A Courtyard home delivers a comfortable lifestyle.
Interior Design by Jill Shevlin Design
Homeowners Sam and Dee Rotondi tell us about their home.
“The courtyard was a reason that this house appealed to us so much. It can be 50 degrees outside, and we can still comfortably sunbathe in the courtyard. It is like another large room in the house. People are amazed when they enter the large wooden doors and see our outdoor living [space]. The pool is a beautiful focal point with its cascading water feature. In the evening with candles lit, the pool lights on, a few torches in the garden, and the moon lighting up the deck is pure bliss. It is like an instant vacation. I feel like I have arrived at a fine resort.”
“We decorated with kids and dogs in mind. I would have loved white linen couches, but this was not workable.”
“We love television–we admit it! Our kids gave us Roku for Christmas, so we can stream entertainment. We also take advantage of on-demand type programming, to watch movies and special series. Thus, our comfy great room is the spot. It is where we have our only TV in the house. We have two couches to stretch out on for afternoon reading, and a large coffee table allows for more than coffee. The two of us can pull up a chair and eat a casual dinner.”
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“I think when reaching a certain age in life and having been lucky enough to live in a variety of homes, we knew what to look for [in a house]. I don’t think I considered the exposure and light in our first home–it just didn’t come to mind. This was one of my first thoughts when buying this house. We have two walls of glass in our great room, always full of light.
“We love the time spent in the library or study. It is where our “history” is. Mixed with the books are many pictures of our family from all the stages of our lives. There are pictures of our parents, weddings, vacations, and, of course, grandchildren. It is a quiet room away from the activity in the kitchen and main living area.”
“I love our bedroom! It is so spacious, we never feel closed in. We have three walk-in closets, which is a treat. The view and access to the courtyard are great. The hot tub is right outside the door. On cool evenings, a soak in the tub while looking up at the palm trees and stars is a bit of heaven.”
Boot Lake in our backyard offered a big WOW factor. We love to watch sunsets, and the back screened porch faces West. We love to watch the bird life, and it offers the opportunity in our yard. It is our own preserve with mangroves and palms.”
“We were drawn to this house once we had confined our final home search to Orchid Island Golf and Beach Club after renting and looking at various areas of Vero Beach. A home has a “feel” to it that strikes one immediately when walking into it. I remember thinking, “I can see myself in this house”.
The courtyard was a huge reason for buying the house; it allows us to still use the pool and deck when the weather is cool and windy. It is completely sheltered and sunny during the day– it seems we are closed off to the world! It reminded us of many villas in St. Barths, where we have vacationed. There is definitely a Caribbean feel to the courtyard. There is even an outdoor shower, which is common to summer vacation homes up North, but fairly unique to this area.
We feel so fortunate and blessed every day to live the way we do in this wonderful community of ours. It is lovingly called “Camp Orchid”, and that is exactly the way it feels. Without getting into our car, we have fitness, golf, tennis, dining, and the beach all right here. I will never forget the first time I drove up to the Beach Club and walked through to the ocean. I was astonished at how beautiful it is.
I am always so proud to share our home, our community, and our town with visitors. I think Vero Beach is a unique and very charming place to be. When not in Vero Beach, we are spending time with some of our family in Los Angeles. It is, in many ways, very different from our life here, which makes each [place] special in its own way.
We had spent time in the Delray Beach area where my parents had a condo. Having experienced the crowded and hectic pace, we so appreciate the “Old Florida” feel of Vero Beach.
“We love that the high towers of apartments and condos do not block the afternoon sun. I am always so proud to share our home, our community, and our town with visitors. I think Vero Beach is a unique and very charming place to be. When not in Vero Beach, we are spending time with some of our family in Los Angeles. It is, in many ways, very different from our life here, which makes each [place] special in its own way.”
I had left a traditional 1910 home up North, styled with Orientals, antiques, lovely muted damask wallpaper, and chintz. It was time for a change when I arrived here. I wanted a cleaner, relaxed feel. The rolled arm couches gave way to straighter arms. I love using sisal rugs to ground the room, keeping the informal, natural feel. You still see touches of reproductions – antiques and artwork – but an allover, relaxed decor.
I loved the West Indian style that graces so many of the homes in the area but wanted my own stamp on it. So much of the feel of our house is directed to the outdoors and the colors of nature. Good or bad, the next person who lives in this house will say, “She sure liked beige”, but I look at that as a canvas to bring in other colors and textures. There is a calmness to it. We accented with a lot of blues and shades of green, which is what you see outdoors when walking throughout the house. I brought Jill in to help me expand my vision of how I wanted this home to look. Her access to wonderful fabric, furniture, and accessories is what brought a simple, relaxed elegance to this home.
Interior Design by Jill Shevlin Design
Interviewed and Written by Elaine Ryan
Photography by Aric Attas
Originally published on Vero Home Life & Design, you can see it here