Designing in days

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AMEK Homes Santa Rosa

Folks will tell you that engaging the services of interior designers often entails months of preparation and wait.

Don’t believe them.

When Debi Hester of Amek Homes wanted to showcase the company’s new Santa Rosa model at Viera’s new Seville community, she didn’t want to wait months for the furniture to arrive.

She didn’t have to.

Enter Andrea Zgonc, interior designer with Indian River Furniture in Rockledge. Zgonc  orchestrated a completely decorated 4,327-square-foot house, including the 60-foot long infinity pool/outdoor kitchen area, in a week’s time. Even better, she accomplished it just the way the client wanted.

“We were looking for a coastal look to match our Mediterranean style home,” Hester said. “She did a great job intermingling the two styles. The furniture and the house look like they were built for each other.”

Hester was going for a warm, comfortably, yet stylish, feel to the décor, so prospective homebuyers could easily see themselves in the space. Gzonc inherited the travertine  flooring and the beige and gray tones of the walls. Other than that, there were no furnishings.

“It was a completely blank canvas,” she said.

Utilizing only in-stock items, she created an ambiance that complements the classic, timeless construction of the new house.

“The tone on tone combination made it very easy to work with,” Zgonc said.

She opted for an understated coastal look that depends on the judicious addition of accessories such as vintage glass floats, driftwood, sisal-accented lamps and organically shaped sculptures of nature imagery, including a nautilus shell. Pops of blue in fabrics and accessories add visual interest without going over the top.

With assistance from Sonja Polster of Blinds of All Kinds, Zgonc delivered natural-textured Roman shades from Hunter Douglas and even custom-designed drapes.

Zgonc intentionally kept the furniture light to enhance the house’ airy feel, opting for a rustic chic combination of whitewashed grays and beiges that still permit the wood tones to contrast. Furnishings and accessories were inspired by the architectural design of Old World Europe with luxury vintage charm.

When outfitting a model home, a designer must work within different parameters than those of a traditional residential project. Staged houses have been proven again and again to attract more potential buyers than empty model homes.

“It is hard for customers to visualize what you can do with an empty space,” Hester said.

That said, the furnishings should not claim so much attention that prospective buyers end up focusing on sofas and tables instead of the built-in amenities.

“You want to show the house to its best, but you don’t want the furniture to overpower the spaces,” Zgonc said. “You are selling the home, not the furniture.”

Zgonc must have gotten it right on the money, because realtor Wendy Lockwood with Viera Realty says Zgonc’s design has created quite a stir among visitors to the Santa Rosa.

“We have a waiting list of a couple of dozen people interested in the house,” she said.

Good design makes a house inviting, whether it is a new model home awaiting a buyer or a well-lived house in need of a makeover. Zgonc has proven it need not take months to achieve the perfect look.

For Hester, the transformation of the Santa Rosa from empty house to showpiece achieved her goal.

“Filling each room with beautifully chosen furniture gives our clients the feeling of how the house flows from room to room,” she said. “Furniture makes a world of difference.”