The Story Behind Cottage on the Cape

25 years! For the last 25 years, I have traveled to southwest Florida—visiting my grandparents 🤍 Originally from Minnesota, my grandpa (coming from a long line of craftsmen), actually helped build the very first high-rise living experiences on Ft. Myers Beach. While he worked, he fell in love with southwest Florida and ended up retiring there—offering us grandkids an epic place to visit!!

My grandparents

From visiting as a child, to many family vacations and eventually bringing my own children to southwest Florida, it is an area that has become a home away from home for us! Within the last decade, my dad has advised Jayme and I to invest into a Florida home—to rent out to vacationers and hold space for our own family to enjoy. However, the last decade has been pure CHAOS and that amazing dream seemed so far out of what we could actually make into a reality. BUT GOD.

traveling to florida

Last year (2020), brought many challenges to almost everyone on planet earth. In the midst of Covid, we all navigated various sorts of changes that were altogether challenging. For us, we were also still navigating my health journey—that took an unexpected turn for the worse. Amidst all the chaos, in the first week of December (in 2020), we booked a last-minute vacation to southwest Florida—in hopes to allow room for healing and cultivate some dedicated family time—in the warmth of the SUN and saltwater air. We ended up renting a home in Cape Coral and it was awesome!! Albeit me being pretty sick, it offered our family such a wonderful time and space to connect and find some joy. At the end of our stay, Jayme and I looked at each other and felt that we just HAD to make this happen for other people who also needed healing, restoration and some JOY!

When we returned home, my health continued to worsen unfortunately, but our little dream of purchasing a vacation home BRIGHTENED. By Springtime, it was determined, that I needed to have an unexpected surgery. While all that was happening, Jayme worked with our realtor to view different homes in Cape Coral, Florida. Though I’m usually at the forefront of selecting our projects, Jayme was going through the process all on his own.

old exterior of home before renovation
old living room pre-renovation

The day I went into surgery, Jayme placed an offer on a home that he thought had great potential for a Beautiful Chaos design + renovation! Via photos, I agreed! The home was totally outdated, but I fell in LOVE with the layout! Instantly, I could envision families gathering round a huge center island, kiddos jumping in the large pool, and all the different rooms decorated beautifully—offering space for rest and rejuvenation.

For the next six months, we traveled (mostly Jayme) from Minnesota to Florida, as we completely renovated the home—inside, outside, up, down and all around! We even completely renovated the pool and switched it over to saltwater—for all its healing benefits!

kitchen design notes

As the home came together, we named this special place—Cottage on the Cape. As it went through it’s own “surgery” and healed in all the ways, I was healing too. To look back, I’m not quite sure how we did it—such a big project and across country—all while navigating such a treacherous health journey. Oh wait, yes I do—God. There were miracles in every aspect, both for the cottage and for me. Two journeys that were kismet in one larger journey of faith.

cottage on the cape kitchen
cottage on the cape living room

It is our deepest hope that others will experience this special place and be reminded that we are designed to heal, be restored and be filled with joy!

—Sarah and Jayme Martin

P.S. Interested in renting Cottage on the Cape? Learn more about it here!

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