before and after

A Waterfront Remodel on the Florida Coast

by Annie Werbler

When Lillian and Raymond Garcia bought their 1,150-square-foot beach condo in St. Petersburg, FL, they were looking for a vacation house on the water less than two hours away from their primary home in Orlando. With its waterfront community setting and spacious open layout, the Garcias’ beach home helps them relax and unwind and easily entertain family and friends (as well as rent to vacationers). The couple tasked designer Jenny Kaplan of An Aesthetic Pursuit with giving the space a complete overhaul in seven months. They knocked down walls, replaced the floors, countertops, and cabinetry, and refreshed wall colors and furniture, turning the space from a generic beach home into a bright and modern retreat.

The Garcias looked to nature for inspiration, incorporating warm and organic accents that would compliment their beach surroundings. Jenny developed a color palette inspired by the abundant seashells on the surrounding white sand beaches. She also helped the homeowners protect their investment by ensuring that each new piece added was chosen not only for its look, but also for its sturdiness and ability to withstand the wear and tear of a vacation rental property. The floors, for example, are durable tile, not wood, and each finish was chosen to perform well in wet, humid conditions. To maintain a personal feel, the Garcias’ daughter, Lindsey, created artwork for the living area and master bedroom. She sourced local shells and found objects from the beach for hanging shadow boxes, which complement the overall beachy aesthetic. Lindsey and Jenny also handmade the shibori throw pillows used as accents throughout. Read on to see more of their sunny Florida makeover. —Annie

Photography by Daniele Napolitano

A Waterfront Remodel on the Florida Coast, on Design*Sponge
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The coral wall that connects the living and dining areas in the Garcias' beachfront condo sets the stage for warm tones throughout the home.
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The couple, along with designer Jenny Kaplan, found the dining area artwork early on, then pulled colors from its composition to fill the rest of the space. A durable Chilewich area mat defines the zone.
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Light colors and textures in the dining area mirror the tropical locale.
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An overview of the living and dining space, with its new, durable surfaces, furniture, and decorative objects.
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In the living area, an existing sofa is paired with patterned throw pillows to add pops of vibrant color.
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Many handmade touches are incorporated throughout the condo, including a shadowbox artwork by the Garcias' daughter, Lindsey.
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Jenny and Lindsey handmade the shibori throw pillows to tie into the coral wallcolor.
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A bright orange tray on the coffee table serves both decorative and functional purposes.
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Versatile accent furniture can serve many functions and move around the space as needed.
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With one wall opened up, the revamped white kitchen feels streamlined, despite reusing the existing appliances (designed to be swapped out in the future if the budget allows).
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In the master bedroom, the bed is repositioned on the opposite wall for better flow.
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A personal collection of hand-picked shells add a unique note to the space.
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Pattern, texture, and contrasting coral tones are key elements throughout the entire design of the Garcias' home.
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Serene walls and neutral furniture set the stage for bright orange, coral, and blue accents.
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Each room in the condo has its own color scheme, inspired by St. Petersburg's beautiful beaches.
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While blue is the dominant color in this room, warmer tones in the artwork relate back to the coral colors in the rest of the home.
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The blue hues of the second bedroom create a spa-like feel. "I chose colors and textures that are easy on the eyes and feel good to the touch," Jenny says.
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A palm tree motif sets this guest room apart from the rest.
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Incorporating different found vessels provides opportunities for adding natural elements from the outside world into the living space, like these bright palm leaves.

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