Olivia after 2

“First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage…”

Before After

I recall this little song from way back when in my childhood. I still remember this chant that my girlfriends and I used to sing while we were skipping rope at the school playground. “(Boy’s name) and (Girl’s name) sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G (spell it out). First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes so-and-so with the baby carriage!”

As immature little girls who initiated this little chant, it kinda told us all about what we were “supposed to do.” It sounded like a good plan.

But let me stop here for a second, so I can introduce our clients. I met Bo and Olivia a few years ago, when they were on cloud nine. It was amazing to watch them. They were in love. I could see that there was not one shred of doubt in either one of their minds that one day they were going to walk down an aisle and then spend the rest of their lives with each other.

So, back to that poplar little song. If it were rewritten today, our customers’ alteration might go something like this: “First comes a house, then comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes a new kitchen.” You see, Bo bought a basic country house with a 1998s kitchen. He moved in. Then life happened. He fell in love with Olivia. Then they got married. Then Olivia moved in. Then the kitchen was remodeled.

Fast forward, Olivia invited Cindy Kohls-Brophy (Just Counter’s multitasked receptionist) and me to see the remodeled kitchen. Cindy and I were both super excited to visit Olivia. The home was almost an hour away. We drove away from beaches and high rises, to an off-the-beaten-track two lane road through Florida’s cow country.

County Highway 769 passes picturesque scenes of cattle in fields and ranches with old houses dwarfed by ancient Oaks dripping with Spanish moss. I mentioned to Cindy that I should pull over and take some pictures of very large and intimidating cows, but I didn’t. I kept driving.

Before After

SW Highway 72 and NW Highway 70 had some sharp curves that forced me to go slow. The scenery was worth the crawl. Parts of the roads started with a winding postcard-perfect path through horse farms. Plots of land surrounded with wooden fences. Horses grazed in the vast spaces throughout.

When the roads straightened out, so did the wooden fences, bordering the pastures. We saw farmhouses and barns, old and new. We saw tractors and tin roofs. We saw some unique entrance gates to the farms. Some of them looked as though they were custom works of art made from stones and bricks and wrought iron.

We finally reached Bo’s and Olivia’s neighborhood. We pulled into a long, graveled driveway. What is it about some houses that beckon you to enter? I’m not sure if it was the flowers on the front porch or wreaths on the French doors? If we thought the outside was great, wait until we stepped inside. As soon as Olivia opened the front door, she invited us inside. It all started there. Without saying a word, there was a clear message: “You are both welcome here. Come on in.”

Before After

Immediately I saw the work that Just Counters & other stuff had done. I was ecstatic! Aaron Shaffer and Paul Damon had lowered a wall between the kitchen and great room. The newlyweds ditched the dated slab laminated cabinets and said bye-bye to the aqua blue laminate countertops. We added a two-level counter and an island. Tommy McCaffrey, Pat Brun, Sam Zwack, and Jeff Reed all took part in this amazing transformation. The talented team installed Aspect Cabinetry. “It was a great experience working with Just Counters,” stated Olivia.

The perimeter of the kitchen was adorned with crisp white cabinets, and warm Kona stain was an excellent choice on the island. Starting with the eye-catching copper farmhouse sink, Olivia found countless ways to uniquely incorporate the copper theme into their kitchen.

Olivia did a fabulous job in decorating their home. Things don’t always need to look brand new. I say this because this home was filled with antiques and primitive items. Not a single detail was overlooked in this gorgeous home. I remarked about how great of a job that Olivia had done by combining the antiques and primitive seamlessly. Olivia pointed toward the top of the pantries. “Those were my great-grandmother’s belongings,” she said proudly. This is a home where people will want to linger, to get to know people a little better, share stories, and celebrate milestones.

I don’t know about you, but the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song may have been a good plan. But Bo’s and Olivia’s plan is a much better version. Someday if the young couple decides to have children, their beautiful home will be a place to build traditions that’ll outlast the years. This home is bursting with love and great-grandmother’s belongings. 

Before After

Thank you so much for making Designs by Michele Rose a part of your day. I always love seeing you here.


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