Classic romantic 1800’s Key West architecture has inspired a superbly executed renovation of Bella Grand Premier, this extraordinary historic Victorian estate. Displaying a perfected cosmopolitan flair, the owner / designer has artfully intertwined a look-back into architectural history with a sophisticated contemporary Caribbean charm.
The curb-side presence of this graceful home is made alluring by a stand of tall slender palm trees. The deep front sitting porches, outline the entire width of the house and wrap around the 1st and 2nd floors offering a private viewing point of the neighborhood. Classical gingerbread railings, an abundance of louvered sash windows, and the essential white picket fence reflect the historic authenticity of the house.
A Colorful Key West History: Situated on renowned Elizabeth Street, in the historic seaport neighborhood of Old Town, this home is steeped in a colorful lore and seafaring history – so much so, it is sometimes referred to as “the pirate house.” Originally built by the French Count/Doctor Odette Philippe, when the island was swarming with merchants and nefarious characters alike, the home became a legacy that managed to remain in the family for over 100 years.
Lore has it that Philippe landed in S. Florida when he was captured by the British Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar and released on American soil, with the condition he would never return to French service. Some say he worked as Napoleon’s surgeon and later named his sailing vessel, Ney, after a ship in Napoleon’s fleet. Legend goes on to report him sailing around the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, hobnobbing with famous Portuguese Pirate Gomez, offering medical assistance to gain access in various privileged ports of call.
The Citrus Hall of Fame casts him in a more conservative light, mostly crediting him for being the first settler to introduce the grapefruit to Florida. But facts remain that his descendants have been traced to Key West, making room to ponder the lore. After all, Key West has long been a deep water port of call with a fascinating history of wreckers and pirates. Philippe was here in those times, and left this very house to prove it.
Fast-forward to present day, and we begin our house tour with the downstairs interior, then moving to the ground floor decks and gardens. Finally, we’ll move upstairs and take a peek at the 2nd floor.
INTERIOR LAYOUT - DOWNSTAIRS:
An entrance hall with polished hard wood floors makes an impressive statement when you first enter the front door of the home. The first architectural feature you notice is the bright white banister staircase neatly topped with a grass mat and bamboo runner. The center entrance hall leads to the living room and kitchen where a blending of old and new sets the tone for an understated-elegant Caribbean décor which is carried throughout every room.
Downstairs back and left side (as you face the house): To the left of the staircase, the hall leads directly to the kitchen, living room and dining area which naturally flow from one space to another. The unification of the interior with the garden is made with multiple sets of original French doors that frame the pool-garden scene. A vaulted ceiling in the outdoor dining pavilion and 12 foot ceilings inside the house accentuate the spaciousness of the property. A combination bathroom / laundry room with a sink, shower, commode, and washer / dryer is conveniently situated off the outdoor dining room.
The modern minimalist Scandinavian-style kitchen is redesigned in light pickled wood with artisan precision, and offers all the upscale attributes you would expect, including top-of-the-line stainless appliances. Open shelving keeps pretty white dishes at easy reach. A 2-tiered all-wood breakfast bar, plus traditional round dining table and wood antique china hutch, make the kitchen complete.
Stepping into the living room feels like an island estate somewhere in the Abaco Bahamas or West Indies. Blue and white woven upholstered furniture is perfectly paired with vintage tropical bentwood and bamboo, and blended with impeccable family antiques. Set as a family room, complete with large screen TV, this is the place to kick back and relax.
Downstairs front and right side (as you face the house): Two bedrooms and two bathrooms are located on the 1st floor, situated along the right side of the house. Bedroom 1, located toward the front of the house, is a luxurious 1st floor master bedroom. Enchanting heirloom wood and bamboo furnishings, that Tommy Bahama strives to recreate, are set against original heart pine walls. Balanced with a cushy king – size bed, it all adds up to dream-worthy sleeping quarters. The en-suite bathroom with in-tub shower, carries the same vintage charm with an antique wood and marble vanity, white wicker chest, and pedestal sink. Doors off the center hall connect to both the bedroom and bathroom.
Bedroom 2 with private en-suite bath is cleverly hidden, tucked away at the back of the house. It’s connected to the kitchen through a camouflaged passage. Look closely at the photo of the kitchen and notice the narrow gaps in the wall to the right of the refrigerator. This is the door leading to the secret suite. With the pirate lore of the house, we chuckled when we were shown this room, as seems like a perfect hiding place. Proximity to the kitchen makes this suite an ideal nanny or ‘mother-in-law’ quarters.
Painted a modern deep blue-grey and furnished with an antique wooden double bed and marble topped console table, creates a refined look. The bright white bath with a traditional pedestal sink and tiled shower is finished with contemporary sconce lights and a chrome étagère.
GROUNDS AND GARDENS:
A feeling of exclusive intimacy has been masterfully created in the property grounds with lush gardens and indoor-outdoor living spaces. A dark-blue bottom swimming pool outlined with a grey wood deck, creates a tropical lagoon-like feeling. Towards the back of the garden, past the portico, is the pleasant surprise of a yoga platform. The professionally maintained gardens are made very private with high fencing.
INTERIOR LAYOUT - UPSTAIRS:
Back inside, returning to the front entrance of the house, we ascend the interior staircase leading to the 2nd floor to find the three additional bedrooms, a den, and two full bathrooms. The owner / designer has taken a minimalist approach in decorating the rooms, and the effect is hushed and relaxing. Two of the bedrooms, bedroom 3 and 4, are situated on the front side of the house. Original double hung sash windows let in plenty of light and an enviable view of Elizabeth Street below. Get an even better look from the expansive balcony porch, complete with wicker chairs, accessed through an exterior door between the two bedrooms.
Bedroom 3 in our slideshow, is on the left as you face the house. Painted pretty in pink as they come, it was once the owner’s childhood vacation bedroom. Simply appointed in tropical white wicker and cane this inviting bedroom feels carefree and light. It provides two twin beds that can be made into a king for couples.
Bedroom 4, just across the hall, is the 2nd floor master bedroom. A comfy overstuffed chair and ottoman upholstered in white, king size bed topped with soft cotton duvet, and white washed side tables are a picture of casual seaside luxury. Painted a pale blue, soft textures in a sand colored headboard and sisal rug harken a day of quiet relaxation at the beach.
Bedrooms 3 and 4 share an ultimate classic luxury bathroom accessed from the upstairs hall. Retaining the spirit of the original architectural details of the house, the luxury bath was designed to reflect an opulent vintage style intertwined with the new. White wainscoting, hardwood floors, and antique wood and bamboo linen closet, set the stage for the deep double ended pedestal soaking tub, complete with free-standing hand shower faucet. A separate clear-glass frameless shower and white marble topped double sink vanity, modernize the room but do not distract from the vintage feel.
We now take our tour to the last rooms in the house, bedroom 5, the den, and additional 2nd floor bathroom. We present them together, as their chic design creates a spacious separate suite offering versatile usage. To understand their layout, and how they may best serve your group, it is important to refer to the 2nd floor-plan in our slide-show.
Located at the back of the house, please take note how this suite of rooms can be accessed from two points – one from the interior and the other from a separate outside entrance. From inside, it is necessary to pass through bedroom 4, the 2nd floor master bedroom. A door, opposite the bed, takes one step down and enters the den. To maintain privacy in bedroom 4, there is easy access via an exterior staircase leading up to a spacious 2nd floor outdoor deck, then into the den. The deck is worth a special mention since it provides an ideal place for sunning, taking coffee or a cocktail, and enjoying a tree top view.
However you decide to enter the suite of rooms, the perfect minimalist design sets a serene artful scene, a flawless balance between the old and new. A masterful use of soft color and texture ruled out the need for many accessories. White washed wood planks in the den are beautifully tactile, only subtly embellished with a playful faux giraffe head sculpture and zebra rug. A wet bar on one side of the room is the perfect place to stage cocktails or tea. A twin size trundle bed on the opposite wall can be used as a sofa or for sleeping up to 2 people.
A short hall connects the den with the bath and bedroom in this suite of rooms. The full bathroom, is the first room down the line. Painted a soft creamy pink, bright white tile, and elegant light fixtures feels uplifting and soothing.
Bedroom 5 is at the end of the hall, tucked away for ultimate privacy. With two windows on each wall, the room catches plenty of light. Walls are painted a yummy pistachio ice cream color, making the slanted wood plank ceiling and white-washed wood floors stand out. Furnished simply with a fluffy king size bed and cane headboard, and white wood traditional dresser, the bedroom is refreshing and inviting.
Overall, the feeling this home brings to heart is special. It has a bone fide island vibe to it, somehow capturing the essence of old Key West in a refreshing updated fashion. It’s been owned by the same family for two generations and is a collaborative effort of the owner / designer and local builder who is passionate about historic Key West houses.
Amenities: Swimming pool, large deck gardens, expansive porches, and privacy fences, BBQ grill. Fully equipped renovated kitchen. Central a/c, flat screen TV’s throughout. Linens and towels are provided. Laundry service available. Catering can be arranged. Maid service can be scheduled.
Activities: Heart of Key West's designated Historic Seaport District. Walk to all old town features, no need for a car. Just a few short streets from Duval St. (remember it takes 3 to 4 Key West streets to make a city block); 2 streets from the harbor where the boats are docked. Close to the Key West Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, and Old Town Key West retailers. Close to adventures and activities including sailing, boating, diving, museums, nightlife. Conveniently located near gourmet grocery shopping with excellent wine selection, sushi deli, and butcher. Close to shopping, art galleries, and a variety of national and international restaurants, coffee shops. Close to the beach.
Area: The famous historic Old Town Key West waterfront on the gulf side of the island and the original lower Duval Street area, encompasses this Historic Seaport neighborhood. Seafaring settlers of the late 1800's built the first shipping docks and warehouses, restaurants and grand homes, including this one, that stand today as one of the largest and most impressive collection of turn-of-the-century architecture. From larger Victorians to charming shot gun cottages, many of these alluring structures have been restored and renovated to stand in their gleaming glory and some are available to rent.
Off-street parking is reserved for this property, in a long driveway to the right side of the property. Parked single file, 2 cars can be parked in this space. Keep in mind that from this location you do not need a car. Once you’re settled in, enjoy walking or biking everywhere. You’ll avoid the hassle of parking, and you'll see more that way.
Restrictions: This is a SMOKE FREE house. Pets may be allowed with advance approval and applicable pet fee. This is a private home, in a residential neighborhood, where parking is limited and there are full time neighbors. It is not suitable or licensed for staging an event such as a wedding or large gathering. We would be happy to direct you to facilities that can meet these needs. We do not accept guests less than 25 years of age unless accompanied by a family group or guardian.
Notes: The design of this exclusive Old Town Key West estate home is intended for a family, professionals, and executives who are looking for a private home with Top Quality Amenities. It is suitable for sophisticated individuals with discerning tastes looking for the very finest Key West has to offer.
|Apr 1, 2020 - Apr 30, 2020||$12000|
|May 1, 2020 - May 31, 2020||$12000|
|Jun 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2020||$12000|
|Jul 1, 2020 - Jul 31, 2020||$12000|
|Aug 1, 2020 - Aug 31, 2020||$12000|
|Sep 1, 2020 - Sep 30, 2020||$12000|
|Oct 1, 2020 - Oct 31, 2020||$12000|
|Nov 1, 2020 - Nov 30, 2020||$12000|
|Dec 1, 2020 - Dec 31, 2020||$16500|
|Jan 1, 2021 - Jan 31, 2021||$22000|
|Feb 1, 2021 - Feb 28, 2021||$22000|
|Mar 1, 2021 - Mar 31, 2021||$22000|
|Apr 1, 2021 - Apr 30, 2021||$12500|
|May 1, 2021 - May 31, 2021||$12500|
|Jun 1, 2021 - Jun 30, 2021||$12500|
|Jul 1, 2021 - Jul 31, 2021||$12500|
|Aug 1, 2021 - Aug 31, 2021||$12500|
|Sep 1, 2021 - Sep 30, 2021||$10000|
|Oct 1, 2021 - Oct 31, 2021||$12500|
|Nov 1, 2021 - Nov 30, 2021||$12500|
|Dec 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2021||$16500|
Rates and Terms are subject to change without notice. Above rates do not include taxes and fees. Click here for more details on additional fees. Please contact us for specific pricing and to confirm rates. Rates in US Funds. (305) 294-7358 Ext 1 - firstname.lastname@example.org
VHKW offers promotional specials for purchasing trip insurance for stays between Aug 10 and Oct 20. Please call for more details.
“Great place to stay. Location could not be better. Handles Big Chill weeks with ease. The yard and pool are beautiful and comfortable.
* This property may not be available for the dates above due to other inquires and pending reservation.