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  • Tara Crutchfield

An Emerald Green Daydream

This Winter Haven home, nestled on a scenic canal on the Chain of Lakes, was once owned by Andy Thornal. Built in 1938, the house saw several additions throughout the years, including that of a ballroom by Thornal. The home hadn’t been touched in the last decade and needed some tender, loving care. The current homeowners put in that TLC, updating the upper floor and some of the main living areas, refinishing the wood floors, painting the walls and the exterior. 

For the spacious kitchen and laundry room, they enlisted the help of Nicole Roe with R. Nickson Interiors. Roe, who founded the Central Florida-based firm, has ten years of experience in the design field, including a degree in construction. She offers a full scope of renovation and interior design. “They knew they needed an expert to come in and help them rework and make the kitchen an elevated experience that the house deserved,” said Roe. 

For a home with lavish features like a ballroom, “You need a kitchen that can entertain and host dozens of people comfortably. That was one of our main goals.” Putting the fun in functionality, Roe was able to strike the perfect balance between style and substance in the space. She designed it for socializing and accommodating the homeowners’ and their guests’ needs. This included dedicated areas for cocktails and beverages, food prep, and ample seating.

“We wanted the kitchen to be timeless,” Roe said. “The goal wasn’t to be a trendsetter. It was to design a kitchen that stood at the same level as the house. Something that when people walked in, they expected it to be there, but it still took their breath away.” 

The homeowners were inspired by natural materials, makers, and handcrafted details. “They wanted everything to have a story, and they were willing to pay the elevated price for that,” said the designer. Even the retailers they used were selected with intention, like Rejuvenation, from whom they sourced lighting, plumbing, and hardware. The Portland, Oregon-based company began as a small architectural salvage shop and boasts over 40 years of craftsmanship and ten locations across the country. The thinking was the same when it came to the cabinets. Roe teamed up with A Ward Design in Winter Haven for fully customized locally handcrafted cabinetry, complete with brass grates in the upper cabinets. Of Eric Ward, owner of A Ward Design, Roe said, “He allows me to be as creative as I want, but he has that eighth-of-an-inch detail where he knows how to make it function.” 

The designer also worked with Scott Taylor and Taylor Building Elements for the project. “He is a luxury contractor in Polk County who specializes in the projects that need that expert eye and attention to detail,” said Roe. “And when you have an older home that’s had additions and could have a lot of question marks when you go through – you need someone willing to go the extra mile, but who also has the expertise and knowledge to do it right.”

Roe said, “The first day I walked in, I realized they weren’t fully settled in the home.” There was the occasional moving box here and there. “But what they had everywhere already were plants.” In addition to the botanical daydream inside, every window lent views of lush greenery, which Roe wanted to pull through and continue in the kitchen with her color palette. Roe and the homeowners decided on an opulent green – Isle of Pine by Sherwin-Williams. 

“We really leaned into the greens, various shades. But the brass was what pulled it together – brass lighting, brass plumbing, and brass hardware, as well as brass screens in the upper cabinets,” she said.  

“We repeated materials so it wasn’t overwhelming,” said Roe. “We continued the wooden floors that had been refinished through the kitchen.” Joe Volpe Custom Floors did the flooring and color-matched them with the ceiling beams to tie the look together. The countertops are black leathered quartzite

complimented by a hand-poured backsplash by Fireclay Tile out of California. 

“Thirty years from now, if I go to that house, I would love for that kitchen to still be shining,” Roe said. 

The laundry room wasn’t in Roe’s original scope of work for the project, but as the kitchen came along, the homeowners wanted to continue. “The clients love wallpaper, so between them and myself, we looked at dozens, and dozens, and dozens of papers, until we settled on the one that we used,” said Roe of the Milton and King paper. The client felt pink was an apt shade for the laundry room, with Roe calling it “a sunny space” and the color Smokey Salmon by Sherwin-Williams “calming and flattering.” She noted, “When that light comes in, it’s such a nice glow.” 

Roe wanted to play off the kitchen but ensure the laundry room remained a separate space, so she pivoted from the brass and went with black for the details and hardware. Like the kitchen, the laundry room needed to be a working space. Roe designed a drop zone with a bench, drawers, cabinets and a sink zone with two drying racks and a hanging bar. They even lifted the front load washer and dryer to allow space for laundry baskets beneath. 

The homeowners allowed Roe to continue her vision into the living room, which has a direct line of sight from the kitchen through the dining room. Again, Roe tapped Fireclay for a custom tile fireplace in deep emerald with soft seafoam green along the side. “It’s kind of that business in the front, party in the back mentality,” she joked. They again played off that emerald with a velvet sectional. “We continued those shades, so it told a story from the laundry room all the way through to the fireplace.”

Photography by Michael Holden, Holden 2 Media


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