In Florida real estate, where a waterfront lot is worth its weight in gold and then some, this grand Naples estate with a British West Indies flair sits on a coveted double lot overlooking white sand beach and the Gulf of Mexico. Belying its recent completion, the home’s 27-thousand-plus square feet are secreted amongst a wealth of lush landscaping and mature trees.
The owners, a boating industry leader and his physician wife desired a Naples address and purchased the property where two houses once stood, setting sail on a three year journey to create the home of their dreams. Builder Norm Bloxham, president of Luxury Home Solutions was in the captain’s chair from the outset. “I had done work for them previously, and found a synergy with the owner. He trusted that I could translate his ideas into reality both expeditiously and efficiently, while executing the highest level of craftsmanship,” explains Bloxham.
That trust also led the owners to residential designer Steve Handley. Already fond of his work on their Fort Myers home, the couple enlisted Handley to recreate some outstanding elements of their existing home and visualize new ones. He designed a floorplan which captures the water views with the open flow necessary for the couple’s many philanthropic soirées.
“I spent weeks and weeks just on the entry staircase getting the proper curve and exact detail, stretching it wide to capture the views,” recalls Handley, who adds that this project put his childhood love of drawing and fine arts to the test, “I counted 145 design sketches I did throughout the house of architectural details and elements, revising them several times each to get it exactly right.”
Gloria Black, lead designer at Freestyle Interiors was brought onboard, helping to merge the couple’s divergent styles. “He’s traditional and she’s modern, so the fusion of their two styles resulted in a soft, art deco aesthetic throughout the home. My ability to listen and interpret their needs and lifestyle led to a home that their family will enjoy for years to come,” explains Black. Freestyle Interiors’ owner Faith Fix agrees, adding, “When you work on a home this size you have to do it in pieces—room by room, yet pull together the cohesiveness of it all. We added their existing pieces into the new, lighter design and created focal points in each space.”
Bloxham and construction manager Todd Apple say the lasting friendship formed with the owners speaks to the couple’s satisfaction. “Our success with building a house like this is really listening, getting the husband and wife on board, meeting both of their needs and value-engineering the home,” says Bloxham. Apple adds, “We worked very, very hard—we put together a really good team, with the residential designer, interior designer and the homeowners. The home exceeds all of our expectations.”
This Naples beachfront estate with a British West Indies flair encompasses over 27,000 square feet. The entry includes a bridge over man-made ponds, leading to a two-story porte cochère. Arriving guests may take one of the home’s two elevators to the main living area. Built to meet stringent coastal building codes, 257 piles extend 40-feet into the ground to support the home’s weight and elevate the living space.
A two-story stone-clad gas fireplace with custom Christopher Guy mirror creates another dramatic focal point in the formal living room, also seen on the cover. Designer Gloria Black selected sleek, low-profile furnishings to maintain the room’s open view to the water. At center, a pair of Guy Chaddock sofas and an églomisé cocktail table from Theodore Alexander add a modern flair to the clients’ existing traditional area rug. The art deco aesthetic is emphasized by the selection of dark marble on the fireplace, the diamond-shape furniture plan, and the multi-layered ceiling design above.
The raised formal living room steps down to the inlayed wood and marble floor of the dining room with a formal bar area just beyond. “It is a very open floorplan. Guests feel welcome as they move around from the dining area to the bar and even outdoors,” explains Black. A custom 82-light Ochre chandelier glitters above the Ebanista dining table surrounded by ten Christopher Guy dining chairs. The antiqued mirrored wall reflects the chandelier’s shimmer onto the custom 11-foot built-in buffet. A dramatic back-lit Italian art panel highlights the wine room and the dark stained Rosewood bar.
In the game room, classic old world mouldings, and cabinetry stained a warm chestnut are set against golden grasscloth wallcovering from Phillip Jeffries. The room features a theater, custom game table with leather chairs by Kravet, and a Swaim pool table. Completing the gentleman’s abod e is a onyx topped full bar with seating.
The family room is oriented to capture the wide-open view of the Gulf with flush-threshold sliding doors providing a seamless transition to outdoor living. A custom hexagonal Swaim sectional is upholstered in a sumptuous Kravet Couture chenille. The sofa’s geometry is also seen in the intricate ceiling design and mirrored onto the floor with inlaid Stark carpet. Black custom designed the cocktail table and coordinating ottomans to accommodate the unique floorplan. The linear gas fireplace is one of three in the home.
The chef’s kitchen features an expansive two-tiered quartzitetopped island and hidden butler’s pantry with full suite of Thermador appliances for use during the couple’s many gatherings. The cabinetry is a custom paint-glaze finish. A professional Wolf gas rangetop, Miele refrigeration and dual ovens complete the main work area. Elegant glass lanterns from Visual Comfort are positioned over the island seating.
Inspired by the beach and sky, the unique master bath design has waves of mosaic in the shower and tiers over the bath reminiscent of clouds. The custom designed cabinetry includes a motorized panel which rises from the countertop revealing a hidden compartment for beauty products and electronics. The master suite includes dual walk-in custom closets.
The master bedroom and sitting area were designed as a waterfront sanctuary. At the far end, a Baker chaise rests under an acrylic on canvas by artist Itzchak Tarkay. The bed, also from Baker, is flanked by nightstands custom designed by Black through Old Biscayne Design with Visual Comfort pendant lights above. The bedding features fabrics from Casamance and Romo Black. The owners selected the Gary Coleman acrylic painting over the bed, adding a vibrant touch to the teal accents of the room.
The home’s spectacular, multi-level outdoor living area overlooks the beach and Gulf. The waterfall of the free-form infinity edge pool designed and executed by Artesian Pool Construction melds into blue waters beyond. Built-in submerged stools at one end invite guests to swim up to the Tiki hut bar—a spa is located at the opposite end. The covered living space includes comfortable seating, a three-sided linear fireplace, and an outdoor kitchen with grill and pizza oven. Steps lead to a lower level landing with fire pit, and a sizable yard with private beach seating area.
Written by Lisa Mishler
Photography by Michael McVay
Artesian Pool Construction
12290 Metro Parkway
Ft. Myers, FL 33966
3525 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Luxury Home Solutions
Fifth Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102