Creating a residence for discerning clients, in this case a high-rise unit at the most premier address on Gulf Shore Boulevard, mandates design excellence. Leaving nothing to chance, the owners of this 7,481 square foot, 4 bedrooms, 8 bath home enlisted design aficionados Collins & DuPont and master craftsmen Thomas Riley Artisans’ Guild (TRAG). With imaginative concepts, uncompromising standards, and extreme ingenuity, the team set about bringing the detail-driven project to fruition.
In keeping with the ever-present open floorplan that typifies today’s living, spaces were streamlined to maximize function and flow. Italian-sourced stone slabs were installed to realize a monolithic effect for the flooring. Ceilings were energized with captivating design techniques and walls were treated with the finest materials. A mutual trust between the two involved parties enacted reaching for the highest heights.
“We create the designs and they implement them, “ says Co-Owner and Partner of Collins & DuPont Design Group, Kim Collins, ASID, about TRAG. “They are one of the only companies that doesn’t say ‘no’ to what we propose. They are not only able, but willing.”
Matt Riley, TRAG’s Principal and CEO, returns the complement. “Their creativity is without limit. Our job is to figure out how to execute the big, beautiful ideas they have.”
And some of the ideas conjured up by Collins and lead designer Alina Dolan really put these “daredevils” to the test. An ordinary finish selected out of a catalog would simply be out of the question. It had to be divergent from anything ever seen before. To attain the precise shade of “truffle” or “mink” in the mind’s eye of the designer might require multiple layers and countless hours, but in the end, these are the details that matter.
The same can be said for the millwork. One false cut can jeopardize the entire design, many of which were elaborate and complex. “Every part of the process needs to be thought out,” says Doug Maxwell of TRAG, who served as project manager. “You only have one shot to nail it, so you’ve got to get it right the first time.”
Dolan, too, was painstaking in her selections, making sure to strike the ideal balance between geometric and organic. “Introducing natural elements to the linear adds warmth and keeps things from feeling too sterile.” she says. Throughout the home, her impactful choices-from jewel-like lighting to artistic focal walls-are revealed. “I strive for the unexpected. Everything is subtle and then boom! Drama!”
In a project of this caliber, the pressure’s on, but the many ways that tailoring the details elevates the design are well worth it. “Manufactured products are not the same as hand-finished,” says Collins. “There is just no substitute.”
Set against the backdrop of a breathtaking Southwest Florida sunset, the great room showcases a standout credenza by John Pomp with hand blown crystal rondelle doors and an antique brass top. Its circular motif plays off a gently lit, spherical ceiling treatment. A dramatic shape shift occurs in the polished marble floors that bear an on-trend chevron pattern. Rene Cazares sofas, clad in a textural sand fabric, provide a whisper of elegance, and shapely iridescent glass vases create artistic interest.
The designers exercise bravado in the bar area, envisioning a statement TV wall (crafted by TRAG’s M&C, or Method & Concept, division) where Donghia’s Eritria fabric in Verde Prato is layered beneath Alex Turco’s Green Monolith, a citron-colored poured resin panel that is backlit to glow.
An alternative view of the great room offers a closer look at the Rene Cazares sectionals and grouping of hexagonal tables in this inviting entertaining space.
The monochromatic kitchen features harmonized tones of truffle, mink, and sand. TRAG once again answers the call for the inimitable with a custom striated finish. The striking handmade table uses a stained white oak veneer as its surface and is surrounded by contemporary upholstered chairs from Holly Hunt. The Foglie D’oro Frammenti brushed oak floors in a rhomboid pattern are a brilliant use of geometry. Stainless appliances from top-of-the-line brands-Sub-Zero, Wolf and Miehle-meet the high standard for efficiency and aesthetic beauty.
TRAG’s creativity continues at the bar, which features an American black walnut top with a perfectly imperfect, hand-hewn live edge. Simple brushed patina hardware offsets the base’s sparkling white high-gloss finish. Shakuff’s Kadur custom chandelier catches the eye with organically-shaped blown glass. It was conceived by Collins who was inspired by the pearlized finish seen in the automotive realm. On the left is a peek at the edgy countertops, fabricated with Aqua Venato quartzite. Cylindrical columns covered in linear glass mosaic are softened by Century Furniture body-hugging barstools. The clients’ own mural along the back wall introduces hues of onyx, butterscotch, muted forest green, and a range of moody blues.
The dining room, regal and elegant, is furnished with an ebonized veneer table edged in gold and straight-backed chairs, both by Dakota Jackson. A Marge Carson credenza with leather door panels and an antique mirror surround is placed against a white and gold Bradley wallcovering that emulates veiny marble. An intricate Serip Lighting chandelier with gold patina branches and clear glass bell flowers maintains the palette.
The foyer unifies three distinctive materials: the pilasters’ inset with walnut veneer custom-finished by TRAG; the French doors’ laser-cut brass fretwork, which is both glamorous and functional; and the taupe-polished marble floors. Stunning and delicate, the slender metal base and dark fumed oak top console between the pilasters is from Porta Romana.
The his-and-hers master bath is both exquisite and expansive. The flooring, in shades of mink, illustrates the astonishing technological advancement of manmade materials. It pairs perfectly with the rich and complex Michelangelo quartzite countertops, and the rock crystal pendants selected by interior designers Kim and Alina that hang above them evoke nature and a sense of mystery.
The master bedroom gleams with an inset ceiling that flaunts silver leaf faux work. The exquisite credenza from Ironies is characterized by gold leaf carved doors and a fog finished cabinet. The king-size bed, also from Ironies, is swathed in Romo’s Deuce Patina fabric and adorned by a luxurious panel, custom-designed by Collins & DuPont designer Alina Dolan, using a rich bronze Scalamandre textile accented with oxidized jade. The pair of showstopping Ligne Atelier hanging pendants suspended on either side of the bed serve as the metallic statement’s exclamation point.
The feminine side of the master bath undulates with curved white oak veneer cabinetry custom-fabricated and finished by TRAG. A freestanding MTI Juliet soaking tub from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery sits beneath the window, and in the foreground, a sleek brass vanity stool by Michael Schmidt is topped with a faux snakeskin cushion. Hammerton’s Starburst chandelier dazzles from above with brass arms and amber glass lenses.
Fashionable as a new collection strutting down the runway, guests can indulge in this bedroom where Ironies’ “Cross Hatch” chandelier in Frosted White shines down on a graphic bed by Badgley Mischka Home. The Euro shams, bolster pillow, and panel show off vibrant patterned fabrics in butterfly and botanical motifs, by Christian Lacroix for Osborne & Little. To infuse a mid-century modern vibe, Dolan places a low-slung, polished aluminum Ironies chair.
Written by Robin Hodes
Photography by Lori Hamilton
Collins & DuPont Design Group
8911 Brighton Lane
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
38 Goodlette-Frank Road South
Naples, FL 34102