The unique architecture represents both a coastal/West Indies style—with elements such as Caribbean blue-painted shutters—and neoclassical architecture by incorporating estate-like columns, and a stately front porch balcony. “This house has a very strong, somewhat manor-like curb appeal, but inside you find a comfortable, inviting home,” says builder Joe Beauchamp. Outside Productions International narrowed the long drive, “… to lessen its impact, leaving more room for planting. An open autocourt with turf strips blends the planting with hardscape,” notes landscape architect Pat Trefz.
As carefully-curated as a museum exhibition, this 8,900-square foot mansion in the prestigious Naples neighborhood of Port Royal is splendid to admire and a convivial ambience in which to reside. It results from meticulous effort by a masterful team led by design/developers John and Karen Melk of JMKM Design. Architects John Cooney and his partner Randall Stofft of Stofft Cooney Architects, and homebuilder Joe Beauchamp of The Williams Group, round out the tried and true team that brought this property to life.
Neutral sofas, a pair of Baker chairs in pale gray suede, and assorted accent tables by The Lacquer Company arranged atop an antique Oushak rug provide a curated look in the living room. The ageless fireplace is Lincoln Calcutta. Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring in a Lancaster finished 8 2/3-inch wide white oak from the European Elegance Collection graces the floors, while a funky Sputnik chandelier infuses midcentury modern for an eclectic touch.
The project was hardly Melk’s first go-round; JMKM Design was the developer of Fisher Island, an exclusive private-island community in Miami Beach, so she’s certainly no stranger to luxury. “Gone are the pretty heels I once wore to the office. Now my shoes are filled with sheet rock!” she laughs, comparing developing condos with the support of a full staff to the more arduous process of erecting private homes of this magnitude.
The family room is another welcoming spot in which to gather. With light gray sofas, boxy chairs in powder blue, and a pale mushroom upholstered bench, all by Mr. & Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture, it takes on a more relaxed feel than the nearby formal living room. A linear ceiling detail, combining painted beams with tongue and groove, warms and defines the space. The Legno Bastone flooring installed by Naples Flooring Company opens to the breakfast area, where wood-back chairs from Max & Company surround a distressed table by Century. Characteristic of tropical living, the outdoors is easily accessed through glass sliders.
To appeal to the sophisticated buyers who would consider a spec home of this level, Melk kept several factors in mind. “I made sure it would be relevant for a long time,” she says, consequently steering away from fleeting trends. She wanted it to be unified, so while each room is distinct, the contents relate well to one another. Pristine as it is, Melk wanted it to also feel accessible. “The spaces are proportioned so each one isn’t too large,” she notes, crediting Cooney for making it feel intimate, though she asserts: “You could easily throw a party here for 500 people.”
The architect mutually acknowledges the designer/developer. “Karen is very talented and has great taste. My challenge was to make sure my design was in keeping with her vision,” says Cooney. Typically, his philosophy is to create classic architecture regardless of style, so according to him, a hybrid of neoclassical and coastal contemporary in not the norm. “In this case, the developer was particularly educated in architecture, so the two styles succeeded in complementing one another,” he assesses.
Ruffino wire-brushed cerused white oak cabinetry is used on the kitchen island, topped in elegant Super Extra Calcatta Gold with gray, gold, and taupe veining; the same adorns the backsplash. Emtek polished-nickel cabinetry hardware matches the Rohl faucets. The upholstered counter stools with sculptural metal legs are from Bolier.
The Williams Group president Joe Beauchamp, both builder and consultant, ensured only the highest level of finish in a home of this caliber. “The Williams Group philosophy is synonymous with its attention to detail. Every idea, every speck of imagination, whether drawn or verbalized, is carried out with exacting measures to create the details others can only dream of. We take great pains to seek out and maintain a collection of highly skilled craftsmen that can execute this vision with precision. At this level, maintaining consistent quality is a daily orchestration by our management team.”
Far from your standard masculine, dark-stained bar, this Ruffino Cabinetry design is decidedly more casual, allowing it to work beautifully in a centralized location and mingle with the prominent areas it services—namely the living room, dining room, family room and kitchen. “It really turned out to be a jewel in the middle of the home,” says Cooney. “Not overbearing, but purposeful.”
The dining room is flawlessly furnished with a French, polished-walnut table by Sherrill, and a set of Max & Company Klismos chairs wrapped in a woven cream fabric. The showpiece is the Ruffino Cabinetry-designed cerused cypress wine wall with a wire-brushed stain finish, spanning 12 feet and utilizing a handy peg system for bottle display.
The extra care taken by all parties is self-evident. Rich finishes, a deft mix of old and new, pouring love into everything and skimping on nothing—are what make a house feel like a home. “I create to a level of quality where I would want to live there myself,” says Melk, adding, “It’s gratifying when the finished product is so beautiful… and when it sells!” Which recently, it did.
The master bath is opulent while understated, with a large window above the tub overlooking a courtyard garden and outdoor shower. Natural light pours in, further illuminating the already gleaming floors and countertops treated in white Carrera marble with distinctive gray veining. “This bathroom is as timeless and classic as you can get,” states Cooney.
Truly a stunning retreat, the master bedroom is awash in quiet, varietal grey hues. A large, cased opening leading to the sitting area, along with a separate but complementary ceiling detail, delineate the space, making it cozy-feeling yet still very much a part of the bedroom. A tall, upholstered platform bed by Mr. & Mrs. Howard for Sherrill anchors the space, and beneath it, a velvety silk and wool rug from Moattar imbues softness.
Once again merging the two genres, Neoclassic columns support a West Indies-inspired ceiling in the resort-style outdoor living area. Though situated at the exterior, the space is luxuriously-appointed to parallel the interior. Furniture featuring woven seating and teak tables by Anacara, and sleek, minimalist barstools from Kannoa, plus natural stone flooring, granite, and stained wood cabinetry amount to a space as posh as any to be found within the interior walls.
Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring
2684 Horseshoe Drive South
Naples, FL 34104
Naples Flooring Company
900 5th Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102
Outside Productions International
5644 Tavilla Circle, Suite 103
Naples, FL 34110
291 Broad Avenue
Naples, FL 34102
Stofft Cooney Architects
633 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 300
Naples, FL 34102
The Williams Group
40 10th Street South
Naples, FL 34102
Written by Robin Hodes
Photography by Blaine Johnathan