Photography by Christy Kosnic
Countless years of student housing. Nights spent on cots in hospital break rooms during residency. Years spent bouncing among military deployments, tiny apartments and parents’ homes. Such was life for a pair of physicians, Brett and Felice Haake. So, when the time came to choose a place the couple and their young children could truly call home, it made perfect sense to relocate to Florida, where Felice’s extended family resides.
Brett landed a position in Vero Beach and set the wheels in motion for the family’s move. What didn’t make perfect sense: The couple’s design taste leaned heavily toward the low-country style of the mid-Atlantic coastal states — where they lived during Brett’s time as a Navy doctor — rather than the typical South Florida house. Lucky for them, the couple happened upon just that type of home in a spectacular location on the Indian River Lagoon in Vero Beach.
The timing could not have been worse though. To start with, the price of the house exceeded the young couple’s budget. Brett had already relocated to Vero Beach and was entrenched in his work at the local hospital; however, Felice was still wrapping up her duties at her medical practice in Fort Lauderdale, and their two children were still finishing out their school semester there. To top things off, Felice found out that the couple were now expecting their third child. “Lots of unknowns surfaced, but we knew this house was for us and that all the others would pale in comparison,” says Felice. After a month of pondering over the house, they decided to take the plunge and make an offer on it.