Housing six growing boys, two dogs and your mom requires a lot of business — and a great deal of space. Missy Gerardi faced this challenge when she took on a dated 1950s home with her husband, Phil, a general contractor. In 3 months — just in time for a new school year — they brought it down to its studs then back to existence by reconfiguring the layout to make an airy, open flow.
“The bones of the house were beautiful, but it had a new roof, air conditioning system, plumbing and windows, and an entirely new electrical overhaul,” Missy says. They removed partitions, replaced windows, set up plenty of built-ins and even added a place the few calls “Mom Central” to help keep things organized for the active family.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Missy and Phil Gerardi, her mom Geraldine Callaghan, six boys ages 3 to 16, and their cockapoos, Baci and Bella
Location: Tampa, Florida
Size: 4,800 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 41/2 bathrooms
Year built: 1958
That is intriguing: The home once belonged to notable Tampa business owner Howard Frankland.
The Gerardis tore down the bearing wall which stood between the kitchen and great room. A 700-pound beam which runs parallel to the kitchen pendant lights substituted the wall. It was pricey but necessary to accomplish an open, family-friendly space.
Sofa, coffee table: Blue Moon Trading Company
More about eliminating a load-bearing wall
The former great room became the dining space, full of light from fresh floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors.
Wooden drum pendant sunglasses: Blue Moon Trading Company
A 91/2-foot dining table from Blue Moon Trading Companyseats 10, and Missy had custom tiled seats made offering additional storage.
“With a large family requires teamwork and systems set up,” Missy says. “The kitchen is my ‘command central.’ ” Missy loves to interact with six kids when she is cooking.
Rug: Linear Hemp Rug, Restoration Hardware
The Gerardis worked with the local Home Depot design support team in their kitchen. “I knew everything I had and knew where it would go,” she states. She moved with open stainless shelving to keep things in opinion and help her stay organized. She chose a classic subway tile backsplash.
Kitchen island, sink and cabinets: The Home Depot; pendant light: Blue Moon Trading Company
Missy describes the distance off the kitchen as “Mom Central.” There is a double-door refrigerator on the left and an office space on the right side.
Missy runs all her family’s affairs. This is also the only room with computers, so it will help her keep an eye on her boys while they’re online.
Eames style swivel bar stools: Blue Moon Trading Company
An incredibly coordinated laundry room serves dual duty as a fall zone for Missy’s sons when they get home from college.
Each boy has a designated locker because of his backpack, jackets and anything else he needs to stow. The island inside the area serves as a place to fold and sort through clothes.
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This “play-by-play” wall across from the laundry and locker area aids the family keep significant forms, invitations and college schedules on track.
A dedicated homework room features built-in storage seats and a handcrafted table. Missy made silhouettes of each son to decorate the walls.
Frames: Ribba, Ikea; wall color: Silvermist, Sherwin-Williams
Each white drawer unit across from the homework table features labels of each of these boys’ names. Engineered hardwood floors replaced first terrazzo.
The attic, known as the household’s dorm, is where four of the six sons sleep. (The 16-year-old and 3-year-old possess their own rooms). This spacious floor includes four beds and two alcoves with beds indoors for when the occasional buddy spends the evening. The beds have casters for easy rearranging.
Floor paint colour: Gray Matters, Sherwin-Williams; wall paint colour: White Dove, Benjamin Moore
Table and seats: Fusion, Ikea
The couple’s bedroom was initially very dark. Missy painted the walls a soothing neutral and the ceiling a soft sky blue to make a relaxing escape.
Hand-tufted sackcloth upholstered headboard: Blue Moon Trading Company; wall colour: Cape Hatteras Sand, Benjamin Moore; trim colour: White Dove, Benjamin Moore; ceiling colour: Morning Sky Blue, Benjamin Moore
The custom main bedroom closet helps Missy keep her clothes, shoes and jewelry clutter-free and coordinated.
Missy worked closely with boutique owner and designer Katie Gagnon of The Blue Moon Trading Company and interior design Kim Liggett to decorate the house. Inspirational sayings fill this custom made scrabble mirror in the foyer.
The ranch-style exterior was once all red brick, marked with an overly grown landscape. The Gerardis painted the brick whitened and simplified some of the unruly front lawn with topiaries and various grasses.
The front doorway got a glowing turquoise update, while seasonal mums and straw pumpkins add autumn spirit.
When to paint your doorway gloomy
Cosmetic Dentistry: Grandin Road; doorway paint: Blue Spa, Benjamin Moore
“I wanted to live at a place that motivated me on the inside and out,” says Missy, pictured here with cockapoos Baci and Bella. “I’ve always wanted a home where my kids and I will feel a sense of calmness and joy when we walk into any area of our home.”
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