Bob and Brenda Biallas often gazed out their front door, across their neighbors’ tennis court and guest house, to the sparkling waters of Sarasota Bay beyond. Bob has always enjoyed viewing the Sarasota skyline from across the water, so when the lot became available, the couple bought it and began designing their dream home. For Brenda, that meant something light and airy, in keeping with Florida design, but also traditional enough to suit Bob. The result is a West Indies-style design, with the contrast between light and dark that Brenda admires and the symmetry she adores.
Residential building designer Michael Bade, of HausDesign Studio, worked with the couple to design their waterfront dream. One hallmark of Bade’s design process is to visit a homesite several times throughout the day, sunrise to sunset, to see how the sunlight plays across the property and with the chosen building materials. It’s not unusual to see broad paint swatches on walls or samples of roof tile or pavers stacked nearby, as Bade reviews all selections onsite.
Also key to Bade’s process is designing in 3D, often onsite. “That way, we can immediately see the results of proposed design changes and make decisions quickly,” he says. “Having all the project’s principals on hand is ideal,” Bade continues. “On this project, I appreciated being able to draw on the experience of builder Clyde Alstrom. We made some design changes that he suggested, right there onsite.”
Alstrom concurs, adding, “Both Mr. and Mrs. Biallas have extensive backgrounds in construction and design, which helped tremendously in the outcome of the final product.”
Brenda, an experienced decorator and former décor shop owner, selected the finishes and furnishings, often calling upon her Michigan colleagues to create draperies and accent pillows from her chosen fabrics.
Situated on Sarasota Bay, this impressive three-story West Indies-style home is distinguished by the personal tastes of its owners. Brenda Biallas called up her design background, selecting Sherwin Williams’ Flour White paint for the home’s interior as well as the exterior. “I wanted the exterior to be a reflection of what was to come. Too often, a home’s exterior and interior don’t complement each other,” she explains. The home’s symmetrical design is punctuated by dual driveways and lush landscaping.
A relaxed formality is seen in the living room, with classic moulding details and traditional fireplace wall. A white shag rug anchors a slip-covered sectional from Restoration Hardware. The warm golden chandelier from Franklin Lighting visually separates the room’s two seating areas. A Lee Industries slipcovered sofa and pair of accent chairs form a seating group by the fireplace.
A custom-sized Made Goods Patricia chandelier hangs above an Ethan Allen Livingston dining table surrounded by eight nailhead-trimmed chairs from Lee Industries. A pair of white six-drawer dressers creates a long buffet. A dining room cabinet in the couple’s 1940s Michigan home inspired the X-design millwork adorning the windows.
The kitchen has two of everything: refrigerators, ovens, even honed granite-topped islands, each with a trio of chairs covered in durable cotton duck and illuminated by matching chandeliers accented with wooden beads. Rich textured rift-cut oak cabinets provide beachy, yet elegant, storage.
The stairs and second-story rooms are floored in matte-finished walnut from International Wood Floors. Poster bed allows for open views toward the room’s grand windows. Velvet accent pillows match an Ethan Allen Ming Hall chest in Aged Teal. A Barbara Berry scalloped chandelier glows overhead. The room features the same ceiling detail as the living area.
Central to the master bath is a frameless glassed-in shower with mosaic floor tile from Fisher Tile. A soaking tub abuts one wall, marble tile covers the floor and one entire wall. The cabinetry was custom built to match the mirrors is topped with Polar Marble from The Granite Place.
Bade carved out a semicircular space from the ground floor lanai and the balcony overhead, in order to keep the pool in the sun all day. Four structural pillars form the corners of an oversized gas firepit. Livex Lighting Cambridge lanterns accentuate the homes’ intriguing design.
Written by Ginny Cooper
Photography by Ryan Gamma
2337 12th Street
Sarasota, FL 34237
The Granite Place
2328 N. Washington Blvd. – Rte 301
Sarasota, FL 34234
Sarasota, FL 34236
International Wood Floors
8260 Vico Court, Unit A
Sarasota, FL 34240