Condo Owner

Spring 2017

Condo Owner publishes information vital to the business and pleasure of resort condominium ownership. Topics covered relate to real estate market trends, community association matters, rental management issues, tax and insurance updates and more.

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condo owner • S P R I N G 2 0 1 7 www.condo-owner.com 22 interiors THE LOOK While today's typical Gulf Coast condo includes a neutral palette and distressed wooden furniture and finishes, that hasn't always been the case. When Karen Wa- terfield of Sugar Beach Interiors in Destin, Fla., first started in the industry in the early 1980s, the look was all about laminate and lots of color. "The popular trend at that time was furniture covered in laminate, such as a teal laminate dresser," she said. "And the colors used everywhere were mauve and sea- foam green. That's what I think of with the 1980s." The bright colors and patterns of the 1980s gave way to the West Indies trend in the 1990s: dark colors like red, gold and sage green and all sorts of animal prints like mon- keys, elephants and giraffes, as well as palm trees and pineapples. The wicker frequently found in the 1980s was white, but in the 1990s it was dark brown. "The time- frame of the 1990s was all about that Tommy Bahama look," said Waterfield. "Every lamp, every piece of fab- ric, everything had an animal or animal print on it. Furniture was dark brown too, along with kitchen cabinets." With the early 2000s, the look began to move a bit more contemporary and modern, and the Gulf Coast market began to see a big shift in trends after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. "When people were rebuilding after the hurricane, the look really seemed to change," said Merrill Miller of Mer- rill Miller Interiors in Orange Beach, Ala. "Before then, we were still in somewhat of a 'cutesy' period with lots of items and patterns with fish and trop- ical plants. But after Hurricane Ivan, people seemed to begin wanting things to be lighter, and they wanted less. Less became more, and the look became a little more upscale." That upscale look means that many are opting for color in ac- cessories, not the big furniture pieces, noted Gardner Malouf of Malouf Furniture & Design. "When we bring color into a condo now, it's usually with accent chairs, pillows and artwork," Malouf said. "That's where we throw in pops of color. To me, that is one of the biggest changes because 15 to 20 years ago no one was using a white sofa. Now that's the majority of what you see." THE FUNCTION As the look became a little more upscale, the functionality of the design became much more important as well, particularly in flooring, said Miller. "Practicality is more important now to buyers; they are focused much more on functional living," she said. "People are willing to spend more money now on flooring and things that will last lon- ger." For example, in the 80s and even the 90s, carpet was the staple flooring found in many condos, but that began to change when people started focusing more on what works best for the beach location. "People shifted away from carpet and went to tile, which is great because you can't hurt tile, and it will last forever," Miller said. "Flooring is a big change we've seen over the years." Another change has been the focus toward functionality in bedding, said Melanie Martin of Melanie Martin Interiors in Orange Beach, "...West Indies trend in the 1990s: dark colors like red, gold and sage green and all sorts of animal prints like monkeys, elephants and giraffes, as well as palm trees and pineapples..." "...the colors used everywhere were mauve and seafoam green. That's what I think of with the 1980s...." "...The wicker frequently found in the 1980s was white, but in the 1990s it was dark brown...."

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