Perhaps builder Dan Gagne of Gagne Construction could have renovated the older home nestled among the mangroves on Millar Bay — it needed new air conditioning, a new roof, and termite remediation for starters. However even if restored to pristine condition, the home would still be larger than what the longtime owners were looking for at this point in their life. Instead, Gagne and architect David Wash started over, bringing the home down to the concrete slab and pilings and focused on creating a backdrop for unique details and dazzling features for this reimagined bayfront bungalow.
Jewel tones in blues and purples punctuate the light, bright, airy rooms furnished and accessorized by Debra Gamache of Sarasota Chic Interiors, mostly with pieces from her retail showroom of the same name. “The homeowner was not afraid to bring in color, which was nice. She came to the store quite often to make selections and it was a pleasure to work with her as we have the same tastes and had the same ideas for her home,” smiles Gamache. The pair focused on comfortable contemporary furnishings, pieces with curves and warmth to them.
“The existing house had huge spaces,” Wash continues. “Being used to tall ceilings, the homeowner wanted to keep that sense of expansiveness.” Coffered ceilings lined with tongue-and-groove cypress in the main living area, accented with pristine white box beams and wire brushed wide plank flooring from Wade’s Carpet & Interiors with an oil finish, bring warmth into the light-filled space.
The biggest change to the original custom-designed house was the relocation of the master bedroom suite to the ground level. “To give the owner a sense of privacy, formerly afforded by the second story, we placed the guest bedrooms up one-half level, situating them above the garage,” says Wash.
“We stayed within the original footprint, but the resulting home, at a little over 2,800 square feet, is about half the size of the original,” explains Gagne when describing the smaller yet spacious new structure he built for his clients. Although this project is modest compared to the average house Gagne Construction builds, the Longboat Key gem is embellished with extensive trim and finely detailed woodwork, two of Gagne’s favorite aspects of the home.
“We kept the existing grade to give a sense of a ground level home,” builder Dan Gagne of Gagne Construction explains. In reality, the home is a split-level, with the garage tucked under the house. The back of the house has a bank of windows and glass doors, affording water views from most of the rooms in the house. “It’s one of my favorite things about the home,” continues Gagne. A slender wooden pier extends from the backyard and snakes through the mangroves, providing easy access to the angled dock on the Bay.The crystal and metal chandelier was handmade to order, as were the iridescent throw pillows — handcrafted from silkscreened and hand-painted silk velvet. A bench seat sofa and loveseat duo by Rene Cazares from Sarasota Chic Interiors is covered in white suede and accented with silver nailhead trim. The sofa and loveseat anchor a high-plush wool and silk shag area rug in silver above Wade’s Carpet & Interior’s wood flooring. The small-scaled 360° swivel chairs enhance conversation, water views, or television viewing.Not wanting to block the view of the bay, Gamache suggested low-profile ottomans instead of chairs with backs. Tufted on top, the silver metallic faux leather ottomans are mounted on casters above the wood flooring from Wade’s Carpet & Interiors. The ultra-clear Facet Glass tabletop by Charleston Forge from Sarasota Chic Interiors is set on a custom-sized metal base fabricated by Glassisimo. Facet glass is created by laminating three one-quarter-inch slabs of glass. Once bonded, the center piece is shattered to create a random, unique faceted pattern.A dual-level kitchen island features a black walnut-topped eating counter served by a trio of custom heavy iron swivel hydraulic bar stools. The island’s lower level and kitchen countertops were crafted from Taj Mahal Quartzite. Brookhaven cabinetry is inset with mirror-backed medallion inserts, and martini one-half-by-two-inch tiles in Lucca Pearl from Lunada Bay’s Agate collection were masterfully set and sparkle as light pours in through the kitchen windows.Gamache added luxurious custom bedding to the Rene Cazares upholstered bed, with purple kidney pillows and a handsome throw crafted from handmade silkscreened velvet fabric. A pair of Adriana Hoyos nightstands in Mink and topped with ivory marble from Sarasota Chic Interiors add warmth. Bedside lamps from John-Richard’s Marc McDowell Collection sparkle with blown glass teardrops. Dimensional metal floral artwork, also from Sarasota Chic Interiors, accents the headboard wall of whitewashed shiplap.The master bath is furnished with a freestanding Juliet soaking tub from MTI, fed by a floor-mounted chrome tub filler from Brizo’s Virage collection. The shower features a combination of two wall-mounted Virage Sensori volume controls and a Jaclo 12-inch round rain machine. The vanity wall has porcelain tile from Atlas Concorde’s Marvel collection in Calacatta Extra with a honed Lappato finish on the floor and Mir Mosaic’s Water Jet tile in Coastal Ribbon. Weather-friendly synthetic decking edged with powder-coated rails stretches across the rear of the home. Gagne Construction set the wood frame structure on a concrete foundation and piles, clad the façade in Hardie board, and topped the home with a 5v-galvalume roof. Shades of gray pavers form a generous motor court that branches off to the side-loading garage. With no lawn to mow, crushed shell surrounds rock gardens of native grasses and handsome boulders punctuated by brilliant fuchsia bougainvillea. At night, dramatic uplighting of a few specimen trees prove that in the landscape, too, less is more.
Written by Ginny Peterson
Photography by Ryan Gamma
Luxury Home Builder
214 Pine Avenue
Anna Maria, FL 34216
Sarasota Chic Interiors
7484 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
Wade’s Carpet & Interiors
2911 Cortez Road West
Bradenton, FL 34207