David and Patrice Tavernier always intended to retire in Florida.
"We toured Naples and Orlando," David said. "We spent eight years in Orlando.
"I always loved Orlando, but it's changed a lot. It's all built up. People are on top of one another, so we made the decision to come to Aiken."
Patrice is an Aiken native, and the couple had lived in Woodside Plantation several years ago.
They sold that home in 2005 with the intent of moving permanently, but when their memories of Florida didn't mesh with reality they started looking for a new spot in Aiken.
They found Bridle Creek, an equestrian community with Olympic rider Phillip Dutton as its most famous resident six months out of the year. Dutton's winter training facility is on the property.
Although the Taverniers don't ride and don't have horses, the equestrian community offered exactly what they wanted.
"We like the serenity. It's peaceful, and our equestrian friends are all nice people," David said.
They couldn't go back to Florida in their memories, so they designed a home that brought Florida to them.
Painted in corals and pinks, the home has a tropical theme. It has tall ceilings, lots of windows and open living spaces.
The master suite has a huge bathroom and a large bedroom with a sitting area and office space for Patrice.
"I told the builder I wanted a tub like the one in Scarface," he said. "The bathtub is a little smaller. We couldn't quite accomplish that."
Floors are tiled throughout the home. Tile serves as a flooring accent around the carpet in the sunken living room, which has a full view of the well-manicured patio and pool area.
David has imported the tropics into his enclosed pool area. The landscape has a mix of native and exotic plants.
He even had a greenhouse built in the backyard to store the tropical varieties during the winter.
There is an abundance of palm trees, including fan and windmill palms and a palmetto.
Other plants include Chinese maple, frangipani flowers, Hawaiian Ti, pampas grass, wisteria and rosemary.
Instead of downspouts, the home has decorative rain chains.
The Taverniers finished building their home in 2008. Many of the lots are still available in the subdivision. David blames lack of development on the economy.
Though there isn't much construction in Bridle Creek, David said he is expecting a new neighbor; an equestrian from Argentina is building on about 26 acres next door.