Energetic Enclave in North Key Largo

A sunny disposition and Swedish sensibility make this Keys cottage a sanctuary


They led a rich and interesting life, with a family business they ran together in the Northeast, a passion for travel, and a shared love of sailing. But when he passed away after a long illness, she looked for a fresh start not far from the exclusive North Key Largo enclave where they had spent winters together.

After purchasing a 2,500-square foot cottage situated on a lush private lot, she hired Taylor & Taylor Inc. to renovate and decorate the home she hoped would become her second wind.

“She wanted something new and just for her, made over in her image and to her specifications,” said Phyllis Taylor, the firm’s co-founder and interior designer. “After all, she’s a fun-loving, clear-thinking woman with a lot of life to live.”

She’s also no stranger to Taylor & Taylor, who remodeled her previous house in the Keys. The Taylors were honored that she came to them for such a meaningful job.

First came the renovation. The Taylors are accustomed to working in the tradi-tional Florida Keys style, so expanding and updating the retreat was not much of a stretch for them.

“We added 500 square feet, which made things more ample,” said William Taylor, who was tasked with the renovation. “The house was already bright and sunny, but we wanted to make it brighter and sunnier with ceiling heights that vary from 10 to 12 feet.”

The existing living room was expanded with a bay window and porch, and an entire den was added to the home so the client could have her own space to work and relax.

Next was the interior design, which came with a set of rules. It had to be lighthearted and fun. It should honor her Swedish roots. And it had to respect the client’s mother’s whims.

“She told me her mother told her that no matter the color scheme, there should be a red item in every room to make it interesting,” Phyllis said.  “So we wanted to honor that.”

The end result was a cheerful-yet-formal twist on the typical Keys interior. When the Taylors completed their work, the client wanted to take it in all by herself.

“One out of every 10 clients doesn’t want us there with them when they see what we’ve done for the first time,” Phyllis said. “Although she was very invested in the process from the beginning, and knew what she was about to see, she was thrilled with the result. We were able to take what she had given us and bring it into the future, giving it a new lease on life, which is just what she wanted for herself.”

Story Credits: 

Architecture and Interior design by Phyllis and William Taylor, Taylor & Taylor Inc., Miami, FL

Text by Paige Bowers

Photography by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, Atlanta, GA

Open to see Interior Design Sources:


Living Room

Sofa – Barbara Barry Collection, Baker, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Coffee tables – Jerry Pair & Associates, SFDP, Hollywood, FL

Lounge chairs by fireplace – Jerry Pair & Associates, SFDP, Hollywood, FL

Lounge chairs  – Antique Bergere Chairs, Owners’ Collection

Side tables – Jalan Jalan Collection, Miami, FL

Chandelier – John Salibello Antiques

Table lamp – Jalan Jalan Collection, Miami, FL

Decorative pillows – Carlotta’s Fine Linens, Miami Beach, FL

Console – Made Goods, City of Industry, CA

Area rug – Stark Carpet, SFDP, Hollywood, FL


Custom millwork cabinetry – Downsview Kitchens, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Custom stove – La Cornue USA, lacorneusa.com

Back splash  – Waterworks, Miami, FL

Pendants – The Urban Electric Co, Charleston, NC

Bar stools – Ghost Chairs, Philippe Starck

Counter stone fabricated by Eclectic Stone Touch, Miami, FL

Master Bath

Plumbing fixtures, flooring, and back splash – Waterworks, Miami, FL

Chair – Ghost chair, Philippe Starck, Owners’ Collection

Powder Room

Vanity and sink – Waterworks, Miami, FL

Woodwork – Peace Millwork Co, Inc., Miami, FL

Wall covering – Scalmandre Fabrics, SFDP, Hollywood, FL

Chest and accessories – Jalan Jalan Collection, Miami. FL

Pendants – Tech Lighting, techlighting.com

Master Bedroom

Bed and bed side tables – Jerry Pair & Associates, SFDP, Hollywood, FL

Chair and ottoman – Owners’ Collection

Bedside lamps and accessories – Jalan Jalan Collection, Miami, FL

Ceiling fixture – Lladro, Spain

Bedding – Carlotta’s Fine Linens, Miami Beach, FL

Artwork – Galeria Del Sol, Miami Beach, FL


Sofa – Baker, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Chair – McGuire, Baker, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Lounge chairs – Antique Bergere Chairs

Pillows – Michael Dawkins Home, Miami, FL

Desk and chairs – Jerry Pair & Associates, SFDP, Hollywood, FL 

Chandelier – Mass Modern, Vintage 1975 Amsterdam

Woodwork – Peace Millwork Co, Inc., Miami, FL

Fireplace fabricated by Puma Marble Miami, Miami, FL

Area Rug – Stark Carpet, SFDP, Hollywood, FL


Architect of record – Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Architectural landscape – Raymond Jungles, Inc, Miami, FL

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