Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An Earthy Bohemian Neptune Beach Abode: Michelle's Colorful Eclectic Bungalow

My new project is working with local artists (I want more national/international ones too, hit me up) on taking their product/art photos, getting them set-up with online shops and helping with their marketing. This is exactly what I'd adore doing more of; connecting with fellow eclectic artsy souls and helping them make a living doing exactly what they love. Setting up the photo compositions and organizing their creations to craft a cohesive brand is incredibly creatively stimulating, too! Perfect fit.

My current client Michelle is a fellow mostly-raw vegan with an incredible artsy bungalow a literal stone's throw away from Neptune Beach (quite literally). Her home and garden had so many gorgeous details to behold I had to let loose and get snapping despite the less than ideal lighting. Behold its splendor!:

Michelle's lived and collected in this space for 25 years, adding details and improving along the way. It stands out from the street, an obvious "art house" so beautiful to a collector's eye that she could charge admission to view it. This is the type of space I've dreamed of owning and curating for years.

Cat planters, tiki and pineapple statues, banana trees, cacti, and succulents aplenty and colorful walls. Truly, this abode popped right of my kitschy soul. Michelle informed me that she'll be painting the house one of the bright blue swatches you see on the wall by the door.

Almost no spot has been left untouched. I love the thriving garden and all of the upcycling. The colored bottle tree and collections! There was a stage of my life where I wanted to collect tons of "trash" like glass bottles/tires and transform them into beautiful gardens and her garden re-ignited that spark.

Around back is an adorable vegetable garden. And it really is the perfect sized back yard. Stop being so perfect, house. I adore the "lettuce pray" sign because that's exactly what pops in my head every time i hear the word "lettuce." It's because I was raised catholic (now, heathen- sinning is delicious) and the priest says it every Sunday during Catholic mass.

The Bees are owned by a friend and hosted at Michelle's casa. I love that stone fence, it looks just like ones I see everywhere in Puerto Rico.

And I've even been seeking the same exact blue fish planter for ages. Get out of my head! 

No artsy abode is complete with a family of gregarious felines. I wanted more shots of each one but they were so vocal and friendly that they wouldn't stay still, moving out of shot to be closer to me at every turn.

And I enjoyed the piles of collected earthy bits to be transformed into art pieces and accessories. Michelle has shells, pottery shards, sea glass and more natural materials she's collected from around the globe. She uses them on her hair clips, purses and art pieces. A set of incredible rocks on her windowsill from a village in Africa (where her daughter is staying as part of a Peace Corp mission) where my favorites.

The inside of her patio (where you see lush growing vibe a couple of photos above) is warm and inviting with comfortable seating and many hanging details.

Her art studio is the first room you enter, formerly her bedroom. The unique tiled floor keeps it cool and the support beams and colored bottles in the window (recalling stained glass) give the space a warm, churchy feeling.

I love the warm colors of her living room and the comfortable earthy furniture. She claims to be disorganized but this looks very clean with the right amount of "lived in" to me.

I love the bookshelf of family photos and the incredible lamp! A $7.00 yard sale score! Yep, convinced, must start yard sale hopping again in vain hopes of finding such a beautiful piece of my own.

That you see on the back wall of the kitchen is wine corks! The affect is stunning in person, very warm. "I had leftover caulk from home renovation projects and would slowly add more to the wall. No, I didn't drink them all," she explains.

I love the visible mason jars with vegan dry goods, the food is beautiful on display like this.

And the glass in the windows was inspiring to behold too. The bottom of the top photo shows the African rocks I admired.

There were so many quirky details, I could be there shooting for hours. Love how the cork goes around this cat caddy.

The art room had many fun details and the tile enough fun quirks for a post of its own, my favorite was the random kermit piece!

I loved the bathroom windowsill filled with toys gathered over time from the beach. Fascinating collection.

After we wrapped up it was nice to walk the minute brisk walk (counted, ah, must be nice) to the beach and watch the sunset. Before I left Michelle shared a very a thought about her home I'm sure you can relate to as a maker and/or collector:

There's people that don't 'get it'. I tell them to look at other homes, how normal and calm they are. Mine is chaotic because it's like looking inside my [busy] brain, but some still don't get it.

We get it, Michelle. And we love it. Thanks for sharing your beach bungalow with us. While I shot friends and family came and went, it's a space as warm and welcoming as Michelle is.
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  1. I absolutely "get it"! Sometimes I wonder if I should be embarrassed to say so....but doggone, I'm NOT! D'ya suppose she'd rent it out for weeks at a time??? I'd be the first to sign up!

    Now, I can't resist responding to your little phrase about sin being delicious. Even Moses would agree with you, but...... Hebrews 11:23-26 Just sayin'.

  2. We discussed that funny enough. Will let you know if it becomes available.

  3. What a fun home! Every time you'd show a new room, I'd think I had a favorite piece, but there are just too many to choose from! I do love that cork wall though!
    And I totally "get it" :)

    1. I didn't even get to share it all, so many details, it could fill multiple posts :)

  4. What a fun place! Thank her for me, for sharing.

  5. Love it! Makes me feel a little better about my own artsy clutter & collections ...

  6. Replies
    1. Agreed! I went overboard sharing the photos but there was so much beauty to behold.


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