Flexible Expansion : A Versatile Design with Guests in Mind


This 3,900-square-foot guesthouse in The Concession was conceived by the owners and crafted for hospitality, whether it’s their daughter, out-of-town visitors, or a few hundred of their closest friends.

The owners of the 7,000-square-foot Tuscan-themed main residence told architect Clifford Scholz, of Clifford M. Scholz Architects, that they wanted the guesthouse to provide total privacy for anyone staying there. But they also wanted to use the space for an additional party setup location, and desired a design which would allow partygoers to easily move from one home to another.

Scholz, whose trademark is designing one-of-a-kind spaces, agreed to the project as long as he wasn’t tied to matching the main house’s architecture. “I wanted to kick it up a notch and introduce something truly unique—in this case a Palm Beach-style.” Scholz says. “I approached the room-for-entertainment challenge by attaching the two homes via a covered walkway, with a built-in bar and humidor. There is also a screened gazebo that can either be used either as party space or for an intimate group to smoke cigars, drink Scotch, and solve the problems of the world. The owners call it all ‘The Compound,’” notes Scholz.

Interior Designer Lea Jackson had some other future houseguests to consider—four-legged ones. “The family has many dogs and those visitors who travel with their animals are welcome, too, so everything I used in the design had to be durable, cleanable, and pet friendly.”

Furry friends aside, Jackson also wanted some lux touches to the home, the most highly visible being the hand-finished Venetian plaster walls. “I particularly love using Venetian plaster in Florida,” she says. “It is so softly reflective of the light, smooth, and even cool to the touch.” Applying Venetian plaster requires a team of artisans who must trowel, then wax, and finally burnish the surface. Fortunately, builder Richard Perrone of Perrone Construction employs such a team.

“Ours is a true custom-home building business, so we have highly-skilled tradesmen in all areas,” says Perrone. “Our team takes great pride in each project we build and I believe it shows in the end product “

That perfectionism held Perrone in good stead for this project. “Not only were the homeowners very happy with the outcome, but they loved it so much we are actually now building another home for the family,” says Perrone, adding, “We’ve had a lot of fun working with this client and I think it says a great deal when we have clients who recommend us to family and friends.”

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This two-story, two-bedroom, two full- and one-half bath guesthouse has an octagonal screened gazebo and four-car garage, offering plenty of room for out-of-town guests and entertaining needs. The homeowners host parties where several hundred guests attend and they needed both the main house and guesthouse to be lightly connected to allow the party to flow from one space to another.

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enetian-plastered walls in a burnished peach tone warm-up the long hallway that serves as a foyer. To prevent the foyer from feeling too cavernous, interior designer Jackson selected a Century Furniture settee in durable soft aqua Crypton fabric. A Century stone-topped occasional table is convenient for holding wine glasses. A greyhound statue, a tribute to the owners’ quartet of dogs, guards a custom-built cabinet designed by Jackson. The doors fold back to reveal a full wet bar. Abstract paintings by local artists Olivia and Debbie Danheisser add bursts of color. The banister is made of opaque glass panels. Underfoot is Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring in Authentic Vienna sourced from La Casa Tile.

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Here Venetian plaster takes on the fresh hue of a honeydew melon to add soft color to the great room. Back-to-back Century sofas are upholstered in mushroom microfiber. A set of oversized Century chairs are covered in a print microfiber fabric continuing the reds and gold in the color scheme of the main house. The white carved-wood tables between them are reminiscent of wine holders. The Century high-barrel, teal chair in the corner swivels to catch the lovely view from the tall glass windows draped in taupe sheers shot through with silver.

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he sofa in the dining area has a lower seat and firmer cushions to serve as banquette seating for the alder wood table, finished in a burnished silvery gold. The chairs have leather-like vinyl cushions to better survive wet swimsuits, and a linen-blend backrest that is very pet-friendly. The Fine Art Lamps pendant chandelier is made of glass quartz carved to resemble rock crystal. The coffered ceiling is painted in two tones to provide depth. The thin black lines that follow the beams are actually the HVAC vents.

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In the gourmet kitchen, the honeydew color of the Venetian plaster is picked up by the soft green leather of the Century barstools. The kitchen island is topped with pewter, and the cabinetry is painted and glazed wood by Cabinet Design Studio in a custom finish. The countertop is Fantasy Brown leathered granite. The room hosts an oversized commercial refrigerator, and wine cooler. All appliances are from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

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A Highland House metal, four-poster bed makes use of the circle shape found as part of the guest room tables. That shape is also repeated on the railings of the Juliet balcony outside the French doors. Soft-blue, organic-cotton bedding picks up the subtle color of the aqua linen curtains. Twin Currey & Co. adjustable reading lamps and recessed lights in the two-toned coffered ceiling adds layers of light. Century end tables, in a soft gray, play host to some carved feathered friends.

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Glinting metallic tiles in shades of copper, bronze, and silver, set in a hexagonal pattern, take pride-of-place in the dramatic powder bath. The leathered granite countertop holds a decorative Kohler bronze vessel sink. Dark gray cabinetry by Cabinet Design Studio has open shelves to help guest find towels and other necessities. Twin bronze-framed mirrors reflect the light of two bubble pendant lights from Bee Ridge Lighting.

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The octagonal shape of the screened gazebo is highlighted by the vaulted cypress wood ceiling in a pickled finish. A large palm leaf fan keeps the air circulating, especially during cigar smoking sessions. Columns hold a metal and glass sconces which softly light the room. A granite-topped fire table of octagonal sliced rock holds center stage. Surrounding it are comfortable Century woven resin chairs, all of which swivel to catch a different view—of tropical landscaping, the home’s private putting green, or the lake. Between the chairs are fiberglass-topped occasional tables. The flooring is made up brushed and chiseled Versailles natural stone from La Casa Tile set in a random pattern for visual interest.

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A walkway, set with flagstone and bordered by pebble stone and ornamental plants, leads to the custom-designed fountain in the courtyard behind the guesthouse. To the left of the courtyard is the gazebo that the owners call “the heart of the compound.” A balcony above gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the entire lovely property.


Written by Kitt Walsh

Photography by Jimmy White

Bee Ridge Lighting and Design
3909 Bee Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34233

Cabinet Design Studio
825 South Tamiami Trail, Unit 2
Venice, FL 34285

Clifford M. Scholz Architects
300 South Orange Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

The Concession Real Estate Group
8305 Lindrick Lane
Bradenton, FL 34202

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
2451 17th Street
Sarasota, FL 34234

La Casa Tile
1777 Northgate Boulevard, Unit A-3
Sarasota, FL 34234

Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring
2684 Horseshoe Drive South
Naples, FL 34104

Perrone Construction 
7045 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231

Wicked Smart Homes
527 South Pineapple Avenue, Suite A
Sarasota, FL 34236

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