Golf to Gulf : Clara Model Captures Sarasota’s Style

London Bay Homes’ three-bedroom Clara model reflects the colors of sea, sand, and the tropical green palms of the nearby Gulf Coast. Situated at The Founders Club, the views throughout showcase the Sarasota country club’s legendary fairways.

“People come to Florida seeking those two attractions – the Gulf and championship golf,” says Mark Wilson, president and CEO of London Bay Homes. “This home captures the spirit of both the Sarasota style with a bit of a contemporary feel, combined with the ambiance of the coast.”

When creating home designs like the Clara, the architecture, build, and design team at award-winning London Bay Homes focuses on the experience of the house. “How residents live in the spaces, gather, and entertain, while balancing seclusion and quiet time for bedrooms and a study or home office,” explains Wilson. The Clara was designed with a popular open floor plan connecting family room with kitchen, then expanded with a formal living and dining room area for elegant entertaining. Walls of sliding glass opening to alfresco areas enhance the outdoor lifestyle.

The Clara also features three full baths, a powder room and a study. It feels more like a private residence than a model, with its art, mixed metals, and wood tones.

Michael Scott, a designer with Romanza Interior Design, introduced transitional design elements and a color scheme that provide cohesiveness throughout the model’s 3,248-square-feet, still breathing individuality into each space. Soft grays and beiges in flooring and furnishings, and walls painted Sherwin Williams’ Aesthetic White lend neutral backdrops for accent colors that echo the greens of tropical foliage, ocean blues, and beach sand, some in wispy watercolor hues; others reaching full vivid saturation.


Multiple roof lines, subtle arches, and a two-story entry tower accented with rough-cut stone, lend a soft Mediterranean architectural style to the Clara. The bronze of windows and the double French entry doors add a touch of the unexpected. The home also has a Spanish barrel-tiled roof, black lighting fixtures, and paver driveway and walkway.


Tesoro 12-by-24-inch Earthen Essence Pearl tile from the Flooring Design Group installed in a running-board pattern and white-on-white walls, mouldings, and woodwork create a crisp canvas for subtle strokes of color in the living room, including solid gold in the rug and a trio of bold black, white and indigo paintings. Scott used white mouldings on the main wall to tame tall 14-foot ceilings and add visual interest. Beige furnishings keep the room simple, yet welcoming. Metallic and glass finishes add an elegant glimmer.


Touches of gold are spun in small doses — on the surface of the dining room’s beamed ceiling and the embellished fleur-de-lis pattern of the blind which is matched with stripes of cheetah print. An oversized and deconstructed chandelier makes a dramatic statement above the oval table, circled by gray fabric chairs with padded arms. An adjoining butler’s pantry with a wine refrigerator is a convenient staging area for entertaining.


Incorporating a peninsula table into an island “makes the best use of space in the kitchen,” explains Scott. It also makes sense. “The kitchen is where everyone tends to congregate, whether it’s family or guests,” he adds. The designer sweetens the seating assignments with comfortable neutraltoned chairs accented with nail-head trim. A study in contrasts, Scott pairs darker saddle-brown UltraCraft Cabinetry with light and white surfaces, including moonstone Pompeii quartz countertops, and a matte urban putty Rittenhouse House’s tile backsplash from The Flooring Design Group installed in a running board pattern. GE Monogram appliances from Ferguson Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Gallery include a dual fuel six-burner range, singleoven, and Advantium oven which functions as an oven, speed oven, and microwave. The stainless appliance finish and pendant above the island provide a complement to the room’s gray tones.


The painterly floral fabric for the window treatments and pillows in the family room were Scott’s inspiration for the entire home. Muted in other rooms, the palette hits a crescendo here in saturated tones of aqua and tropical green. “You want bright, happy colors in rooms where you’ll spend a lot of time,” notes the designer who referenced tropical with a woven Hickory White armchair. “We’ve lived in the darkness of Old World design for too long. Florida is sunny and filled with beautiful vibrant colors.” The room’s beige sofa and area rug ground the colors, while providing a spectral continuum with the adjoining kitchen.


Animal print on an oversized chair and ottoman, introduces a wild side to the study which has an Oxford oak wood floor. The charcoal gray painted ceiling contrasted with crisp white beams. Scott says the diagonal positioning of chair and ottoman against the aqua area rug “adds instant visual interest. It’s a design element that makes an impact on the eye.”


London Bay Homes masters the master suite. A large bedroom overlooking the pool, features dual walk-in closets and a spa-like bathroom. “It’s a retreat and we treat it as such,” says Wilson. In the Clara, Scott departs from the model’s main colors to interject golds, grays, and coppers with the aquas and greens appearing in the bed-spanning bolster and matching bench. The dark wood tones of the dresser and bed mix with neutral-finished nightstands with a nod to mid-century modern design. Always mindful of the smallest details, London Bay and Romanza selected a ceiling fan with a brushed steel finish, which is repeated in the container of a potted plant. Completing the look are the blue-gray ceiling and a mirror framed by overlapping bronze circles.


Tone-on-tone finishes create a soothing and serene mood in the master bath,” says Scott. “Unless a client specifies otherwise, I like to keep the bathroom within the same family of colors and textures,” he says. “It’s more relaxing on the eye, and ultimately the mind. More people want that spa-like experience at home.” Scott continues the porcelain tile used elsewhere in the home into the bathroom because of its resemblance to marble, but opts for large format 18-by-18-inch squares over the rectangles of the main flooring. The tile floor, shower walls, bath surface, and backsplash complement the stone-finished floating cabinetry and Autumn quartz countertops.


The outdoor area speaks to how people envision living in Florida,” says Wilson. “During our 26 years building luxury homes in Southwest Florida, we’ve seen these spaces get larger and more multifunctional. People spend most of their time outside. They entertain outside, they dine outside, they begin the day with coffee and the newspaper outside.” London Bay Homes enhances the alfresco areas with a fully equipped summer kitchen, covered seating, and dining. The freeform pool and raised circular spa both feature mosaic slate Waterline tile in coastal Azul.

Written by Lucille Austero
Photography by Mike Thomas

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

Flooring Design Group
2403 Trade Center Way, Suite 8
Naples, FL 34109

London Bay Homes
3001 Founders Club Drive
Sarasota, FL 34240

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