An 800-square-foot home in Key West's historic Old Town neighborhood gets lovingly restored for a family of five. See the charming interiors.
Photographer: Annie Schlechter
Designer Blair Gordon took a vintage-meets-modern approach in renovating Natalie and Bobby Brooks small (less than 800 square feet!) 19th-century cottage in Key West's Old Town neighborhood. The couple, who purchased the house as a winter getaway for themselves and their three young children, wanted to maintain its architectural authenticity but also give it a simple, kid-friendly design. "Houses in that part of Key West should have a certain bohemian feel. But a less cluttered look was better suited to this family," says Blair. Here are his tips for preserving vintage character while adding modern style.
1. Update the Best of the Past.
In keeping with the look of the historic neighborhood, where houses feature shutters and decorative elements in shades such as turquoise and coral, Blair used a conch shell pink for the exterior. "I wanted to stay true to the house's roots," he says. "I kept asking myself, 'Would Hemingway sleep here?'" He modernized the look by reversing the scheme, tempering the pink (Touch of Pink by Benjamin Moore) with a dark wood stain on the shutters and gray paint on the porch floors. "The bright color makes this tiny house stand out," says Blair.