When boating, fishing, and kayaking are what move you, the yearning to live near the water is inevitable. Such was the case for a family who chose this elegant, coastal home steps away from St. Armand’s Circle. “The ease of access to the water was a huge draw for this client, who had the dock constructed for their boat with convenient input for kayaks and standup paddleboards,” says interior designer Holly Dennis, who was selected for the task of creating an environment ranging from transitional to slightly contemporary while embodying a relaxed coastal elegance.
The architecture and design team worked very hard to help the clients envision their custom home by producing detailed architectural drawings, “mood boards”, and renderings. “After a 2-year-long process, the home is now a reality,” Dennis recounts. She helped guide them in the selection of finishes, such as rich European Oak hardwood flooring from International Wood Floors, a limestone fireplace surround, and unique tile throughout the home. “The details in the home are classic, yet clean and simplistic… not overly detailed or fussy” describes Dennis.
In a neighborhood of extraordinary homes, this one stands out in particular for its masterful “blurring of the lines,” as historical Georgian style is reinterpreted for a formalized and island-appropriate British West Indies feel. “Out of all the homes we have built, this one has gotten the most consistent praise for its appeal,” says builder Ricky Perrone of Perrone Construction.
“People would stop on an almost daily basis once the structure was up and comment on it. It was pretty incredible,” he recalls. However, prominence is only successful when it fits the context, and this home matches its environment to perfection. “One of the most essential things for any home we build is for it to interact with, and relate to, the surrounding property,” explains Perrone. “This home achieves this beautifully and more importantly, seamlessly.”
To do so required some “out of the box” thinking. As architect Clifford Scholz of Clifford M. Scholz Architects explains, due to the wide street frontage but narrow waterfront, he had to get creative in terms of orienting the house to maximize water views. “We shifted the north side to align and center its view onto the waterway, which is a canal so big that it looks like a bay,” Scholz illustrates.
The upshot of the efforts by this talented team of experts is a residence with a sense of barefoot elegance that can easily be dressed up or down. Whether entertaining a crowd, or simply enjoying quiet time, the clients’ water wishes undeniably came true.
Color plays a significant role in the traditional British West Indies style front façade. The roof is a shade of grey to reflect the sun for a lighter effect. “We wanted to emanate the ocean, so all the exterior tones are earthy and inspired by natural elements—from water to dirt, grass to sand,” describes architect Clifford Scholz of Clifford M. Scholz Architects. The driveway has a shelled concrete finish, while the crosshatched pattern is inlayed with grass for beauty and interest. Both provide balance with the expansive streetscape.
The living room progresses from traditional to transitional in a way that is unnoticeable. “I like to layer textures,” says Dennis, who used a teak cocktail table from Noir Furniture, flanked by a quartet of Taylor King Old World club chairs upholstered in Pindler and Pindler Stafford patterned turquoise fabric. The throw pillows, custom made from textiles by Pindler and Lee Jofa, add a splash of color and visual interest as they contrast the neutral gray sofa.
“I wanted to keep the kitchen fresh and clean, with ample lighting but without fussy decoration,” says Dennis. She specified fresh white cabinetry with beautiful mullion glass doors by Elegance in Wood. The eye-catching Akdo backsplash tile is a fusion of Thassos, Icelandic blue, and seashell. Appliances were sourced from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Plumbing fixtures supplied by The Plumbing Place. A set of Jessica Charles stools in cool grey complete the look.
Because the dining room flows from an open great room, the color palette needed to be congruous with the rest of the space,” states Dennis. A set of Charles Steward Naples side chairs are swathed in glacier blue and the simple legs are finished in walnut. They surround the Tritter Feefer Cici custom dining table. The artwork, a giclée print, was procured with the coastal color palette in mind.
The master bedroom wing was specifically designed for privacy and a direct water view. The French doors and windows view the pool, and the bayou leading to Sarasota Bay. The bedroom is touched by softness, with an upholstered Hickory White Ashleigh bed and a soothing Rivard chaise. Caracole’s espresso-finished nightstands are complemented by Baha Blue Glass lamps by Regina Andrew Designs.
A true respite, the master bath has many spa-like features, such as a large, freestanding Kohler Stargaze soaking tub. Additionally, the generously-sized shower includes a steam feature from Thermasol with multiple spray heads by Grohe. Custom cabinetry by Elegance in Wood is sandy in finish, ideally suited to a coastal environment and topped with quartz sourced and fabricated by Omicron Granite & Tile Sarasota. The floor and shower tile work was done by Oracle Surfaces. A charming Charles Stewart stool is lightweight and easily repositioned to the vanity area when needed.
“The outdoor living space is really special and in my opinion a critical component of any Florida home,” comments Perrone. “The sculptural cast concrete fireplace is a focal point that simply steals the show,” he adds. It was fabricated to the designer’s specifications and embossed with a wood-like pattern. Elegance in Wood custom-designed the outdoor kitchen cabinetry using rough sawn cypress to complement the cypress ceiling.
As night falls, the blue features on the rear exterior come alive. The fire pit is lit for warmth and ambience. The lower outdoor area leads effortlessly to the nearby dock where boat access is provided, and personal water crafts such as kayaks and stand-up paddle boards can be conveniently placed. For a family who loves to enjoy the water, this is where much of the action happens.
Written by Robin Hodes
Photography by Ryan Gamma
Clifford M. Scholz Architects
300 South Orange Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
Elegance in Wood
8263 Blaikie Court
Sarasota, FL 34240
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
2451 17th Street
Sarasota, FL 34234
International Wood Floors
8260 Vico Court, Unit A
Sarasota, FL 34240
Omicron Granite & Tile
7910 25th Court East, Suite 101
Sarasota, FL 34243
Oracle Flooring & Design
514 Central Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
7045 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
The Plumbing Place
5678 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232