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INTERNATIONAL HOUSE Spring cleaning is upon us, and while you’re dusting and sorting every nook and cranny, now is the perfect time to freshen up your home’s whole look. The design team at Ethan Allen points out three trends to revive interiors this spring. Start with the French classics; that French flair for the divine […]


INTERNATIONAL HOUSE
Spring cleaning is upon us, and while you’re dusting and sorting every nook and cranny, now is the perfect time to freshen up your home’s whole look. The design team at Ethan Allen points out three trends to revive interiors this spring.

Start with the French classics; that French flair for the divine is everywhere in today’s home fashions. Characterized by simple elegance and delightful accents, the French classic influence is showing up in charming upholstery fabrics, painted finishes and classic wrought-iron details.

To keep your global sensibilities balanced, don’t leave out a touch of still-popular Asian influence, which includes shimmering fabrics and embroidery, vibrant reds and authentic chinoiserie detailing. These Asian characteristics create a well-traveled feel in whatever space they occupy.

Lastly, for glamorous interiors, be sure to include silk—or at least “the look of silk,” say Ethan Allen’s designers. Elegant and sumptuous, silk is all about opulence. Whether you choose a monochromatic palette or a wealth of colors, silk and silk-like fabrics provide a subtle but glamorous shimmer to a room. And considering its pleasant feel, silk is always a nice touch.

Visit Ethan Allen on South Tamiami Trail for free design services.

PRUDENT PURCHASE
Imagine the convenience of your very own Siesta Key condominium combined with a management company that will not only maintain the property but will handle all the details of renting it out while you’re away. That’s the idea behind the new Sea Spray condotel, currently being marketed through Prudential Palms Realty. Mango Bay Beach Resorts, an established property management company, will handle maintenance and rentals for all interested owners.

One part investment property, one part vacation home, the condotel concept is aimed at part-time residents who want their own island property at their convenience while benefiting from its rental while they’re away. The 16-unit Sea Spray condotel, a one-time hotel that has been newly renovated and updated, features units from 470 to 750 square feet, each with a full kitchen, all-tile flooring and Internet access. The Sea Spray is located within walking distance of Siesta Beach and Siesta Village. Prices start just under $400,000.

DINE DIVINE
Casual dining is going from plain-old kitchen table and chairs to smart-looking designs, says Drexel-Heritage designer Michael Arnold. Describing Drexel-Heritage’s new Gourmet Dining Collection, Arnold lists the variety of materials and sizes providing infinite opportunities for customization: Glass, granite, marble or wood tops are available in four different diameters with nine different table bases. Once you’ve picked the right combo for your table, choose from eight different chair styles. Everything comes in a variety of finishes and fabrics, and Drexel-Heritage’s styles span elegant formal looks to soft casual contemporary. With Florida’s open floor plans, says Arnold, this collection can work wonders making the breakfast area complement the rest of the house.

For clean-line contemporary designs, check out Drexel-Heritage’s Uptown Collection, which offers living room, dining room and occasional tables in rich cherry, black, red or white. The Uptown Collection’s dining table extends from 60 inches round to 84 inches round with the addition of leaves that wrap around the diameter of the table. The versatile look can even take on Asian overtones, says Arnold.

PITELL’S PROPERTIES
Debra Pitell of Michael Saunders & Company has been named an exclusive affiliate of LuxuryRealty.com, a marketing Web site focusing on top real estate agents, brokers and brokerages in luxury markets. LuxuryRealty.com is the premier division of Luxury Media Inc. As an affiliate, Pitell enjoys exclusive marketing rights for Sarasota and Longboat Key through the Luxury Media network, which means that her clients’ properties receive unparalleled exposure to potential buyers throughout North America.

ANTIQUES A GO-GO
The inventory of premium antiques at Osprey’s House of Lords changes so frequently that the employees themselves are constantly browsing. "I’ve worked for the House of Lords the past year, and I’m not bored yet,” says one worker. “Every day it’s something new. Opening all those boxes is like a regular birthday party.” Owner Bob Harris maintains a mass of museum-quality items in the popular consignment store on South Tamiami Trail, ensuring a selection for all tastes—from interesting furniture, bronze statues, stone sculptures to jewelry (both precious and costume), China and crystal. Bring your items for consignment to the back door and leave through the front with a stunning new antique purchase. And of course, check back frequently to keep up with the store’s rapid turnover. 

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