Monday, April 4, 2016

Isabelle's Pompano Beach house - then and now

I have shared so much about the property we live on now -- as well as the old house that my dad grew up in here, and I have also mentioned that my grandmother came here from Florida, where her father was a founder of Dade/Palm Beach County, but I have never had many photos to share. She owned several properties that I never got to see, but my mother stumbled across the real estate listing for her "yellow house" in Pompano Beach, and I could not be more excited to get a glimpse into the past. 

Her contractor/builder brother, George Porter, built the house in 1959, then Isabelle bought it as a vacation home. According to my grandfather's diary, they went down around the New Year in 1960 and enjoyed shopping and dining at the area's finest shops and restaurants-- including Miami's famous Fontainebleau. I can just imagine:-)  

This is the only photo I had, and I was very curious to see what it looks like now.

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She sold the house later in 1960s, but it is still there, and here is how it looked recently in the real estate listing. It was listed at $720,515:-)

The front door has been changed to a double door, but it is still very similar and definitely recognizable.

I was not surprised to see the interior had been renovated, but a little disappointed in the very dark, heavy style.

Can you imagine how awesome it would be with the original terrazzo tile floors throughout and the mid-century modern furniture she had? 

I can visualize a light and bright kitchen with clean-lined white cabinetry and quartz counters.

In the dining space off the kitchen, I envision windows to the floor overlooking the pool and a mid-century modern dining table with Eames chairs.

My mom said she had light French blue carpets with long pink drapes. I can imagine an updated version of that in this master bedroom with crisp white walls.

I would definitely use a light tile in this bath with some mid-century modern inspired fixtures.

And this bathroom would get a cleaner, more cohesive mid-century look.

And, well, let's just say it's too dark and ornate and leave it at that:-)

The outdoor space is so lush and tropical. I can definitely see myself having morning coffee here off the dining area.

I would put a retro metal patio set here -- maybe aqua blue and white:-)

Of course, white wicker is timeless and would definitely be appropriate here on the patio. 

Ah the beautiful pool. I can just imagine sitting on the edge of the water with my grandmother.

And that is exactly what's so special about seeing these photos. I can imagine her there. Even in its renovated state, the house gives me a glimpse into her life before I came along. And it makes me miss her even more than I thought I could. 

My beautiful Isabelle:-)  

I can dream, wishing the house were mine so I could put her touch all through it -- bringing it back to it's mid-century glory. And I know she would love it:-)

I'll be joining:
Wow us Wednesday


  1. Oh that house is far too dark!! Why would anyone decorate like that. The house is beautiful and should be light and bright, fresh and cool. Shame you cannot buy it and make it over!!

    1. I know Wendy! I sure wish I could buy it:-)

  • Kathleen GeorgeApril 4, 2016 at 5:33 PM

    I agree with Wendy, to dark and describing the pink and blue colors, probably at that time, those were popular Florida colors? Ha, in the 80s, I had Miami green and I think, pink/salmon colors in my decor ( think Miami Vice:) ). I can see you fixing it back to the 60s. Probably very expensive real estate too:(.
    Kathleen in Az

  • Running with a sharp pencilApril 4, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    Sad that they did not respect the era of the house and try to preserve that.

  • I love Florida, Anita. Everything is so lush and beautiful, though I admit I think I would not like to live down there year round. I like experiencing the change of seasons that we have in South Carolina. We visit the Orlando area of the state often but have not been as far down as Miami since my husband's grandparents, who lived there for over forty years, moved back here in the seventies. I really enjoyed your post. I, too, would so love to visit with my long departed relatives sometimes. There are so many things I would love to talk to them about, now that I am older and, hopefully, a little wiser.

  • Hi Anita, I enjoyed reading this post today through your FB link and had to come back and see it again tonight.

    I can visualize YOU bringing this wonderful house into its full glory, with your grandmother's colors influencing you but with your fresh modern take on it. Of course I adore mid-century style anyway so would love to see this happen.

    And since we're moving to Ponte Vedra Beach in less than 2 weeks, this TN farmhouse girl is suddenly all about FL style, especially the old time FL style.

    I bet your grandmother was a fascinating grand lady, but then all the women in your family are!

  • Shirley@Housepitality DesignsApril 5, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    My first 2 homes in Florida had terrazzo floors and back then, it was popular to cover the floors as the terrazzo were too ordinary....if I had them now...I would leave them uncovered to let their beauty shine...I am sure you could restore this house back to the beauty when your grandparents lived there...