Take my advice: Buy a decorator's house.
By Robert Plunket
Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discuss these stylish homes on ABC7.
Here’s a trick I’ve learned over the years. When you’re looking for a house, keep your eyes open for a place that’s owned by a professional decorator. Not only will it be better designed but chances are it will feature the highest-end trim and materials, paint, lighting, etc.
5696 Country Lakes Dr.
Here are two examples of what I’m talking about. The first is a house in the Country Lakes section of Palm-Aire. Like most of the homes in Country Lakes, it’s a large (3,000 square feet) custom home from the 1980s, on a large lot overlooking a lake. What makes it special is the décor, and I’m referring not so much to the furniture as the wall coverings, built-ins, lighting, window treatments, etc, which typically come with the house. I even liked the doorknobs. If the general style fits your furniture and lifestyle, you can have a beautifully decorated home at a fraction of what it would cost to do it yourself.
The house has an Asian/contemporary look to it, and it has many special features—a great master suite with two complete bedrooms and baths (which open to a little Zen garden), a separate pool bath and sauna, a coral stone fireplace surround, atriums, a wet bar, grasscloth wallcoverings, a sunken living room, a summer(outdoor) kitchen, wine racks, and so on. The bathrooms are a little over the top in a fun sort of way.
Like many older homes from the 1980s, it is a bargain at the moment: They’re asking $399,000. Back in the old days this would have been well over half a million. Call Craig Cameron at (941) 266-0627.
3837 Glen Oaks Manor Dr.
And brand-new on the market is the Glen Oaks Manor villa of one of the town’s most prominent decorators. He poured money into this place—over $180,000 on things like moldings, wood floors, custom ceilings and bookcases. In the kitchen the cabinets are pine instead of the typical cherry. Both baths are marble, and the master has a large walk- in shower plus a Jacuzzi tub. The style is perfect for antiques of just about any period, and I understand that some of the furniture is also for sale. Here’s a chance to own one of the most highly styled Architectural Digest places in Sarasota—and at a sensational price: $285,000. Call Mike Bruno at (941) 320-3229.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.