Since 1990, 5570 Gulf of Mexico Drive has been the home of the Longboat Observer. As the Observer Media Group grew, so did the staff. The Longboat Key office space was not big enough for everyone and a majority of the Observer reporters moved to the downtown office, on Main Street. However, the Longboat staff still resides on the first floor of the original office.
Last year, the former upstairs office was transformed into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment for Dex and Kate Honea. Interior Designer Sally Trout and contractor Rusty Chinnis provided insight into how to turn an office into an apartment, and helped to recreate the look of the upstairs space.
Knocking out and repainting walls, laying down new flooring, adding new tiling and finding just the right furniture to go into the new apartment was a six-month task that was finished up in July.
The Honeas, along with their two dogs, Rossi and Nicky, are enjoying their new home and love being out on the island with the rest of their family.
They even kept a few mementos from the old office, including a sign that once hung on the door to the office, because they wanted to keep the feel of the old office where Kate spent many of her days with her family over the years.
“At first it was strange, sleeping in what used to be my mom's office,” says Kate. “But it went through such a transformation that it doesn't have that office vibe anymore, but an open, lofty feel. The kitchen was most surprising — we thought we wouldn't have any space in what used to be the server room and, previous to that, the photo lab for developing pictures, but it turned out to be the best part of the change.”
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