Cozy Charm in Renovated St. Petersburg Bungalow

A design team brings familial charm back to a century-plus-old bungalow in St. Petersburg


One of the aspects of a 1920s bungalow in St. Petersburg that charmed its homeowners into making it their home is how it wrapped them in coziness, a source of joy until their three children grew into their active school-age years and the snug kitchen no longer measured up. Dreaming of a light-filled, open space large enough for everyone to comfortably gather, the couple tapped interior designer Brooke Eversoll of Bee Studios, architect Lindsay Wilson of WJ Architects, and general contractor Mathias Mey of Humble & Kind to recharge the house’s convivial spirit. Or, in renovation terms: enlarge the kitchen, establish a connection with the outdoors, and spruce up where needed.

First up was the kitchen, which was reconfigured and extended by 600 square feet. “They didn’t want a separate dining room,” says Eversoll, “so we created a large, combined space that is now the family’s go-to hangout spot.”

Establishing a relationship to the outdoors was a more ambitious undertaking. After considering various forms of expansion, the renovation team decided adding a second floor (with new bedrooms) was the way to go. “This addition makes it easy for the family to have an indoor/outdoor lifestyle,” says Eversoll. “The kids can be swimming or playing in the yard with mom and dad fixing dinner nearby.”

Stylistically, integrity was an important factor, as the original structure held the classic touches of the Florida vernacular indicative of the time it was built. “We stayed true to the aesthetics in the rest of the home by marrying a classic palette with hints of the design details drawn from other rooms,” says Eversoll.

One of the most important design elements the homeowners were determined to match was the original 100-year-old Heart pine hardwood throughout the dwelling. Mey turned to his trusted source for flooring and found river-recovered Heart pine that was stained to match the planks in the rest of the home. “The floors turned out to be a worthwhile investment because they make the addition feel beautifully integrated into the original house,” says Eversoll. “The clients wanted a timeless space, so we gave them a white kitchen with a dark painted island to provide contrast.”

The designer repeated the color of the island in several spots beneath the new stairwell, including a niche near the French doors that open onto the patio. This is the perfect place for stashing beach towels and other playtime extras. “We gently pushed our clients outside their comfort zone by introducing some unexpected elements,” she says, pointing to the Florida-inspired wallpaper surrounding the stairway as an example. “It is our ode to a palm frond with a painterly quality to it. We felt it was a perfect way to honor a sunny old-Florida-style bungalow.”

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Text by Saxon Henry

Photography by Chris Restrepo

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