Put together a team of design and construction professionals specializing in custom homes and the result is exactly that—a home so custom that there is not even a name for its style. “It’s THAT custom!” declares residential designer Jon Coulthurst of JC Drafting & Design.
Contemporary and modern, this home has roots that date to 1931, when the current homeowner’s father bought the homesite as vacant land, later building the family home on it. The son bought the improved property a few years ago and had his childhood home demolished to make way for a soaring structure filled with abundant natural light and incomparable views.
“We’ve built over 500 custom homes since 1978 and this home has the most spectacular views of any,” marvels Jonas Yoder, of Jonas Yoder Custom Homes. “It’s close to a 180-degree view of Sarasota Bay and Longboat Key,” he estimates. “The elevation of the home makes the views even more dramatic, and the cantilevered decks really put you out there.” Yoder’s team also had a part in preserving the heritage of this homestead, salvaging and transplanting six Royal Palm trees originally planted by the homeowner’s father.
As the eye travels upward from the concrete ground level, to the second and third levels clad in 12-inch Hardie board lapped siding, it’s easy to see why Yoder says “the structural engineering that went into this home is amazing.” Cantilevered overhangs extending from the two garages, the stucco-over-frame entrance tower, and the Galvalume® metal roof are each meticulously engineered.
Visible from the entry, this sitting area evokes the clean, simple style of the interiors. A quartet of Row Pate swivel chairs covered in a geometric navy and white print, encircle a wood-topped hairpin-leg coffee table. The group is arranged atop a carefree shag rug with fine, multi-length fibers of varying consistencies. “Simplicity” and “Beautiful Perceptions,” a pair of abstracts from the Casarietti Studio, grace the walls.
The multi-level central stairwell with its abundant windows, floating stairway, and sleek cable railings is a harbinger of this waterfront home’s focus—the incomparable views. Wooden steps are stained to match the Delacio luxury vinyl floor from DuChateau’s LuxeTech™ Collection. The large acrylics “are fresh, contemporary Florida,” declares Gravley. “They represent the views from this home.” A trio of stainless-steel cylinders sparkles against the soft, gray walls.
“The design is unique,” explains Coulthurst, “It’s an upside-down house, with the bedrooms on the second level and main living areas on the third, which allows for the ever-popular vaulted ceilings.” It also allows for those amazing views.
Coulthurst, Yoder and Beginning to End Interiors’ Alan Gravley all agree that the central stairwell is, well, central to the design. Complemented by an elevator with five stops at the various landings, the entrance tower is one of three distinct “cubes” which Coulthurst’s design joins together like puzzle pieces, using the stair landings to bridge the spaces. To one side is the guest apartment, with two bedrooms, two baths and an efficiency-type kitchen and living area leading to an outside deck, all placed above a tall, oversized garage on the ground level. On the other, above the double garage, is the master suite and great room. Open to the view below, an intimate living room tops off the tower.
“It was a challenge to work the custom kitchen cabinets around the many windows,” says Gravley. “Stretching the crown moulding across the window frames adds continuity to the layout.” A trio of sea urchin-like pendant lamps from LyteWorks illuminate the oversized granite-topped island where six hydraulic bar stools are covered in a durable Krypton fabric. A coordinating fixture from Lyteworks shines down upon the Universal Desmond dining table with integrated stainless-steel legs surrounded by chrome-based bucket chairs.
While Coulthurst and Yoder successfully met the challenges of designing and building in a velocity zone, Gravley concentrated on bringing continuity to the puzzle pieces with interior specifications. Soft wall colors in shades of blue, green, and a very muted gray emphasize the home’s waterfront location and its owners’ love for marine life. Sea-colored abstracts, glimmers of mixed metals, clean lines, large doses of vibrant blues, and fanciful lighting fixtures envelope the homeowners in their beloved marine ambiance, always with a view of the water.
Gravley used furniture to create two seating areas in the multi-purpose great room. Four Rowe Nash chairs designate a conversation space but can swivel for TV viewing. John Richard gray oak Ayr tables and a Grayville cocktail table flank a Temple sectional. Large glass rocks in shades of blue add color and dimension to the elevator shaft. “Reaching into the Unknown,” an abstract from Casarietti Studios, adds a vibrant blue focal point.
Two-by-three-foot wall tiles in shades of blue each contain a trio of designs, resulting in a random herringbone-like pattern. The clean and simple lines of Kohler’s Abrazo freestanding tub inspire Gravley to call it “a piece of artwork in the shower. Look at the sculpture and shape—it’s just a sexy tub!”
Cyan Design clear and blue glass table lamps top twin custom-stained cherrywood nightstands, which flank a brightly patterned upholstered bed with washable velvet bedding that is used to bring texture and interest into the master bedroom. Matching throw pillows accent a small scale sectional with chaise from Temple. The homeowner-supplied wood and glass coffee table adds a sculptural element to the seating arrangement.
The master suite includes walk-in closets by More Space Place. The luxurious bath features a “wet space” shower—a large, walk-in area with frameless glass windows and a pebble floor that houses both shower and tub. Linear lights are mounted on the framed mirrors hanging above the custom-painted wood vanities with semi-flush vessel sinks. All of the windows were wrapped with quartz to create frames. “Everything in this bath leads you to the views,” Gravley asserts. “It’s contemporary without feeling cold.”
Yoder again pays tribute to the engineering by calling attention to the large cantilevered decks on the residential floors, the construction of which “was extremely challenging, and a great testimony to teamwork.” Furnishings differentiate dining, living, and relaxation zones on the generous, paver deck surrounding the pool and spa. Easily accessed from the guest apartment via the spiral staircase, designer Gravley says, “It’s a great entertaining space.”
Sherwin-William’s Sea Salt washes over the walls of the guest apartment, imparting a subtle green tint that is picked up in the small-scale pattern of the green and white occasional chair and the accent pillows tossed on the white sofa. An upholstered bench serves here as a coffee table but could just as easily function as additional seating in this multi-purpose space in the guest wing. Marble-topped nesting tables gleam on chrome legs.
Written by Ginny Cooper
Photography by Nicholas Ferris
Beginning to End Interiors
4453-C Ashton Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
2403 Huron Lane
Sarasota, FL 34237
JC Drafting & Design
905 Ponder Avenue, Suite C
Sarasota, FL 34232
816 Manatee Avenue East
Bradenton, FL 34208
More Space Place
3906 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231