have you ever checked out the real estate firm douglas elliman? if you are a house voyeur like i am, this company is the holy grail, especially for dream vacation living. my usual preferred style is more new england (which they represent), but after returning from florida i'm fully immersed in vacation/summer daydream mode, and wishing for a tropical escape. and their florida listings are phenomenally inspirational.
a vacation isn't happening any time soon, and on top of that we are back to the drawing board on the screened-in room situation for our own outdoor escape at home. i know its primary function will be for outdoor dining sans bugs, but it would also be nice to have a sort of florida room ... a type of sun room or sun porch ... a room that is open to breezes during the warm months. a place to relax and stay cool on hot summer days. and as soon as i think about a breezy room for escaping the heat, my brain immediately goes, "the great gatsby."
what?? follow me on this.
remember when nick visits tom & daisy at the beginning of the book? (i'm not the only nerd here, right?) the description of where he first encounters daisy and her friend, jordan, is where my mind went:
We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea. The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.
i love fitzgerald. can't you just imagine such a room, and such a day? all of the windows on our home's main floor have white linen curtains, and there is nothing more peaceful than sitting on the couch while those curtains move in the breeze. maybe i had gatsby in the back of my head when i chose them ... maybe because i'd been perusing those douglas elliman houses ...
but back to the florida room. my brain starts to swirl it all together: gatsby, sun room, indoor/outdoor, water and wind, relaxing. and i just assume my backyard looks something like this ...
and this ...
so my perfect florida room would be a little tropical, a little new england, a little fancy, and a lot unfussy and casual.
something like ...
let's assume that our florida room opens onto a patio, to have that indoor/outdoor element. and there are tall windows on two or three sides, which would of course be clad in long, white, floaty, linen curtains. you need comfy seating, so a soft indoor/outdoor couch is perfect for indestructible lounging. then you have the rattan daybed with soft pillows ... just the place for a summer nap. and the swing chair would be a great spot to curl up and read "gatsby" again. above you is a woven-blade ceiling fan, to assist the breeze on warm days.
a jute rug on the floor and a shuttered cabinet, to hold board games and extra books and blankets, have that beach cottage personality. of course there is a bar cart, for summer refreshments, and a coffee table on which to prop up feet or play one of those board games. by the daybed is a ghost table that mimics the classic design of the coffee table, but is 'now you see it/now you don't' to keep the room feeling light. throw pillows (that green kate spade one has the statement "this is the life" on it. perfect for a room whose soul purpose is relaxing!) and a pouf give the room softness and a little color, while the art on the bright white walls give even more color, as well as a vacation vibe. especially that aaron chang water photograph ... spectacular! looks like you can dive right into it.
simple sconces would light the corners of the room, while accent lamps on the cabinet give extra light during evening hang-outs. pretty vases bring out the green in the artwork, and a fresh bouquet of flowers from the bouqs and a fiddle leaf fern bring in the natural element.
and when you tire of all that comfortable lounging, you walk out onto the patio and head straight for that pool!
outdoor couch: restoration hardware
daybed: serena & lily
ghost table: wisteria
swing chair: pier 1
curtains: crate and barrel
coffee table: maine cottage
ceiling fan: lamps plus
art: aaron chang
sailboat print: minted
pouf: annie selke
bar cart: wayfair
kantha blanket: imogene + willie
lamp: maine cottage
sconces: lamps plus
ice bucket: furbish studio
rug: west elm
flowers: the bouqs
vase: jill rosenwald
planter: crate and barrel