Southern Design Living
With its cottage-like exterior, indoor and outdoor kitchens, inviting seating nooks, and 3,000 square feet of outdoor space, Southern Design Living in Englewood, Florida, is like stepping into the really nice home of a friend—except everything is for sale. And that's exactly how owner Michelle Sears, a home builder by training, intended it. "I wanted to give customers an idea of what things would look like in their own homes," she says.
Certainly not lacking in ideas is the building's impressive backyard (roughly equal in size to the shop's interior), which is filled with cozy dining spots, gazebos, a koi pond, and a putting green. Inside, the store is stocked with a casual-chic mix of indoor-outdoor rugs, durable teak furnishings, tropical-print pillows, and cheeky accessories from local and international vendors that all exude an Old Florida vibe—much like the style of homes Michelle, a licensed contractor, constructs with her firm, Southern Design Home Builders. "It's classic with a twist," she says. "I like to start with timeless pieces and look for unusual accessories to make a home unique."