Interiorssneak peeks

In Florida, The Rustic Bungalow of Two Florists

by Garrett Fleming

Florists Melissa and Sean Stevenson are a bold pair unafraid of zigging when others zag. While others were working for “the man,” they took a risk and opened their own studio, Kaleidoscope Flowers & Botanicals. And while families were snatching up all of their neighborhood’s new-construction homes, they were settling into one of its retro, beachy bungalows.

Drive by on any given day, and you’ll find the family’s pet tortoise, Adele, waddling across the front yard. Maybe she’s headed to her nook under the house, or maybe she’s going to visit her friends: a pair of plastic flamingos. The set’s pink hue pops off of the bungalow’s mint paint job, the two colors coming together in a perfectly 1950s sort of way. Tiptoe over Adele, then up the geometric front steps, and you’ll find yourself in a curated, vintage-inspired home that’s cozy and unique.

This look is achieved with an eclectic mix of secondhand finds, rustic styling and one-of-a-kind artwork — all three of which Melissa and Sean have used to give each room in their home a distinct look. In their bedroom, for example, a wrought iron bed frame anchors the space and sets the tone for its Scandinavian design. On the other hand, the at-home studio, headquarters of Kaleidoscope, leans more heavily into the rustic theme with exposed wood and thrift shop vases. As you click through and take a peek at the entire home, it’s not hard to see why this bungalow is one of my favorite spaces we’ve seen this summer. It has an ease about it that makes me want to move right in. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Austin Trenholm

In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
Melissa and Sean's at-home floral studio is designed to be fun and inspirational, but also functional. Supplies are stored on shelves made from Georgian barn wood and vases collected from thrift stores hold some of the couple's arrangements.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
Melissa and Sean bought this 30s-era home right before they were married, and it marked the beginning of a new era for the pair. For the first time ever, they've been able to decorate a space however they please.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
After moving in, the two removed all of the studio's wall and ceiling paneling. Left behind was not only a rustic look they adore but an old door frame. To highlight the unique trait, the couple turned it into a chalkboard calendar for their shop, Kaleidoscope Flowers and Botanicals. The rug is from World Market, and the desk is by IKEA.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
Melissa and Sean's dining room is all about balance. "We love this spot because there is a lot going on, but it doesn't seem too overwhelming," they tell us. The dining table at the room's center used to be the family's coffee table. When they moved into this bungalow, however, it got new legs and a new life. Now it's a comfy spot for enjoying a meal, listening to records and entertaining. Beneath it lives a rug direct from Africa, and above it hangs a light fixture from World Market.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
The dining room features this painting by folk artist Jimmy Lee Suddeth. His works are created using mud from his home state of Alabama and a mixture of house paints.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
Melissa and Sean's kitchen combines the old and new thanks to its eclectic mix of granite countertops, modern appliances and black-and-white floor. The checker pattern is actually a strategic paint job. The pair didn't want to damage the original wood floor by covering it up with tile.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
Anthropologie hardware and dishes pair nicely with the kitchen's copper cookware.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
This spot in the kitchen is outfitted in all-things Americana, a favorite look of Sean and Melissa's. "The dry bar was the only piece of furniture in the house we asked the seller to keep when we bought it, " the pair says. The painting is by Wiili.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
The living room -- situated at the front of the home -- is the perfect spot for entertaining and unwinding with some TV. The "shotgun-style" of the home means you can sit on this IKEA sofa and see all the way through the dining room, kitchen and out the backdoor. The rug is from World Market, and the throw pillows are from Target.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
"We wanted a space that mixed all of the styles that we like -- which are all over the place -- from industrial to farmhouse, to beach cottage, to Scandinavian," Melissa says. Sean's grandfather worked for National Geographic and lived in Africa. Some of the taxidermy is courtesy of him, while others came from antique shops. Melissa and Sean are always careful to not buy any mounted, endangered species
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
The couple's "inviting and homey" Scandinavian-inspired bedroom holds a wrought iron bed frame they snagged for free. "It's so heavy we thought it was going to fall through our floors," they tell us. Luckily there haven't been any issues so far, and the couple loves that its "geometric shape really makes it the centerpiece of the room." Next to their bed they've mounted a shelf from Sean's grandmother's home.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
This framed piece decorating the couple's room was stitched by Sean's grandmother. For Christmas, Sean's mother had it framed for him and Melissa. The accordion lamp is from West Elm.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
Adele -- the family's tortoise -- lives in the bungalow's front yard where she's burrowed a home for herself under the front porch. The house is situated in a neighborhood that's constantly tearing down old homes and rebuilding new ones in their place. Melissa and Sean are so grateful that they were able to track down this mint-colored gem before it was demolished.
In Florida, Two Florists' Rustic Bungalow, Design*Sponge
The Floridian home's layout.

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  • A beautiful little home filled with lovely, thoughtful details. I particularly like the vintage kitchen. Baffled, though, why the colorful dishware was purchased at pricey Anthropologie — a store I myself shop on occasion for one-of-a-kind finds, but not for anything readily available elsewhere (just about anywhere, including flea markets and garage sales) for a much more reasonable price. True, there are times a unique glaze or special color will simply call out your name and you know it has become a must-have item, no matter where it finds you. Anthropolgie’s colorful crockery may fall into that category. But luckily, adopted by Melissa & Sean, moved from cold retail shelves to the cozy kitchen cupboards of their Florida home, these cups, bowls and platters now have a good place to earn their very own patina.
    The bungalow truly does totally rock. It brims with real self-expression and authenticity. My comment is not so much a criticism as it a question regarding how we source what we believe will become “ours” when it could, in fact, be anyone’s.

    • Helen

      I think everyone has a different budget and a different idea of what “reasonable”is. If I’ve learned anything over the past 12 years of running this site and looking at thousands of homes, it’s that everyone’s budget is different and everyone’s idea of where they should/shouldn’t shop is totally different. People often get things from big box stores as gifts (since they’re common registry choices) and merely owning them, or buying them, isn’t intended as a statement of any sort. I think when we start questioning others’ buying habits or making assumptions about them we run into a slippery slope of judgement.


      • Thank you Grace.
        I love the home and what they’ve done, and stated so from the first line to the last. I apologize if I was unclear in between.
        My question was sincere and not intended to be disparaging or judgmental.
        Your answer addressed other issues that are valid and thought provoking. One of the reasons I like Design* Sponge is because it illustrates how one can create the look they’re seeking in so many ways.
        Again, my apologies to anyone who was offended.

  • This is such a beautiful home, and I love the blend of vintage pieces and newer pieces. The caption says they scored the bed frame for free. Is it vintage? It is just so cool!

  • What a cute house! It’s the perfect minty color on the exterior, could you share the shade?
    So sad (and wasteful!) that other old homes in the neighborhood are being torn down to build new ones. I’m also glad that you rescued this one :-)

  • This is a beautiful little home that’s done with alot of care and thought. I love the mix of retro and new. It has a very relaxed, laid back feeling to it. I also love their little tortoise that lives under the porch..so very sweet! :-)

  • Looks like Adele might be a sulcata tortoise? If so, she won’t stay little forever, but she will stay adorable!! What a lovely home and a nice tasty looking yard for Adele!

    • I wondered the same thing. I live in Florida and I am curious about where this is located. I even went to their website (which is beautiful), but nothing there. Strange.

  • I would love to know the paint color on the living room wall. It looks different to the other rooms which appear a “whiter” white. It could just be the light in that room. I have been searching for just the right white and love the living room’s color!

  • I want my own Adele!! Does she stay on property all year round!?? I can just imagine watching her stroll the lawn on Sunday sipping a cool beverage.. sounds pretty relaxing to me!

  • I’m a native Floridian and I’m interested in knowing in which region of the state this lovely home is located. :-)

  • My grandmother (who loved flowers and had an incredible garden) used to look at stark white homes and interiors and exclaim, “why is everyone so afraid of color?!” I think she would have absolutely loved your home. :)

    As for me, I think everything is beautiful, but the kitchen and dining room make me especially happy and your dining table centerpiece is gorgeous. What a warm and welcoming house!

  • What town is this bungalow and their business located in? Or, did the owners request that this info not be disclosed? Thanks!

  • That’s an adorable home! I LOVE the color of the exterior.

    I’m form Florida and I would really enjoy doing something similar this with my home. I’m grateful you took the initiative and saved this old home. :)

  • Grace,

    I am on the hunt for 3 headboards such as the one pictured in this beautiful home. Any idea on where I can find one similar to it?

    Thank you!

  • It nice to see them takes the time and effort to put their ideas to practice. They created something beautiful for themselves. Nicely done. very cute home :))

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