Homeowners opt for retro renovation

home renovation front
Mother and daughter team Mary Anne and Gillian Muniz are working together to restore their new Holmes Beach home to its 1963 original state with a few modern upgrades. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – In a time when many homeowners are rebuilding or giving a modern renovation to their homes, one family is turning back the clock on their Island home all the way to 1963.

Sean and Mary Anne Muniz purchased their Island home on 73rd Street in Holmes Beach in January 2018, a place they’ve dubbed Beach Haven. When they purchased the home, it featured a more modern kitchen, tile floors and a few hints as to its mid-century original grandeur.

Rather than tearing down the home and rebuilding or renovating to provide more modern amenities, the Muniz family decided to go another route. They’re remodeling the home and restoring it back to the year it was built, 1963, with the mother/daughter team of Mary Anne and Gillian Muniz leading the charge.

All of the furniture in the home is authentic to the 1960’s, including these reproduction chairs and the vases adorning the wall. – Kristin Swain | Sun

Mary Anne and Gillian are choosing everything for the house from paint colors, to specially made period-specific tiles for the kitchen, furniture and accessories to reflect the original period of the home. Only a few concessions have been made to provide modern conveniences including putting a new roof on the home, internet and cable services, placing a television on a 1960’s reproduction room divider, and replacing the kitchen appliances with modern antique reproductions. One of the more amusing aspects of the renovation, Mary Anne said, is watching her children, Robbie and Gillian, react to some of the antique pieces, such as a rotary phone.

“I wish I would’ve recorded that because it was pretty funny,” she recalled of the incident, explaining to her children how the phone works.

Currently, work is underway to remove the ceramic tile from the home, uncovering and refinishing the original terrazzo flooring. Once the flooring is complete, kitchen renovations will begin.

home reno calendar
A wall calendar from 1963 is just one of the many unique and period-specific touches in the Muniz home. – Mary Anne Muniz | Submitted

All of the lighting, accessories and decorative touches for the home have been carefully tracked down and lovingly selected by Mary Anne and Gillian from vintage shops and authentic reproduction companies.

While most of the furniture in the home is reproduction pieces, great care and a lot of research was done by the two women to make sure that it’s authentic to the time period before it earned its place in the home. Much of the furniture they’ve selected is made by Heywood Wakefield, a company specializing in mid-century modern furniture that has been in business since 1897.

Upon entering the home, the first thing that visitors will notice is the vintage cinderblock wall shading the porch with cutouts to allow a breeze through. The porch is decorated with a vintage reproduction seat grouping. Entering through the front door, there is a dining room with a vintage 1963 wall calendar decorating one wall and the kitchen waiting to be restored on one side. On the other are the living area with three bedrooms and two bathrooms off to the side.

home reno vases
Four square style glass vases from the 1960’s adorn a wall in the home’s living area. – Kristin Swain | Sun

Gillian, however, makes her home in the attached pool house area featuring its own bathroom and separate entrance. From the living area, large windows and sliding glass doors give a lovely view of the outdoor patio area and fully restored pool.

Restoration work isn’t the only retro thing the family is planning to do with the property. While the Muniz’s plan to one day make the Island their full-time home, once renovations are complete they plan to periodically rent the home through Anna Maria Vacations to help make their dream a reality, a practice common prior to the economic hardships suffered in the mid-2000s. The family currently makes their full-time home in Minnesota.

You can follow the home’s journey back to 1963 on their Beach Haven social media page.