By Christine Davis
You could go north or south on Hypoluxo Island and still end up at Mason and Candy Heydts’ home.
That’s because they live at 705 N. Atlantic Drive, and they just bought another property at 705 SE Atlantic Drive.
The type of house and the vintage are the same, so it can be a bit confusing: Both are 1950s cottages and they were both in disrepair. It seems the Heydts find renovating them to their original cuteness addictive.
“We have done this before,” Candy Heydt acknowledges. “It was the ad in The Coastal Star that caught our eye. It read: ‘Least expensive property on Hypoluxo Island’ and it looked just like our (north) house did when we bought it.”
Their current residence is a cute 2,000 square feet on a good-sized lot on the water. The Heydts found it eight years ago and fell in love with it. They moved walls around, put in new windows, refinished floors, redid the pool, added awnings, redid the bathrooms and the kitchen. “But on the outside, it looks the same,” Heydt said.
So, they are transferring their knowhow to the house down the street.
According to real estate agent Diana Reed, “This sale is unique because of what the Heydts are doing. This house was a borderline teardown, but they have a clear vision of what a ’50s cottage should look like.
“They saw the integrity and charm of the structure. It’s such a cool story: people who live here, see value and invest here.”
The house was built in 1952 by Dave Ebersold, one of the original residents on the island, who died a few years ago.
“He built several homes on the island with real Florida style,” Reed said. “His family still lives here.”
Other than that, neither she nor the Heydts know much about its history. Previous owner Ron Gisondo, who had lived in the house for about 20 years, hasn’t much to add. “Dave was a nice guy. I never had any issues with the house, but whenever I needed to make any repairs, Dave would come by and tell me how to fix them,” he said.
The house has been on and off the market for a while, said Reed, and over the years, the house became dilapidated. Of course, that was not a problem for the Heydts.
“But the house was well-built. It sat high and dry; it’s a CBS home and has cool features — vaulted ceiling, skylights and the great room area,” Reed said.
Then one day, when Reed was standing in her driveway, Candy came walking by with her dog. “She told me she had seen the ad and wanted to look at the house,” Reed said.
And once Reed saw the Heydts’ home, she understood the attraction. “Wow. What a good fit!” she said.
The Heydts bought the property in April and set to work. “The yard has been cleared; we had a front-end loader out there for two days. A new roof is on and a lot of demolition is done. We are almost ready to start on the pool. It’s full steam ahead,” Heydt said.
The front is being redone with a new driveway. A new sea grape hedge is planned, as well as a walkway and a gate.
“The house will be two colors, taupe with black shutters, railing and canvas awning. The steps going up the porch will be wider and we will replace all the windows with impact glass,” Heydt said. “And I have a darling black bench that’s going to go there,” she adds, pointing to a spot by the front door.
Inside, the floor in the old sunroom was raised to meet the floor in the living room for one big space and a faux fireplace has been removed. The cypress beams will be washed white and Heydt envisions that the room will have a stone floor.
To the north of the entry will be an office and the Heydts plan to stain the oak floor white like they’ve done in their own home.
The kitchen’s sturdy wood cabinetry will stay, but it will be painted and hardware will be changed. The Mexican tile will stay, too. “We are going to take out the stove and put a doorway into the great room there,” said Heydt, pointing. We will build out a pantry, recess the refrigerator, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the brick wall where the oven was — probably keep it and paint it.” All the appliances will be replaced.
In the adjoining breakfast room, she plans to build in a banquette at one end, and she puzzled out how to make a laundry room.
On the south side of the house, the first bedroom will probably serve as a den — or maybe she’ll put in an armoire and use it as a bedroom. The corner bedroom has hardwood floors and built-in shelves, which will stay.
The layout of the master bedroom will pretty much stay as it is, as well as some elements of the master bathroom. “I am going to keep the green cultured marble and we always have a glass-block shower in all our houses, and here it is,” she said, gesturing. A big window by the soaking tub will offer nice views of the lush landscaping that the Heydts plan to have.
In the back, there will be fencing, a hedge, pool, deck, an outdoor shower and a nice big lawn — it’s a double lot. “A man walked around and told us what trees we could save, which we then trimmed and fertilized. They have all summer to be happy.”
The Heydts hope to have all the work completed by fall, and the house back on the market ready for some other vintage cottage lover who
will not be able to resist.
NOTE: The Coastal Star will feature photos of the finished cottage in an upcoming edition.