An Artist Makes A Mansion From Junk.
One of Apopka’s Amazing Secrets
A Colorful Hideaway
Far , far away, nestled deep within a Florida Oak grove, is an artists masterpiece. The artist is Maria, owner of Central Florida Decorative Finishes, School of Art. Maria owns a shop/School of art instruction in downtown Apopka, but her true masterpiece is out of the downtown area. The masterpiece is the 7,000 square foot creation which is sitting back in six acres of the most beautiful oak filled settings in Apopka. This home is sure to transcend you into a world of possibilities for your own home. The most amazing secrets of our town are sometimes hidden deep within the corners, beneath development and industry. These amazing secret places most often come with stories of talented people that are unknown to most of the community.
Maria is a lifetime artist painting since as long as she can remember. “All I ever remember is wanting to be an artist.” she said. Not only did she design the plans for the home, but the decorating and interior design will take your breath away. Maria has a degree in Arts and interior design. Her mother works with her and has a background in interior design.
Maria and her husband Dino live in this master creation that was produced from scratch by Maria. Maria , a lifetime artist drew the plans for this exquisite home herself. She had no CAD programming or design software, just old fashioned pencil and sketch pad. Maria drew out every detail of her creation. She took the plans to several design printers to have printed and they kept telling her is was out of the ordinary and they made changes. They kept telling her she could not design hallways and rooms the way she had, and wanted her to make the home a standard home design. As Maria said “There is nothing ordinary about this house and that is exactly what I wanted.” Dino, Maria’s husband said they interview several home A General Contractors before selecting one that was able to be creative.” Maria said “If they couldn’t think outside the box and do everything contrary to ordinary then the didn’t want them.”
Maria supervised every phase of the construction. The floors were completely finished with beautiful design painted concrete before a single wall went up. You would never believe how this creation was put together and furnished. Flooring of stained concrete and real cork give a warm pleasing look as you walk through the home. As the huge mahogany double front doors opened,( I might add that the doors were imported from Guatamaula ) you step into a large indoor swimming pool area with a towering fireplace. Everywhere you look are sets of triple sliding doors. Behind those doors are the main rooms to the home that all surround this pool area. The enormous master suite opens onto this open pool area, as does the living room, offices etc.
Each room has a décor and taste of its own. Nothing is traditionally store bought, In fact most of the decorating is from items Maria has found along side of the road or in a dumpster.
In the master bath the walls are tastefully decorated in scrap metal squares imbedded in a rich golden mustard colored textured walls. This truly compliments the solid copper rectangular sinks. Also in the shower are copper walls and even the towel rack is made of pipes and fittings from plumbing fixtures and supplies.
Maria states, “Half of the furnishings and decorating items came from the roadside, junk shops and even a dumpster.” This is where she acquired a table in the living room and the base for her spacious dinning room table (that seats 12), and the top was a large piece of butcher block.
In describing the beautiful cork flooring Maria said, “This home was built for the family, nothing can be damaged or afraid of being touched, we don’t want to tell the grandchildren not o touch. We made the kitchen and dinning spacious because this is where we all spend time together.”
Dino’s study comes complete with what he and Maria call “every man’s dream study.” Dino has a secret passage wall that moves the entire wall. It opens onto the back patio which will connect him to the Master suite.
As you look around the inside of this magnificent home the lighting fixtures will intrigue you. They were all imported from all over the world. The dinning lighting was imported from Italy. Dino, Maria’s husband owns several companies which provide luxury home furnishing items from all over the world.
The kitchen is spectacular with copper sinks and granite counter tops. The splash walls are all faux painted by Maria as are all of the doors and other wall finishes throughout the home. The amazing thing is that at Maria’s business, Central Florida School of Decorative Finishes, you can go to a one day decorative finishing class and learn how to do these amazing faux finishes and complete it in just one day.
There are so many final finish looks, designs, colors and textures. An amazing example is the front sitting room that is home to a grand piano which Dino’s father played at Carnegie Hall. Dino’s father a retired concert pianist passed the talent on to his son. Dino plays every instrument from guitars, mandolins, drums, brass and more. He has a Rock and Roll band and the home host is music studio. In the room where the piano sits, the decorative walls in the room have musical instruments imbedded like texture right into the final finish of the wall. It is absolutely amazing and beautiful. In the living room Maria has finished the wall with a huge Muriel stretching from one end of the enormous room to the other.
The bathrooms are another fascinating site to see. Each with its own unique design and texture, all of course for low maintenance. Pure glass bowl sinks, unique toilets and every bathroom having its own personality. In the one bathroom the light fixture was imported from Italy and is made of Moran blown glass.
There are not words to adequately describe the wonder of Maria & Dino’s creation,. From the front door to the garage there is something so unique and absolutely unconventional. In the garage is another unique and unconventional item. Dino wanted a convertible sports car. Maria told him if he could make room in a single car garage for 2 cars then he could get it. Dino had a hydraulic lift installed. He can drive one automobile onto the lift and it will hoist the car to the ceiling so the second car can drive in underneath of it. Truly unconventional. Truly out of the ordinary.
If you are interested in learning how to remodel or redecorate your home, or learn the art of finishing surfaces call Maria. Any surface such as walls, floors, columns, furniture, tables or anything can be finished with so many different faux finishes.
There are many artists that can teach faux finishing. This is a great form of art to learn.