A groovy little inn on Anna Maria Island that opened late last year recently caught our eye, so we caught up with one of the owners to learn about how they made Joie Inn super cute and packed with vacation vibes.
Ashley and Dino Petrone, parents of four, are one of those #rvlife families that brightened Instagram feeds with their chic 180-square-foot home on wheels that they renovated and lived in for a year. Off the road, they've renovated multiple homes while living in them in California, and with experience as Airbnb hosts, opening a beachside Florida inn was a perfect way to settle down.
Last February, the Petrone family vacationed on Anna Maria Island thanks to a friend's recommendation and fell in love. And while looking for a house, they found the inn. It had solid bones, but was a little rundown. It lit the couple's imagination.
“We went back to California and moved into the inn two months later and lived there while we redid everything,” says Ashley Petrone.
It took roughly six months, but the couple didn't have to tear down any walls. “We're so glad we could keep the original building," says Ashley. "A lot of the cute little houses here are being torn down right now and I love old spots. They just have so much character.”
The couple built on that character with all new landscaping, lots of fresh paint, new tiles in the bathrooms and kitchens and updated fixtures throughout. Ashley and her mom stenciled the patios and hand-painted murals inside and out, including a rainbow image on the exterior that's become a photo opp sensation. They even made their own cornhole set for the inn's guests and hand-painted them with orange fruit.
Inside, each of the four units at the boutique inn is joyful (hence the name Joie, French for "joy") and has its own color theme that “pulls from the area's sunsets and seashells. It's my way of representing the beach and the local geography," says Ashley.
There’s The Blush Room (a pretty powder pink), The Sage Room (a light gray-green), The Terra-Cotta Room (a rich, earthy brown) and The Sun Room (a cheery yellow). Room colors are matched with tile and bedding.
Inside, decorative touches include lots of beachy rattan and cane pieces matched with mid-century-inspired furniture and organic grass-woven rugs. The walls are outfitted with retro artwork and bedrooms have mixed and matched headboards and light fixtures for a creative, homey feel.
"I want guests to feel like it's not random," says Ashley. "I try to think of everything I would want." In fact, booking online includes questions about whether you're a coffee drinker, "How can we make your special?" and, "Yay or nay for rosé?" to stock your unit accordingly.
Stays are extra sweet thanks to Graze Street AMI homemade cookies that also await guests. And, parents rejoice, the inn also stocks sound machines, high chairs and portable cribs, too. "We just try to make it inclusive and special," says Ashley.
The Petrones' renovations have turned the inn into a brand and a business, with a blog called Arrows and Bow and a strong social media presence chock full of tips and DIY inspo.
Ashley's interior design talents aren't for hire, but she did, however, share some tips with us on how we can recreate the inn's look at home:
“Make a welcoming space by setting up a hammock, rocking chairs and some potted plants," says Ashley. "Something that says, ‘I’ll stay awhile.'"
Embrace the Power of Paint
Murals and stencils are a cost-effective, creative way to be artful and fun. If a mural is a long-shot, go for stencils.
“If there's an old fence you can paint or a cinderblock wall, paint it to give it a different vibe," says Ashley. "I love black and white. That's always my go-to."
Set up Outdoor Games
Games bring everyone together. Setting up a ring toss, by screwing in a wall hook and buying a ring, or carving out a spot for cornhole, is an easy way for people of all ages to have fun.
Go Organic With Texture
Whether it's a light fixture, a headboard or a wall basket, rattan and cane are classic, relaxing neutral materials that sing with other colors.
Be a Thrifter
"I’ve always gone garage sale-ing, and here the thrift stores are amazing," says Ashley.
Joie Inn is booked through mid-August, so you have lots of time to set up your own getaway at home before you can get there, and you're always welcome to stop by for a pic under the rainbow mural.
Joie Inn is located at 3501 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. For more info, visit the inn's website.