My friend José Perez lives in a Mid-Century home so classic in its design that advertising agencies occasionally request to stage photoshoots there. José has collected modern art and furniture since high school, so when the 1957 ranch house came on the market, it was a natural fit for him and his collections.
Barcelona chairs greet one at the entrance, and in the distance one can see a Warhol print of Jackie Onassis. The original floor was concrete, covered with a white shag carpet (edgy for 1957), so José laid tile throughout the house.
One of my favorite features is the living room's built-in sand garden. It was doubtlessly designed as a planter, but the sand garden fits the living room's black and white minimalism perfectly, and contributes to the room's calming atmosphere.
A step down from the living room is the lanai, which runs the entire width of the house. It serves to extend the living room, and is a natural center for entertaining. The white wire chairs are by Harry Bertoia and the kidney-shaped mosaic bar is an original built-in. The lanai juts out at an interesting angle to perfectly frame a peaceful lake.
Halfway between the dining area and the kitchen, an image of Jackie Onassis peers over an Eames chair. The aquarium is original to the house. Through the years, José has collected numerous classic 50's clocks, but he's constantly in the process of editing. The one above is a keeper.
St. Petersburg artist Andrea Pawlisz painted the console's top.
A banquette original to the house frames the kitchen. José had it reupholstered a bright orange.
The kitchen has been completely remodeled with IKEA products — only the hood is original.
The TV room got a major redo several years ago, when José had built-ins constructed to better display his large collection of modern American pottery — all of it white. Most of this collection is McCoy. Beautiful louvered doors of gleaming wood hang throughout the house, and are original to it. José has researched property cards and building permits, but the names of the architect and builder remain a mystery.
Jonathan Adler sculptures complement the McCoy pottery.
Tan, ecru and rich wood tones make the bedroom mellow and inviting. The platform bed was custom-made to José's design.
The master bath is all original, including the massive built-in sink. Notice how it's up off the ground for circulation. José says that this is true of all the home's built-in furniture. He's attracted to Mid-Century architecture because it's practical and comfortable, with indoor/outdoor fusion appropriate to Florida style.
A smaller bathroom is decorated with Florida and St. Petersburg art and artifacts. Several years ago, José and I collaborated on the Greater Pinellas Point neighborhood logo, above right. It's always fun to collaborate with someone who has such a discerning eye!