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TROPICAL LIVING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS - SPRING 2018

IN

Outside BRING NATURE INSIDE

Saw mill OPERATION GRASSY KEY

Scrub-a-dub-dub ALTERNATE USES FOR SALT SCRUB


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Contents 6 10 12 16 18 22 24

BRING NATURE INSIDE Five ideas for incorporating the outside on the inside OUTSTANDING ORCHIDS Expert talks about the top 10 choices for the Florida Keys SCRUB-A-DUB-DUB Alternate uses for salt scrub beyond hand softening SAWMILL OPERATION Grassy Key enterprise breathes new life into storm-felled trees TERMITE TALK The battle begins with choosing the right building materials BRYK’S DESIGNS Local artist excels in several mediums from furniture to photos COLOR OR THE YEAR It’s blue-meets-green “Oceanside” — perfect for Keys decorating

ABOUT THIS ISSUE Publisher Jason Koler jason@keysweekly.com Managing Partner Britt Myers britt@keysweekly.com Editor Sara Matthis sara@keysweekly.com Account Executives Lesley Aaron lesley@keysweekly.com Nola Acker nola@keysweekly.com Stephanie Mitchell stephanie@keysweekly.com Hollie Will hollie@keysweekly.com Staff Writers Katie Atkins katie@keysweekly.com Hays Blinckmann hays@keysweekly.com Kristen Livengood kristen@keysweekly.com Gabriel Sanchez gabriel@keysweekly.com

Interested in Solar? Finance with FKEC!

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative is committed to making access to solar power generation possible for interested members. To help make purchasing a solar photovoltaic system and/or grid-tied battery storage system easier, FKEC offers a loan program to qualified members. Obtain a solar loan from FKEC and make convenient payments through your monthly electric bill.

What are the terms of the loan? FKEC offers competitively priced, simple interest rate

loans, less any available qualified rebates, up to $20,000 for the purchase and installation of a grid-tied Distributed Energy Resource (DER) system, including distributed renewable solar photovoltaic and grid-tied battery storage systems installed by a qualified solar installer.

How do I qualify? Qualifying for the loan is based solely on your credit history with FKEC. Residential members must have a minimum 12-month clean billing history with FKEC and commercial members must have 24 months.

How do I start the application process? Start by calling FKEC member service at 305-852-2431 to see if you are eligible. Also, review the seven steps to obtaining a solar loan and/ or access information at www.FKEC.com

Production Manager Anneke Patterson anneke@keysweekly.com

305.852.2431 • www.FKEC.com

Art/Design Travis Cready travis@keysweekly.com Irene DeBruijn irene@keysweekly.com Javier Reyes javier@keysweekly.com

An important message from the Florida Keys Contractors Association

Office Manager Char Hruska char@keysweekly.com

Monroe County requires all contractors to hold a Certificate of Competency (aka Contractor's License), Worker's Comp and General Liability insurance.

Protect Yourself, Your Home Published MMXVIII The Weekly Newspapers 9709 Overseas Hwy. Marathon, FL. 33050 P. 305-743-0844 F. 305-743-0866

ON THE COVER: This Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty property features three lanais, including this one. The home is located across the street from Florida Bay. It meets the Keys criteria of comfortable and casual without sacrificing one iota of style. CONTRIBUTED

Key West office 5450 MacDonald Ave. No. 5 Key West, FL. 33040 P. 305-453-6928 F. 305-743-0866 Tavernier office 91760 Overseas Hwy. Tavernier, FL 33070 P.305-363-2957 F.305-743-0866

Ask your contractor • Do you have a Monroe County License? • Do you have general liability and workman's comp insurance? • Are you familiar with Monroe County Building Regulations? • Will you pull a permit if my work requires it? • Have you done this type of work before? • Are you self performing the entire project? • Will you supply releases of liens for your subcontractors & suppliers?

Work that requires a licensed and insured contractor Aluminum • Landscaping • Masonry • Roofing • Shutters • Windows & Doors • Seawalls & Docks and more...please call for more information. Florida Keys Contractors Association

Florida Keys Contractors Association (305) 743-5984 floridakeyscontractorsassociation.com

www.keysweekly.com

Spring 2018 | keysweekly.com

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Outside BY KATIE ATKINS

IN

PRESSED PLANTS Dried flowers between plate glass has never looked so refreshing and in style, especially with the tropical hues seen in Florida Keys homes as a backdrop. Better yet, place a few on a windowsill and let the sun shine through. From hibiscus leaves to palm fronds, anything goes. And it’s a simple project to do with little ones.

POTTED PALM A palm frond in a vase looks minimal and clean, especially on a desk or in place of a dry potted plant. Maximize the look with a handful of palms propped up in an empty corner to fill space. With a variety of palm tree species to choose from in the Keys, this couldn’t be easier.

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NAUTICAL NAVIGATION A framed nautical map makes any homeowner look like the master of navigation, especially when it’s a snapshot of local waters hung in the living room, bedroom or foyer. (We’ve also seen the maps show up on drink coasters and even customized jig saw puzzles.)

ZEN GARDEN Whether you believe in the power of healing crystals or not, they make a Zen garden sparkle. Gems and crystals are supposed to help induce relaxation and bring positive energy, and websites promoting crystal healing allege that the history of this practice is ancient. Create a miniature Zen garden with sand and stones, and even add shells or found sea sponges. Moving them around in the sand is supposed to create a calming effect.

WOOD YOU LOOK AT THAT Smoky ceramic floor tile that looks like hardwood has been showing up all over the place. It has the durability to last in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms, is easy to clean and has a wood-like texture. It’s pleasing to the eye and gives the feel of walking on a well-worn dock.

Spring 2018 | keysweekly.com

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wild The

HUNT

TRACKING THE KEYS’ 10 NATIVE SPECIES OF ORCHID

ROGER HAMMER/ Contributed

10

Wormvine orchid (Vanilla barbellata)

Southern ladie’s-tresses (Spiranthes torta)

Jug orchid (Platythelys querceticola)

Pine-pink (Bletia purpurea)

Michaux’s orchid (Habenaria quinqueseta)

Carter’s orchid (Basiphyllaea corallicola)

Dollar orchid (Prosthechea boothiana)

Butterfly orchid (Encyclia tampensis)

| Home & Garden

Orchids are one the largest plant families on Earth with more than 28,000 different species, and the Florida Keys specifically is home to 10 native species of the orchidaceae family. Keys orchids flower in the mangroves, hardwood forest, and pine land. State and federal parks also house some species of native plants. Of the 10 native species, five are considered terrestrial and five are epiphytes, or grow on other plants but are not parasitic. Before searching for wild orchids a lot of research is necessary. Orchids have a distinct flowering season, says professional naturalist and survivalist, Roger Hammer. Knowing when and in which habitat orchids flower is something enthusiasts should familiarize themselves with.

Cowhorn orchid (Cyrtopodium punctatum)

Yellowspike orchid (Polystachya concreta)

BY GABRIEL SANCHEZ

Florida has more types of native species of orchids, 102, than any other state. That’s not including three natural hybrids. The total used to be higher, but seven types have disappeared says Hammer. “For example, the ‘spider’ orchid was killed by the deep freeze of 1977, when it snowed in Miami. At that time it was only found in one hammock in Everglades National Park.” Hammer’s vast experience with wildflowers came

from his time working in the Miami-Dade County Parks Department. For 33 years Hammer served as the manager of the 120 acre Castellow Hammock Nature Center. The preserve consists of mature tropical hardwood forests and is a favorite spot for birders, botanists, and butterfly watchers. Since the 1970s Hammer has emerged as one of the most prominent authorities on Florida’s wildflowers and has authored four books on the topic. In Florida, orchids are protected in a number of different ways from being unlawfully harvested, destroyed, and commercially exploited. Some species are on the endangered or threatened species list. Enthusiasts would be wise to research all pertinent laws before ever searching out a native wildflower. The sunshine state has somewhat a ‘monopoly’ on orchids, and protecting them is vital to ensuring their existence. South Florida’s tropical climate is considered to be the northern extreme of the range the many orchids grow naturally, says Hammer. Its proximity to surrounding Caribbean islands also allows for storm systems and hurricanes to transport the seeds of other tropical species of wildflower into south Florida. Some species of orchids have also come from as far as Africa.


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5 We have all seen it

in the bathrooms of restaurants up and

down the Keys. The dish of white salt with a little wooden spoon in it in, key lime or coconut scented, that makes hands so soft. In addition to its antibacterial, all

BY KRISTEN LIVENGOOD

uses for Salt Scrub 1. JEWELRY CLEANER — The oils in the scrub can clean up dingy jewelry helping remove grime from the crevasses of rings and brighten gold. A major perk to scrubbing your hands when you come across it at local restaurants. 2. FISH SMELL — Been fishing all day and can’t seem to lose the bait smell on your hands no matter what you do, all hail the salt scrubs. The lime used in most of the scrubs in the Keys helps remove even the longest day out on the boat’s smell. 3. GROUT CLEANER — Who knew the same salt scrub you were using to exfoliate your feet in the bathtub could be used to clean the moldy areas on the shower tile, too. 4. STAINLESS STEEL CLEANER — Rust stains happens whether it’s on the refrigerator or your Yeti cup. Put a little salt scrub on a paper towel and add a little elbow grease, and it’s goodbye orange mark. 5. STINGS — Whether it’s a brush with a jelly fish or a pesky mosquito bite, don’t let either ruin your day. Throw a little salt-andoil combo on that to help draw out the discomfort.

natural properties that replenish tired and dry skin, here are some other uses for the Keys staple.

MAKE YOUR OWN There’s a very simple formula for making your own sea salt scrub. It’s a ½ cup of sea salt mixed with a ¼ cup of oil and a few drops of fragrance from a bottle of essence. So combine salt, olive oil and lavender. Or use salt, coconut oil and lemon. Try salt, baby oil and lavender. The trick is to use high-quality ingredients.


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Saw mill LOCAL OPERATION OPENS ON GRASSY KEY


BY SARA MATTHIS

Hurricane Irma felled decades worth of beautiful trees — Cuban mahogany, woman’s tongue (albizia), and even tabebui which is closely related to ipe, one of the most expensive hardwoods on the market. Even before the storm, Matt Sexton couldn’t stand to see good wood go to waste. He collected it and took it to a friend in Key West with a saw.

“We just made some very beautiful swings made from salvaged marine rope and salvaged wood,” Sexton said.

“After the storm they told me, ‘Don’t bring us any more wood. We have too much.’ And I thought, well I have too much wood, too,” said Sexton, who had the same appreciation for the grain, and the space to store it at oTHErside Adventure Park on Grassy Key. And, so, Grassy Key Millworks was born.

“Look at this,” he said, pointing to a cross section of a very old, very large piece of buttonwood about three feet in diameter with a rotted center. “Wouldn’t that make a beautiful piece for the garden? Put an orchid in there?”

The Wood-Mizer LT15Y is set up on the back of the property, next to a massive pile of stumps and logs. It can saw logs almost three feet thick and 20 feet long. So far Sexton and friends have made coffee tables, barstools, swings and garden art. The project fits part and parcel into the entire mission of oTHErside Adventure Park — a collaborative space where artists and environmentalists can explore, create and protect on the 50-acre property. Active entities include the sawmill, as well as Keys Cable (a cable wakeboard course) and oTHErside Boardsports boutique. The property features art sculptures and the buildings are decorated with unique and original artwork. (Check out the skeletonized pink flamingo on the backside of the main building; it’s fabulous.)

Sexton calls it a “bespoke” sawmill — where he and other artists can create a special piece to order, or just sell the beautiful raw materials for carpenters’ special projects.

Another piece, this one a huge chunk of Cuban mahogany was milled to a perfect rectangle about a foot wide by about four feet tall to become the holiest of holies: a gallery-grade pedestal to display art. Sexton said he has plans to invite a designer from the mainland to the Keys to inspect the wood and create some original pieces. “He’ll help us design and build something for customers on the mainland, and then make us one or two of the same to keep here on the property.” Grassy Key Millworks and oTHErside Adventure Park is located at MM 59 on the Oceanside. It’s open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Call 305-414-8245.


BY HAYS BLINCKMANN

Home vs. TERMITE

CHOOSING THE RIGHT WOOD FOR YOUR HOUSE It’s an ongoing battle between homeowners and the small, yet mighty termite. Aside from dousing your home in chemicals, the only defense is choosing building materials that will repel, or at least deter, the little buggers. Start by choosing the right building materials. Look for termiteresistant lumber, either artificial or natural, that will impede “drywood” and “subterranean” termites. The wood should be long lasting and not susceptible to rot. Ideally, homeowners are also looking for environmentally friendly and nontoxic options. The most economical choice is pressure treated wood. Pressure treated means that chemicals are infused throughout the wood pores making it nearly impervious to termites. Prior to 2004, the chemical used was laden with arsenic. Now, most pressuretreated wood has the active

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ingredient of ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary). Unfortunately, copper rusts fasteners such as nails and screws unless they are stainless steel. But treated wood can last from 10 to 50 years. Woods that are naturally resistant to termites can be found in the hardwood family — wood that is darker, denser and less permeable. It is an environmentally friendlier choice but remember, harvesting natural wood without replenishing it doesn’t do the Earth any good either. And, while termites do not prefer these hardwoods, they will eat it if desperate. Good options include redwoods, yellow cedar, Laotian teak, mahogany, ipe and cypress. The downside is it may not last as long lasting as chemically treated wood and tends to cost more. Natural wood that has undergone the thermowood treatment is the latest craze in environmentally friendly, all-natural wood products.

Dating back to the Vikings, the practice involves heating the wood to temperatures in excess of 180 degrees Celsius. It actually changes the wood at a cellular level. The dried and moisture-resistant product proves less appetizing to termites. This option is the most environmentally sensitive choice for the home because it does not involve chemicals. Lastly, there’s composite wood which is a combination of wood and plastic. Termites will not eat plastic, so it’s a good choice. There are other composite options such as wood and rice husks that also meet the environmentally friendly and termite-resistant criteria. Wind, rain, humidity, climate, paint and the wood’s direct contact with soil all play a role in how termite resistant a home can become. Don’t make it easy for the termites.


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Bryk House BY KRISTEN LIVENGOOD

RE-CLAIMED, RE-PURPOSED, RE-IMAGINED Chris Bryk is an electrical contractor by trade, but it’s his reclaimed woodwork that sparks. What started as a small hobby, took on its own life after he started selling his photography work at Marathon Seafood Festival five years ago. Spending time in North Carolina with his wife, Mandy, and two children, he was drawn to rustic barn doors. “I started collecting wood from old fences, pallets, and sheds,” he said and decided to try a set of his own. He liked the finished product so much he put them on Marathon Yard Sale and they sold immediately. From there, Bryk started incorporating his reclaimed wood into artwork, everything from cleat hangers and headboards to custom bars and walls. (He’s built 10 custom bars in the past two years.)

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His trips to Home Depot, sometimes four times a day, are usually followed with him saying, “oh, I can build that.” Although he calls it a “hobby,” since he is so busy with the electrical work, he’s about 15 projects deep at the moment at his 14 by 40 warehouse in the Middle Keys. He works on the custom projects in the evenings and weekends. As for his photos, the gallery wrapped canvases continue to be a hot seller at local craft shows. His favorites, he said, are the ones of trap yards and local bridges shot from interesting angles. His website is in the works, when he finds the free time to get it together. For now, his work can be seen on Instagram and Facebook under Bryk Designs. He can be reached at 305509-0925. Photos by Kristen Livengood


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Every year, SherwinWilliams picks a go-to, trend-topping paint color.

2018

Colorof theYear 24

| Home & Garden

This year’s is “a collision of rich blue with jewel-toned green, a color that is both accessible and elusive” named Oceanside SW 6496. The psychology of color says that a dark shade of blue is associated with intelligence. Lovers of the shade can lay claim to serenity, confidence and a certain degree or aloofness. This particular shade, though, is a bluemeets-green tone that is very marine — perfect for the Florida Keys. It’s the color of the sea when it’s almost completely dark, or the color of the deep waters where anglers hunt big game fish. — Sara Matthis


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OCEAN VIEWS FROM THIS PRIVATE OPEN PORCH, CREATING A GRACEFUL LIVING EXPERIENCE IN A TROPICAL SETTING AT MONTE CHRISTO CONDO IN KEY COLONY BCH. TWO POOLS & SANDY BEACH, PRIVATE GARAGE, ON SITE MGR. $549,000

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FABULOUS UNRESTRICTED VIEW OF THE SHIMMERING WATERS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO This 4 bedroom, 3 bath home has 2,274 square feet with 2 lots for a combined total of 164.94' feet on the Gulf. There is a small dock right on the property plus a deeded dock in the marina. Metal roof approximately 5 years old. The widow's walk offers spectacular sunset views. Stirrup Key is a gated community and deed restricted subdivision with a Homeowners Association. Offered for $1,475,000.

2010 Sombrero Beach Road, Marathon Do you want to wake up to ocean views & breath taking sunrises? Spend your days lounging at the beach, chilling by the pool & then capping the night off with sunsets on your roof top deck? Then this is the house for you! Gorgeous floor plan that shows off ocean views from your kitchen, living room, master bedroom & balconies. Smart home technology, wireless surround sound, high end finishes & appliances. Custom cabinets, stone showers & gorgeous quartzite in ocean colors. Solid CBS construction built in 2016. Electric gate, security system, elevator & 50'dock. Just steps to the beach and can be sold as compound with 2020 Sombrero Bch Rd. 2,495,000. MLS 578980

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Spring 2018 | keysweekly.com 27


Kitchenette THE TINY KITCHEN MAKES ITS WAY TO GUEST COTTAGES, MASTER SUITES AND OUTSIDE NEXT TO THE POOL

comeback BY SARA MATTHIS

Back in the day, a kitchenette was considered a substandard, tiny after thought, excuse of a kitchen. But the tiny kitchen is enjoying a comeback in the modern home.

Of course in the Keys, kitchens make their way outdoors under the tiki hut or next to the pool. Ice makers and gas grills are essential to these functional spaces.

Sometimes it’s nothing more than a coffee bar in the master suite, a place to fix the morning cup of joe. It consists of a high-end counter top — granite usually — a sink, a coffee pot and a cupboard to stow away the goods when not in use.

OTHER RECOMMENDED ACCOUTREMENTS:

Other kitchenettes are more involved and more suited, say, to a guest cottage. There are several examples of tiny kitchens fitted into what looks like a free-standing, oversized armoire.

• THE MINIFRIDGE: The newest

style is a called a “cube” and it’s perfect for storing a selection of drinks. For food-safe storage, consider going a little larger but keep it under 5 cubic feet. INDUCTION HOT PLATE: A • single burner is enough, but double induction hot plates are also available. Fitted into the countertop in a coordinating color, the look is seamless. A • MICROWAVE: If the kitchenette features cabinets, consider choosing one that either fits snugly into a shelf, or can be mounted on the back wall to clear up counter space. • A “RINSING” SINK: No need for a full-size sink in the kitchenette. Just something large enough to wash off a small plate sprinkled with muffin crumbs.


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