Life in the courtyard
Designing that brings poolside bliss just inside the front door
BY GREG GARDNER | PHOTOS BY ROB DOWNEY
Redesigning, remodeling and redecorating their homes are the passions of Dan and Barb Hazard.
Their courtyard pool home in the Vineyards has been updated for each of the past 15 years with projects ranging from new flooring to landscaping to repainting schemes.
The retired couple — Dan, a chemical plant manager, and Barb, a dental hygienist — bought and made extensive improvements to eight homes, in different styles, in upstate New York, the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina, Texas, Indiana and Ocean City, Maryland. They decided to check out sites in Florida.
While looking at homes in Port St. Lucie, the couple saw a courtyard home with the pool inside the front door. They fell in love with the concept, but the home was too small.
When the Hazards discovered Hanover Homes was constructing a few pool courtyard homes in the Vineyards at St. Lucie West, they signed a contract with modifications to the developer’s plans. Since then, the couple estimates they have made more than $100,000 in improvements.
The result was a 12-foot extension of the south wall of the courtyard for a waterfall, spa and pool twice the size of any of the few other courtyard homes in the 192-unit development.
“There were two designs, but there was nothing standard about what we did with the concrete slab, pavers, spa and waterfall,” says Barb.
“We felt like it was a blank palette and the center of the home,” she says. “When the weather cools down, we open up the sliders and this house becomes a very large house with mechanical and natural breezes. This is my blood pressure pill. It is so relaxing, and the waterfall has a nice sound. What I love about this home is once we close the front door, we are in our own private castle.”
LOVE OF DECORATING
Barb can grow different orchids around the pool, locating them based on whether they need shade or full sun.
“We are both retired, and we are decorators and we love decorating homes,” says Dan. “This house is a reflection of our travels, and we try and pick up artwork that speaks to us. You want your house to be a reflection of you. Everything has a story or a memory.”
Artwork on several walls is from Tahiti, Australia, Spain and Ireland.
“I wake up in the middle of the night and get ideas,” Barb says. “Every room needs a focus and an inspiration.”
“Once a year she wants to change the room color,” Dan says.
“And then you have to change the linens and the drapes,” Barb adds.
“We find it fun,” Dan says.
“We like to be a little different, but our friends think we are crazy,” Barb says.
Over the past 15 years, many friends and neighbors have admired the Hazard home, using the inspiration to remodel their own houses.
Upgrades to the original plans included coffered ceilings in the living room and master bedroom with crown molding at the top of the 11-foot ceilings. The garage now has overhead shelving and large tile flooring throughout. The Hazards installed plantation shutters on every window in the home.
The laundry room, now tiled and with granite counter tops, had to have a small closet in a take-away from the pantry on the other side. It also has a pop-up bench and a wash tub.
As with most pool courtyard homes, the guest cabana/bath is on the side and garage on the opposite side. With total privacy from the main house, the cabana is in a nautical motif complete with family photos and Dan’s Navy uniform.
Thirteen state-of-the-art ceiling fans cool people in almost every room, including two bathrooms. “It keeps the moisture down and you cool,” Barb says of the fans in the bathrooms.
The kitchen cabinets were modified for a new refrigerator, and the cabinet makers added the same patterned panels to the breakfast bar. “I can cook for 12 to 18 people in this kitchen,” Barb says. “I love to bake and I can be up to my elbows in flour, and all I have to do is reach over and bump the faucet and it turns on.”
With four bedrooms, 3,000 square feet and fewer house guests, the Hazards have decided to move to a 3,000-square-foot, two-bedroom home currently under construction in Port St. Lucie. “It is going be our last house, not quite a farmhouse style, but transitional with lots of grays and whites,” Barb says.
“Our house here has a lifetime of memories,” she says, “We have had wine parties where everyone ended up in the pool.”
The Hazards have always had two cars, but Dan recently had to sell his Corvette to make room in the garage for the huge stack of furniture that will be going into their new home when it is finished. They plan to sell most of the furniture before they move.
“We now have a new palette and we get so excited,” Barb says.
The Vineyard courtyard pool home is listed by Andrew Szaniszlo at Keller Williams Realty Port St. Lucie for $445,800.