"It's funny how life happens," says Nancy DeSantis, a community member at Devonshire, an Erickson Living-managed community at PGA National. "I thought about moving to the community for about a year before my first appointment. But within weeks of that visit, I selected a beautiful new apartment home and was making plans to move."
Fate was on Nancy's side as she, accompanied by her best friend Shirley Alley, met with Devonshire Sales Counselor Maria Littleworth. Not only was the popular one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath Ashton apartment home available for an immediate move, but a second Ashton in the same residence building was also available for Shirley.
"We couldn't believe it," says Nancy. "We had come to the appointment thinking about a move 'some day' and after seeing the Ashton and exploring the campus, we both left making plans for a new life."
"It was truly a fortuitous series of events," says Littleworth. "The Ashton is one of our most popular homes and the fact that two were available, for an immediate move, was remarkable."
A home with a view
With a large living area leading out to an enviable screened porch, the Ashton is the perfect home for both friends.
"One of my favorite areas in my home is the screened-in porch," says Nancy. "I use it every day to enjoy my morning cup of coffee. Sometimes, the two of us order takeout from one of the Devonshire restaurants and bring it out to the porch to eat while enjoying the scenery."
Both Shirley and Nancy's apartment homes look out onto a beautiful courtyard and fountain surrounded by trees and flowers.
"During the fall and winter months, I open the doors to the porch and enjoy the warm breezes," says Shirley.
In addition to the large living room and porch, the Ashton floor plan boasts a spacious master bedroom and master bath, and a sleek, modern kitchen filled with full-size, state-of-the art appliances.
"It's a really nice, functional floor plan," says Nancy. "But it's also very pretty."
An expert in space planning, Nancy worked as a professional interior designer before her retirement.
"I've had so much fun making this home my own," she says.
Prior to moving in, each new Devonshire community member is invited to select custom upgrades to their homes, making them uniquely their own. In the weeks leading up to her move, Nancy opted to replace carpeting with vinyl wood plank flooring.
"It is something almost everyone comments on when they walk through my door," she says. "It's lovely."
She also chose to lighten up the home with a white backsplash in the kitchen and track lighting to highlight her favorite artwork.
"Everything that hangs on my walls means something special to me," says Nancy. "They are my treasures."
Attention to detail
Personal treasures are an important part of Nancy's new home. In her design, she made sure to make use of the furniture pieces that meant the most to her. Putting her interior design expertise to work, she took the first few months in her new home to develop a plan.
"I wanted something completely new and different than what I had in my previous home," she says. "I decided to go with a contemporary look with soft colors. It took a while to put it all together. I believe it's important to live in the space for a while to get a feel for what you want. There is no need to be in a rush."
Nancy's beautiful new home includes a television stand and credenza from her former home as well as a love seat she had reupholstered to coordinate with her new color scheme.
And in a place of honor, in the center of her living area, sits her former husband's college desk.
"The best advice I can give is to keep only the things that hold memories," she says. "And remember there are many more memories to make in your new Devonshire home."
Impressed by the attention to detail and the beautiful design of Nancy's home, Shirley enlisted her help in furnishing her own Ashton apartment home.
"Nancy has an eye for this type of thing and really helped me make my new apartment a beautiful home," says Shirley.
A place to share
Recently celebrating their first year at Devonshire, both Nancy and Shirley admit they are happier than they dreamed when they first stepped through the doors of their new homes.
Each month, Nancy invites Shirley and a group of other friends for a "sip and snack" before dinner at the Windsor or Cavendish, both on-site restaurants at Devonshire.
"My new home has everything I need, including the space to entertain friends," she says. "If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing."