Orange Avenue, Bartow, Florida

A Craftsman house usually isn't described as delicate, but when it's situated in a town that describes itself as a gentle hideaway, I think we're not too far off the mark. 

The porch furniture gives us a gentle hideaway hint before we even step inside:

Instead of having a traditional dark oak interior, this living room feels like a breath of fresh air:

It's all ready for someone to breathe new life into it, like this:

{Summer Thornton, via}

By the way, I came across some older listing photos. Seems the homeowners definitely embraced the delicate idea:

The living room opens on one end to a sunroom:

I love this idea from designer Summer Thornton that would reverse the color scheme in here: 

{Summer Thornton, via}

Here's a picture of how it was decorated in the older listing, just because it's too sweet not to include:

The other end of the living room opens to the dining room:

We get a glimpse of the breakfast nook and butler's pantry from here:

The kitchen is tucked behind the breakfast nook, at the back of the house:

I'm a little surprised but pleased that the hall stairs haven't been painted white. They would look gorgeous refinished. Can't you just see them glowing against gallery white walls?

Tucked under the stairs is a tiny guest bathroom:

The house has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 2,749 square feet. It was built in 1925.

All of the closets appear to be cedar-lined...

...and the backyard offers lots of potential to be a peaceful retreat:

Bartow, Florida, the gentle hideaway, is the "City of Oaks and Azaleas." It's also known its for citrus and dogwood trees, lakes, antique stores, and the annual Bloomin' Arts Festival. The river that runs through the center of town is appropriately named Peace.

Whoever built this house in 1925 wasn't the only one seeking serenity. The following year, a man named Conrad Schuck began building his Wonder House, just a mile away. Schuck had erroneously been told that he had only a year to live, so he wanted to go out in style.

Wonder House includes such innovations as concrete rainwater channels in the walls to cool the house and water the plants. There's also a fish pond on the 3rd floor porch. 

It must have proven a gentle hideaway for him (although probably not for his nine children who helped him lay thousands of tiny tiles in the floors), because he lived to be 94 years old. 

Bartow is a little over an hour south of Orlando, and a little less than an hour east of Tampa -- just in case you do want to break up the delicate serenity a little bit.

The Old House Dreams listing is here.

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