The owners of this Italian-inspired beachfront villa seek refuge here from the cold winters of upstate New York. The couple sought out architect Dan Dawson after admiring his work, desiring to create a home which reflects the architecture they fell in love with on their Italian honeymoon.
“Like most clients, they showed me a number of photos of homes that they loved. My goal is to blend all those photos and ideas into a design that exceeds their dream,” explains Dawson. “Many of the strongest features of the home were ideas that were started by the owners. They were a joy to work with. I would consider them to be more collaborators than clients.”
Dawson says the team solidified when joined by builder Carmine Pici of Tom Pici & Son Builders. The design hit close to home for Pici, whose grandfather was a builder in Italy. Dawson’s design was realized through the skilled artisans and experience Tom Pici & Son Builders brought to the project.
“A big part of what we do is having in place an experienced team of sub-contractors, craftsman and suppliers to produce that final dream home for the clients,” says Pici. “Architect Dan Dawson is amazing and when the plans are excellent it makes it easier for us to accomplish a beautiful end result.”
The owners’ goal was to create a light-filled interior with modified old-world touches befitting the homes’ phenomenal beachfront location on Clearwater Beach.
Principal designer Michelle Miller of Michelle Miller Design and interior designer Vanessa Stark’s use of clean, simple contemporary furnishings juxtaposed against ornate details creates a balance in the home.
Even the family’s French bulldog is mesmerized by the glistening two-story chandelier illuminating the spiral staircase which achieves the grandeur and sophistication the clients desired. White large format porcelain tile flooring used throughout the home provides the look of marble with beach-front durability. Custom wrought-iron railings on the stairs and second-story balcony hallway add old-world charm.
The home’s two-story great room ceiling detail is a favorite of architect Dawson. The interior designers accentuated the room’s volume with full-length watery-blue sheers from S. Harris. A sparkling Corbett Lighting Chandelier maintains a feel of glamor and elegance. A clean-lined custom Vanguard sofa adds contemporary contrast.
“They wanted a Clearwater retreat with the essence of luxury with a touch of glamour but not over the top or overdone. We worked to integrate the architectural elements and create an environment that is lighter and fresher and younger and more contemporary to the space.”
Custom-made iron railings are softened by glistening mica-painted walls, and the shimmer of carefully selected light fixtures. The heart of the design both inside and out is the three-story spiral staircase, illuminated by a two-story cascading chandelier designed and custom-made to the owners’ specifications.
The wet bar cabinetry provides climatized wine storage for both whites and reds. The mix of material continues here with a metal backsplash and cast iron doors leading to a small room that houses the kitchen ovens, microwave, and a large pantry out of sight of the main kitchen.
An 11-foot island illuminated by a quartet of Corbett Lighting pendants is at the heart of this kitchen, custom-designed by AlliKristé Cabinetry. Kitchen designer Bob Ostrowski selected a mix of paint, wood stain and black for the custom cabinetry, “I like the idea of using a mix to give the space a feeling of warmth. The kitchen blends custom finishes and materials to create texture.” A wall cabinet placed over a window allows a flood of natural light and provides an ever-changing background view.
Guests need little more than the view to enhance their stay in this waterfront retreat. The room is in keeping with the coastal glam of the home, but creates a more serene space with organic hues and natural textured Kravet drapery.
The stair landing introduces a tailored feel to the upstairs. An onyx table softens the color palette and brings in a natural element. The desired touch of glamour is prevalent in the deep blue velvet sofa and chandelier illuminating the intimate space.
A melding of tradition and progress, the home fulfills the owners’ desire for modern-day conveniences with a bit of glamour and nostalgic romance.
Playing off of the arch details in the architecture, the designers brought the same element into the tile, cabinetry, and mirror design of the master bath. Dramatic black and white Sophie, waterjet stone mosaic tile from New Ravenna Tile creates a bold statement against the white vanity cabinetry. The Corbett Lighting chandelier is positioned at the entry to the dual-sided shower which runs the entire length of the bathroom. Brizio faucets from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery are used in the shower and at the vanity sinks. A glamorous walk-in closet by California Closets completes the master retreat.
The master bedroom brings a New York edge to the beachfront property, according to designer Miller. The essence of comfortable luxury in the bedding with Pyar & Co. pillows, Caracole furnishings, and Maxwell Fabrics drapery is accented by John Richard accessories for a touch of glamour. “These clients were fun to work with; they were not afraid of unique materials. It really was a collaborative effort with our team and the clients to create a special look,” notes Miller.
Steps from the beach at the base of the three-story home, the pool provides a refreshing escape on hot Florida days. Its dancing fountains and comfortable lounge area are a fitting finish to this romantic beachside retreat.
A daybed swing and comfortable seating furnish this second-floor balcony—a frequent gathering spot for morning coffee and sunset viewing.
Written by Lisa Mishler
Photography by Blaine Johnathan
AlliKristé Custom Cabinetry
& Kitchen Design
1188 N. Tamiami Trail, Unit 108, Sarasota, FL 34236
2906 W. Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33609
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen &
302 North Willow Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606
Michelle Miller Design
14603 Gulf Boulevard
Madeira, FL 33708
Tom Pici & Son Builders
7211 1st Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33707