You can find a lot of things on a golf course—random balls, perhaps a club or two, a variety of South Florida reptiles. If you’re lucky, you can find your dream home.
That is what happened to Shawn Smith-Myers nine years ago. Her father, Phil Smith, was golfing at Fort Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Country Club, which he had purchased in 2005, when he noticed the house for sale on the course and called Shawn.
“We were the first people to see it. We made an offer and got it,” she says. Shawn and her husband, Charlie, had been living west of the course on a dry lot and were looking to relocate. “We were mainly looking (for something) on the water and this popped up, and I am so happy.”
For the past five years, the couple has been remodeling the 4,500-square-foot home with DawnElise Hamilton, president and principal designer of Oakland Park-based DawnElise Interiors International. Hamilton has worked with the Smith family on home projects for several years. The result is a casual, fun, and livable space, perfect for Shawn, Charlie, their daughter Cali, 11, and their dogs Piper and Woody. Shawn also has a son, John, 24, and a daughter, Kaelin, 20.
Using a neutral palette and natural materials with pops of blues and greens, they achieved an open environment that brings the outdoors in. The house is coastal without being overly beachy. All of the furniture is comfortable, yet durable enough to stand up to kids, dogs, family, and friends.
“The woven texture of the window shades, the rough texture of the floor, and the more natural blues and greens I wanted to work into the space, so that the golf course view kind of became part of the house and the house became part of the golf course view,”
One room where the golf course view blends in is the master bedroom. “It’s architecturally just filled with light,” says Dawn. “Two walls are floor-to-ceiling glass and [with] these older ranches in Coral Ridge, you don’t get that.” Sheer green floral drapes flutter behind blue leather chairs, creating a cozy seating area by the windows.
Color is introduced throughout the house with accent walls in shades of blue and green, throw pillows, area rugs, and art. An original abstract piece over the fireplace was created by local artist Jennifer Haley, who coincidentally graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School with Shawn. “She came and looked at my house and made [the painting] specifically for the colors in the house,” says Shawn.
The layout of the main area of the house was opened up, so living spaces blend together. That required a bit of construction, with a steel beam installed in the ceiling in order to remove two columns that were in the dining area, so it could be opened up into the living room. The bar area is open to the formal dining room, and is a popular place for adults to hang out, with a seating area that overlooks the pool and golf course.
“We’re not that formal, so it’s just a good space for entertaining,” says Shawn. “There are areas where the kids can go, and the living room/bar area where the adults can hang out. The kids can be in the TV room, or back in my daughter’s room, or outside. There are just so many different areas, so you’re not on top of one another.”
Cali’s room has an adjacent TV room accented with a beautiful wave mural, and is the one room that breaks away from the neutral palette of the rest of the house. The walls are a pale dove gray, but the accent wall in the bedroom is covered in an oversized black-and-white, leafy wallpaper, while the curtains, rug, and bedding are bold shades of green and turquoise. Fun “tween” touches in the suite include a round, suspended chair in the TV room and a furry bench at the foot of the bed.
“Thankfully, Dawn had redone my daughter’s room pre-COVID, and there was a good workspace in there for her,” says Shawn. “We didn’t have to scramble and find a desk or find a place to do her work.” The workspace is highlighted with mini chandeliers and a
sequined backing on Cali’s chair.
Shawn’s favorite space is the kitchen, which was the first room they remodeled along with the family room. “I love the look of the kitchen,” she says. “I like to cook, and with the seating around the island, people can be sitting there while I am cooking and it’s open into the family room, so you can talk to everyone.”
During COVID, Shawn has been cooking more than usual. “I have watched a lot of cooking blogs and have tried to recreate a healthier version of some of our favorite meals.”
While the family doesn’t really go many places right now, Shawn is involved with the family’s business, the Phil Smith Automotive Group, where Charlie is a senior partner. Shawn also is on the board of the Phil & Susan Smith Family Foundation with her mother, Susan, and assists in fundraising for her daughter’s school and the Humane Society of Broward County. She has chaired the annual Angel PAWS luncheon with Susan for nine years. “Our family has been involved with the Humane Society for as long as I can remember,” says Shawn, “and we have also adopted several of our pets from there.”
Plans for the 2021 Angel PAWS event are still being finalized, and the show will, in a way, go on. “We obviously won’t be able to do the luncheon like we do every year,” she says. Plans include an online auction of gently used handbags, along with a possible virtual fashion show. “It’s not going to be the same, so we’re not going to even try to make it the same.”
While the whole world is not the same for now, family remains the constant for Shawn. “It has been nice because we are able to spend more time with the kids,” she says. “We try to go for night time bike rides, or boating a little more as a family.”
Also a constant: home renovations. “We have the master bath left, and then I think we’re done,” Shawn says, laughing. “I’ll never be done, especially according to my husband.”