Keys Homes
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Making it all happen

By BARBARA BOWERS Special to The Citizen

The flats fishing boat currently rests on its trailer beneath Linda and Lloyd Woodall's home at a canal entrance to Pine Channel. It gets occasional use in the busy current of their new home and new business venture, but in the foreseeable future, the dock behind 29150 Bougainvillea Lane will be rebuilt and upgraded with davits for quicker, easier fishing excursions.

"I have the vision, Lloyd makes it happen," said Linda, an interior designer who tends so much toward the visual that varying shades of blue paint stripes the side entrance to the cedar-stilt house the couple bought on Big Pine Key in March, 2011.

Linda says that while comparing the color stripes to decide which they liked best, neighbors walking by weighed in with their preferences, too. The final "blue" decision coats the front of the house, but an entire exterior paint job is on the agenda for the 1,000 square foot, 2-bed/2-bath fixer-upper.

Already fixed up is the kitchen half of the great room, redesigned by "the queen of repurposing.

"I found a used, $50 island that Lloyd rebuilt with bead board and added casters to make it moveable," Linda said. "The kitchen is designed around two corbels I've carted around for years."

Above the window and new Silestone countertops, the classic, distressed corbels become brackets that support a thick cedar shelf. Coming soon, their heft and permanence will be countered by a display of all-white China, which Linda envisions atop "shelves on each side... when I find the right wood," she said.

She found the right indoor dining table at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore, but finding the right house--particularly one that required some sprucing up--now that took some "convincing Lloyd because he mostly sees work, work, work," Linda laughed, then explained that their last big renovation project was their former house on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

The hands-on couple still owns a farm and vineyard on the Chesapeake, but the work, work, work ethic has shifted to their Big Pine home and a former patio furniture store--Pipe Dreams--which they also bought.

"Last year I helped Ed King with his going-out-of-business sale at Pipe Dreams, and just last month, Lloyd and I reopened it with the new name, Island Dreams," Linda said. "While we're expanding the store to include interior design products, we'll continue to carry outdoor furniture."

For instance, a new line of brightly colored Adirondack chairs featured in the Woodall's store dot the balcony of their home, and C&F bedding, Island Dreams' main linen line, spreads across the king-size beds in both bedroom suites.

In the guest bedroom, an unusual saw-blade headboard is handmade by a Chesapeake Bay artisan, who also made the cherry-wood dressers in the master suite. Both bathroom upgrades are on the honey-do list, but Linda swears she will personally repaint all shutter doors before Lloyd returns from a family and vineyard visit to Maryland in November.

Both of the spacious bedrooms highlight the shabby chic direction in which the overall interior décor is headed; a cottage-style décor, wherein furniture and furnishings are selected more for the appearance of age than for age itself.

"Ours is one of several fishing cottages built along the canal in the 1980s by a cedar-mill owner named Blair Mooney," Linda said. "They're all made of cedar, each is designed a little bit differently and our plan is to keep this one very cottage like."

To this end, lobster traps are the means to end tables, indoors and out. An old-wood mantle rests against a living room wall, awaiting its final location nearby the over-stuffed, slip-covered sectional pieces, and an oversized wooden goose, which came from an eastern Maryland waterfowl festival, dangles from a peak of the cathedral ceiling.

Even Mojo, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon who is a big hunting dog, and Mookie-the-Shih Tzu (a little more Key deer in size) contribute to the Eastern Shore and tropical Keys mix that is shaping up nicely at the Woodall place.

Of course, more stationary accents like the grouper-sculpted BAIT sign found in a Key West fly shop and various mermaids found in throw pillows and stained glass contrast with a collection of Victorian birdhouses.

"I have a mermaid fetish, but far more birdhouses," Linda admitted. "Initially, I found a white birdhouse in a second-hand store in St. Michael's, Maryland, and as I found more, I hand painted them."

These days, her hand-crafted pastel birdhouses are grouped in the Woodall's guest suite. Grouped at Island Dreams are the ornate, white birdhouses, which Linda sourced out for sale along with other unique accent items and casual furniture. Linda buys; Lloyd assembles and together, they're making a new business venture and a new home happen.

Barbara Bowers writes about owning and maintaining property in the Florida Keys. To suggest a home to be featured in the Keys Homes section, send an email to barbara@bbowers.com. Homes listed for sale may not be considered.

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