story: James Combs / photos: Fred Lopez
Helene and John Alexander are self-described “Parade of Homes groupies.” For 30 years, they’ve attended various events throughout the country, gathering pictures and obtaining ideas and visions of what their dream home would one day look like.
Several years ago, they made this dream become a reality. Rather than purchase or build an extravagant new home, they decided to remodel their existing waterfront house in Fruitland Park, which was originally built in 1979.
“When my father died in 2006, my mother came to live with us,” Helene says. “We eventually built a 2,000-square-foot addition to our home so she could have her own living space. The addition was beautiful and incorporated all the ideas we had gathered from attending Parade of Homes events. We decided to remodel the original part of the home and stick to the same theme and flavors as the addition.”
In June 2009, Kevco Builders, which built the addition, began a complete overhaul of the home’s interior. The project was completed in December 2010.
The wait was well worth it. The home is a perfect blend of contemporary and traditional, including features such as an Italian-style wine cellar, a raised living room ceiling with 12-foot high coffers, plantation shutters, travertine and hardwood flooring, a modern linear fireplace, and a kitchen with upscale appliances and exotic granite countertops. Complementing the home’s stunning interior is a 14-foot high porte cochere entrance with stone pavers that provides an elegant arrival for all guests.
“Everything in here is very personal to us and says who we are and what we like,” Helene says.” We could never grow tired of living here.”