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What’s Up With Downsizing? Chapter 3: Design Time!

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Lake Mary Life publisher, Sheila Kramer, shares chapter 3 of her ongoing adventure – downsizing and moving to Lake Mary's Griffin Park. Her latest challenge? Designing her new home!

This is part three of our moving adventure – from our suburban family home to a smaller, more urban community in the heart of the new Midtown Lake Mary. Once some big decisions were made – like WHY to move and WHERE to move – we're now on to WHAT this is all going to look like.

We chose a community that’s just a few hundred feet from the Lake Mary Life Publishing office on Lake Mary Boulevard. I imagine that building from the ground up is exciting for some people. For me, it seemed daunting.


Thankfully, David Weekley’s Griffin Park specialists hold your hand through every step of the process. Kim at the sales center was available to answer every question we had. I can’t even tell you how many times we went through the models, sometimes wearing hardhats, just so that we could see a floor or a cabinet style. She got to know us so well that when the time came to make our final decision, she knew which plan we would select before we told her.

To be honest, I dreaded going to the design center. While I certainly love nice things, I don’t always know what it is I will like. I enlisted the help of the magazine's art director, Heather Loomis, who agreed to join me and my daughter Samantha, who often knows me better than I know myself. When we arrived at the Altamonte Springs design center and I saw the thousands of options available, frankly, I was overwhelmed. We had been assigned to lead designer Alex, who guided us through every step. She suggested that we start with flooring. I found a wood style tile that I loved. From there we had to choose countertops, cabinets, hardware, paint, bathroom tile, and so many more choices I can’t even list them all.


Alex provided the perfect balance to three women with different tastes trying to make sense out of all of the options. She listened to what we liked, agreed or disagreed, considered our budget, and made suggestions that made the entire experience as easy as it could be. At the end of two and a half hours even Alex was amazed at how much we had accomplished. And this wasn’t the end. We had multiple opportunities to make changes. I did have to clue in my husband Michael on what we had selected. Alex took all the time we needed – pouring over the list, making suggestions, and scurrying all around the design center to show us examples, all in consideration of building a beautiful home within our budget.

Buyers who signed a contract to purchase a home by March 31 received a 25% discount on everything at the design center. This allowed me to go a little beyond what we had planned and select the great items pictured here. With the discount, we came pretty close to our budget. I said close, not exactly on budget, but now, instead of worrying about all the choices I have to make, I can sit back and happily envision living in my beautiful new Griffin Park home, and once we’re there, I’ll enjoy every single detail.

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