Custom built in 2014, the four-bedroom, one-story house recalls the aesthetic of the Sarasota School of Architecture both in its clean lines and its exterior finishes. The environment is also taken into consideration. Builder Craig Holliday notes the long, cantilevered roof panels designed so that the sun rarely directly hits the glass, making the 3,000-square-foot home more energy-efficient. The concrete pavers, pebbles, and xeriscaping keep yard maintenance manageable.
Interior designer Dale Blumberg of Dale Blumberg Interiors hails from South Africa, and her global perspective is evident in her vacation home in Sarasota, which she shares with husband Mark. Residents of New York, they purchased the property in 2017 to use as a warm-weather getaway.
“We love the openness and the indoor/outdoor living,” says Blumberg. “I think coming from South Africa, it’s a little reminiscent of homes there.”
The home’s design also has roots in Florida, taking its cues from the Sarasota School of Architecture. It’s a style that is close to the heart of builder Craig Holliday. “My father was one of the Sarasota School architects,” he says. “It’s neat to create something he had a hand in designing 60 years ago.”
Generally characterized by its inspiration’s clean lines and minimalistic design, the Blumbergs’ home has a warm and casual atmosphere. “For me, this house feels beachy,” she states. “Interesting pieces give it texture and depth.”
The living room’s custom white sofas inspired the rest of the home. Blumberg layered the texture “to make the room feel warm even though there’s very little color.” The La Salle metal-wrapped table from Restoration Hardware sits next to a hand-stamped linen ottoman. Painted South African fertility dolls rest atop a bleached oak table with sculptural legs. Across the room, a floor lamp from French maker Bleu Nature combines found wood and white metal. “I love the organic nature against the cinderblock wall,” Blumberg says. “It’s a very Zen room, but it has nothing to do with Asia.” The woven leather chairs are from Saffron + Poe. Anthony George Home crafted the colorful pillows.
The designer spent about eight months completely redecorating the home and says the process presented her with a unique challenge. “It’s almost easier to design for clients than myself,” Blumberg laughs. “You have to be extremely discerning. It’s very personal for me.”
The furnishings and art are an international, eclectic mix of brand-new, custom, vintage, and her personal previously owned pieces. “These are just things that I love,” she says.
For instance, in the living room, painted African sculptures share space with a metal-and-wood French lamp and a Turkish rug. In the office, a Florida artist’s painting, a Moroccan rug, and a photograph of Cuba add character to a utilitarian room.
The open-concept kitchen has a clean and bright look. Caesarstone graces the waterfall island and the back counter, where the cooktop resides. Custom maple Devittori Custom Cabinetry and Woodwork act as storage and house dual ovens and an oversized refrigerator. For a pop of color, Blumberg transported an abstract blue oil on canvas painting from her New York home. “Every white room needs a little bit of dark to balance them out,” Blumberg suggests. The epoxy-painted concrete floors and Organic Modernism metal café stools help to achieve an equilibrium.
The dining room mixes cultures, tones, and textures into a delicious setting to enjoy a meal. The custom oxidized maple dining table is surrounded by Bottega side chairs in off-white leather from Design Within Reach. A Brazilian cowhide patchwork rug anchors the dining area. A credenza with a faux horn starburst pattern supports matching Kelly Wearstler Armato table lamps. African bowls from Ethnic Origins, two oil portraits of women by a South African artist, and a photograph of Chinatown lend artistic interest to the room.
In addition to designing with a worldly assortment of items, Blumberg also likes to layer textures to add dimension. The master bedroom is a perfect example, where a shaggy rug lies next to a rustic teak bench and ostrich leather nightstands neighbor an upholstered headboard. The room has a cozy feel despite its neutral color palette.
While the Blumbergs furnished the home with their favorite pieces, the couple has retained most of the original owners’ interior fixtures. Outdoors, it is a different story. The couple made over the courtyard to suit their lifestyle.
The master bathroom is a study in light and dark. The gray epoxy-coated flooring grounds the room, while white floating cabinets by Devittori Custom Cabinetry and Woodwork, Caesarstone and above-counter white sinks, and white walls brighten it. An oversized painting by D-L-Steiner injects color into the stark space. The massive shower features a rainfall shower head; a rectangular window lets in natural light and maintains privacy.
In the master bedroom, comfort is king. Brooklinen bedding in Smoke Stripe covers the custom king-size bed, and Kerri Rosenthal fabric pillows throw a tribal-looking pattern amongst the serene stripes. Blumberg masked the maple partition with a leaflike wallpaper. On either side of the bed, nightstands wrapped in textural ostrich leg leather hold Cleo Table Lamps by Kelly Wearstler. The Huxley wool rug from Serena & Lily is soft under bare feet. Blumberg says the primitive teak bench from Andrianna Shamaris is surprisingly comfortable. Above it hangs a painting by Sarasota artist D-L-Steiner.
The guest bedroom is a calm retreat for visitors. The mostly neutral palette comes courtesy of the king bed upholstered in Holly Hunt fabric, the Brooklinen bedding, ivory leather-and-aluminum Piccola Table Lamps by Pablo Designs, and the Braided Wool Serena & Lily rug. Opposite the bed, the ModShop Cody dresser with gray recycled wood sits below a bright and playful series of prints by mid-century French artist Bernard Buffet. A multicolored throw rests on a wooden ladder in the corner, ready to comfort a tired guest.
A moody vibe emanates from the guest bathroom. Blumberg stained the once maple walls in charcoal. Two geometrically carved African shields offer a change in texture and shape against the stark paneling. Not only are the cabinets floating, but the toilet is wall-mounted as well, per the original owners’ request. An antique Turkish rug comforts the feet and is the only color in the room. Another painted African sculpture stands serenely on the counter. A photograph of a Roman statue is reflected in the mirror.
Perhaps the home’s most unusual room, the office doubles as the fourth bedroom. The custom couch, topped with pillows by Little Design Company, converts to a bed. The narrow room’s personality comes from its accessories. The vintage Moroccan rug was the initial impetus, but “every here and there is a little nod to mid-century,” Blumberg says. Two sizes of the Flos Gatto lamp illuminate the Croft House steel desk, which pairs perfectly with the Arne Jacobsen Drop chair. The Pier floor lamps from Rypen combine brushed brass columns with cast concrete bases that echo the walls. Teak root whitewashed side tables contribute an organic element, and the wooly ottoman from Jonathan Adler is the epitome of whimsical texture. D-L-Stein’s carved plaster artwork counterbalances Gregoire Moulin’s photograph titled “Riding with Raphael.”
“We created a space where we could be comfortable outside,” she says. The most obvious change is the addition of a heated, saltwater pool in place of the existing bocce ball court, perhaps the only occasion where a touch of international flavor was removed from the home.
The center courtyard acts as an extension of the home, with most rooms opening to the outdoors. The Blumbergs almost completely remodeled the outdoor space, adding a heated, saltwater pool as the focal point. Shell Crete tiles hem-in existing trees, including a mango. Family and guests can enjoy a meal at the Aegean Aluminum collection table and chairs, or just lounge on the chaises that perch on the patch of artificial grass. “We’re not there all year round so we didn’t want grass that grew,” Blumberg says.
Dale Blumberg Interiors
950 Pomelo Ave
Sarasota, FL 34236
Written by Kendra Gemma
Photography by Jimmy White