Step into Hannah-Bartoletta's Tara model and the feeling of being "at home" envelopes you. It is a traditional home in every sense.
While the name Tara conjures up images of Scarlett O'Hara's beloved plantation in Gone With The Wind, there is nothing Old South about this house. It is traditional architecture inside and out, updated for life in the 1990s.
Hannah-Bartoletta Homes of Tampa was founded in 1988 by Mike Bartoletta and Charley Hannah. Bartoletta is a structural engineer who formerly was with Mason Homes; Hannah is a real estate broker who played professional football from 1977 to 1988 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Raiders.
The Tara is one of six models the company is offering in the Tremont section at Tampa Palms. (The firm also builds in the Wyndham section.) Because the model has many extras, including hardwood floors, it is priced at $316,000. The standard Tara model, with a pool, is $248,000, but there are six possible floor plans, ranging in size from 2,442 to 3,365 square feet of living space. (Hannah-Bartoletta will build its houses or a house from your plans anywhere in the Tampa Bay area. Prices will vary, of course. The basic Tara built on your lot is priced at $163,060.)
The interiors, all in variations of rose and blue, were done by Vivian Rodenas and Catherine Sapienza of Hyde Park Interiors Inc.
Just inside the front door are the Tara's formal, public areas: the living room and the dining room, with chair rails that make it seem larger than it is. Crown moldings in both rooms and the foyer enhance the 10-foot-high ceilings, which are used throughout the house.
The living room is self-contained, with one entryway. It is an intimately scaled space, designed for the small-group entertaining today's family seems to prefer.
Beyond these formal areas is the den, or fourth bedroom. The full bath off this room doubles as a dressing area for the swimming pool. A single French door at the end of the downstairs hall opens onto the lanai.
In keeping with the blue-rose theme, the builders used cobalt-colored tiles in the pool and pinkish-red pavers as a pool deck.
The kitchen and great room have an abundance of windows, making the rooms bright and airy. Each room has double French doors that open onto the lanai. This makes for easy access from the family and dining areas, which further extends the living space.
The design of the kitchen stresses efficiency. There is plenty of room in the breakfast area for family meals, bill-paying and homework.
The great room has a 15-foot-high ceiling, making this large room seem even more spacious. It also has a fireplace.
The staircase in the foyer leads to the second floor and the bedrooms. On the second floor, a wide hallway leads to the three bedrooms and two baths.
The master bath has a sunken tub enclosed in a bay with 6-foot windows that look out to the woods behind the house. An oversized walk-in closet, double-bowl vanity and water closet complete the room.
The spacious master bedroom also has high ceilings. A single French door opens from this room to a sitting room with a built-in bookcase.
The other two bedrooms on this floor are identically sized and served by a full bath. One room is done in an antique train theme, the other along a Victorian theme. The washer-dryer and utility sink are in the downstairs hallway, and there is a large storage area underneath the stairs.
The house has an attached two-plus car garage. There is also a pull-down staircase in the garage that leads to sizable storage space in the attic above, something not often found in Florida homes.