Houzz Tour: Island Grove Estate

Visiting the Guyton family compound on central Florida’s Merritt Island is like taking a step back in time -- back to the early 20th century when the Florida citrus industry was booming and cracker style houses were the norm. In its heyday, the family property, located on the Intracoastal Waterway, included a 50-acre citrus grove with cottages for the workers. While the main home was sold in the 1970s, this historic property has remained in the family and become a utopian retreat for four generations.

A designer with clients in south Florida and the Bahamas, Suzanne Guyton and her husband Thomas would often visit the family homestead which was originally purchased by Thomas’s grandfather back in the 1930s. Several years ago, the couple finally decided to follow their hearts and moved from Miami back to Merritt Island into one of the 800-square-foot cottages.

“It was romantic and charming,” describes Suzanne, “but we had to add on when the kids came. We were bursting at the seams!” Thus began a renovation process of the old wood frame structure. Florida’s original architectural statement – the cracker style – is characterized by metal roofs, raised floors, high board-and-batten ceilings, plenty of windows to let in the breezes, and wraparound porches that protect the home from summer heat and seasonal rains.

“We definitely wanted to keep the architectural vernacular,” explains Suzanne noting that they salvaged a lot of the doors and architectural elements. Her relaxed sense of style carries through in her remodeled home which now features old Florida pine floors, board-and-batten walls, a tin roof, and exposed beams in the family room. Suzanne chose a palette of sea glass colors that work beautifully with the Florida sunshine. The home grew from its original tiny footprint to more than 2,500 square feet.

Suzanne chose barn style lighting for the home because it matched the time period so perfectly.

“Barn lights are exactly the look I love,” she says. “They belong here and have a timeless, utilitarian appeal. The galvanized details on the lights are a natural with the tin roof and all the exposed hinges.” After the renovation, Suzanne declared her favorite aspect to be that most people don’t know it was renovated.

“I like things that have a past and an interesting story to tell,” Suzanne notes. “Nothing should look like it’s trying too hard but simply be unassuming and beautiful. I love that this place is soulful and has such history. We have had four generations living on this property at one time or another so it’s definitely a family compound. It’s full of life, yet still pretty humble.”
Benjamin® 16" Sky Chief Porcelain Stem Mount Light
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Sam the yellow lab greets visitors under a beautiful jadite green porcelain barn light. This Benjamin™ stem-mounted light is perfect for outdoor locations thanks to the durability of its glass enamel coating.
“Turquoise possibility for our front door and bench” — marjbarlow
Benjamin® 16" Sky Chief Porcelain Stem Mount Light
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First used in farms and factories, porcelain warehouse shades offer a strength and durability matched by none other. This Benjamin™ Stem Mount Pendant, in lovely jadite green, can withstand the heat, humidity, and salt air of Florida with style.
“Flush mount” — tmscott
Goodrich™ Esso 10" Porcelain Gooseneck Light
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One expects a tropical retreat to feature blue and green hues so the splash of bold red on this wall is a pleasant surprise. This is the Goodrich Esso 10" Porcelain Gooseneck Light in red with a classic gooseneck arm.
“Color for light in back entry” — lrod825
Ivanhoe™ Sinclair Industrial Porcelain Pendant
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A true vintage classic from the 1930s, this Ivanhoe™ Sinclair Industrial Porcelain Pendant adds a bit of sunshine to the garden. This fixture is American made and hand spun exclusively for Barn Light Electric.
“ivanhoe...maybe in kitchen?” — Allison Sass
The Mig - Retro Steel Industrial Pendant
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Acetylene tank tops find new life as The Mig Retro Steel Industrial Pendant. This creamy jadite green version takes upcycling to new heights and would fit perfectly in any loft, farmhouse, or retro setting.
“outdoor/ 3 seasons room” — Alex Woods
Barn Light Atomic Cast Guard CGU Sconce
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An island setting wouldn’t be complete without this Atomic Cast Guard CGU Sconce. Rustic sconces like these offer a practical way to light up tight spaces and shed light by doorways without being obtrusive.
“Sconce” — bblr25
Magnolia Sconce
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With true Southern style and grace, this Magnolia Vintage Sconce exudes a timelessness that would light up any room. The nostalgic Edison light bulb is the perfect finishing touch for this early 20th century wall light.
“magnolia light...pretty” — Allison Sass
Island Grove Estate Kitchen
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This original 20th century kitchen has been renovated with modern touches, yet still retains its southern old world charm. Featuring modern colored concrete counter tops and new barn style lighting.
“Shelves next to window” — sahru
Island Grove Estate Kitchen
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This original 20th century kitchen has been renovated with modern touches, yet still retains its southern old world charm. Featuring modern colored concrete counter tops and new barn style lighting.
“Possible alternative counter top idea” — castlebeach
Island Grove Estate Outdoor Living Area
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Located along Florida's Indian River this outdoor living area is an oasis. The family often enjoys relaxing outside well into the evening.
“Use rubbed bronze features with white/aqua !! LOVE IT !!” — semperfi94
Island Grove Estate Outdoor Living Area
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Located along Florida's Indian River this outdoor living area is an oasis. The family often enjoys relaxing outside well into the evening.
“inside screen doors” — pineapple_girl
Island Grove Estate Outdoor Living Area
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Located along Florida's Indian River this outdoor living area is an oasis. The family often enjoys relaxing outside well into the evening.
“center table is lovely” — arpitharai
Island Grove Estate Outdoor Living Area
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Located along Florida's Indian River this outdoor living area is an oasis. The family often enjoys relaxing outside well into the evening.
“Door color” — jenzgrille
Island Grove Estate Outdoor Living Area
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Located along Florida's Indian River this outdoor living area is an oasis. The family often enjoys relaxing outside well into the evening.
“Colors. Pillows” — rubecofi
Island Grove Estate Outdoor Living Area - Barn Light Electric
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Located along Florida's Indian River this outdoor living area is an oasis. The family often enjoys relaxing outside well into the evening.
“door color” — jacobbearden
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