Midwest Living

pooled resource

Key West, meet Midwest. In central Illinois, lifelong friends team up to create an island-inspired backyard retreat.


AULA HUDACHKO REMEMBERS the sweltering August day her pool house was born. Six couples—close friends since their wedding days, and now enjoying life as grandparen­ts—had gathered by her East Peoria, Illinois, pool to celebrate summer birthdays. As the sun baked down, conversati­on shifted to the heat. “My patio looked like a tent city, covered with umbrellas,” Paula says. Someone floated the notion of a pool house, and the idea hung in the air, shimmering like a mirage.

Lofty plans became concrete when one of the gang, retired carpenter Bruce Wilson, volunteere­d to manage and design the project. “We love the Keys and were drawn to that casual, island feel,” Paula says. She envisioned a blue, turquoise and white color palette, with textural and architectu­ral details commonly seen in colorful, laid-back Key West. With input from her friends, she and her husband, Brad Mayeur, penned a wish list: a covered three-season living area with fireplace, a bathroom-shower combo and an outdoor kitchen. All for $25,000.

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local harvest walled in
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blue steel all-inclusive rain or shine

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