Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
4:04 pm EST
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Hidden Potential

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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.

The home before the remodel

The home before the remodel

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.

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The living room, especially the open-floor plan and 12-foot high ceilings with coffers, gives the house a contemporary feel. Unbelievably, it took only one day to reconstruct and raise the roof in the living room. Directly underneath the big-screen television is a linear gas fireplace with LED lights.

The living room in its former state.

The living room in its former state.

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.”

The new kitchen was physically moved to the area that was the Alexander’s family room. As a result, plumbing fixtures were relocated. The old galley-style kitchen gave way to a state-of-the-art designer kitchen equipped with a steamer oven, futuristic joystick faucet handles, induction cooktop, and a convection oven and microwave

The new kitchen was physically moved to the area that was the Alexander’s family room. As a result, plumbing fixtures were relocated. The old galley-style kitchen gave way to a state-of-the-art designer kitchen equipped with a steamer oven, futuristic joystick faucet handles, induction cooktop, and a convection oven and microwave


The master bathroom underwent a major renovation. The old shower was converted into a glass medicine cabinet and linen closet. The new shower is equipped with wonderful amenities, including rain showerheads, body jets, a television, and stereo.

The master bathroom underwent a major renovation. The old shower was converted into a glass medicine cabinet and linen closet. The new shower is equipped with wonderful amenities, including rain showerheads, body jets, a television, and stereo.


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