An Architectural View of Lee County

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Lee County is a popular tourist destination not only because of the favorable climate and interesting attractions, but also because of the historical architecture.

Originally Monroe County, Lee County was founded in 1887. Lee County then became a charter county in 1997. In 2017, Lee County celebrated its 130th anniversary, and this year, it will celebrate its 131st anniversary next month. Some of Lee County’s most popular cities include Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs and Sanibel. Additionally, Fort Myers is the county seat, and Cape Coral in the largest city by population in the county.

Lee County’s economy is driven by tourism and hospitality, since the area is known for its warm temperatures and relaxing beaches. However, Lee County is also known for a few other things. For instance, Lee County is home to Florida Gulf Coast University and JetBlue Park in Fort Myers where the Boston Red Sox have its spring training.

Lee County also is known for its historic buildings with incredible architecture. The Edison & Ford Winter Estates and The Old Lee County Courthouse are just a few of the influential buildings that Lee County is known for.


Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Located in Fort Myers, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include 20 acres of botanical gardens and nine historic buildings, like Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory and the Edison Ford Museum, containing hundreds of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits. Some of the newly restored buildings include the Edison Main House, the Guest House, the Caretaker’s House and the Ford House. The furnishings and architecture of these buildings are reminiscent of a bygone era.

Thomas Edison came down to Fort Myers in the 1880s back when it was mostly a farm town. Henry Ford worked for Thomas Edison, and he visited so often that he bought the house right next door to Edison. The entire estate was restored to look like it did back in the 1920s, so that guests who tour the area get to see almost exactly what the house and surrounding areas looked like back in that time. Every detail was considered. Even Edison’s workshop is decorated with inventions and tools that he was known for using. What many people may not know is that this is not just a fancy estate, but it is also a working research garden. Guests enjoy looking at the architecture of buildings from back in the early 1900s along with the beauty of the lush botanical gardens.


The Old Lee County Courthouse

The Old Lee County Courthouse is the county’s second courthouse. It opened in 1916 and cost about $100,000 to build. The courthouse can be recognized by its Neoclassical architecture and Doric Order fluted columns. Almost every part of the original building is the exact same as it was in 1916. The only change that has been made to the building is the replacement of handrails and the window glass.

Many guests come to the courthouse to see the Courthouse Cornerstone, which contained the 1915 Time Capsule. The contents were discovered during a $5 million renovation in 1989 and are on display on the 2nd floor of the courthouse. Guests come to the courthouse to admire the gorgeous architecture from the early 1900s and to take a self-guided tour of the inside of the building.


Get Inspired by Historic Architecture in Your Own County

Lee County is rich in history. It is known not only for its relaxing beaches, but also for its beautiful, historic architecture. While many people pick Lee County as their tourist destination, you get to call Lee County home.

If you are thinking about remodeling your home, consider adding some elements of historic architecture to your design. Add a beautiful garden to the backyard like the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, or add columns outside of the entryway of your home like The Old Lee County Courthouse. Let historic architecture from your own county inspire your next home remodeling project.




A Look At Modern Bathrooms

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Past trends come back in style over time, and modern style is no exception. Interior design enthusiasts are captivated by the look of a modern style bathroom. A bathroom may become an afterthought while designing your home, but a modern style design can turn any bathroom into an oasis that you will want to show off to all your guests.

Modern and contemporary are not interchangeable when referring to interior design. Modern design refers to a distinct time period called “Mid Century Modern,” which lasted from the 1920s to the 1950s. The modern era and the time period it refers to does not change, even if the modern style is trending right now. A style that is trending now would be considered a contemporary style. Contemporary style refers to the current time period, and it is constantly evolving based on what is currently popular.

Modern bathrooms are popular in the United States and Europe. They are recognized by their simple designs that feature mostly white decor paired with pops of color and texture. White is always in style. The use of mostly white décor makes the space look simple and clean. Neutral tones, like brown and grey, are just as timeless as white. While neutral colors are popular in modern bathrooms, most designs include an accent color as well. Some of the most popular colors in a modern bathroom are teal, red, yellow and green. An accent color can be incorporated into a bathroom through tile flooring, the trim on fixtures, a rug or wallpaper. If colorful décor is not your style, black can even be an accent color. Black and white tile flooring, black trim on the mirror and black fixtures are just a few examples of ways black can be incorporated into a modern bathroom as an accent color.

Modern bathrooms are also characterized by their use of natural materials and interesting textures. Wood is a standard option for cabinets, vanities and fixtures. Lightly-colored wood is very popular in modern bathrooms, especially bathrooms with a coastal theme, but dark wood is also popular, since it is classic and goes with almost any design. Marble countertops and tiles in the shower are also popular in modern bathrooms. Marble is commonly paired with brass fixtures to warm up the cool tones of the tile. For a bold look, consider concrete walls. An unfinished concrete wall actually can finish a modern bathroom design, since concrete walls easily add pattern and texture to the design.

There are a few design staples that can complete any modern bathroom design. For instance, freestanding bathtubs and vessel sinks, especially ones made of glass, are popular in modern bathroom designs. These bathtubs and sinks not only save space, but they also add visual interest to the bathroom. Spa-style bathtubs are also popular in a modern style bathroom. Additionally, a private space with a door can help separate the toilet from the rest of the bathroom. This makes the bathroom not only appear cleaner, but it is also functional and perfect for people who share a bathroom. Modern bathrooms also include plenty of mirrors. Mirrors add visual depth, which can help make even a powder room look spacious. Large windows with plenty of natural light add to the illusion of a larger bathroom when the light bounces off the mirrors. Artificial lighting is almost important for setting the mood of a bathroom. Warm-toned lights on a dimmer may be perfect if you enjoy taking relaxing baths, whereas bright vanity lights would be ideal for doing makeup or shaving.

Bold patterns and shapes are usually found in a modern bathroom as well. Tile flooring comes in many different colors and shapes. Neutral colored square tiles are timeless, but teal hexagon-shaped tile could be the way you choose to add color and pattern to your bathroom. Fun wallpaper is sometimes used in a modern bathroom to eliminate the need for tons of decorations. If wallpaper is not your style, plants would be a perfect decoration for a modern bathroom, since they are natural and add color. Coastal bathroom decorations are great for homes in Florida, especially those close to the water. Most importantly, don’t forget about storage space. A bathroom may look nice, but it must be functional as well. Incorporate wooden cabinets next to the bathtub or decorative drawers under the vanity for easy access to your toiletries.

Modern bathrooms are popular among designers, because they are simple and classic, yet interesting and appealing. Whether you are looking for a simple bathroom design with neutral colors or a coastal bathroom design with bright colors and plenty of décor, you should consider a modern style bathroom for your next remodeling project.




What You Should Know About Modern Kitchens

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Many designers upgrade their clients’ kitchens to a sleek, modern design. From clean lines to simple interiors, modern kitchens can make any home look expensive and luxurious.

Many people confuse modern with contemporary, since these terms are somewhat interchangeable in colloquial conversation. However, when referencing a design style, the terms modern and contemporary are completely different. Modern design refers to a distinct period of time, namely “Mid Century Modern.” Modern is the design style that was created in the 1920s to 1950s. Although the popularity of the modern style may come and go, the modern era and the time period it refers to does not change. The modern style is recognizable by its clean, simple interior, its use of natural materials, such as wood, and bare floors. Some modern interiors can even be referred to as retro by today’s standards. A contemporary style, on the other hand, refers to the current time period. A contemporary style is constantly evolving based on what is popular right now.

A modern style kitchen is trending right now in the United States and in Europe. One of the most distinguishable features of a modern kitchen is the use of neutral tones, especially white. Many modern kitchens are all white kitchens, from the cabinets to the paint on the wall. Grey is another popular color choice for modern kitchens. Any monochromatic color palette is a popular choice for modern kitchens. In addition to neutral tones, natural finishes like wood cabinets and quartz countertops are also popular in a modern style kitchen.

Lighting is another important aspect when creating a modern style kitchen. Modern kitchens usually include a good amount of natural light, along with plenty of artificial light. Large windows in the kitchen allow plenty of sunlight, while giving the illusion of a larger space. Modern kitchens also include artificial light fixtures, like ceiling lights as well under the cabinet lighting. Light fixtures can be unusual accent pieces that draw attention in modern kitchen.

High-tech appliances and intricate storage spaces are popular features of a modern kitchen. Some popular appliances include a double oven or a steam oven, an island cooktop, and a dishwasher in a drawer, which is a small dishwasher that looks like a regular cabinet drawer. Modern kitchens usually have a very sleek design, which is why built-in refrigerators are gaining in popularity. It makes the kitchen appear much cleaner. Some modern kitchens will even include a television or a place for a laptop, so cooks can easily look up recipes or watch cooking tutorials and television programs.

Storage is quickly becoming one of the most important features in a kitchen. In a fast-paced world, people want to be able to find items quickly and cook dinner fast. Many new storage features help speed up this process by making items easier to access. One trendy storage item is an on-counter garage, which stores smaller appliances. These garages stay on the counter for easy access. This keeps cooks from having to pull out heavy items, like mixers, from the cabinet every time they need it, while keeping the countertop looking clean. Other popular storage features include deep drawers for pots, full extension drawers for easy access to all items in the drawer, divided storage for utensils, tray storage cabinets for organizing cookie sheets and cutting boards, and trash and recycling pull-out cabinets.

A modern style kitchen is recognized mostly by the modern style materials inside of the kitchen. Quartz is still the most popular choice for countertops, but granite and marble countertops are also quite popular for a modern style kitchen. Granite requires slightly more maintenance, which is why many consumers choose quartz. Regardless of the type of countertop, most modern kitchens have countertops in neutral colors.

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for flooring, but ceramic tile is almost just as popular. Although, a polished concrete floor has increased in popularity recently. It looks natural and effortless, while allowing high-tech appliances and gorgeous cabinetry to demand the attention. Wood is also a popular choice for cabinetry. A natural wood brings elegance to a modern home, while a dark brown wood is classy and sleek. White cabinets are equally as popular, since they look clean and timeless. Many modern kitchens do not have cabinets that reach the ceiling. Instead, there is a gap between the cabinets and the ceiling, which make the kitchen appear larger. Most people enjoy this feature, since many people are unable to reach things on the top shelf of the cabinet anyway.

Grey-toned appliances are common choices for modern kitchens, along with appliances with dark brushed metal finishes. Stainless steel is still popular as well, but the vintage style of a red or blue appliance deserves recognition. This retro design is popular in a modern kitchen. Some people prefer to add a pop of color using an accent wall or accent ceiling tile. These accents can be wood, a color or a texture. Some people even add a pop of color through an accessory like a bar stool or countertop appliances, like a mixer or coffee machine.

There are many options when designing a modern style kitchen. If you enjoy the look of a clean, sleek style kitchen with neutral colors and natural materials, you should consider a modern style kitchen for your next remodeling project.


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