Luxurious Livability : Flexible Design for Florida Living

Harbourside Custom Homes’ Casa Arianna model in Talis Park takes luxury livability to new heights. Soaring ceilings are defined by layered trays, glossy crown moulding, subtle lighting, and embellished with artistic treatments like faux-finishing, and wallpaper inserts. They are Harbourside President Frank Jenkins’ favorite element of the Italian Renaissance design. “The tall ceilings in the entry and great room, that start at 14 feet and pop up to 16 feet in the trays, really open up the space. We use the height to add a row of glass-front kitchen cabinets and to take the shelving unit on the entertainment wall all the way up. They really give the space a grand feel,” says Jenkins.

Harbourside has completed several homes of this design, and Jenkins attributes the popularity of the four-bedroom, five-bath home to the “extras” crafted into the 3,935 square feet of space. “Visitors love the extra den in the front of the home for the many uses it can provide, such as an additional study, hobby room, or TV room. The separate third car garage with the private entry to the home also catches their attention. The wet bar, located between the dining room and the kitchen, offers extra seating,” adds Jenkins.

Architect Greg Weber of South Florida Architecture agrees that the flexibility of the design is a key feature, saying, “In our experience, most families and even empty-nest couples buying a home of this size prefer four bedrooms over three. The reasons, of course, vary. In addition to using this space for their children or guests, homeowners also use it for exercise rooms, office space, or as a retreat to care for aging parents.”

Interior designers Leslie Gebert and Sheila Corasaniti of Vogue Interiors filled the open spaces with traditional elements that lend a casual elegance to the ambiance. They used a neutral color scheme throughout the home, building on a base of ivory and taupe, accenting the design with soft, warm lavender. Different layers of texture create interest. “We have worked with Harbourside for over 20 years, and know them to be extremely careful about wanting all of the furnishings to be comfortable and livable, so homeowners could move right in,” explains Gebert.

Keeping the homebuyers’ needs and desires at the forefront is a hallmark of Harbourside Custom Homes. “My partner, Jerry Colton, and I are involved with every house from the start. If you are building a home with Harbourside, then you will meet with one or both of us to decide on the details of the design and work out the contract. We walk through each home dozens of times throughout the construction process,” continues Jenkins, “and we are the ones who hand over the keys at the end of the job.”


“Arches are an essential component in the Mediterranean-style architecture,” notes Weber, who selects and specifies all exterior detailing on his projects. This attention to detail “is very important in the overall balance and feel of the exterior elevation,” Weber says. Troy French Quarter Collection wall-mounted scroll-topped fixtures from Wilson Lighting cast a golden glow on the three-piece, European cobblestone driveway leading to a split, threecar garage. The barrel-tile roof by Entegra is a blend of light brown and cedar tan with black antique hues.


he grand entrance hall opens to the formal dining area and wet bar, both defined with the ubiquitous arches. The wet bar is a Taj Mahal quartzite with full height backsplashes from Naples Stoneworks. Basket-weave, textured bronze metallic wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries shimmers when lit by the trio of champagne-finished Mariana Home chandeliers from Wilson Lighting high above in the tray ceiling in the foyer. Polished 24-by-24-inch squares of Karya Royale from Modern Tile & Carpet, laid on the diagonal, add a shine underfoot, with 2-inch square tiled “rugs” corresponding to each tray. Soft bronze candlesticks top an antique mirrored Parsons table.


In order to bring the ceiling down, Gebert and Corasaniti ran a trim piece around the room at the height of the sliders. Contrasting bands accent the fixed grommeted linen drapery panels. An American Drew desk in a smoky dark-brown base and veneered top takes center stage atop an animal print area rug. The neutral textured fabric on the American Drew armchair complements the leather Vanguard chairs with nail-head trim. Custom built-in cabinets in a soft, warm brown blend seamlessly into the brushed finish hardwood floor.


For Weber, “the open feel and flow of the main living area and the way the great room and kitchen area interact with the spacious outdoor area” are favorites. Gebert and Corasaniti rely on texture play to add interest to the upholstered pieces in neutral tones. A Vanguard chair covered in chenille named Shimmer Taupe invites lounging by the linear fireplace by Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living with Diana Royal marble from Modern Tile & Carpet. Smooth aubergine pillows add sheen to the matching brown and cream upholstered armless chairs by DR Kincaid that face an oversized Kincaid ottoman. The Lexington sofa is flanked by Vanguard side tables in a French Grey finish. The wallpaper backing the shelves and surrounding the TV is a handdesigned, metallic lavender-taupe from Ronald Redding. The overhead ceiling fan with custom painted blades is Fanimation Islander from Wilson Lighting. Underfoot, the extra-long, shag area rug in a darker taupe is from Dalyn.


Elements of the kitchen and dinette area mimic those in the great room, unifying the spaces. Backlit beams are nestled in the coffered ceilings of the kitchen and the great room. The dining table has an accordion base in an espresso finish. A taupe tweed fabric covers the Vanguard dining chairs. A Murray Feiss Arabesque chandelier in champagne with a filigree metal overlay illuminates the dinette area. The Sucuri granite topped kitchen island from Naples Stoneworks has an eased edge profile. Matte nickel finish Capital Lighting Pendant lamps from Wilson Lighting hang overhead. The cabinets are a soft ivory color, with a taupe glaze. Laser cut stone in taupe and cream in quatrefoil design adds dimension to the backsplash. Wolf stainless steel appliances, and an integrated Sub-Zero refrigerator from Monark Premium Appliance Co. add another metal finish to the mix.


Black metal rings accent gracefully curving tone-on-tone dining room chairs by Global Views.  Upholstered in a neutral zebra patterned fabric, the chairs surround a double-pedestal dining table with a mirrored stainless and glass top, also by Global Views. The double ceiling tray with floating drop-down is faux finished in a taupe striate pattern with a metallic overlay. Sunflower shaped Bauhinia crystal disks suspended within intricate metalwork surround an inner drum shade in linen, creating a sleek profile for the Murray Feiss Lucia crystal light fixture from Wilson Lighting.


Luxurious fabrics and reflective surfaces bring a warm, restful glow to the master bedroom. Champagne metallic wood bisects ivory fabric to give the headboard of the Caracole upholstered bed a quilted look. A metallic taupe side table from Schnadig is partnered with one of a pair of Norwalk chairs covered in creamy embossed velvet. Suspended from the drop-down center of a large beamed ceiling coffer, a six-arm chandelier from Wilson Lighting illuminates the room. The flat portion of the ceiling is faux finished LusterStone. Ivory ceramic lamps on Lucite bases sit atop the Drexel mirrored nightstands.


Soft ivory cabinets with a taupe glaze in the master bath are topped with Crema Typhoon granite from Naples Stoneworks. Angled into one corner is a freestanding, oval Kohler Sunstruck jetted tub. Wall sconces with drum shades from Wilson Lighting mirror the central chandelier. Subtly patterned wallcovering allows the sculptured area rug, exotic countertops, and extensive mirrors to be the focal points. The floor is white Sunrock Travertino porcelain with Byzantine Maximus brushed copper mosaic from Modern Tile & Carpet.


Cool, dark and tranquil, the oversized 37-by-18- foot infinity edge pool is surfaced with black pebble. Twin raised landscaped planters with scupper water features frame the negative edge. The 16-by-16-inch shellstone marble pavers comprise the pool deck and top the edge of the attached spa. The covered seating area features a gas fireplace from Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living. The fireplace surround is Mark Clay matte porcelain from Modern Tile & Carpet.

Written by Ginny Cooper

Photography by Giovanni Photography

Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living
7830 Drew Circle, Suites 1 & 2
Fort Myers, FL 33967

Harbourside Custom Homes
19451 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 3
Fort Myers, FL 33908

Modern Tile & Carpet
5450 Division Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33905

Monark Premium Appliance Co.
27180 Bay Landing Drive, Suite 1
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Naples Stoneworks
2259 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109

South Florida Architecture
9990 Coconut Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Wilson Lighting
2465 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109

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