In Southwest Florida, the requirements of second homeowners often change over time. Many move to Naples, love the lifestyle, and opt for a larger home. Such was the case with clients of Bill Varian, general contractor and president of Varian Construction. Parents of four young children when they’d purchased a Pelican Marsh villa several years back, they had initially been motivated by the idea of the occasional respite from hectic northern lives. That plan worked well. Over time, however, their visits grew longer. Their children, now college age, love it here as well. They decided to invest in a larger home and started looking.
Their search ended when they discovered a Pelican Marsh estate home. Its carpets were worn, cabinetry was underwhelming, and colors were nothing special, but the home was a gem. Built in 2000, the 7,500 square-foot, two-story residence sits on a golf course, and features six bedrooms, large balconies, a lovely pool pavilion, and ample settings for entertainment, indoors and out.
To bring their new home up to its true potential, the couple called Varian, past president of Collier County Builder Industries Association and a certified Graduate Remodeler.
The exterior of the home was repainted, and its massive mahogany doors were refinished. Most floors in the home were enhanced with either hardwood flooring or carpeting. The living room’s marble floor was re-sanded and polished. Every wall in the home was retextured. Most rooms received the wiring necessary for a wall-mounted TV. Carpeting on the stairway was torn out and wood stairs were stained to a high-gloss sheen and installed.
To assist with the interior design work, Heather Jennings, Florida licensed Interior Designer, ASID, and owner of HJ Designs, was called. Eight years earlier, she had completed the interior design of the couple’s villa. Jennings, in turn, called Martha Dodd, a muralist and owner of Follow Your Art, who would be able to add character and artistic embellishment with hand-painted techniques.
Varian Construction installed all new cabinetry throughout the home, including in the living room’s bar, which was completely transformed. With cherry-stained wood cabinetry, a granite countertop with pale moss veins, and a faux-painted grape arbor, the setting blends with the living room, dining room, and kitchen.
Little remained untouched in the living room, which received draperies, furnishings, carpeting, accessories, and lighting. Cabinets received a faux wood grain to match the bar’s cherry-stained wood.
The kitchen now has crème-colored cabinetry, an island of cherry-stained cabinetry, antique glass, under- and curio-cabinet lighting, and a stone backsplash with mosaic glass inserts. While many of the appliances are hidden behind concealed cabinetry, the stainless steel four-burner Wolf stove instills the look of the ages. A door with a tempered-glass panel added just next to the kitchen and breakfast dining area, opens the heart of the home up to the pool pavilion and outdoor seating.
“This pool door really improved the functionality of the space and added light,” explains Varian. “Prior to this there was no clear pathway to the pool except through the master bedroom or at the far end of the family room.”
Situated next to the kitchen, the family room is a favorite gathering place. A cypress ceiling with faux-painted leaf border trim adds architectural interest to the comfortable setting designed in autumn colors.
One of the few elements to remain from the previous owners, a taupe mirror became a charming feature in a colorful powder room. Painted gold with a delicate frame of zebra stripes, it blends with a zebra-patterned custom area wool rug, and fits well with magnolias on bold red wallpaper.
The pool pavilion was repainted and rescreened. The covered pool cabana received delicate attention with a whimsical wall mural of coconut palms and monkeys. Dodd also painted the ceiling of a guest bedroom to look like the top of a tent.
“Artwork is a way to add a theme to a home, and it also presents the opportunity to infuse vibrance to an otherwise neutral background,” says Dodd. “Colors are one thing, but when you create something that is hand painted, it’s going to last. Wallpaper will come and go, but artwork will endure, and make a home really personal.”
Honey-toned hardwood floors, wallpaper, window treatments, and ceiling detail give new definition to the study. A high chair rail was added to soften the height of the ceiling.
The master bedroom suite is a calm space with neutral shades in draperies, walls and ceiling details, complemented by cherry-stained wood furnishings. New vanity cabinets