Text by Cindy Cooper
California native and interior designer Cheryl Kees Clendenon has always loved the sunny, color-filled, coastal lifestyle. Several years ago, after moving to Florida, she met and married her husband Randy, who shares Cheryl’s love of life on the coast. Living near the beach had always been Randy’s boyhood dream, and together, they remodeled the original cottage he designed and built. Cheryl notes their goal in the renovation was to maximize their space and embrace the charm of a cozier home. “I would rather have a smaller home well-appointed than a big one with lots of empty spaces and have to furnish and clean them,” she says.
The initial renovation included removing the kitchen tiles and adding hardwood on the floors, unifying the open-concept kitchen, dining room, and family room. They replaced cabinetry and appliances for a more functional kitchen and added a true working island. One of Cheryl’s favorite elements to come from the renovation was the addition of a steamer to the wood-topped island piece, where she can keep food warm, especially when guests visit.
Just off the kitchen awaits a charming dining space. “My favorite spot is the dining nook. I call it my ‘un-dining room,’” quips Cheryl. It’s her cozy, color-filled spot to read the paper and get work done at home on her beloved green settee.
The master bedroom is a serene and peaceful retreat with vaulted ceilings and a sitting area but still features a pop of color that’s signature to Cheryl. She used vibrant teals and soft grays as a reflection of the coastline, along with small pieces of artwork and family mementos to add a personal touch.
Outdoors, the patio and pool area are the family’s tiny piece of paradise. The bricks for the patio were collected over the years for their worn and vintage qualities. The varying color shades add a nice patina to the shady spot for grilling, swimming, and entertaining throughout the year. The shorter palms, selected for their shade tree effect, were gently nurtured from seedlings over the years.
Each year, the Clendenons select a single room for remodel, and Cheryl notes the master bath is up next, alluding to plans of creating a tiny spa adjoining the master bedroom. A small home, with redecorating goals that are achievable, allows for plenty of boating and time to relax by the water.