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Creative collaborations

The sky’s the limit for design features in Devonshire’s apartment homes

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April 11th, 2016
Devonshire resident Jim Lane with his custom designed bookcases

Devonshire resident Jim Lane with his custom designed bookcases

Tours of the clubhouse and model apartments at Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens, always include a stop at its Design Center. 

“We want visitors to see all the options available when they reserve a home at Devonshire,” says Custom Interiors Manager Gayle Hills. 

The options include standard offerings, upgrades, and customized possibilities. 

All new community members, whatever options they choose, will move into fresh, updated, and spacious apartment homes that reflect the latest trends in interior design. 

“The main living space will receive complimentary crown molding, and people will get a new kitchen and bath from the bottom up (if the apartment home has not already been upgraded),” says Hills. 

Devonshire provides stainless steel appliances and brushed lighting fixtures and faucets. Members can select from among standard options for floor tile patterns, granite counter colors, and paint colors. 

Upgrades are always available. “Nearly everyone requests at least one upgrade,” Hills says. The most popular is laminate or tile flooring in place of carpeting. Next comes a faux granite or mosaic kitchen backsplash.

Creating that custom look

With one exception, the sky is the limit in terms of customization: Hills won’t remove a load-bearing wall. But she’ll do her best to accomplish whatever else new community members want to do.

She can collaborate directly with the new residents on their projects, but she’s equally experienced working with their designers and architects. 

Hills’ roster of contractors and craftsmen excel in their efforts. 

Case in point: Hills installed a number of upgrades to Jim and Arlyne Lane’s Kensington apartment home for their move last summer. The Lanes upgraded their carpeting, added more storage in their closets, and requested crown molding in their master bedroom. 

Those changes were fairly typical ones. Then Jim lamented that he would have to leave his huge bookcase unit behind in Highland Beach because the unit was built in. 

Not a problem, Hills told him. 

She sent her expert cabinetmakers to the Lanes’ home. After taking photos and measurements, the duo designed a custom piece to fit perfectly in Jim’s den at Devonshire (the den had originally been the apartment’s second bedroom). 

The new unit includes shelving to hold everything Jim had displayed before and provides room for his sofa; in fact, it’s an exact fit. 

“We mimicked what he had,” says Hills. “I do that a lot.”

Sometimes, soon-to-be community members tell her they want their new apartment to reflect their current home. 

“I visit them in their house and look at their furniture, colors, molding, doors, and flooring,” she says. “Then I try to get those same items here at the Design Center, so that when they walk into their bedroom here, for example, they have the same flooring, same molding, and same door.”

She’ll even position their bed in the same way.

Hills says she likes to go the extra mile to ease the transition: “We want a community member’s perfect new home to also be comfortable and familiar.”

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