This Louisville home serves up beachy vibes with seaside decor just in time for summer
Lennie Omalza Special to Courier Journal
Three years ago, John and Alison Cardoza were living in Jeffersontown when they decided they needed a change.
“We wanted to be able to have a place (where) we can actually be part of a community,” John said, explaining why their current Polo Fields Golf & Country Club home seemed like a great fit.
“We love that there’s a pool a couple of doors down, and a clubhouse,” Alison added. “We wanted a sense of community for (our daughter, Alexa), where kids are riding their bikes through the neighborhood, and we feel safe and comfortable.”
Fortunately, the Cardozas didn’t have to make any structural changes to their move-in ready home. Aside from redoing the landscaping, painting a few walls and moving one built-in shelving unit from one side of the room to another, all the new abode needed was a little love.
“(The former homeowner) was very artistic,” Alison explained. “I liked her style, but it just needed some TLC, so we just kind of came in and cleaned it up.”
They liked many of the home’s existing features, such as the various types of flooring from room to room, the assorted light fixtures throughout, the stained-glass windows and the coffered ceilings in the living room.
Alison and John considered purchasing a different home in the community, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for them.
“I’m glad we didn’t (buy that house),” Alison said, “because this ranch style just really attracted our family. (Everything is) all on one floor, which is nice.”
The front door opens to a large, coastal-themed living room, which is outfitted with beachy décor and photos from their travels to Florida, Belize and other seaside destinations.
“We brought our love of beach-life vacations back with us into our home,” Alison said. “We escape from a long day at work, back home in our coastal oasis.”
In addition to the photos, her favorite items in the living room include a blue and white mosaic whale tail sculpture and white ceramic alligator bookends. The built-in shelves these pieces rest on still have more space for the family’s future trips.
“The more we travel, the more we will collect,” Alison exclaimed.
The Cardozas also gave the space a whole new color scheme: calming blues and pale whites to give off a seaside vibe.
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“When we first moved in here,” Alison said, “we were attracted to the slate floors and fireplace, and we kind of have stuck with blues and coastal themes ‘cause it reminds us of all our vacations that we’ve been on.”
The coastal feel continues in the master bathroom, with mermaid and shell decorations sprinkled throughout. Alexa’s room, however, has a look all its own. The eighth-grade student opted for a pineapple-themed space, with a pink accent wall and hints of gold.
Downstairs, her play/movie room boasts pink furniture, giant teddy bears and posters from a few of her favorite films.
“She likes scary movies,” Alison said, adding that though the posters may change with time, the unique painted art — Alexa’s friends’ handprints and names — are a special memory that’s there to stay. “She doesn’t want anybody painting over those, ‘cause those mean a lot to her.”
Also downstairs is the family’s sunroom. Though adorned with brighter, bolder colors, the space still has a beachy feel, with sunset art and ocean-themed accent pillows.
“We tried to keep with the coastal theme. It resembles a river-house feel with the lights,” Alison explained. “During quarantine, my daughter and I just laid out here in the hammock.”
The Cardoza’s new dwelling proved to be especially beneficial over the last few months, with all three of them spending so much time at home. Their last house was roughly 1,200 square feet, so with 4,600 square feet now, they’ve more than doubled their living space.
Alison admits that initially, they weren’t sure they would use all of the space, but, she said, “We ended up using every single room.” She and John have recently been talking about remodeling some of those rooms and expanding the coastal theme throughout.
“We have a lot we still want to do,” she said. “We’re getting there, but we’re happy with what we have so far.”
nuts & bolts
Owners: John and Alison Cardoza. John is the director of pre-construction at East and Westbrook Construction. Alison is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor at Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center.
Home: This is a 5-bed, 3-bath, 4,600-square-foot, ranch-style home that was built in 1994 in the Polo Fields Golf & Country Club.
Distinctive elements: Blue-and-white mosaic whale tail, alligator bookends, and whitecoral on built-in shelves; dentil crown molding throughout the entire home; coffered box ceiling and slate floor in the family room; wine-barrel style tile flooring in the kitchen; large telescope and “Atlas Shrugged” oxidized metal picture in master bedroom; mermaids in the bathroom; family vacation photos throughout; hammock in sunroom; in-home gym; U of L helmet and footballs from John’s football years; handprints of Alexa’s friends, as well as movie posters and cartoon artwork in downstairs movie room; botanical wreath on the front door; fairy garden in the backyard; brightly colored reptile figures on rocks and walls.
Applause! Applause! The Cardozas would like to thank their family, who helped transform their house into a home.