Best Seat in the House: 5 Enviable Spaces

April 22, 2016 | South Tampa Magazine | Categories: Editorial, Featured, Home | Tags: Baltic Studios, Chancey Interior Design, Great Spaces, Home and Garden, Jason Hulfish, Katie DeLaCruz Fine Art, Michelle Miller Design, Onicx Construction, south tampa, Tweak Your Space

A bright chair and ottoman provide a pop of color and comfortable place to lounge in this hip living room designed by local interior designer Debbie Clifton-Perez of Tweak Your Space. She says the owners of this Virginia Park home like the retro look and clean lines of mid-century modern design.


Nostalgic Design, Comfortable Space
Mid-century modern design is very popular thanks to its clean, sophisticated lines combined with graphic patterns and quirky accents. Many homeowners are turning to this nostalgic design while adding modern touches to make it their own.

“I like to design spaces that speak to the people who live there,” says Debbie Clifton-Perez, the designer behind Tweak Your Space. “The homeowners of this house were completely renovating. While we were walking around their house, they pointed out a painting to me and said that it was their favorite.”

The painting was hidden at the end of a long hallway so Clifton-Perez moved it to a more prominent, visible location in the living room and incorporated an orange color in the painting into her design. Because the homeowners also wanted the home to have an organic, natural feel, Clifton-Perez pulled the other room colors from nature. The grey color of the European oak wall is similar to the bark on the trees outside and the aqua teal accent color reflects the color of the pool. Having a comfortable place to hang out may be one of the most important aspects of a living room, and here the sectional sofa helps to delineate the open space and provides plenty of comfortable seating for family and friends. Both the arched lamp and the mid-century modern floor lamp can be adjusted to provide ambient light for an evening entertaining friends or brighter, close-up light for an evening of reading.

Interior Design: Tweak Your Space,
Find It: Katie DeLaCruz Fine Art,



Modern Kitchen For Entertaining
This modern, gourmet kitchen provides plenty of space for guests to gather while the home cook is whipping up a gourmet dinner or delectable appetizers.

“The homeowners have a large, extended family who they love to cook for,” says Ralph Mills, creative director of Artisan Design. “They wanted a modern design that was also very functional. Additionally, it was important to them that we were able to fit their 48-inch gas cooktop into the kitchen and that there was room for people to gather.”

The large island and countertop area with seating provides just that. All of the high-grade materials used in the kitchen were chosen for their durability and color compatibility. European laminate was used for the cabinets because it comes in a wide variety of colors, making it easy to find just the right shade of white for this beautiful kitchen. The quartz countertops and slate quarry stone backsplash pull everything together and create a serene space where dinner guests love to hang out. Even the lighting was chosen for its ability to enrich the space. Mills selected luminescent LED lighting that enhances the qualities of the stone and textures in the kitchen and included top and bottom lighting on the cabinets to help illuminate dark countertop corners.

Interior Design: Artisan Design,
Find It: All Interiors Furnishing,


Dining With A View
“This condominium was a blank slate,” said Aaron Fisher, Onicx Senior Project Manager. “There were only walls, windows, and concrete floors. We developed everything from the bedroom loft to the kitchen.”

A love of entertaining and a gorgeous view inspired the design of the dining room.

“Our client loves to entertain and have intimate dinner parties,” said Michelle Miller, principal designer for Michelle Miller Design. “We set out to create a very comfortable, intimate space with lots of built-in storage and unique, custom-designed furnishings.”

To create a truly unforgettable space, many of the essential items in the dining room like the chandelier and dining room table are custom works of art. The chandelier is made of over 1,000 individual brushed nickel and chrome chains of all different lengths. Together they create an exquisitely elegant piece that compliments the space and provides lovely ambient lighting. The dining room table is also a one-of-kind design, made from a solid piece of wood. One of the main focal points of the room is the custom inlayed tile design above the built-in serving hutch. This original piece of artwork highlights the colors of panoramic views of the sea and sky from the condo’s 30-foot windows. Long, billowy drapery panels frame the exquisite outdoor scenes and draw the view into the condominium, ensuring that dinner guests will enjoy their beautiful surroundings as much as they enjoy their fabulous food and stimulating conversations.

Builder: Onicx Construction,
Interior Design: Michelle Miller Design,
Find It: Michelle Miller Design,


Custom Built
If you want a truly custom built design in your home, you want to find a builder who specializes in a design-build approach, like Onicx Construction.

“We work on a project from the very beginning,” said Neal Patel, project manager with Onicx Construction. “With the design-build approach, you are in meetings with the designers, clients and architects throughout the planning process. It helps that we are involved early on because we know the client’s goals and can give input on cost and scheduling as well as offer suggestions for materials and products that they might not be familiar with. We are able to help them think through all of their options and ensure that the project goes smoothly.”

The custom built-ins in this Harbour Island condominium are beautiful and functional. Not only do they provide an elegant home for the family’s entertainment system, but there is also plenty of room for a wet bar and wine rack. Since the wood was stained on-site, they were able to bring everything together by pulling dark tones from the customized Denmark black wood floors.

“Because everything was custom made for this project, it all has its own space but flows together,” Patel said.

Interior Design: Chancey Interior Design,
Builder: Onicx Construction,
Find It: Baltic Studios,


Playtime Under the Sea
You’ll get no complaints when you send your child to their room if artist Jason Hulfish designs it. Hulfish, an artist whose work has been on Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters” and Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue,” says that while he has been an artist for many years he has been focusing on custom spaces for children for both commercial and private clients for the past ten.

“Whenever I start a project, I talk to the clients about their needs and any theme they want to incorporate,” Hulfish said. “The families are involved throughout the whole process. My clients for this project wanted a playroom for their three-year-old daughter that was totally unique, something no one else had.”

This one-of-a-kind aquatic dream features plenty of fun spaces and places for children to explore. A cozy coral nook is an ideal hideout for reading about the latest adventures of “The Little Mermaid.” Comfy jellyfish chairs provide seating and blue coral storage trunks hide bounties of treasure. Hulfish used three layers of paint including a clear coat of phosphorescent paint so that the walls and coral glow even when the lights are out. This impressive reef room is created from a combination of wood framing and hand sculpted Styrofoam.

“It is great to have clients who are willing to take risks and who want something different and fun,” he said. “Playrooms are really fun to create. I enjoy the whole process.”

Designer & Artist: Jason Hulfish,,
Find It: Createx Colors,