Sarasota Crown Jewel : Set on Longboat Key

Rich tones, dramatic lighting, warm stone. All these elements create a grand entrance to this Sarasota home perched on the barrier island of Longboat Key. “Our clients wanted to build their home on Longboat Key with a relaxed Bali flair,” says the home’s builder, Gordon White, President of G.A. White Homes based in Beavercreek, Ohio. “As the project evolved, they added traditional and contemporary elements to create a timeless, transitional feel. Their main goal was to make the house warm and welcoming to all. The result was a breathtaking transitional home that still has Balinese influences throughout.” The owners choose Debbie Sykes of Debbie Sykes Interior Design, a family friend from Dayton Ohio, to bring their vision to life.

The client’s number one priority was family. “They wanted to be able to enjoy the home with family, and each detail chosen focuses on that. They have nicely-sized guest quarters, hidden bunk beds, and large living spaces that can accommodate the entire family and guests,” adds White. The other goal was to showcase the natural beauty of the island and the gulf front location. “We chose materials that brought the island to life inside the house,” White says.

The owners spared no detail in the home’s creation. When you drive up, a stately gate helps separate the home from the outside world. And once you enter, it’s easy to get lost in the calm island feel the residence evokes.

“One of my favorite features of the house is the casual main space, which is an open floor plan with expansive views of the Gulf of Mexico,” says principal residential designer Richard Guzman of R.G. Designs. “It starts as you enter the main foyer, then the home to the amazing raised pool deck and outdoor living area on the Gulf.”

White adds, “The moment you walk into the home, you see the infinity pool, beach, waves, palm trees. It blends seamlessly together like nature intended it.”

Designed by Rich Guzman of R.G. Designs, the home’s exterior offers a glimpse of the grandeur found inside. Once you enter the gates, a meandering paver driveway in a Tremron Stonehurst Gray Blend leads to the home. The owners chose calm, cool tones for the home’s exterior — Sherwin-Williams Worldly Gray, Intellectual Gray, and Peppercorn. The garage doors are from D & D Garage Doors. The landscape plan included native Florida plants. In the evening, strategically placed landscape lighting highlights magnificent palms, a water feature, and the natural stone.

As the gathering space of the home, the living space was designed with the family in mind. Light walls in ‘Balance Beige’ allow details of the room to come to life. A 72-inch linear fireplace is the focal point of the room, highlighted with granite and stone to allow space for an 80-inch TV. Columns surround the space trimmed in stained white oak with sand inspired wallpaper highlights.

The clients wanted a large kitchen to entertain and cook. The starting point was an over-sized island which can accommodate the entire family. “The most important factor when designing the kitchen was to make sure it was open to the amazing Gulf of Mexico sunsets in the evening,” says White. Two large Sub-Zero flush door refrigerators, Wolf cooking appliances, and a Wolf microwave drawer round out the space. A large walk-in pantry provides storage as does as a built-in coffee bar with refrigerated drawers from Miele. The kitchen’s backsplash tile is Crossville Sideview Glass from Hamilton Parker. The Art Craft rifted white oak cabinets came from EuroTech Cabinetry, and the countertops are Cambria in Windermere. Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring, sourced from GCFlooring, anchors the room.

“We wanted to create a bar that was fun, functional, yet still open to the main areas to allow guests to see the ocean,” White says. The kitchen and bar are separated by a custom-made glass wine display complete with LED illumination to showcase the collection’s finest bottles. The bar area cabinets are made from the same of wood as the island cabinets. The countertop and backsplash in this area are from the Cambria Jewel collection. The built-in Sub-Zero wine cooler, ice maker, and stemware dishwashing drawers finish off the appliance package.

Uniquely designed ceiling beams separate the open concept living room, kitchen, and dining spaces. A vast eat-in kitchen allows for the smaller, less formal dining room.

The spacious bathroom features his-and-hers vanities, water closets, and closets. The glowing Imola Antares Beige tile leads directly into the open, walk-through shower. The shower’s highlights are its handmade Lunada Bay glass tile in Japoinesa and the Kohler plumbing fixtures. The bathroom cabinets came from Eurotech Cabinetry. A freestanding Bain air tub finishes off the space. Each master vanity features glass tile and a floating mirror with LED backlighting.

The master bedroom is a true retreat for the homeowners, featuring a well-appointed sitting area. The oversized room takes advantage of the breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico. The flooring is eight-inch planks from Legno Bastone Elite Collection in Smoked Kelly. The room’s calm color, ‘Tinsmith,’ is highlighted by a unique ceiling treatment, which includes stained white oak and a cathedral ceiling over the sitting area.

“The lanai was probably the most important space of the entire house,” says White. “We created a space that captured the beautiful views, and allowed the home’s interior to transition to the outside world.” An outdoor bar has a built-in Lynx grill and Sub-Zero refrigerator. The covered living space features an impressive linear, open-flame fireplace.

The infinity pool — with depths ranging from four to six feet -— and spa create an amazing place to catch the sunsets and peer into the gulf beyond. The pool is complete with a three-inch deep lounge area for sunning and wading.


Written by Claire E. Vath

Photography by Dawn M. Smith


D & D Garage Doors
1177 Cattlemen Road
Sarasota, FL 34232


Eurotech Cabinetry Incorporated
1609 Desoto Road
Sarasota, FL 34234


G. A. White Homes, Inc.
2440 Dayton Xenia Road
Beavercreek, OH


3350 Woods Edge Circle #102
Bonita Springs, FL 34134


Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring
2684 Horseshoe Drive South
Naples, FL 34104


R.G. Designs
28071 Vanderbilt Drive
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

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