Cape Hickory : Close Up : Southwest Florida

On a thumb-shaped peninsula of land along Cape Hickory Court in Bonita Springs, a visionary team of developers and designers has brought to life a community that combines two of the best qualities in Florida waterfront living, both a bay front location as well as Gulf beach access. “This property sat around undeveloped for years,” explains Bill Leach of Barry DeNicola Realty. “There were a lot of dreamers…”, his voice trails off. It took developer Nat Rea to make the dream a reality, creating a unique gated enclave of custom homes on this gently curving piece of land hugging the west shore of Hogue Channel. Along with the property, Rea bought the designs for five homes previously planned to take advantage of the site’s rare southern exposure and unparalleled privacy.

Residential designer Rich Guzman of R.G. Designs recalls, “All of the homes had challenges from a design and permitting standpoint. But when you put a house 10 to 12 feet in the air, you open up possibilities for parking and storage on the bottom.” Each home has a minimum of one covered carport and a three-car garage. Two of the homes have four-car garages with multiple carports and one features a six-car garage.


Unlike so many Florida communities, each of these homes maintains its own identity with a distinct exterior design. “The home construction designs had to follow the individual lot styles,” adds Guzman. “Some are taller, skinnier, longer…the community is cohesive, but each home has its own character.” The homes range in size from 2,846 square feet to 5,207 A/C square feet, with each home featuring a gas heated saltwater pool and spa with automated control functions, an elevator and a boat dock with lift. Each is fully furnished, including luxury linens.

The Barry DeNicola in-house design team of Leach, his wife Day DeNicola Leach, Chris Hawley, and Aura DeNicola Hawley created four distinctly different styles spread between the homes: “Coastal Cottage,” “Modern Coastal,” “Coastal Transitional,” and “Coastal Traditional with West Indies Flair.” The Leaches were responsible for all of the material and fixture selections; the Hawleys chose the furnishings and décor to accentuate the four design styles. “We used beautifully crafted, exquisite materials. All of the stone work is on the exotic level, even in the laundry rooms,” says Leach. “There was no cost cutting—we put the materials and furnishings in there that those homes deserve!”


Josh Skinner and John Sturdivent of Abbey Carpet & Floor worked with the DeNicola design team to supply and install all of the hard surfaces. “It was interesting working on all of the homes at one time, doing each in a different style,” describes Skinner. “We mixed and matched some of the products and when all was said and done, the look is a beautiful ‘beachy’ vibe, throughout.”

The great room pictured here is furnished in the team’s “modern coastal” style, with an emphasis on simple lines and light tones with pops of color. A white sectional sofa with coral patterned accent pillows, from Michael Weiss, sets a motif found throughout the home. Decorative ceiling molding visually defines this room without detracting from the 12-foot ceilings found in each of the homes. Metallic and glass elements, including a silver seashell and coral-shaped lamp, add a contemporary flair. The circular metal chandelier is finished in bronze and silver.


The modern coastal design is reinforced in this dining room with bright coral centerpieces topping the dining table and embellishing the upholstered chairs. The bold color inspires a modern style while the use of coral and other natural materials in this home provides continuity with its marine themes. Throughout all of the homes, minimal window coverings were designed to accentuate the views and allow the homeowners to determine the look and level of privacy they want in each room.

“Each home was uniquely site-planned to compliment the peninsula of land that they reside on,” comments landscape architect Christian Andrea of Architectural Land Design, responsible for the external features of the home, including the hardscape, landscape, and pool design. “It’s so refreshing to have a community where the homes are not placed in a row, allowing for an ever changing streetscape. The coastal architectural style is complemented by the tropical plant palette, perfect for its proximity to the Gulf and bay.”

The “coastal transitional” style is seen in this kitchen, with its faded, earthy tones, complimented by bold turquoise barstools. Each of the homes’ kitchens are outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances, in this case a dual-fuel Professional Series, 6-burner Thermador range with griddle. Two-toned custom-glazed maple cabinetry is carefully crafted to match the glass tile backsplash. The countertop shown here is Perla Quartzite, while in another of the homes, a petrified leaf is embedded in the Cristallo countertop.

The same coastal transitional style is evident in the design for one of the master bedrooms seen here, with its soft, muted blue upholstered bedframe, simple in design, meant for casual comfort. A sculptured carpet in subtle waves adds depth and texture to the floor and maintains the coastal theme. Each of the four bedrooms in all of the homes opens to spectacular water views by way of pocketed impact glass sliders.

Dark-stained furnishings by Lexington and John Richard mark another master bedroom, which the design team crafted in their “coastal traditional with West Indies flair” style. Laid on the diagonal and topped with a sisal area rug, the medium tone stain on the white oak flooring adds warmth underfoot. The spherical pendant lamp is from Curry & Co., and the handmade bonefish lamps over the bedside tables are from Theodore Alexander.

The master bath in each of the four homes features a luxurious jetted tub. Exemplary of the high quality finishes used in these homes, this mosaic tile tub surround is Spanish porcelain. Wood-look porcelain 12” x 24” tile covers the bath floor and run up the sides of the generously sized corner shower. Luxury brand fixtures by Brizo add functional elegance.

Two of the homes have a zero-edge pool, spa, and outdoor kitchen within a two-story Super Screen ® enclosure, designed to maximize the lot configuration. The home pictured here, on the tip of the peninsula, has an infinity edge pool and panoramic picture window screen. “The pool and rear yard areas were all elevated to co-exist with the primary living area of the home, providing expansive views across the mangroves into the Bay,” describes Andrea. All of the gas-heated saltwater pools and spas have automated control features including color changing LED lights and auto fill. All of the homes feature convenient pool baths. Flooring on the lanai is chiseled natural stone while the ceiling on this home is tongue-and-groove cypress. All of the homes have an outdoor kitchen with built-in grill. All aluminum Tommy Bahama furnishings with custom fabrics provide cozy outdoor seating around the outdoor fireplace.

Finally, adding to the wonder of this development is the pace at which it was constructed. “The homes came out of the ground in March of 2013 and were delivered within 18 months. That is quite amazing for homes of this caliber,” concludes Leach.

Written by Ginny Cooper
Photography by Giovanni Photography

Abbey Carpet & Floor
13250 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34110

Architectural Land Design, Inc.
2780 Horseshoe Drive South, Suite 5
Naples, FL 34104

Barry DeNicola Realty, Inc.
4892 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

R.G. Designs, Inc.
28071 Vanderbilt Drive
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

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