Mark Wilson compares the luxury model homes his company creates to living art. As sculptors, London Bay Homes’ architecture and construction teams transform a vision on paper – the floor plan – into three dimensions, always mindful of the tiniest details that define the art, and ultimately, the way people will live within the art. Interior designers then infuse the masterpiece with color and character.
“Like art, a model home should be liberated from any modicum of restraint,” explains Wilson, president and CEO of the award-winning Naples homebuilder. “It should embrace all the possibilities, even push boundaries while ultimately appealing to the connoisseur – the homebuyer who recognizes this art captures exactly how they want to express their personal lifestyle.”
In conceiving the Benita, a single-family villa in the boat-in-your-backyard Portofino neighborhood at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, the London Bay Homes team created a model that elicits wow moments as visitors explore its 3,100 square feet. It features an open great room floor plan and the infinite possibilities of an indoor-outdoor lifestyle with expansive alfresco spaces, a custom pool, spa, and a stunning sculptural water feature.
The Benita’s white on ivory finishes, white shell limestone flooring, kitchen cabinetry, and walls painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster White, and white furnishings provide the backdrop for dramatic bursts of color. Romanza Interior Design’s Michael Scott selected in fabrics, artwork, and accessories in coral, cobalt, crimson, lime green, tangerine, and turquoise hues, which translate into a relaxed transitional design with a nod to the tropics, and a bolder interpretation of coastal design.
“Mark is such a visionary,” says Scott. “He sees beyond color concepts, storyboards, and ideas; he sees the final design in living color. For this model, I saw the opportunity to introduce the brighter colors of Florida and the tropics. Our clients are gravitating to more color. They see it as a reflection of their lifestyle here.”
In the maintenance-free Benita, the lifestyle is enhanced by the opportunity for a private boat dock to access Miromar’s 700 acres of freshwater lake.
Scott purposely limited interior architectural elements to impart a more modern aesthetic that complements the clean lines of Tommy Bahama furniture, boldly colored oversized artwork by Bob Stedman and Matthew William, accessories, and jaunty Pindler fabrics. The Benita’s ceilings boast simple trays, crown moulding and white beams that keep the eye entranced by a kaleidoscope of tropical colors.
A dramatic entry — a freestanding wall with a wide arch — creates a noteworthy first impression while foreshadowing a similar sculptural element in the Benita’s pool area. One of the four bedrooms is treated as a den in this model, which offers a three-car garage and a lakefront site.
Scott selected white furnishings from Tommy Bahama’s Ivory Key collection. “It captures the brand’s island-style essence,” he explains. “These pieces have a nice sculptural quality without being ornate.” Pindler solid and patterned fabrics add pops of chartreuse and raspberry to upholstery and accent pillows in the great room, with a dash of turquoise introduced in two Cyan Design ceramic lamps with matching silk shades on either side of the natural linen Taylor King sofa. A light brushed and chiseled shell stone floor from Flooring Design Group throughout the great room sets a tropical mood.
A geometric Pindler pattern in tangerine colors the four Ivory Key collection stools at the freestanding island which, like the rest of the kitchen, features alabaster white painted cabinetry and Bianco Napoli Pompeii quartz countertops. “The glass Silver Cloud Harlequin mosaic backsplash from Flooring Design Group in white and natural shades blends cabinetry, countertops, and the limestone flooring,” Scott notes. Glass accessories introduce translucent tropical shades of orange, green, and turquoise. The gourmet kitchen offers stainless steel GE Monogram appliances from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, including an under-counter wine refrigerator. The white-on-white beamed ceiling enhances the space.
Stedman’s Summer House, and Phillip Jefferies’ natural grasscloth over a turquoise background in the niche, provide the color cues for the dining room. Skirted host chairs are upholstered in Pindler Tillman geranium weave. Turquoise glass sconces are paired with well curated accessories. Currey & Company’s Seaward ivory-finished wrought iron chandelier echoes waving seagrass above the Ivory Key rectangular dining table, finished in ivory providing seating for eight-to-ten guests. The grass-cloth treatment and woven raffia panels of the Spanish Point seven drawer sideboard in the niche offer another touch of the tropics. A bamboo-inspired tea cart doubles as a mobile margarita bar.
Wilson applauds Scott’s vision for the den with its Bailey writing desk by Hickory White in custom antique red and the bold modern design of a Kaleen woven area rug. “It’s so unexpected,” he explains of the colors and composition. “Most dens tend to focus on heavy use of wood and leather and project a masculine vibe,” he says. “This room is so inviting.”
White always infuses a bedroom with serenity, explains Scott. The designer introduces color sparingly in the master bedroom, adding hints of lemon and chartreuse in the trim of white pique Legacy Home custom linens. The Ivory Key king size poster bed features a quatrefoil and diamond patterned headboard with raffia panel inserts. The custom bench has an ivory finish, and is upholstered in Romo’s soft, brushed cotton in lemon. Bolder strokes of color appear in turquoise ceramic lamps on the beside tables, tropic scenery of Manuel Canovas’ Bora Bora fabric on accent pillow, and the oil-on-canvas above the Tommy Bahama Grotto Isle triple dresser. White plantation shutters and white natural linen draperies enhance the room’s ethereal ambience.
The Benita’s master suite has dual closets, and its master bathroom is awash with white. A vanity in alabaster white incorporates his and hers sinks. Brushed shellstone flooring, white Pompeii quartz countertops, and a limestone-clad shower with frameless glass enclosure complete the clean, bright look. The large soaking tub measures 42-by-72-inches and is positioned under plantation shutters. The artwork serves as inspiration for the deep purple, greens, and blues in the striped cushion of the built-in bench.
A sitting area allows beholders to take advantage of the views. Sunbrella cushions in sangria are paired with ivory finished Castelle armchairs, sofa, and table.
London Bay Homes places a major emphasis on outdoor living areas offering summer kitchens, fireplaces and fire pits, as well as multiple water features. The Benita’s freeform pool is embellished with a stucco creamy colored wall with a wide arched opening capped with a dark wood stained trellis. The water bowl from Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living casts an aqua glow as water cascades in 360 degrees to the circular bench below.
Written by Lucille Austero
Photography by Giovanni Photography
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
3406 Domestic Avenue
Naples, FL 34104
Flooring Design Group
2403 Trade Center Way, Suite 8
Naples, FL 34109
Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living
7830 Drew Circle, Suites 1 & 2
Fort Myers, FL 33967
London Bay Homes
2210 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 1300
Naples, FL 34109