightful Labor Day Weekend with my inlaws in the Florida Keys. If I could use one word to describe Key West, it would be "colorful." From the town's persona to its people to its houses, it is certainly bright and cheery.
Though Key West is known for Jimmy Buffet and crazy nightlife, there is a quieter side to the city that is absolutely fabulous. The gorgeous homes in Old Town, with vibrant colors, intricate patterns, beautiful trees, and colonial architecture. One thing we learned is that all of the homes in Old Town are required to have a tin roof. Often these tin roofs are patterned, and the patterns often mirror the patterns carved into the beautifully carved porch railings.
How inviting is this front porch? We love the colors, the carved railings on the upstairs porch, and of course, banana trees and palm trees galore! They painted the ceiling above the porch a sky blue which is so lovely with the pink house and blue shutters.
How charming is this little yellow cottage? We'd love to decorate the inside of this home- yellow and turquoise is always a winning combo!

Isn't the bougainvillia just breathtaking?

St. Paul's Episcopal Church- gorgeous white with the traditional red door, which is highlighted by the red royal poinciana or "Flame Tree" in front. These Flame Trees have beautiful red blooms and form canopies all over the streets of Key West.

We bet your local Aveda salon isn't located in a victorian mansion like this one! Check out the detailing on the porch columns and railings. So pretty!

Only in Key West would a house this color be so charming! There are rows of these tiny homes in Old Town, many of which are painting different colors. Key West housing prices are definitely high, although like everywhere else in Florida, they have fallen recently. Our tour guide told us that 1800 square feet used to go for around $800,000 and now is around $200,000.
Key West's most famous residents- roosters and chickens that roam the streets and sidewalks. You can hear them cockadoodle-doing all over town- they just walk around and are happy as they can be.

Ernest Hemingway's home in Key West is a famous attraction. The design of the house is just gorgeous- we love the second floor porches especially!

A pretty white bed and breakfast at night.
My favorite house in Key West- just beautiful! We wish we could have gone inside the gates to see more, but there was a "mean dog" sign posted! Notice the pineapple lanterns!

A close-up of the pineapple lanterns lighting the gates of the house above. So pretty!

You can see the ornate tin roof of this pretty little cottage. It is just the right size for a little vacation home.
Unfortunately you cannot really see the gates closely from this picture, but they have white iron pineapples on them, and the railings have pineapple carvings. We would probably do a little more landscaping in the front, but still, the bones of this house are fab!

How cute is this little white shotgun house (like what you see in Charleston) with turquoise trim?! It just makes us happy!!!

We love the idea of translating certain aspects this Key West inspiration into real life! Pineapples are the symbol for hospitality, so we think you could absolutely use them away from the beach, like the lanterns shown above.
These pineapple sconces would be so pretty flanking both sides of a front door!
Hinkley Lighting, $218
How fab is this Pina Lamp?! We love how it combines a traditional pineapple with modern style! Modern Dose, $879 This graphic black and white pineapple fabric from Rubie Green is just adorable!! Rubie Green Megan, $90/yard Isn't this bedding from Williams-Sonoma Home so pretty?! Pineapple Embroidered Bedding, $248
Check out this oversized pineapple wallpaper from Katie Brown!

Photo Courtesy of Paper Lily
How fun is this turquoise and white pineapple wallpaper from Timorous Beasties?! So pretty in a little powder room or even a bedroom!

We love this pair of white ceramic pineapples on either end of a fireplace. Z Gallerie is so hit or miss, but we absolutely love this!
Ceramic Pineapples, $30, and enter code M20 for 20% off! Wouldn't this pair of pineapple lanterns be so pretty on a beachy summer table? Z Gallerie, $25
What Key West elements do you think you can translate into the real world?

6 comments:

Betsy said...

Love the pineapple connection--I want it all!

Jaime said...

Love all the pineapple pieces! Florida living looks lovely- so different from New England.

The Consummate Hostess said...

What beautiful pictures and glad that y'all had a nice time! Key West is such a great and vibrant place.

Erin said...

You're killing me with all these photos! I've wanted to visit Key West for as long as I can remember. I adore that white house with the turquoise trim...you're so right...it's just makes you happy!

Lalla said...

Love the pineapples! I agree with Besty - I want it all!

Alaina Kaczmarski (Live Creating Yourself) said...

I absolutely looove a second-story porches. Ever since I saw the house in Forrest Gump, I've wanted one. Thanks for sharing! Sunny homes for sunny weather. : )

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