What’s in a name? Wabi Sabi is often summarized as “the wisdom of simplicity” and finding the “natural beauty in imperfection. From an aesthetic standpoint, Old Town Key West, full of history and nostalgia, is an architectural reflection of this notion. It was this concept that inspired the make-over of this precious vintage house.
Undeniably adorable, Key West Wabi Sabi vacation rental is a celebration of authentic cottage style island living. Built in 1930, the front of the historic wooden plank house is held to vintage form with loads of original details, complete with welcoming front porch and saw-tooth... tin roof. True to its name, the interior was lovingly redesigned to time-honor its nostalgic charm and simplicity and is currently being renovated with luxury conveniences and amenities that complement the style. With a scheduled date for completion for mid-November 2013, we are now under construction and taking advance reservations for December 2013. Upon completion we will provide you with architectural photographs of each room and the new back deck. Our current slide show gives you photographs of the front exterior and a detailed floor plan of the interior.
About the Design:
The owners love the aesthetic of Old Town Key West architecture and wanted to retain the vintage heritage of this house while at the same time making a vacation home that is light, airy, cozy, peaceful and relaxing. Committed to the life concepts of authenticity and sustainability, they traveled to vintage markets in northern California to hand-select a wonderful collection of one-of-a-kind repurposed furnishings scaled to the size of the home. Period pieces were chosen for their curvy vintage lines and surfaces painted soft pastels and whites. A variety of wooden furniture styles and unique artwork are beautifully blended with unique lighting fixtures to complement one another to create a romantic shabby chic style. A touch of rich reds and bright greens and turquoise add a Key West tropical punch. The end result is a space where you can slow down, take a break from this crazy-mixed -up world, and recharge your batteries - island style.
Interior Layout: Sweet and sensuous, the alluring spaces of this delightful vintage cottage style house speak to the heart. Because it’s a tropical home, the floor plan has been re-worked to focus the main living area toward the back yard so that indoor / outdoor pool-side living is maximized. In this re-design, the front of the house became bedrooms. The living room is now accessed through a side entrance situated on the left side of the house from the private driveway. Step into the entrance hall and you’re faced with a door to your left leading to the living / dining / kitchen area, a stairway straight ahead that leads to the 2nd floor master suite, and a door to your right that leads to the 3rd and 4th bedrooms. Refer to the slide show of the first floor and we will begin our tour of the house at the back main living area.
Living room / dining room / kitchen:
Designed as an open concept great-room with double sets of single pane French doors that lead to the pool and wooden deck, this is the common living area where you will gather to visit, relax and dine together. Thick Mexican tiled floors and soaring open beamed ceiling painted white punctuate the cottage style and create an open spacious feeling. A beautiful hand hewed round white wooden dining table and chairs is set near the doors for garden view dining. A vintage style living room grouping of new sofa, period piece chairs, occasional tables and lamps is set on the wall facing the back deck. A newly renovated cottage-style custom kitchen with all the modern conveniences runs along the entire north wall.
The house provides 4 bedrooms, 3 which can be considered ‘master bedrooms’ since they provide full en-suite bathrooms. The 4th bedroom doubles as a den and offers a powder room (1/2 bath) with sink and commode. Refer to our slide show to clarify the layout of the bedrooms as described below.
Bedroom 1 - The 1st bedroom, with en-suite bath, is accessed through a door between the living room and kitchen. This bedroom has the same soaring open beam ceilings as the great-room, and with two sash windows that let in plenty of sunlight it feels airy and spacious. This bedroom is staged with a craftsman built wooden king size platform bed. The full bathroom provides a tub, tiled in-tub shower, and free-standing sink.
Bedroom 2 - Refer to the graphic in our slide show of the 2nd floor to begin our tour of the 2nd bedroom with private en-suite bathroom. Accessed from the wooden interior staircase, this is the only room on the 2nd floor. This room is ½ story, so the front half of the ceiling has a low slant. A non-issue only to be noted, there is plenty of head room to stand up straight and walk around in the rest of the space.
Considered the main master bedroom in the house, a little romance sets the tone for this 2nd floor story-book suite. Distressed wide wood planked floors with custom cut nails, and a little private balcony harken the authentic tone of the room. A queen size wooden plat-form bed painted white is neatly tucked in the dormered sleeping alcove on one side of the room. An adorable 1940’s vanity and re-claimed designer slipper chair with ottoman are set on the other side and curtains matching the peacock pattern chair and ottoman complete the decorator look. The vintage style bathroom, complete with claw-foot bathtub with in-tub shower, is pretty and peaceful.
Bedroom 3 - Located at the front of the house, on the left side as you face it, the 3rd bedroom is accessed from the main side entrance of the house. Designed to be used as a bedroom or a den, this room has received a total renovation by ripping out the old tile floors and ugly ceiling and adding fresh new cottage-style cypress wood planked floors a bead board ceiling. Three sash windows at the side and front of the house are kept in tack to invite in the natural daylight.
This is the smallest of the 3 bedrooms, but it is comfortably furnished with a trundle bed that can be made up as 2 twin beds or a king size bed. A charming vintage wood dresser, end tables and chair complete the dressed-down charming feel. This room provides a pretty cottage style powder room (1/2 bath) complete with an artistic corner vanity with round pottery sink, matching back-splash tiles, and a pretty little stained glass window set over the sink to invite in light from the entrance hall.
Bedroom 4 - Situated at the front of the house, on the right side as you face it, the 4th bedroom can be accessed from 2 entrances. Refer to the floor plan to see how an interior door joins bedroom 3 and 4, so these rooms can be opened to use together or separately. But please note, bedroom 4 is also accessed from the front door of the house, giving it a private entrance from the front porch. This gives the added option of using the front door entrance for bedroom 4 so as not to disturb persons using bedroom 3 for sleeping.
In the re-design, the 4th bedroom received the same cypress wood planked floors bead board ceiling as the adjoining bedroom 3. It also enjoys the same style sash windows, only on the opposite side and front of the house. For furnishings, this bedroom provides a king size bed and fabulous period furniture that includes a hand crafted armoire and dresser. A brand new en-suite bathroom with tiled shower, free-standing sink, commode and a vanity shelf nook was created during the renovation.
Grounds: One of the nicest features of the property is the indoor / outdoor tropical life-style it provides. Double sets of single pane French doors open from the great room to the back wooden deck. Visible from the main living area, the pretty pool with trickling waterfall is large enough to float around and relax, but like most pools in Key West, don’t expect to dive and do laps. The fully fenced deck area provides lounge chairs and an exterior dining chair and tables for poolside snacking.
At the front of the property, the house boasts a whimsical curbside appeal with a saw-tooth tin roof. An irresistible front porch spans the width of the building, with a center door framed by wood shutters and sash hung windows. A Key West signature white picket fence surrounds the front and sides. Simple tropical foliage grows in the small front yard between the fence and the porch. At the left side of the property in the front, is a private off-street parking place for one mid-size vehicle.
The graphic shown in our slide show above gives the layout of the property and clarifies the sizes of the beds in each bedroom.
Notes: This property works best for 8 people. There is a sleeper sofa in the living room for additional sleeping. Bedroom 3 has a ½ only, so you will need to decide which bathroom to shower in. When bedrooms 3 & 4 are used together with the adjoining door, they can work ideally for a couple with a child or 2 children.
Parking: Wabi-sabi enthusiasts tend to embrace simplicity in daily life by living in smaller homes, driving smaller cars. Private off - street parking for one compact to mid-size car in driveway. DO NOT BRING AN OVERSIZED VEHICLE TO THIS SPACE AS IT WILL NOT FIT. If you arrive by car plan to park it in your designated private parking space and enjoy walking or biking around the island.
Activities: This property is located just a few blocks from Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, steps from Fausto's Fine Foods for grocery shopping, excellent downtown restaurants, popular clubs, the Historic Seaport, and tropical shops makes this one of the most requested and convenient accommodations in Key West.
Area: Downtown Old Town Historic Key West. Just one-half block off Duval Street. Walk to all Old Town Key West features. Great restaurants, shops, galleries, clubs, Hemingway House Museum, Light House Museum, Custom House Museum, Key West Aquarium, Ship Wreck Museum. 10 minute stroll from the famous Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square.
Restrictions: Smoke free house. Only well behaved children. This property is not "child-proof." We do not accept guests less than 25 years of age unless accompanied by a family group or guardian. Smoking permitted outside only. Absolutely no pets. (Please don't ask!) This home is offered as an exclusive vacation rental in the most requested location in Key West.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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