Open Invitation : Luxury Design with Guests in Mind

Creating a home reflective of the warm and inviting personalities of its owners led to a design and build experience that the team of seasoned professionals behind this residence characterizes as a favorite.

Avid golfers Lisa and Geoff Covert fell in love with the home site overlooking the 12th fairway at Mediterra. They sought out Kurtz Homes, based on a stellar reputation over the company’s 35-year history, only to learn that they had purchased the lot right next door to the personal residence of company co-founder Randy Kurtz.

“It adds a bit of extra pressure living right next door to your client,” laughs Kurtz. “The good news is that we became terrific friends through the process.”

John Cooney, partner at Stofft Cooney Architects, came onboard simultaneously with Kurtz Homes, followed by interior designer Teri Kellam of Kellam Group Interiors. The trio aimed to create a home as hospitable as the clients who brought them together.

“This floor plan is one of the most entertainment-based plans I’ve designed. From the exterior to the interior, every design decision was made with guests in mind, entertaining friends and family, and their level of comfort,” says Cooney. “Lisa had a vision for this home.”

Throughout the very open concept plan, the architectural elements act as room dividers. Stacked stone columns, ceiling detail, and various flooring treatments are used strategically to delineate the space. The wine room, for instance, is visible from the dining room, club room and living room notes Cooney.

“The use of black walnut was very important to Geoff,” says Kurtz, adding, “We incorporated it into the wine room, the bourbon bar, and clubroom. The wood ceiling cantilevers out over the seating area, helping to define it.”

“There is a soothing flow to this home, in the floor plan, the lighting, and the furnishings,” says Kellam. “Lisa wanted comfortable, upscale elegance. A neutral color palette of blues and grays with splashes of color achieved this look.”

With ample glass in the front and back of the home, the spaces are naturally lit. Each hallway, window, and room was carefully planned to capture interesting vistas from every direction. “As you experience the home, there are natural vistas and strategically created views of fire bowls, sculptures, courtyards, landscape architecture, and the golf course,” remarks Cooney.

Kurtz says there was a sense of camaraderie throughout the construction of this home that ultimately yielded an award-winning residence, and a good neighbor. “It starts with the client; this was a fun client,” he adds. “They were very into the architecture and details of what they wanted out of this house. The entire team was very committed to this project.”


The hip-roof pods and flat grey roof tile give the European-Tuscan style of architecture on this Mediterra estate a tropical flair, according to architect John Cooney. An asymmetrical walkway follows the roofline of the home. A grand two-story front entrance and large picture windows are alluring, inviting visitors in from the outside.


The window in the foyer mimics the front door, allowing a clear view of the spectacular fire-lit pool and outdoor pavilion. Overhead glistens an elegant stainless and silver-leaf, ribbon chandelier from the Graffiti Collection by Corbett, adding glamour and grace.


A custom designed bench in the gallery hall leads the eye to a blue stone sculpture from West Indies Home that is illuminated outside. Artwork is highlighted by delicate Swarovski crystal sconces. Wide plank white oak flooring and stacked stone in the main living area add warmth. Kellam used Barbara Barry fabrics on the sofa and the two facing armless chairs in shades of taupe and beige. Custom benches sit in front of the fireplace by Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living. The table from Swaim ties in with the dark marble fireplace. Organic accessories maintain the coastal feel in this elegant space, while the one-of-a-kind rug and pillows add texture in subtle tones. Ceiling lights, a chandelier by Johnathan Adler, and table lamps add layers of light which, as Kellam notes, are important to the overall mood — especially when doing a lot of entertaining.


Beyond the wine room is the clubroom seating area with a fireplace by Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living. To the far end, the award-winning custom designed bourbon bar by Carol Ruffino of Ruffino Cabinetry is crafted from walnut. A radius-glass bourbon display case, custom cigar humidor drawer, and the overall detailing create a rich, beautiful masterpiece.


The overall openness of the home is best noted in the main living area. The glass-walled 2,100 bottle wine room is the backdrop for the formal dining area and room divider.


The long double island kitchen is designed with a working kitchen hidden from view. Wolf, Subzero and Miele appliances were all sourced from Monark Premium Appliances. At the center of the room, in contrast to the dark wood, is a delicate chandelier by Viz Glass. The dark glazed cabinetry with metal door details by Ruffino Cabinetry, follows the detail of the main living area and ceiling beams. The custom kitchen backsplash in back-painted glass from Builders Glass of Bonita, adds a zen feel to balance the dark wood. Double islands of Taj Mahal quartzite create usable work area and a core space for entertaining. Around the two-tiered game island, Kellam used COM’s Roma Texture Line with acrylic leg chairs by DesignMaster. To the left is a custom-designed coffee bar with glass sides, also by Ruffino. On the right wall, Kellam designed a banquette, adding a soft feature wall and additional seating.


The floor plan includes a unique departure; moving the owner’s suite closest to the kitchen and main living areas while situating the guest wing at the far end of the home. “I like to get up in the morning, make the coffee, and start breakfast without disturbing my guests,” explains Lisa. Recessed lighting and architectural ceiling design define the main space. The dresser and upholstered headboard are by Swaim. Over the bed in lieu of art are mirrors by Barbara Barry. The bench at the foot of the bed is by Barbara Barry, as is the bracelet chair positioned near the window, near the chaise by Jessica Charles. The bed is situated on a soft-gray, silk area rug by Kravet.


In the owner’s bath, perfect balance is achieved through the architecture and minimalist design. The solid stone tub is centered on the windows with a natural foliage privacy barrier outside. Flanking the tub are glass enclosed his and hers showers finished in Mystery White marble.


The dramatic outdoor pavilion was initially designed to provide privacy from the golf course. “What resulted was a beautiful focal point from inside, and in the evening when there isn’t a lot to see on a dark golf course, guests can sit in the pavilion and their view is reversed; the intricate rear exterior of the home becomes the focus,” explains Cooney. Fire and water bowls from Grand Effects illuminate the T-shaped pool and pavilion. Inside, a wood burning fireplace from Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living warms cool nights. A circular sofa by Cabana Coast is both functional and interesting in form.


Written by Lisa Mishler

Photography by CJ Walker

Builders Glass of Bonita, Inc.
24181 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 4
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

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

Kurtz Homes, Inc.
1055 Crosspointe Drive
Naples, FL 34110

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

Ruffino Cabinetry
291 Broad Avenue
Naples, FL 34102

Stofft Cooney Architects
633 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 300
Naples, FL 34102

West Indies Home Collection
9465 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34108


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