Inside Outside : A Seamless Transition From Interior To Exterior

When building a custom home, getting a designer involved early is a real advantage. Fortunately for a Midwest couple moving to Sarasota and building their custom home in the golf community of Lakewood Ranch, they were able to connect with interior designer Gail Carlson, A.S.I.D., of Studio G Home, early in the design process.

“We knew we were right for each other the first time we spoke on the phone,” comments Carlson, a second generation designer creating beautiful projects in Sarasota since 1984. “They were referred to me because of my attention to detail with timeless design and furnishings,” Carlson adds. “They wanted warm but not austere.”

Since the owners reached out early in the home-planning process, Carlson was able to create a complete furniture plan to scale so the home could be built to meet their ultimate objectives. “It is so important to factor in the final furnishings when designing a home because you don’t want find out after the fact you can’t accomplish want you want done,” states Carlson.

A common example of this is found in the placement of light boxes in ceilings. It is natural to place a chandelier outlet in the center of a dining area. But what if you plan to have a sideboard? That moves the dining table off-center. The architect will line the windows with the centered fixture, but once moved, it will create a visual imbalance. All this can be avoided by proper interior design planning early on.

Custom built by John Cannon Homes, this 3-bedroom 3-bath home has 2,717 square feet of living area. Its great room layout is perfect for the owners’ desire to entertain large numbers of guest while maintaining a cozy atmosphere.

“The residence was a custom home designed on ‘white paper’ by our in-house architectural design and drafting team, incorporating the client’s needs and desires, while meeting their budget.”  says John Cannon, president of John Cannon Homes. “After touring various John Cannon model homes in the area, their residence was customized to include various features from these homes, while meeting the communities architectural design requirements for exterior appointments.”

The owners wanted to create an seamless transition from interior to exterior spaces. That blending of environments called for a breezy, relaxed, coastal inspired color palette. The great room is anchored by three warm and serene neutrals, then accented with waterscape colors like coastal and tidewater blues, aquas, turquoise, and splashes of greens. “To keep it fresh,” says Carlson.

The coffered ceiling is centered with a decorative light fixture that draws the eye into the seating area below. The U-shape design provides seating for many, while still remaining intimate. The custom wall unit’s sliding doors conceal the TV when not in use. The flooring is an engineered wood wide-plank in walnut finished. The contrasting high-banded draperies frame the view to the lanai, pool, and golf views beyond.

The adjoining kitchen is an example of how proper design not only adds beauty, but can actually provide function. “The original plan called for a corner pantry which actually broke up the work flow of the kitchen”, states Carlson. “Working with the builder, we removed the pantry and created a more functional kitchen that had the same storage capacity, better flow and, well just looked better. I like to create a a feel of being ‘captured’ so that the cabinets have the appearance of a built-in as opposed simply applied to the surface of the wall,” continues Carlson.

The Jenn-Aire appliances were provided by Mullet’s Appliances in Sarasota. The hood has been custom fabricated to fit the surround created for the stove.

The natural quartzite stone island top is Madre Pearl and the counters are man-made quartz in white. The antique mirror and silk shade chandelier and sconces were selected from Studio G Home. The glass tile backsplashes are from La Casa tile and reflect the home’s color theme. The shaker-style cabinets are finished in Coastal Fog.

The dining room features a turquoise palette accented with Ryegrass greens. The room has seating for six and enjoys views to the outdoor living areas and beyond. The artwork was selected by the owner and is a perfect for the room, both in color and size.

An owner’s retreat was created with no TV or desk to offer a space for one to quietly reflect in solitude, or for two or three people to engage in conversation. There is a subtle exotic undertone to the room with an African tribal pattern in the rug and an Indonesian flavor to the patterned grass cloth on the walls.

An acrylic mirror with sunburst tips provides balance to the art. The Century sofa’s fabric and style was selected at Studio G Home, a Century dealer. The leather topped ottoman centers the room and doubles as a coffee table.

The master bedroom is designed to be a quiet, elegant, and refreshing escape, using taupes and creams, accented by waterscape blues. A double wide chaise is perfect for relaxing, surrounded by views of the lake and links beyond. A writing desk is used in lieu of a nightstand and functions as both. The dark wood accents on the furniture add an air of sophistication.

The hall leading from the garage to the great room provided an opportunity to create a beautiful transition space. Bi-fold covered closets were converted to fine cabinetry, transforming it into a practical and beautiful space. The two tall cabinets surround a mirror to add volume to the narrow passage. Cabinets hide a printer and fax, and eight file drawers make this a perfect solution in the absence of a home office. The solid wood cabinets are Amish built from Campbell Cabinetry in Sarasota. The white cabinets have a glazed over-finish.

The pavered outdoor living area continues to use the home’s color palette, with a subtle shift to more emphasis on Pear greens as seen in the Banquette seating on either side of the fireplace. Blues transition to the accent colors.

Phil Hess, owner of Pool Design Concepts, worked directly with the residents to create a pool and spa that fit their lifestyle. The pool features a shallow lounging area, Lipari Blue glass tile, and is finished in Pebble Sheen Irish Mist.

Working with the residents was a pleasure for all involved and the finished home certainly provides it’s new owners the best Suncoast living has to offer.


Written by LeeAnn Salvato

Photography by Jimmy White


Drapery Fabrication by:
Beginning to End Interiors
4453-C Ashton Road
Sarasota, FL 34233


Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Inc.
1531 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236


Studio G Home
1517 State Street #101
Sarasota, FL 34236


Grace Howl Art
1235 15th Street
Sarasota, FL 34236


John Cannon Homes
6710 Professional Parkway, West, Suite 100
Sarasota, FL 34240


Lakewood Ranch Communities
14400 Covenant Way
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


Mullet’s Appliances
4233 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233


Pool Design Concepts, LLC
7359 International Place #206
Sarasota, FL 34240

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