The Elegant Key West Tree House is a one-of-a-kind monthly rental for any time of year stay. Discreetly built off the street to quietly overlook a historic tropical garden, this luxurious Key West boho vacation rental occupies the entire 2nd floor of a beautifully renovated 1930's building. The 1200 sqft 2nd floor condo is nestled amongst mature tropical trees on a quiet street in the exclusive Old Town Casa Marina neighborhood. With a wide wooden decked porch stretching across the front of the house, each room still has the original casement windows offering fabulous downward views of various garden scenes that change with the subtle seasonal changes of the tropics.
The owner's affection permeates the elegant, soft style of the apartment inside and out. It recaptures a "bohemian and chic" way of island living we knew when we were free in spirit, contemplating and passionately embracing the forces of the Caribbean, sailing back and forth between Key West and the Bahamas and returning to this apartment, to settle down and start thinking about our next travel adventures.
Entry to this property is through a pretty porticoed gate, down a path that winds gently through the garden and then up a private spiral wooden staircase to the rear corner of the building. As it is nestled in the trees on the 2nd floor, the entrance from the ground level is very private.
Interior Layout: With wide-open archways, high ceilings, and gleaming hardwood floors that flow from room to room, the home feels very spacious yet like a soothing cocoon. The first thing you notice upon entering is the Brazilian tiger wood flooring that runs the full length of the open concept “great room” that occupies about 2/3 of the apartment. Your gaze is then drawn to the high ceilings, wide archways and plaster walls painted in different art colors to define the different 'living zones' - the living room, the dining area and the large kitchen. An eclectic mix of furniture styles, art and treasures collected by the owner over the years blend effortlessly to create interesting and refreshing decor throughout the home.
The front door to the apartment leads straight into the living room where a Tommy Bahama sofa and a comfortable green velvet sofa and rattan armchair make it easy to settle down once inside. Antique side tables and one-of-a-kind lamps, a Queen Anne style pull-out coffee table and a dark walnut arched entertainment center complete the living room decor. Just behind the velvet sofa you enter the "zone" of the dining room.
A traditional Queen Anne style cherry wood dining set placed in the center of the wooden floor, a matching 'highboy dresser' to the side and a simple crystal chandelier clearly define the elegant dining area. To keep the space feeling relaxed, a casual checkered armchair sits in the corner, where you can comfortably lounge halfway between the living and dining areas. A beautiful period feature of the dining area is a set of original broken-front corner cupboards adorning the interior wall on either side of an archway, off the hallway leading to the two bedrooms and bathroom.
A second tall archway defines the next 'zone' in the great room, the fully equipped large 'U-shaped' kitchen. The kitchen has been redesigned and updated to carefully reflect the historic period of the home. On the exterior walls, the original solid wood cabinets, which reach up to the high ceiling, have been left in place but have been sanded and repainted in a yacht style. A spacious pantry was installed on the inner wall next to the two-door refrigerator. On the front exterior wall, a beautiful 'European style' bespoke laundry center has been custom built, complete with a Bosch washer/dryer and black granite worktop. A small kitchen island rests on casters in the center of the kitchen.
A single French door on the front wall leads from the kitchen to one of the finest features of this property - the wide covered front dining porch with a beautiful view of the front garden. The veranda is furnished with a teak dining table, chairs and a matching teak chaise longue, providing an ideal spot for breakfast, coffee or an evening glass of wine.
Back inside, in the center of the large room, through a wide archway, we find the hallway that leads to the bedrooms and the vintage-style bathroom, completely renovated. Looking down the hallway, the master bedroom is on the left, the office/guest room is on the right, and the bathroom is in the middle. The alluring master bedroom has a sense of romance and opulence with two gorgeous dark wood dressers and a high king-size four-poster bed set against soft yellow walls. A door connects directly from the bedroom to the bathroom; The bathroom is also accessible via a door from the hallway.
The elegant bathroom has been renovated by a master craftsman using standard American vintage style fixtures and handcrafted wood paneling painted bright white. The original bathtub, tucked under its own soaring arch, has been left in place but adorned with a chic faux marble tile, which is repeated on the bathroom floor and again in the freestanding shower. The separate shower cubicle is fitted with a custom made frameless glass door. Beautiful lighting fixtures, chosen for their vintage look, are fitted with dimmer switches to create the perfect bathing mood.
The spacious 2nd bedroom is furnished with versatility in mind. A desk and bookcase provide an ideal home office, while a queen-size bed and antique armoire provide an inviting bedroom. Incongruous design solutions are the owner's specialty, and the fun color theme for this room is "linen and blue jeans." Art painted walls really look like blue jeans and the linen headboard and lampshades create a sense of bohemian luxury. A suitcase imported from India and fabric chairs with French writing add further bohemian touches.
Garden: This condo is located on the south side of Old Town Key West, in a garden of mature tropical trees called "Molly Parker's Garden" originally planted by Mrs. Molly Parker in the late 1930's. She planted this private garden as a retreat to relax, fall in love, recreate and restore self-esteem by reconnecting with nature. While this property is just a slice of the original garden, it originally spanned an entire block and was "out in the country" on Key West. One of the island's largest mahogany trees still stands on this property. We've also found historical tourism brochures citing the garden as a tourist attraction during the Great Depression, in an attempt to boost the local economy. The houses on this property were built in the 1930's in keeping with the gardens and fresh water wells in the area.
Today, the grand historic property is filled with large white birds of paradise, a variety of palm trees, an abundance of straw palms, native hardwood trees, a starburst tree, giant mahogany trees, black bamboo, and a variety of tropical undergrowth plants. Like gardens, it changes with the tropical seasons. It features a meditation garden. It is professionally maintained. The tranquility of this historic setting helps wash away the demands and stresses of busy modern life.
When researching the origin of this garden, we were thrilled to find a 1939 Key West Citizen Newspaper report written about Ms. Parker and her garden. It was said then, and we still enjoy it today: "Visitors will find what the imagination envisions..." lush growth of tropical vegetation, fragrant flowers and slender palm trees cutting through the skyline, velvety butterflies lazing in the sunshine. (The Key West Citizen, December 27, 1939). There are still some local Key West "conchs" (residents) who remember Ms. Molly Parker from her childhood and refer to her as "Johnny Appleseed" of Key West, as she is credited with being most of the old grandfather -Mahogany trees planted and tropical fruit trees on the island.
Amenities: Wide seating porch overlooking the manicured tropical tree garden. Artistically personalized decor. Central air conditioning, cable flat screen TVs in living room and master bedroom, WiFi, C/D player - radio, fully equipped kitchen, linens and towels provided, washer/dryer.
Activities: Higg's Beach is just a short walk away where you can enjoy white sand, turquoise water and historic piers. Louie's Back Yard and Dog Beach are also nearby. Within 5 minute walk to White Street Pier, West Martello Fort, near the beach tennis courts, Key West's famous Salute Restaurant on Higgs Beach, Casa Marina Resort, Fausto's Fine Grocery Store, Sandy's Café walk-up restaurant and Cuban coffee, local art galleries , and weather station. You can walk or bike to most of the attractions in Old Town Key West.
Area: The Casa Marina neighborhood is a small upscale residential neighborhood that has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Old Town Key West. In the mid-20th century this area was considered the 'landside' of the island and today's result leaves a legacy of outstanding turn-of-the-century, mid-century and modern architecture with beautiful gardens and more garden space than is typical in other residential areas today found in Old Town Key West. Quiet residential area close to the Atlantic Ocean and the White Street gallery and shopping district.
Restrictions: Smoke-free house. Please no pets. We do not accept guests under the age of 25 unless accompanied by a family group or legal guardian.