No Place Like Home

If you want to get to know someone, look at their house—their furnishings, mementos, artwork, belongings. These are the things that personalize our homes and speak to who we are and where we’ve been.

Lake Eola Heights residents Jeff Thompson and Raymond Cox built a house that speaks volumes about them. Everything about their pink stucco, Charleston-style home is reminiscent of the homes from Cox’s childhood; he grew up in the South Carolina city. The couple incorporated typically Southern architectural designs, such as transoms over the doors, beadboard ceilings and crown molding. There are some unique—albeit not Southern—decorating touches throughout the house as well: weathered Buddha figurines and Asian-style urns that the couple found during their foreign travels. The soothing ambience extends outdoors. Thompson, a senior landscape architect for Walt Disney World, created a lush environment with plantings of bromeliads, orchids, potted herbs and citrus on the side porch and in the backyard. It’s a house that fits them well.

Gabrielle Kara, the subject of this issue’s “I love this…” feature, created a reading room in her new home where she could escape and relax with a good book. It’s a cozy space furnished with antiques and decorative items she and her husband picked up during their travels. Each piece brings back happy memories and also tells something about their life together: a trip to Tanzania, another to Cuba, their wedding in St. Augustine.

I, too, have filled my home with paintings, photographs and objects that have special meaning for me. My mother, who is an artist, created some of my favorite artworks—notably, her pottery (shown). I cherish Mom’s pots because they are a reflection of her and her artistic, creative talent.

How about you? Do you have certain pieces or places in your home or garden that you treasure? If so, please contact me and share your story. You may be featured in our next issue!


Hancel Deaton

Categories: Advice