Custom design transforms a house into a home
The artistry of interior designer Lisa Ficarra and design associate Kealy Stapleton, combined with the creativity of architect Falconer Jones III brought out even more of the stunning beauty of this recently remodeled Naples home.
The homeowners, a couple hailing from the cold climes of upstate New York, were interested in enjoying the warm weather as soon as possible and didn’t want to wait to build their residence from scratch. But they were also very interested in transforming any existing house into their own—one that reflects their shared informed and excellent taste in contemporary design.
Enter the design team of Ficarra and Stapleton from Ficarra Design Associates, who worked very closely with the couple designing a home that is unique and truly reflects the couples’ dynamic lifestyle.
“We went shopping for each piece, even arranging field trips to the east coast,” says Stapleton. “We also designed custom furniture and accessories for them as I always want our clients to have unique furnishings. We never want their home to look like a furniture showroom,” explains Ficarra. “Every piece should have a story,” adds Stapleton.
“With these clients, who have wonderful design taste, searching out the perfect furnishings and finishes was exciting and great fun,” says Ficarra.
Architect Falconer Jones originally designed the house, built by Anthony Del Duca, but confesses he likes the remodeled version even better. “The bones of this home were gorgeous, but as it was built as a model to be sold, the design was necessarily a bit generic,” says Jones. He was delighted to be able to add more visual interest in this remodel.
“By adding shutters, the tone of the woodwork changed. The columns were widened on the bottom floor, which helped balance the wood columns added upstairs. We even used smaller profile Italian tile, clay-fired, to look like shake shingles on the roof,” he explained. “All of these changes were minor, but impactful.”
Ficarra and Stapleton worked with Jones on the interior as well. “Creating a new design for the stairway, at an entirely different pitch, opened up the entry foyer for entertaining,” Jones says. “And creating a wall of glass at one of the home’s axes brought in even more light to the interior.”
Jones continued, “I am delighted I got to know the clients well and personalize the home just for them.” Stapleton and Ficarra agree, adding, “These were one-of-a-kind clients, and we wanted them to have a home that is as unique and special as they are.”
The 8,000-square-foot, 6-bedroom home on a lovely Naples lake benefitted from cosmetic touches like a color change to a darker espresso stain for the wood components, as well as the addition of new plantation shutters on the Andersen windows, an upper balcony, and the widening of the redone wood-clad front porch columns.
Holding pride of place in what was formerly just an entry foyer, is the wood and glass stairway. Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring European White Oak 12-inch wide planks with lengths reaching up to 10 feet were provided and installed by Naples Flooring Company throughout the home, complementing the stair treads. The custom bar features mahogany panels fronting the bar and on the wall behind. Donghia bar stools with cut velvet cushions provide comfortable seating for guests in this new entertaining space.
A trio of custom painted abstract landscapes by local artists Eric and Jessica Crabtree of Art 41, who provided most of the major art in the home, sets the soothing color palette for the living room. The Century sofa is upholstered in a Kraft texturized linen. Cut velvet covers the two matching Berman Rosetti chairs and a Kravet armchair provides additional seating. The cunning Wendell Castle lacquer with wood veneer coffee table rests atop a custom rug from Designers’ Rug Center. Blown Murano glass Donghia lamps top the whitewashed oak end tables from the Robert James Collection. The freestanding carved wood sculpture is from The Phillips Collection.
The designers left the original cabinetry in the designer kitchen, but substituted the range hood for a two-toned brass and antique nickel François & Co. hood and the existing backsplash for a three-dimensional scraped ceramic tile from Ruben Sorhegui Tile, reminiscent of waves. Ficarra and Stapleton also replaced the sink with a hand-hammered brushed satin sink from Native Trails.
A pair of chandeliers by Fuse Lighting features oversized Edison bulbs to light the pair of existing kitchen islands. A quartet of stools by Swaim are upholstered in taupe and cream Larsen fabric. Sweetgrass Designs created the custom succulent planter atop the counter. Ficarra and Stapleton delineated the open space by encasing the columns in light mocha wood-veneers, punctuated by half-inch reveals to add a contemporary touch.
The custom Hellman-Chang table features a glass insert and allows seating for eight. The Century side chairs are covered in textured cotton and include a metallic handle detail at the top. Hickory Chair host chairs are clad in cut velvet. A bronze Satori Light Sculpture with parchment shades and sheer window treatments of Stroheim Casement fabric light the scene. The freestanding Art Deco-inspired console is by Swaim and artwork is by Art 41.
The great room wall is faux finished with millwork and wood paneling added to the adjacent columns to frame a large abstract work from Art 41. Dark stained sliders form a dramatic background for the Theodore Alexander sectional, covered in an oatmeal chenille fabric by Kravet, and the two Baker Furniture bucket chairs with striated patterned upholstery. The carved sculptural side table is by Wendell Castle and the end tables and cocktail table are from Robert James Collection. Bronze ribbon lamps are from International Design Source.
A built-in maple entertainment center holds the big screen for this media room. The nubby cotton covered sofa by Century offers comfortable seating and the upholstered ottoman coffee table by Vanguard invites guests to put their feet up. An area rug made of dimensional woolen balls by Rosemary Hallgarten resists staining. Palecek cane chairs surround the Pompeii quartz-topped gaming table by Hickory Chair.
The study’s custom half-moon desk, topped with Taj Mahal leathered-quartzite natural stone, is banded in the same Gunlocke leather as the executive chair. Additional seating is provided by the Hickory Chair lounge chair and Swaim ottoman, upholstered in striated chenille. Coulisse shades, offering controlled natural light, and the rock crystal Fine Art Chandelier, illuminated by hidden LED bulbs, both reflect off the Christopher O’Guin hand-applied antique-finished Venetian plaster walls.
Setting the tone of this restful master bedroom is the upholstered headboard and framed bed in mushroom textured linen by Top Drawer Furniture. Organic linens and custom pillows are in Romo and Kravet fabrics. Geometric acrylic lamps top Century nightstands. A pair of curved cut velvet-covered Weiman chairs and goblet lacquer table form the seating area. The wool and silk rug is by Designers’ Rug Center.
A complete dressing suite, the master closet by California Closets is designed with crisp white doors. A custom bench is conveniently positioned near the soaking tub, glass-enclosed shower, and dressing vanity.
Double and single chaise lounges by Caluco offer plenty of room for sunbathing on the shell stone deck, which the designers extended past the original parameters to accommodate more guests. At the far end, four comfortable outdoor wicker chairs by JANUS et Cie invite conversation around the Grand Effects gas fire pit.
The designers added interest by introducing mahogany stationary shutters atop the openings of the lavish outdoor living area. Matching sectionals of outdoor woven rattan and gray JANUS et Cie fabric are by Caluco and feature pillows by David Sutherland. They surround custom coffee tables of powder-coated aluminum with inset quartz tops. The existing dining table and the bar are now serviced by outdoor rattan JANUS et Cie chairs and stools.
Written by Kitt Walsh
Photography by Michael Owen
100 4th Avenue
Bayport, MN 55003
2084 J and C Blvd
Naples, FL 34109
2367 Vanderbilt Beach Rd. #810
Naples, FL 34109
Designers’ Rug Center
732 Ninth Street North
Naples, FL 34102
Ficarra Design Associates
633 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 200
Naples, FL 34102
International Design Source
6001 Taylor Road
Naples, FL 34109
Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring
2684 Horseshoe Drive South
Naples, FL 34104
Naples Flooring Company
900 5th Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102
Ruben Sorhegui Tile
3876 Mercantile Ave
Naples , FL 34104
1719 Trade Center Way, Suite 8
Naples, FL 34109