Dynamic Design : Celebrating a Modern Makeover


With stunning gulf to bay views enjoyed by oversized terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows on the exclusive south end of Longboat Key, the location of this condo was perfect. The condo, however, was less so, and did not fit the owners’ needs or desired aesthetic, which includes a love of contemporary Italian furniture, and a collection of contemporary art. “They wanted a place that was going to be bright, airy, minimal, clean, and not cluttered,” says Molly Laub of MKL Interiors. A full renovation, from floor to ceiling, was in order.

Gregg Kaplan of LBK Contractors & Design set to work to remove the non-load- bearing walls, and lift the ceilings through most of the home. “In a condo, the biggest issues in opening up a space and lifting ceilings are the air conditioning systems, plumbing stacks, and lighting,” says Kaplan. He came to the project with experience in this particular building’s different floor plans and regulations, an invaluable asset. Kaplan worked with Laub, owners’ Patti Kriger-Schaffer and Michael Schaffer, and Monika Oberer of Light Up Your Life. Together they developed unique ceiling treatments for each room, incorporating a complex and thoughtful lighting plan to diversify and maximize the light, while maintaining architecturally clean lines.

Although concrete ceilings are usually the biggest snag in condo renovations, new technology in LED lighting has proven to be a game changer. In this renovation, the Edge lighting system provides direct and ambient lighting specific to each room’s needs and visual advantage. Linear light channels also create light as an artistic element, drawing bright and clean lines flush with the walls.

Proper design and installation of floors are just as essential. “No matter how beautiful the material, poor installation will kill the look,” claims Lilliana Allen of Oracle Surfaces, the Sarasota based company that installed the Kåhrs lacquered-pearl Swedish oak floors throughout the condo.

When completed, a successful renovation is measured by more than its visual appeal. Laub says her barometer includes the process of the renovation, “a positive perspective on the entire process from the conception of the design, through the construction, installations, and down to the last details, like doorbells.”

By every measure, the Schaffers love their renovation. They thanked everyone who participated in its creation with an invitation to a celebration in their revamped home. That included the dream team, the craftspeople, and each of the vendors involved. “It was a project of the heart,” boasts Mrs. Kriger-Shaffer.


The owners’ art and music collection drove the design of the media room. Soffits skillfully conceal the air conditioning ducts and create recessed gallery lights for art by Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Howie Green, Jack Casey, and Ancizar Marin. The custom built tables by Elite Woodward, mimic Italian design but have moving parts for functionality. The 16-foot long ebony and burled wood media unit also by Elite Woodwork, stores a large album collection. The custom rug, by Modern Nature, is a combination of Nepalese wool and silk viscose. The artistic chandelier is from Light Up Your Life.


The private elevator lobby was entirely redesigned and made smaller to include a golf closet. Double doors were replaced by a single mahogany door with a custom-etched glass insert designed by owner Michael Schaffer and designer Laub. The cantilevered mahogany console matches the TV console in the media room. The stars of the room are the complementary wall coverings. One is crushed silver foil by Innovations, and the other silk and bamboo by Hartmann & Forbes. They play off the pearl oak floors, the metallic elements in the sconce provided by Light Up Your Life, and the cleverly repurposed polished chrome appliance handle on the door.


Before the renovation, the sitting room was closed in and dark. Breaking down the walls and orienting the furniture horizontally gives every seat an equally impressive view. From this vantage point, the continuity of design elements can be seen throughout the open floor plan. The unique wall covering is a silk string in blues called Frequency by Innovations, and resonates with the Schaffer’s passion for music. Perimeter hidden TruLine lights wash the walls. A console table, mirror, and Murano Due glass bubble chandelier from Light Up Your Life finish the room.


The design team transformed an isolated, poorly lit kitchen with little counter space into a chef’s kitchen for a chef husband. Built-ins abound, from custom designed cabinets to the cantilevered Caesar Stone quartz countertop breakfast bar. An island cabinet was built around it at the most comfortable height for dining. Stainless steel appliances from Mullets Appliances and a Franke Orca stainless steel sink with Blanco Culina faucet from The Plumbing Place complete a contemporary look. The kitchen benefits from three types of light; LED tape lighting above the suspended ceiling, two drop pendants from Light Up Your Life, and the geometric TruLine lights that frame the room.


Custom floating cabinets surround the show-stopper abstract painting by Christopher H. Martin. Cantilevered soffits serve multiple purposes, hiding sprinkler systems, security, electrical and heat components while defining each room, and looking visually interesting.


The master bedroom was not a part of the renovation, and was designed by the Shaffer’s good friend, New Jersey based interior designer Lori Jacobsen. A Sarasota artist created the lacquered walls using layers of bronze colors for depth and horizontal lines for texture. The carpet perfectly complements the fabrics, walls, and furniture from International Design Source of Sarasota. The Swarovski crystal lamp, desk lamp, and chandelier are from Bee Ridge Lighting.


The kinetic Yaacov Agam piece sets the tone for the His water closet that Mrs. Kriger-Shaffer describes as a man cave with elegance. The Cambria quartz countertop and cut out backsplash are from Tile Market of Sarasota. Eucalyptus veneer cabinets join the marriage of textures to create a unique environment in a small space. The wall covering is by Éitis, the polished nickel lavatory set is from The Plumbing Place, and the toilets are from Toto.


A Victoria & Albert Barcelona freestanding soaking tub with Graff floor mounted filler is from The Plumbing Place. Behind it, the dazzling blue agate theme in the backsplash makes a sleek and sparkly statement that drives the color scheme and materials in the master bathroom. The backsplash from Tile Market of Sarasota, consists of eight different tile designs from Dune. The Shaffers worked with designer Laub on the perfect arrangement of the tiles for the most dramatic effect.

Written by Brooke Parker

Photography by Jimmy White

Bee Ridge Lighting
3909 Bee Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34233

International Design Source
1785 Northgate Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34234

LBK Contractors & Design
524 Schooner Lane
Longboat Key, FL 34228

Light Up Your Life
1620 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34236

Molly K. Laub, Allied ASID
Sarasota, FL

Mullet’s Appliances
4233 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233

Oracle Surfaces
514 Central Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

The Plumbing Place
5678 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232

Tile Market of Sarasota
1962 Main Street, Suite 120
Sarasota, FL 34236

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