The Neighborhood: Adam + Nicole Cole


Adam + Nicole Cole : Riverside : Jacksonville, Florida

Year Built: 1924
Size: 1,572 square feet
Homeowner Since: March 2011

The Neighborhood’s September visit found us on Dellwood Avenue, where we met Nicole + Adam Cole. Nicole is a freelance interior designer + Adam is an engineering duty officer in the Navy. They met at Kansas University while in ROTC. If ever you’ve met these kids, you’ve experienced their warm hearts + infectious smiles.

The Coles, married for 11 years, purchased their Riverside bungalow in 2011. They didn’t even look at other areas in Jacksonville. After they felt the sense of community + experienced the charm of a historical district, they were sold. “We were like: we want this neighborhood,” said Nicole.

Our visit began mid-afternoon on a day where Summer was noticeably in a tug-of-war with Fall. We were greeted by two wet + furry kisses from their dogs, Shelby + Ellie. The smell of coffee + cookies wafted from the dining room.



Homeowner Interview

Explain your style.
[Nicole]: It’s a blend of rustic, traditional and touches of modern. To some extent, I feel it was our vision; but I also feel the house tells you what it needs.

When you’re picking things that are from your heart… it just works out.

On the home’s eclectic charm:
[Nicole]: If you’re picking the things that you love + just trust your gut, then it will all come together. People from the Home Tour said, ‘I would have never imagined that all of this would go together and feel right’. When you’re picking things that are from your heart, a part of you, an expression of something that you’re interested in… it just works out.
[Adam]: Everything here has a story.
[Nicole]: pointing to the Adam’s framed charcoal drawing of the Trojan priest, Laocoon (below): It’s the first thing I’d seen him draw.


Where do you find your inspiration?
[Adam]: Science and technology.
[Nicole]: Everywhere… walking through the neighborhood, looking at the sidewalk, materials. I love textures and interesting shapes. I’m very color oriented.

After going through a 4 month renovation, what advice would you give couples who are starting the process?
[Adam]: Don’t let the lack of creature comforts make you grumpy. Be flexible.
[Nicole]: Have a plan before you start + be patient. Have a lot of microwaveable meals!

What project are you the most proud of?
[Adam]: I didn’t even make it, but I brag about it all of the time time pointing to Nicole’s lamp (below).
[Nicole]: laughing I point out his charcoal drawing (above).


Tell us about Vestige.
[Nicole]: It’s my art business. If you look up the definition of vestige, a part of it says ‘a trace of something that once was’. All of my art encompasses some component of something else… upscaled or reclaimed: lighting, furniture, stuff for the home. It’s a follow-your-heart sort of thing. To visit Vestige, click here.

Tell us about your experience on RAP’s Home Tour.
[Adam]: smiling It was a good growing experience for me. About 1,700 people came through our home.
[Nicole]: looking to Adam He did it for me.
[Adam]: I did do it for you.
[Nicole]: I wanted to share our home with people. This is a whole new way of living: to live in a historical home +  an older neighborhood. Not only has this house meant a lot to us but also being in a neighborhood that has so much diversity. It’s nice to see the big mansions, but I think the home tour is more about the community.

The Cole’s won our Design Star + People’s Choice Award for the 39th Annual Spring Home Tour. Read the article.

Where do you shop for your home?
[Nicole]: Rinniger’s (Mt. Dora, Florida), Southern Crossing, Fans + Stoves
[Adam]: She finds stuff on the side of the road a lot.
sidenote…. these kids are SO FRIGGIN’ CUTE.

What are some online favorites for inspiration?
[Adam]: Art Authority (mobile app), Google Scholar
[Nicole]: Design Sponge, Manhattan Nest, The Improvised Life + Door Sixteen

Interesting Fact: Margaret Issac, whose mother was a survivor of the Titanic, once lived in Nicole + Adam’s home. A private screening of the 1953 movie Titanic, was held for Isaac’s mother at the Florida Theatre. [Read More]

The Coles’ next chapter:
[Nicole]: We’re moving to Nebraska. This house has given us confidence. We’ve placed a bid on a home built in the 1910s. We’re hoping that someone falls in love with this home and makes it their own.

We wish them the best of luck in their new adventure!


Take the Home Tour

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Historical Information

Riverside Avondale Preservation

A special thank you to our friends at the Riverside Avondale Preservation Society for providing information on the Cole’s home. We’ve uploaded their home’s history to share with the rest of The Neighborhood. You can view the file here.

Would you like to receive information on your own home? Email RAP to find out how!

We’re planning for 2014!

Would you like to feature your home? Have a great story to share with us? Email us and let’s plan a visit!