The front of this island home is infused with island flavors. The selected paint colors, including rain-washed and moody blues, evoke a refreshing, fleeting tropical downpour. Gagne Construction employed shingle accents, gable and board and batten detailing, and even concrete horizontal siding made to emulate wood slats to enhance the decorative island aesthetic. Beneath the trellis is a rooftop deck, with seating and a fire pit, where lovely views of Tampa Bay can be enjoyed. Hidden from sight is the home automation of this smart home, provided and installed by Wicked Smart Homes.
This intimate, 2,799 square foot, 4-bedroom residence on Anna Maria Island serves as the perfect getaway—a tropical vacation home for a northern family—that successfully reflects their desired “barefoot island lifestyle.” An unusually pie-shaped lot required some ingenuity on the part of architect David Wash. The lot, both shallow and linear, called for added height to achieve a visual balance. “To reduce the scale of the overall mass, the house is arranged into two distinct volumes(spaces),” says Wash, explaining how the first 2-story block incorporates the garage and guest suites, while a larger block encloses the main living areas. A planned series of outdoor decks at every level further extends the space while embracing the pool and canal beyond.
Builder Dan Gagne of Gagne Construction had certain restrictions to navigate as well. Obeying the island’s strict codes, he used an engineered, permeable paver system to control water levels—just one example of problem-solving the project required. “We worked within the restrictions but came up with clever solutions that never detracted from the island aesthetic,” Gagne explains.
Unassuming shades of gray mark the great room palette, from the dual-toned pair of velvety club chairs, to the subtly-patterned hand-knotted wool area rug, to the plush accent pillows. An eye-catching herringbone design fashioned in Calacatta marble is mirrored in the creamy upholstery of a deep lounge chair placed beside the focal Birmingham fireplace with Fireside Grand Oak gas logs from American Grill & Hearth. The cocktail table that centers the space uses stone to add weight, and sharp right angles to bring visual interest.
The bright white kitchen is flooded with natural light, helped along by two industrial hanging pendants above the island. A trio of counter stools combine traditional rush seats and modern metallic accents to harmonious effect. White Macaubas quartzite is used in abundance on the surfaces, and pale flooring underscores the overall theme of lightness.
The role of interior designer Gail Carlson Brundage of Studio G Home was decidedly less taxing; her only challenge was to exercise restraint and not to go overboard with island references. “People are so taken with our gorgeous tropical surroundings,” she acknowledges. “The client didn’t want to overdo it, but instead, obtain the aesthetic by using quiet colors to blend into the sea and sky.” Appropriately, Carlson Brundage perpetuated the exterior palette into the interiors, using an understated driftwood and oyster base accented with soft, watery blues. Employing a variety of patterns and textures to add excitement, and incorporating a liberal dose of organic, natural materials, the designer was able to capture the casual, relaxed island-feel her clients so desired. “There’s a subtlety to creating a feeling of expanse, a breezy ‘airiness,’ a certain quietude,” Carlson Brundage explains. And she pulled off precisely that, decorating the spaces throughout with intriguing details, thoughtful touches, and an enviable collection of furnishings and accessories from her own boutique showroom, Studio G Home. With so many refined yet livable pieces at her fingertips, and a talent for crafting stylish spaces in a tropical setting, the designer was able to bring island living to a fever pitch while maintaining the relaxed, “kick off your flipflops” attitude that was the primary goal.
Textural richness and natural elements set an organic tone in the dining room, where a generous 60-inch round, sun-bleached wood table and tactile woven chairs sit below an exciting ceiling fixture shaped from split rattan. The centerpiece—a bowl filled with a bed of moss—adds a punch of color and a nod to nature. So grainy and wood-like is the La Casa flooring that you’d never guess it was tile. A streamlined, hair-on-hide console provides a chic and unobtrusive partition from the attached great room.
The master bedroom captures the island mystique, taking its casual feel up a notch with luxurious appointments such as a high-backed tufted bed dressed in luxe Italian linen bedding. Tasteful transitional accents in the form of two shapely side tables, a monochromatic yet stimulating area rug, and—in lieu of the expected table lamps—two glowing geometric lanterns suspended from the ceiling by chain link.
The master bath is a trifecta of glorious elements. MTI’s inviting Andrea whirlpool bath features a marble surface and taupe wood surround. Tiles ranging from the palest gray to the deepest charcoal are arranged in a lively harlequin pattern to embellish the sizable glass-enclosed shower. A grand hand-wrought iron chandelier, dripping with oyster shells and crystal, hangs proudly overhead.
This tasteful bedroom might entice guests to overstay their welcome. A slender, button-tufted bed boasts a powder blue linen duvet and alluring antique linen shams. A flat weave rug and shuttered windows capture the carefree island vibe. Elongated iron sconces bring delicate illumination, and the focal headboard wall is treated with multi-tonal reclaimed wood.
The designer has cleverly devised a guest bath built for two. An elongated double basin sink is mounted on a polished chrome-finished brass washstand, both from Perrin and Rowe for Rohl from The Plumbing Place. The front wall is animated by a split-face, Calacatta marble mosaic. The floating glass shelves, towel rings, sconces and a matched set of hanging circular mirrors demonstrate that some of the best things come in pairs.
Suggestive of a barn or shed, this inviting bedroom dedicated to the children of the house uses a profusion of painted shiplap wooden board to bring about its irresistible, hideaway feel. Cozy as a cabin, its bunks, nautical-inspired bedding, and privacy curtain were all custom-designed by Carlson Brundage.
At the rear of the home, the swimming pool, which features a submerged table and chairs and a shallow sun ledge, is neatly tucked away, both respecting the island’s water restrictions and providing desired shade for the homeowner, who tends to shy away from harsh sunrays. Additional covered living includes a bar area with outdoor kitchen equipped by American Grill & Hearth and a conversation area with comfortable sectional seating. Decorative brackets and stained-cypress balcony ceilings play into the island-inspired architecture.
Written by Robin Hodes
Photography by Jimmy White
American Grill & Hearth
2881 Clark Road #16
Sarasota, FL 34231
214 Pine Avenue
Anna Maria, FL 34216
Studio G Home
1530 State Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
The Plumbing Place
5678 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232
Wicked Smart Homes
527 South Pineapple Avenue, Suite A
Sarasota, FL 34236