Island Colonial : Gathering Place on the Manatee River

A team approach to construction took on a whole new expansiveness for developer/builder Ken Keating of Camlin Custom Homes, when Pat and Peggy Ward decided to build a second home at The Inlets in Bradenton.

“Pat Ward is a custom cabinetry maker and he wanted to be highly involved and put his expert touch on this home,” Keating says. “We call our philosophy Concierge Build because we work together with the client, the architect, and the interior designer and share our sources. One of the benefits of custom building is flexibility, which allowed us to utilize this homeowner’s unique skills.” Owner Ward crafted all of the exterior beams and corbels of Spanish red cedar in his Massachusetts mill. He also built all of the cabinetry throughout the residence.

Keating worked side by side with residential designer Paul Fletcher of Design Lines to take full advantage of the homesite, its water views, and outdoor living opportunities. It was a challenging footprint because the irregularly shaped lot is wider than it is deep. “We designed a configuration that is not only cohesive with the neighborhood and surroundings, but takes full benefit of the setting,” Fletcher explains. “Together, we achieved a beautiful Island Colonial-style elevation and a home that works perfectly with the family’s lifestyle.”

The homeowners’ main focus was on the functionality and comfort of the 2,600 square foot, 3-bedroom, 3-bath house. Christiana Walker, associate designer with Studio G Home, worked closely with the Wards to create the coastal, yet traditional interiors, designed to remain timeless for years to come. “They gather their family here for vacations and holidays. They wanted a comfortable environment with open entertainment space and plenty of seating so everyone can lounge and enjoy the easy indoor-outdoor flow to the lanai and pool,” elaborates Walker. “With college-age children, the family wanted to make sure the space was durable, so we covered some chairs in Sunbrella fabric to protect from water and wear.”

The result of this team effort is a welcoming gathering place rooted in stately British West Indies style, yet with all the comforts of modern functionality.


The knee brace corbels, Bahamian shutters, and colorful standing-seam metal roof give this single-level home a distinct island flare. The porte cochère helps to downplay the garage, an important requirement of the overall community design. “The goal is to drive through the neighborhood and have the main body of the houses featured rather than garage doors,” explains Keating. The front exterior is a flat concrete tile. The drive and walkway of brick pavers by Super Pavers create an elegant curve from the street to the double doors of the front entry.


The focal point of the great room is a feature wall of custom cabinetry built by the homeowner. Coffers accent the 12-foot ceilings. A subtle color palette of neutral coastal tones is used throughout the home and is punctuated with various seaside blues seen here in accessory pillows and draperies fabricated by Beginning to End Interiors. Seating as many as nine people, the furniture grouping is a study in symmetry with two-tone skirted swivel chairs featuring a geometric pattern. They are balanced by a duo of distressed white spool chairs with watery blue cushions set in front of a natural fiber runner by Rugs as Art. The tufted linen cocktail ottoman features a drink tray that waterfalls over the cushion, offering an additional table surface. A pair of textured beige poufs is on casters, allowing them to be used as seating or as footrests.


The breakfast nook is a welcoming spot offering a serene view of the pool and lanai. Two-tone chairs used here bring a hint of the pool’s blue hues inside without overwhelming the space in color or detracting from the outdoor scene. Sunlight is controlled with pale blue mock Roman shades fabricated by Beginning to End Interiors.


This simple, yet festive, dining room is a stunning backdrop for holiday dinners and casual meals. The dark brown 102-inch oval table by Hickory Chair has an unexpected lighter finished base that separates it from the tone of the floor. The place settings, flatware, and glassware are all from Malbi Décor. Colorful velvet host and hostess chairs make a vibrant statement, sharing the same nail-head trim as the oatmeal linen side chairs. Draperies were fabricated by Beginning to End Interiors.


The classic white kitchen is the home’s hub of activity, connecting the great room and breakfast nook. It serves as the anchor of the open living area with a large island that invites conversation. White stools by Bernhardt add to the clean, bright look. The contrasting dark legs keep them grounded with the Aztec tan acacia wood floor from the Nuvelle Bordeaux Collection. Bianco Romano granite countertops give the look of marble without the maintenance, while the marble backsplash tiles are Diana Royal. White accent vases and casual dishes are from Malbi Décor. The Wolf gas cooktop, Sharp microwave drawer, KitchenAid refrigerator, wall oven and dishwasher are all from Monark Premium Appliance’s Sarasota showroom.


“The master bedroom is designed to be a sophisticated retreat where the homeowners can relax after hosting guests,” explains designer Walker. “The color palette was established around the clients’ existing area rug, so we chose a champagne and soft sea green in the fabrics to complement the golds.” The bed is flanked by his and hers nightstands — his masculine with block feet and hers a more feminine oval with slender high legs. On the nightstands, gold and acrylic tripod lamps from International Design Source provide another layer of illumination. The tray ceiling detail adds architectural interest to the 12-foot ceilings. In the reading nook, matching skirted wing chairs are covered in a spa blue and gold fabric with a subtle sheen that reflects the sunshine. The beveled edge glass top of the side table provides a visual lightness to the nickel baluster base. Draperies were fabricated by Beginning to End Interiors.


Double glass doors lead into the glowing setting of the master bath, awash in white and pale blue and softened with an area rug. The cabinetry, built by the owner, is topped with counters of low-maintenance Misty Carrera Caesarstone quartz. The sink and tub filler are polished chrome Mirabelle Vilamonte Collection from Ferguson Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Gallery, as is the Mirabelle Galatia Tub and Hinkley vanity light.


The design of the deep blue pool was a collaborative effort of the client, residential designer Fletcher, and pool contractor. The large travertine lanai encompasses a covered outdoor kitchen and screened swimming and lounging area. Just beyond the pool is the private dock where the family keeps their boat. “We used the lot configuration to create a natural flow. The entertaining space begins when you enter the home through the wide-open great room and kitchen, opening up to this great outdoor living area which leads right down to the pool deck and the mouth of the canal,” notes Fletcher.

Written by Richy Sharshan
Photography by Jimmy White

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

Camlin Custom Homes
3890 East State Road 64, Suite 101
Bradenton, FL 34208

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

International Design Source
1785 Northgate Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34234

Malbi Décor
127 South Pineapple Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

Monark Premium Appliance Co.
5670 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232

Rugs As Art
6650 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231

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

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