Postcard timestamp – CARGO :: SRQ magazine article by Brittany Mattie


Orange Moon Interiors breathes new life into a 1960s Holmes Beach vacation rental with old postcard finds.

For the past 40 years, locals, honeymooners, families and solo travelers have spotted the intimate retreat of Sailfish Gulf Suites with oceanfront views only the Gulf of Mexico can provide. Since its construction in 1967, the property has clung to its ideal location; however, its furniture naturally began to show its age – outdated and in need of a modern facelift. Local interior designer Kelly Kaiser, owner and chief designer at Orange Moon Interiors, saw a lot of potential and was called upon by vacation rental Holmes Beach to bring the bungalows of the ’60s back to life.

Orange Moon Interiors is no stranger to transforming outdated spaces across the country into luxury habitable sanctuaries, but being from Bradenton, Kaiser was especially proud of this project and its location. “This city means a lot to me. I remember my grandmother bought me a swimsuit when I was eight at the West Coast Surf Shop, right next to the Sailfish, ”she says. “And then, of course, Skinny’s restaurant is across the street, which is an old Bradenton favorite. If you haven’t had Skinny’s Burger, you’re missing out.

That being said, Kaiser also admits that it’s surprisingly difficult to find a nice, up-to-date, affordable beachfront vacation rental in Anna Maria or Holmes Beach, which was a major factor in her decision to take in. load the project and raise the standard of vacation rentals on the Gulf Coast. .

“This area has so much potential and I hope this property will become the standard for vacation rentals for years to come. There are so many here that need updating. The renovations to the Sailfish Gulf Suites, which began in August 2020, appeared to have come at a good time for Manatee County beaches as more business owners continue to invest in new lots and properties. existing properties in need of renovation.

Meanwhile, an investment of $ 17.3 million is underway for the beaches of Anna Maria Island, propelling a massive beach nourishment project to protect the shoreline sands from Gulf tides and keep the coastline friendly. for visitors. “It was time to do the renovation,” Kaiser says, “and do it right.” Her take on Sailfish encompassed a clean, calm and crisp style to reflect the serene feeling you get near the ocean. Each of the four bedrooms features an oceanfront and gulf coast palette with a different mural behind the headboard of each center wall in the bedroom.

“I wanted to keep a piece of old Florida, but also help the Sailfish attract a new generation of visitors,” she says. One quirky design feature that Kaiser couldn’t bear to shake off as the rentals were being gutted was right under his feet. The charming 1967 bathroom tiling exuded mid-century sentimentality and begged to stay put.

“There was no way I would tear off that old aqua and sea green bathroom tile and cover this beautiful terrazzo floor. It would have made no sense to do so because it was in keeping with the architectural integrity of the building. Putting anything on this terrazzo would have been a sin. As for the more contemporary finishes and decor incorporated into the new space, American Remodeling Contractors, a full-service design-build renovation contractor in Bradenton, has been recruited, with whom Orange Moon Interiors has worked on previous projects. local.

Bringing more of his childhood memories of his childhood in Manatee County into the redesign concept, Kaiser dug up old postcards from Manatee County and turned the tangible time stamps into mountable wall art. “All the artwork is replicas of old local postcards,” she shares. “Plus, I framed some old postcards that had sweet correspondence from people on vacation in Bradenton. I loved finding and using them – they reminded me a lot of when I was a kid and I was going. at Bradenton Beach.

Kaiser also quickly noticed that when she was a little bum with bright eyes, there were never tall, square skyscrapers around the view obstructing the shore, and if a structure was tall, it was on stilts. “Most of the Bradenton Islands were full of one-story bungalows,” she shares. “That’s what Sailfish still is: built in the 60s and just steps from the beach.

However, Fema’s 50 percent rule makes it difficult for owners of other nostalgic touchstones like the sailboat to justify keeping them as is without fail at a complete remodel of teardown, fresh start and build up. “Homeowners want to invest money in these homes, but Fema’s rule limits them to spending only 50% of the structure’s approved value if the structure was built before 1975,” Kaiser describes. “So a lot of those old beach bungalows that had a great ‘Beach Boys’ vibe are just gone. I’m glad this one is still around. SRQ

Sailfish Gulf Suites, 37188 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 941-251-7245,


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