American pop art icon Keith Haring said, “Art should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.”
The collaboration between interior designer Carrie Brigham and her client, who together reimagined a three bedroom, three-and-a-half bath condominium home in Naples, did just that. Like a flint striking a spark resulting in a flame, the pair’s work together created a beautiful and boisterous blaze and burned down any notions of conventional design in the process. The owner may be (understatedly) described as an avid art collector and the jumping off place for the entire project was to ensure there were plenty of places to exhibit the pieces she has collected.
“The art came first in every decision,” says Brigham, Creative Director and Interior Designer for Carrie Brigham Design. “She let me experiment with patterns and colors and, in the end, it all pulled together to create the feel of an art gallery. The client pushed me creatively and was so adventurous, working with her was an absolute delight.”
The homeowner was looking for a designer with a unique and bold perspective and chose Brigham from a close family member’s referral. Besides having 11 years of experience as a designer in Southwest Florida, Brigham is something of an artist herself. “I love putting pen to paper,” she says in regards to sketching out her design ideas.
Brigham traveled to the owner’s other property, a penthouse in Cincinnati, to get an idea of her style and to suggest pieces that could be transported for use in the new condo. Brigham reconfigured the interior architecture of the space by creating openings where there once were closed walls, while ensuring that there were plenty of walls left for exhibiting the art collection.
“The space had the heavy mouldings, ornate ceilings, and compartmentalized rooms that were fashionable at the time the condo was built,” says Jerry Maxson of Legacy Homes. “But the owner needed the space simplified and stripped of ornamentation to showcase her art. We have been specializing in high-end renovations in Naples since 1999. We were easily able to accommodate her wishes with our in-house team of craftsmen and artisans. As a result of having our own team, we didn’t have the usual parade of subcontractors traipsing in and out, disrupting the homeowners on the floors above and below in this three-story building. We worked cohesively, coherently, and on-schedule to create the elegant transitional space the project required.”
Once the architectural changes were completed and the walls painted in a warm white to serve as a non-distracting background, it was off to the races for Brigham and her client.
“No idea was too wild to discuss, no suggestion too over the top,” says Brigham of the kaleidoscope of colors, fabrics, and textures that soon overtook the space. “The homeowner had complete trust in my design vision and the whole thing was inspirational.”
The Hunt Slonem original on the back wall is the point of reference for the colors in this striking living room. A curved turquoise sofa in a soft chenille by Kravet, a duo of high-backed armchairs retrofitted with casters and covered in tone-on-tone fabric, and Highland House hexagon nesting tables in complementary colors rest atop a blood orange rug with an egg-and-dart motif from Designers’ Rug Center. Embroidered silk draperies by Cowtan & Tout introduce another geometric pattern. The room’s drama is heightened with ceiling murals by Pierre Frey displayed in a mirror-effect on the diagonal.
Twin swivel chairs clad in a Groundworks cut velvet fabric of light green, navy, and gray offer flexible seating in the family room. A Theodore Alexander cocktail table of bone and glass is flanked by an aqua velvet daybed and a custom Kravet Furniture sofa with pewter GP & J Baker fabric. Custom pillows showcase a Hunt Slonem fabric by Kravet. Atop a high gloss lacquered John-Richard console sits a Baby Buddha sculpture by Metis Atash and Flowers III by Keith Haring.
The whimsical foyer space is home to dozens of original bunny paintings by Hunt Slonem, set in antique frames the artist collected over time. A chartreuse armchair in S. Harris chenille shares its seat with a silver sequined pillow. It, like the rug, was a piece selected from the owner’s Cincinnati residence. A resin table by Oly Furniture provides a spot to rest a book and felted rocks bring a bit of whimsy to the space.
The kitchen’s backsplash of water jet-cut glass is by New Ravenna and a white textured vase reflects off the island’s gleaming deep teal quartzite top.
The owner’s own high-backed swivel chairs were reupholstered in a hand-dyed Créations Métaphores velvet fabric with striations of color in cobalt blue, gray, and aqua. A custom settee, clad in neutral taupe, is enlivened by pillows in colorful Groundworks fabrics. The settee adds extra seating at the marble table by Hickory Chair, which draws the eye upwards to the fabulous chandelier of turquoise beads and textured chrome, relocated from the owner’s Cincinnati home. Underfoot is Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring in Vienna finish from the Dolce Vita Collection sourced and installed by Naples Flooring Company, and the photo on the wall is by Tyler Shields.
The oversized island of deep teal quartzite accommodates the owner’s large family at frequent festive gatherings. The Azul Macaubas quartzite countertop provides a dramatic counterpoint to the white gloss cabinetry designed by Brigham. Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery include a dual zone wine cooler with refrigerator drawers. The trio of mercury glass pendants are from Corbett Lighting. Art on the right is by Jose Andrés Mato Alonso.
An antique rug in the master bedroom introduces an unexpected shade of green, courtesy of an over-dyeing process. Embroidered Kravet draperies with notes of turquoise, green, and teal hang at the French doors. An ivory rolled arm Hickory Chair Jules swivel chair avoids competing with the room’s bold colors.
A carved wood Mr. Brown London bed sports a GP & J Baker fabric in rich jewel tones of turquoise, amethyst, garnet, and lapis in the master bedroom. Bedding is of Egyptian cotton by Eastern Accents with locally sourced accent pillows. The John-Richard silver painted nightstand has a textured reed front and hosts a selenite crystal lamp. An antique chair was reupholstered in poppy-hued cut velvet. Wall art is by Alice Williams.
The Century Furniture headboard is inset with a Kravet fabric of textured ribbons in shades of blue, surrounded by a border of shagreen, providing an interesting combination of finishes. The cotton bedding and the duvet cover are by Eastern Accents, and the faux fur and a tapestry pillow were locally sourced. Atop the Bungalow 5 nightstand sits a tinted glass lamp from Wilson Lighting and an extra touch of sparkle is added by the Emtek Acrylic doorknob, a modern interpretation of a classical glass handle. Chantilly Lace paint by Benjamin Moore provides a perfect neutral tone for the art by L.LI, as it does for all the walls of the home.
Written by Kitt Walsh
Photography by Mali Azima
Carrie Brigham Design
5117 Castello Drive, Suite 1
Naples, FL 34103
Luxury Home Builder
2241 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 1
Naples, Florida 34112
Stofft Cooney Architects
633 Ninth Street North, Suite 300
Naples, FL 34102
Builders Glass of Bonita
24181 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 4
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
2367 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 810
Naples, FL 34109
Designers’ Rug Center
732 9th Street North
Naples, FL 34102
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
38 Goodlette-Frank Road South
Naples, FL 34102
Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring
2684 Horseshoe Drive South
Naples, FL 34104
Naples Flooring Company
900 5th Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102
2465 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109