When you live in one of the most iconic buildings in St. Augustine complete with an incredible view, walkability and amazing renovation, we’d venture to say there is no reason these two will ever have to go on vacation again.
Bill Anderson and Jerry Peters are long time residents of downtown St. Augustine. Before moving into the space you see here, they lovingly renovated a 1920’s bungalow on Valencia Street. When they stumbled upon an available one bedroom condo in the historic Lyons Building, they jumped at the opportunity to go from a big bungalow to a quaint condo with a simpler way of life. And they achieved the transition in the most stylish way possible. The couple describes their style as eclectic, tailored, and urban chic and they love the diversity of the neighborhood, the proximity to the water, arts, food and cultural activities that downtown living delivers. We visited Bill and Jerry for a tour in April to find out how they’ve made this historic hotel feel like home.
How do you want your home to feel when you enter?
Comfortable, relaxing, welcoming. We like warm, comfortable colors and textures to soothe our eyes, heart and soul. With our window seats and ottoman, we’re able to throw our feet up and chill out, and we want our guests to do the same. A home should hug you when you enter, and this one does.
Why the Lyons Building?
What could be cooler than owning an apartment in an old hotel? The Lyons Building was part of the original Casa Monica Hotel in 1888. The rooftop view is spectacular – we see The Lighthouse, The Bridge of Lions, the inlet, the rooftops of downtown, We’ve lived downtown in different homes for years and we’re intrigued with all the fine aspects of downtown living. In the Lyons building, one minute we could be snug as a bug in a rug up in our condo overlooking the Plaza, and the next minute we could be totally immersed in the busy downtown hustle and bustle. We don’t have to discuss going downtown; we just walk out the door. We love that.
What roll did Debi Hanks of d. hanks design, Inc. play in the renovation of your condo?
We’ve known Debi for years and we’re big fans of her work. We felt that Debi could interpret our desires for a tasteful and comfortable interior. We felt like a Moorish/Spanish design would be fitting for this building. Debi was able to find furniture, fabrics and accessories that brought this look together that we could never have done without her.
What do you love about living downtown?
We love the diversity of the neighborhood, the proximity to the water, arts, food and other cultural activities. Our favorite restaurants are just minutes away, using our legs. Through our neighborhood association, we’ve developed lasting friendships with interesting, fun people. We all have a common interest in history and preservation.
Where did you live before your current space?
We moved here from a 1920’s Bungalow on Valencia St., just a few blocks from where we live now, which we lovingly renovated. Previously Bill has been involved in several home renovations downtown, which is a passion of his. So, downtown St. Augustine is where we’ve been for a long time, and this home is where we expect to stay until the end of our days.
Was it hard to transition from a home to a condo?
Surprisingly, no; we knew we were moving to a very special place. We opened up our 10 room house and sold virtually everything we owned, antiques, china, furniture and things we’ve collected all our lives. It was very cathartic and free feeling to have less “things” and we’ve never regretting or missed losing any of it. Initially, we were concerned about living in less space, but our open concept design solved that problem. We changed the very small kitchen into an office space, and where the dining room was, we put in a big, beautiful, open kitchen looking into the living room and view beyond. We are both very considerate and respectful of each others’ space, so it works without much effort.
Are there any items in your home with special meaning?
There is an antique, cranberry light fixture that Bill has moved to each of his last four homes. He left it hanging in one home after selling it, and when he didn’t notice it years later when he visited the current owners of that home, he asked them what happened to it. They said they replaced it, but still had it stored in a closet, and asked if he wanted it. He said yes, of course, so they were reunited, and will never part again.
Editor’s Note: Bill made the quiche pictured here from scratch for our visit. It was delicious! Here is the recipe for the Pissaladiere Quiche, Serves 4 to 6.
- Pastry Dough for one 9-inch pie
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1/4 teaspon salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (1 tablespoon dried)
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon unbleached white flour
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
- 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
- 1/3 cup sliced, pitted black olives
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
Roll out the pastry dough and line a 9-inch pie pan with it. Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until tender and lightly golden. Add the basil and salt. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly mix the eggs, milk, mustard, and flour and set aside. Combine the two cheeses. Sprinkle half of the cheese into the pie shell. Spread the sautéed onions over the cheese. Scatter on the sliced olives. Pour the egg milk mixture into the pie. Cover with the remaining cheese and arrange the tomato slices attractively on top. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until the custard is set.
Where’d They Get That?
Contractor: Elaine D’Arnold
Kitchen Cabinets: Smith Products, Palatka
Kitchen Countertops, Window ledges: Set In Stone
Travertine floor, Kitchen backsplash, Half bath tile: Atlantic Stone and Tile
Travertine Installation: Ancient City Stone
Interior Designer: Debi Hanks, D. Hanks Design
Master Bedroom Suite: Pottery Barn
Living Room Furniture: dhd Home