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