Downtown Oasis : Mangrove Bay

Nestled in the heart of downtown Naples at the crossroads of 5th Avenue and Tin City, Mangrove Bay on Goodlette-Frank Road is exceptionally well-situated. The tagline of “saving the exceptional for last,” refers to it being sited on the last remaining significant waterfront property for residential development in Olde Naples.

The development team at Mangrove Bay, namely Jon Rubinton, has developed myriad multi-million dollar communities and constructed hundreds of luxury custom homes in prestigious neighborhoods. This appears to be the jewel in their crown.

Architect Matthew Kragh, president of MHK Architecture & Planning was tapped to provide his signature ‘cottage chic’ look to the 2,600 square foot to over 4,000 square foot residences available to homeowners priced from approximately $2.63M.

“One of my favorite architects Alvar Aalto once said, ‘Building art is a synthesis of life in materialized form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.’ Harmony is the way I would describe these homes in one word,” states Kragh.

The design process included putting together puzzle pieces in a complex way to come up with a simple solution. The end result became an elegant flowing plan that brings the exterior Naples Bay experience inside the house. Adds Kragh, “The home is deceiving from the street presence as the second floor detached guest house soars over the garage area. Once in the main house, a flowing one-story configuration is peeled away one layer at a time.”

The Amelia III model, a four bed, four-and-a-half bath waterfront residence, is approximately 3,640 square feet of living space and enjoys a private entry guest home above the garage. As with all the models shown at Mangrove, the interior design is skillfully executed by Freestyle Interiors.

Faith Fix, ASID, principal of Freestyle Interiors has enjoyed being part of the Mangrove project team and providing design direction on the interiors of such a unique project. “The architectural styling of the homes provides much inspiration for varied design concepts which means we can really let our creative juices flow in working with future homeowners in the customization of their interiors,” states Fix.

Senior designer of Freestyle Interiors Julie Roy brought the Amelia III to life. “I would call this look, ‘upscale cottage’ because even though it has a casual, coastal feel, the interior architecture and detailing includes intricate trim details and a grand two-story beamed, tongue-and-groove ceiling in the great room. According to Roy, “it’s luxurious, yet still feels approachable.”

One deciding design element in the living room was a striped Kravet fabric chosen for the built-in upholstered bench seat cushions flanking the brick, whitewashed fireplace. “The wonderful combination of navy, teal, and sand colors in that fabric set the tone for the palette I used throughout,” says Roy.

The oversized coffee table is Somerset Bay and makes a real statement in the living room. Its plank wood top and fun, curved, chunky legs give it lots of charm. The decor in the open floor plan carries in seamlessly to the dining room with its five nautical-themed art pieces from art source Trowbridge.

“I picked one fun, linear singular chandelier from Lowcountry of South Carolina for the dining room, keeping in mind that I had used individual pendant lights nearby in the kitchen,” adds Roy.

In the kitchen, the use of flat panel applied molding doors with clean details and custom stain and painted finishes provided a sophisticated coastal feel to the cabinetry. Designed and installed by Ruffino Cabinetry, Mangrove Bay offers each homeowner standard design options with multiple finishes and colors, and also the option to create a custom design.

“The use of the finest materials, including Pure Bond formaldehyde-free plywood, Low VOC finishes, and an endless amount of fully customizable selections and design options, make each home unique,” states Stephen Ruffino, vice president of Ruffino Cabinetry.

One of the most charming elements in the kitchen is the perfection of the paint color. Roy selected Sherwin Williams ‘Upward’ for all the cabinetry to pick up the grayish blue graining of the marble. “I love this blue. It really set the tone for the project, and I refer back to it in other areas of the project,” says Roy.

The ten-foot long island features a stunning marble top, which is called the Bianco Raffaello, and was sourced at United Materials, Inc. UMI provided all the hard surfaces and countertops throughout the Amelia, including the Pompeii Quartz Barcelona in the laundry room.

The vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom suite features painted tongue-and-groove wood and beams perched above the four-post bed from Hickory White. The soft cream and pale blue fabrics are carried from the bed and draperies to the cozy built-in window seat.

All the bedding comes from the designer’s favorite custom source in Massachusetts named Matouk, a new line being carried by Freestyle Interiors. The rugs are sourced from nationally renowned NYC-based Stark Carpet.

The main paint color Roy used throughout is ‘Pure White’ by Sherwin Williams, and it provides a crisp backdrop for the fabrics and furnishings she selected and overall, lends to the cottage feel of Amelia III model. The developer’s affinity for Vermont actually inspired a good many of Roy’s choices.

According to Amy Jimenez, Naples Showroom Manager of Kravet, Inc., “Julie Roy and her team at Freestyle Interiors have captured the relaxed ease of Florida living. The serene color palette travels from room to room and crisp architectural finishes provide a backdrop for layered fabric textures. The team at Freestyle Interiors has impeccable taste and their attention to detail and innate understanding of the comforts of home is unparalleled.”

Architect Kragh summarizes, “The kitchen, dining, and great room areas create a cinematic approach to one of the best waterway and mangrove-lined views in town. The master suite is well-organized, flowing, and promotes activity to the exterior with its exterior-oriented reading nook, and the great room includes incredible vaulted ceilings perpendicular to the view direction to give the space a cottage-like ambience. “

It is a landscape architect’s dream to be involved with designing a waterfront community in the heart of Naples,” describes Christian Andrea of Architectural Land Design. “Mangrove Bay focuses on Old Florida inspired architecture, quaint courtyards, and rain gardens. It has a nostalgic essence in a modern era. The community is a modern day reflection of a nostalgic past. It exhibits a feeling of a simpler era, with its brick lined streets and sidewalks, its boardwalks and docks where boating and fishing are only a few steps away,” concludes Andrea.


Written by Linda Donnelly

Photography by Tim Gibbons


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


Ceramic Matrix
2160 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109


Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
3406 Domestic Avenue
Naples, FL 34104


Freestyle Interiors
3525 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 105
Bonita Springs, FL 34134


Mangrove Bay
111 14th Street, South
Naples, FL 34102


MHK Architecture & Planning
975 6th Avenue, South #200
Naples, FL 34102


Kravet Inc.
959 1st Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102


Ruffino Cabinetry
291 Broad Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102


United Materials, Inc. (UMI)
1615 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109

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