photos by Barry Fitzgerald *except some temp shots by vhkw
The Carriage Cottage, also known as the Seashell Cottage, is an artist-owner's delightful re-design of a carriage house has created an adorable intimate two-story, one bedroom fantasy island cottage. From the minute you open the front gate you are sure to feel that tropical glee. A flagstone path meanders through the private little front garden and points to a folk art mural that mirrors the delightful garden and beckons you inside.
Stucco pastel faux painted walls form a colorful creamy backdrop for whimsical art and colorful tile, and a fabulous adornment of sea shells is like icing on the cake. A delightful table built to look like sea coral carries out the seashell theme. The owner-designer chose to unify the space with a stylish collection of "shabby chic" furnishings (from white plump over-stuffed living room furniture, sheer flowing curtains, a vintage wooden bench, rustic candle chandelier, and train-station style "resting tables."
The interior is built-out and assembled into an elliptical floor-to-ceiling structure. Downstairs, a wall-cum-trundle-bed unit creates an inviting lounging alcove and extra sleeping space for up to 2 people. An innovative design allows for transforming the cozy space into a secure sleeping crib and playing place for a baby.
Open beam ceilings on the first floor are painted bright white and make for an open and airy kitchen and living room floor-plan and make the room feel larger than it is. Mexican tile feels smooth against bare feet and elliptical spot light fixtures give the space a vibrant glow.
French doors off the back wall lead to the beautiful completely fenced private tropical garden. An arched trellis garden gate to the left leads down the side of the property to the large swimming pool that is shared with the main building.
Back inside a wide hall-way stairwell provides access to the second floor loft-style bedroom and designer bathroom. A dramatic arch was created to join the bedroom and bathroom and serves to frame the curvaceous bath (from wavy shaped tile vanity counter tops, to a beautiful glass water bowl sink). A skylight placed in the slanted open beam ceiling above the bed invites stargazing from the king size bed. Berber carpet with thick padding makes the bedroom floor soft and comfy.
With so many different materials and movement in the design, the artist-owner chose to unify the upstairs space with a saucy tropical turquoise paint, reminiscent of the sea that surrounds Key West. Summing up her design of the space she remarks, "When you are on vacation I think it is fun to live in a space that is colorful and tropical--different from what we live in our day-to-day lives. This is like a little love-nest." We agree and we think you will love it too. Off the beaten path, but yet still in Old Town this could be your perfect get-away.
Bedroom – King size bed
Living Room – Trundle Bed (2 Twin Beds)
Amenities: Bath tub, use of swimming pool, private front and back tropical garden, full kitchen. A/C, color cable TV, DVD player, linens and towels provided, shared washer/dryer. Parking is not a problem.
Activities: Shopping, restaurants, wine tasting, museums, sailing, boating, snorkeling, diving, theatre, night life, family activities.
Area: This home is ideally located in the White Street Gallery District of Old Town Key West in a historic neighborhood just a few streets from White Street and Higgs Beach. From this location you can quickly walk to Fausto's Fine Food Palace (fine wine, cheeses, and gourmet foods), Sandy's Cafe of Cuban coffee, numerous art galleries (White Street Gallery area), and yoga and exercise studios. Duval Street shops, attractions, and the Historic Seaport District is a ten minute walk. Enjoy the island to the fullest, and then come home to your own private love-nest.
Parking: Off-street parking for one car.
Restrictions: Smoking permitted outside only. No pets, please.
Notes: If you are planning a vacation get-together and need accommodate a larger group, you can rent one or all of the properties that are part of the Family Reunion vacation rental compound.