Retro Revamp for Colonial-Style St. Petersburg Home

A colonial-style home undergoes a historically sensitive renovation and emerges classically revived with vintage furniture and cherished antiques


When a California couple decided to move east to Florida, St. Petersburg’s year-round beach weather and consummate charm put the city on their radar.

“After one visit, we fell in love with St. Pete, and, more specifically, with the Old Northeast neighborhood for its proximity to downtown, the beautiful homes, and the canopy of mature trees,” recalls one of the homeowners. “Our house in particular spoke to us. We loved the classic colonial design, the grand staircase, the multiple sunrooms, and the original plaster moldings.”

Soon after purchasing the property, the couple realized that while they could preserve the majority of the house’s time-honored features as they wanted, they would need to make a few changes to make it more conducive to their lifestyle. To handle such a remodel, they engaged St. Petersburg-based interior designers Michelle Miller and Diana LePine, and builder Adrian Huber, who worked with guidance from the St. Petersburg Historic Preservation Committee.

Anchored on an expansive double corner lot, the 5,092-square-foot house was built in 1925 and, after the renovation, is comprised of five bedrooms and five bathrooms, as well as a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment perched above the garage. Per the designer, during a previous revamp, several of the preexisting bedrooms had been walled off to make smaller rooms, so to create more substantial spaces, those areas were opened again. “Most of the home’s footprint was retained,” says Miller. As the homeowners were keen on honoring the house’s history, Miller incorporated fixtures, tile, and millwork that are reflective of the first quarter of the 20th century. One such example: “We designed the crown molding details on site, and we watched the outlines being cut into raw wood in front of us,” says Miller. “The attention to detail on this project is truly incredible.”

In terms of textiles and furnishings, Miller and LePine took a more eclectic approach. The decor incorporates antiques from the homeowners’ travels, as well as new furniture pieces with a hint of Moroccan and West Indies influence. “The clients have an affinity for Morocco and collect unique pieces whenever they visit,” says the designer. “We sourced a great deal of items from there, and many were used as statement pieces accompanied by new items to strike a balance and evoke a classic setting.”

And as luck would have it, upon purchasing their new abode, the homeowners were gifted a bevy of original Chippendale furniture, which the previous owners had been keeping in storage. To incorporate those pieces, some sprucing up was necessary. A dining table that seats 16 was refinished and all 16 chairs were reupholstered with Italian velvet. A four-person game table and its matching chairs were also given new life and now sit in the living area.

To infuse the home with even more 1920s-era charm, the homeowners commissioned a custom stained-glass window off the breakfast area. “It’s an instant showstopper,” says Miller. “The detail and light that accents the room beyond is just stunning. It was a smart addition to the home.”

Throughout the living spaces, quilts that were designed and sewn by hand by the wife and her mother are displayed, giving the rooms character and a unique element of personalization.

“For its distinctive nature and historical significance, this is a home that we are sincerely proud of,” says Miller. “Beyond the homeowners’ excellent direction and existing collection of decorative items and furnishings, the quality of finishes is exceptional, the decor is distinctive, and the craftsmanship of everyone we worked with is really outstanding.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Michelle Miller & Diana Lepine, Michelle Miller Design, St. Petersburg, FL

Architecture by Interior Spaces, Tampa, FL

Builder Huber Enterprises, St. Petersburg, FL

Text by Mallory Jacobson

Photography by Crystal Bos, Trinity, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:



Silver console – Vanguard Furniture, High Point, NC

Wood console – Ethan Allen, Tampa Design Center, Tampa, FL

Lighting – Global Views, Dallas, TX


Sofa – Vanguard Furniture, High Point, NC

Chair – Selamat Designs, San Francisco, CA

Cocktail table – Hooker Furniture, High Point, NC

Lighting – Currey & Company, Atlanta, GA

Wallcovering – Phillip Jefferies, Fairfield, NJ

Area rug – Addison Dicus, Willow Design District, Tampa, FL

Living Room

Club chair – Ambella Home, Dallas Design District, Dallas, TX

Cocktail table – Hooker Furniture, High Point, NC

Chandelier – Currey & Company, Atlanta, GA

Area rug – Stanton Carpet, Prosource Showroom, Largo, FL

Breakfast Area/Sitting Area

Oval table – Homeowners’ collection

Chairs – Vanguard Furniture, High Point, NC

Chair fabric – Kravet, Interiors Trading Co., Tampa, FL

Settee – Jessica Charles, Hickory, NC

Fabric – Kravet, Interiors Trading Co., Tampa, FL, and Romo Fabrics, Chagrin Falls, OH

Sofa – Century Furniture, Hickory, NC

Wing chair – Ambella Home, Dallas Design District, Dallas, TX

Moroccan side table – Global Views, Dallas, TX

Glass lamp – Kinzig Design, Merion Station, PA

Chandelier – Corbett Lighting, Hudson Valley Lighting Group, Newburgh, NY

Area rug – Addison Dicus, Willow Design District, Tampa, FL


Cabinetry designed by Interior Spaces, Tampa, FL, and fabricated by Cabinets Extravaganza, Clearwater, FL

Stools – Homeowners’ collection

Lighting – Visual Comfort & Co., Dallas, TX

Guest Bedroom

Ottomans at foot of bed – Vanguard Furniture, High Point, NC

Side table – Four Hands, Austin, TX

Sconces – Visual Comfort & Co., Dallas, TX

Area rug – Surya, White, GA

Primary Bedroom

Bench – John Richard, Greenwood, MS

Side table – Theodore Alexander, Thomasville, NC

Hanging light – Cyan Design, Fort Worth, TX

Wallcovering – Osborne & Little, Ammon Hickson, Dania Beach, FL

Area rug – Jaipur Living, Acworth, GA


Furniture restoration & reupholstery – Artisan Restoration, Pinellas Park, FL, and Seminole Upholstery, Seminole, FL

Pool – Sekas Pools, St. Petersburg, FL

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