Everyone dreams of a home that is both elegant and livable. With a strong team of talented designers, a coastal chic home on the beach was designed for flip flops and bare feet by day and well-heeled dinner parties at night. The goal was to build a luxurious second residence that would complement the seaside setting while asserting its independence from the familiar Old Florida and Mediterranean style homes around it. “We tried to capture what we call a tropical-modern feel,” shares residential designer, Richard Guzman of R.G. Designs.
Flanked by small balconies with iron railings, olive green Bahamian shutters, and capped by a dual pitch, flat-tiled roof, Guzman’s design does exactly that. With a distinctive British West Indies influence, the structure appears from the front almost like a sandcastle on the beach with a crowning cupola. The exterior, finished in Old World stucco, captures the warm, sun-kissed hues of Floridian sand, while the mitered-corner windows, inspired by homes in New England, maximize every last inch of the Gulf view.
The 4,800-square-foot home presented a technical design challenge: with only a five-foot setback on either side of the property, the plans demanded a narrow footprint. For the builder Terry Jerulle of T. Jerulle Construction, this meant driving pilings 60 feet down and building the foundation in two phases. After some creative rejiggering, construction was complete within twelve months. Doug Grant, the property specialist with The Grant Group at Coldwell Banker shares, “I have sold many beachfront properties, and this is by far the best use of space for a 50-foot lot that I have ever seen. It’s a remarkable property!”
The handsome front elevation was designed to be informal and welcoming, with minimal steps leading inside to a small foyer poised between the main and lower levels. The lower level is devoted to a 5-car garage with a private elevator and the option for expanded living space. On the main level is the great room, a flowing a highly functional integrated space with seating, bar, kitchen, and dining areas overlooking the splendid powdery beach.
Designers Ruta Menaghlazi and Faith Fix of Freestyle Interiors were looking for a fresh beach flavor for the home, something a bit more modern than the traditional cottage with a clean, timeless appeal and its own unique features.
Rather than stone or marble flooring, Managhlazi opted for reclaimed oak flooring with a smoky driftwood finish. The color palette here references the beach, with an aqua accent wall, sand-colored linen upholstery, oatmeal and walnut variegated rug and driftwood coffee table. Tucked into the smoked-gray cabinetry of the bar is a mirror throwing back a rearview reflection of the sparkling Gulf.
In fact, there is no vantage point in this open area where the Gulf can be ignored; a bay of windows and ten-foot sliding glass doors line the walls encircling the kitchen and informal dining area.
The natural sand motif extends to the transitional style kitchen, contrasted with paprika upholstered barstools. Custom-made maple cabinetry is finished in a light linen color with a subtle chocolate glaze, contrasted by a dark maple island and granite countertops. The smart storage solutions include a pantry closet with camouflaged maple door and a hidden microwave in a push-button drawer. A Sub-Zero refrigerator and Wolf range complete the luxury appointments.
The open dining area is softly lit by a Currey & Company iron lattice globe fixture, which is at once prominent—but yet unobstructive. Caramel open-weave wicker chairs complete a relaxed look.
Among the most striking features in the great room is the custom ceiling with its geometric maze of woodwork. “It was another major challenge when it came time for the carpenters to rough-in the design around the duct work and light fixtures, it is truly one of the most unique elements in the home,” Jerulle says.
Beyond the great room, there are two guest suites on the first floor, each with a full guest bath and a spacious closet. One of the guest suites is bathed in warm coral and deep taupe, a white four-poster bed and white ceiling trim adding a crisp visual counterpoint.
“We took what we considered would be wasted space with a first floor laundry room, and converted that into the bar,” Guzman says. “We wanted to maximize all of the available square footage to fit the amenities of a larger home into a more contained plan.”
The staircase is distinguished by grasscloth wall covering, wood detailing on the stairwells, and Eastern light flooding through the architectural cupola windows.
On the second level, another guest bedroom awaits with an adjacent full-service laundry room. Additionally there is a home office, smartly placed upstairs to overlook the beautiful Gulf with its own terrace. It is outfitted in sand and linen, augmented by hints of blue and green. The flavor is neutral, as evidenced by the oatmeal woven sofa and lightly distressed reclaimed wood furniture and allows the stunning view to take center stage.
Unquestionably, the master suite is the star feature of this home. With an unfettered vista of the Gulf from the sliding glass pocket doors, it opens up to a private terrace perfect for witnessing evening sunsets. The spacious suite continues the neutral sand and watercolored palette in the bedding, upholstery, and window treatments. The rear of the home was designed to approximate the experience of being on a cruise ship, with a cable handrail keeping the view open to the beckoning water. Traversing linen panels can be pulled across the glass for privacy.
The master bathroom’s gentle tone of crema marfil stone is offset by the textures of the tongue-and-groove ceiling, the river rock shower floor and spa gray grasscloth on the wall. There is no lack of light with two transoms and an oversized window at the tub deck.
The cruise ship aesthetic extends to the expansive outdoor living room, decked in creamy shell stone and encircling a full kitchen equipped with a Wolf grill and hood range, plus a television viewing area, fireplace, and bar for entertaining and everyday relaxation. A gate blocking the stairs from the beach assures security for the homeowner and hidden hurricane screening offers protection during storms. At the bottom of the stairs is an outdoor shower. The show-stopping elevated infinity edge pool perched dramatically over the Gulf seamlessly blends the inherent beauty of its setting with sleek modern style.
Given the final result, Menaghlazi feels sure the team achieved its collective design goals. “This is a beautiful unpretentious home complete with all the high-end comforts. Really, there’s nothing more you could ask for.”
For more information on purchasing this home, contact the listing agent, Doug Grant of The Grant Group at Coldwell Banker on 239.948.4450.
Written by Elisa Ludwig
Photography by Giovanni Photography
28071 Vanderbilt Drive
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134
3525 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 105
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134
The Grant Group
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
4450 Bonita Beach Road #3
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134