Mike Cocozza of Trinity Construction & Design raves, “I love renovations! I built my business on renovations!” Architect Mark Sultana of DSDG Architects chimes in, “They’re fun and they’re challenging!” noting this is the fifth Mediterranean-to-coastal-contemporary conversion he has designed. “I think we’re going to do a lot more of them going forward.”
That’s owing to the plethora of Mediterranean design homes built in the 1990s — large, ornate homes featuring heavily-textured walls, dark wood moulding, stone balustrades, wrought iron, and arched doorways and windows — lots of arches. “Removing the arches was major,” says Sultana.
“It took some engineering and quite a bit of visioning!”
Before Sultana could address the arches, the rest of the home needed attention. The house needed a new roof and the homeowners wanted to change out the windows. The couple had purchased the 1.3 acre lot on Little Sarasota Bay in 1995 and two years later built a four-bedroom, three-bath 6,000-square-foot home in which to raise their family. They loved their location, they just no longer loved the house itself. After perusing another article in this magazine about a renovation, they began to look at their options. Toying with the idea of bulldozing versus renovating, they considered the cost savings a renovation would provide, and chose that route.
Cocozza took the house down to its foundation and studs and spent the next ten months rebuilding the house according to Sultana’s plans. Three concrete chimneys and wood-burning fireplaces were removed, and the living room’s was replaced with a sleek linear electric fireplace. Gone was the heavy tile roof and stucco-embellished concrete block walls. Instead, walls of sand-finished stucco with horizontal and vertical control joints were topped with a standing seam metal roof. Garage doors with backlit translucent windows replaced the heavy wooden ones. Balconies were squared off, topped with wood ceilings, and guarded with sleek contemporary railings. Wood soffits replaced the vinyl ones. Next, DSDG interior designer April Balliette began to transform the interiors. She took her cues from the new, clean lines of the home, selecting finishes, fixtures, and furnishings with the homeowners that would enhance the home’s improved livability. “There was nothing on this house that was not touched or revised,” says Sultana. “Even the landscaping was transformed, all that remains are the six original palm trees flanking the front walk.” In the end, the home’s total transformation is exactly what the homeowners wanted — a contemporary masterpiece in an incredible location.
*Feature cover image: This home had all the hallmarks of Mediterranean style — clay barrel tile roof, dark windows, stucco bands, architectural embellishments — until a jaw-dropping renovation by a talented team of professionals turned the 20-year-old dwelling into a light and airy coastal contemporary. The renovated home’s garage doors with backlit translucent windows enhance the new linear qualities of the updated façade, and all that remains of the original design are the six palms flanking the front entry.
Cocozza installed a stacked marble stairway wall by Realstone Systems from Design Works, with white trim moulding applied to mimic the risers. The white oak top rail was stained to match the stair treads and floors.
FineCraft Custom Cabinetry stained the white oak paneling behind the TV from Digital Homes and floating shelves to match the flooring, installing them at interior designer April Balliette’s direction in a staggered pattern to allow for showcasing a variety of accessories. Floating cabinets flank the fireplace wall, which is faced with stone from FineCraft Custom Cabinetry in Carrick. The coffee table atop the area rug from Rugs As Art completes the new streamlined look.
It’s hard to imagine this light, open dining space as it once was — with a drop ceiling adorned with a mosaic painting and a series of columns hemming it in. Balliette selected a grasscloth wallcovering to add a bit of texture. The Boule de Cristal Grand double linear chandelier adds a bit of sparkle above the 108-inch live edge slab-top Guanacaste dining table. A boxy geometric print covers the Stratus chairs from Lazar.
A companion Boule de Cristal chandelier illuminates the home’s entryway. The John-Richard Gosforth credenza of brown oak features doors of tiza gesso with circular stainless steel handles. Above it hangs an aluminum Reims mirror finished in antique pewter, also from John-Richard. Broadloom carpet was custom-sized into an area rug.
With 17 feet of sleek countertop and stepped back open shelving, the butler’s pantry offers storage and a work surface hidden from view, leaving the kitchen — outfitted with appliances from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery — nice and clean. “Two-toned cabinetry mixed with gloss white gives it a contemporary feel,” opines Cocozza, in his best interior designer impersonation. He also points out the full-height backsplashes and great undercabinet lighting as examples of good design. Two sets of Hammerton Studio’s Misto linear five piece pendants with optic clear glass shades light up the waterfall island of Cambria Britannica from FineCraft Custom Cabinetry set with six gray leather armless bar stools.
The Sonoma Valley flooring in Malbec is carried through the home into the master bedroom. Pairing a duet of 18-inch Tempest drum pendants from Hammerton Studio alongside the bed with a matching 30-inch version unifies the sleeping and sitting areas. The upholstered gray suede panel bed and matching bachelor’s chest from Bernhardt’s Linea collection are finished in cerused charcoal. The Carol Benson-Cobb Dune credenza from John-Richard complements both the wood and upholstery tones of the master suite. Florals from Lux-Art Silks and accessories from International Design Source add the finishing touch.
The lighting fixtures continue the contemporary lines and metallic accents into the master bath. If you look closely you’ll notice the height of the his and hers vanities, topped with Queen Anne marble from FineCraft Custom Cabinetry, are slightly different to accommodate the homeowners’ statures. To soften the multitude of linear elements, MTI’s Intarcia freestanding tub from Gorman’s Gallery has a silhouette that mimics the wave-like pattern in the accent tile on the wall behind.
To keep this multi-function bonus room sleek and contemporary, similar materials and finishes are pulled from throughout the home for a cohesive look, like the modern furnishings and wide plank wood flooring. The expansive space also sports its own bar, entertainment center, and game table that now bask in an abundance of light.
While the home’s original pool shape was retained, it was refinished to make it feel like new. The deck pavers were replaced with Turkish shell stone; the stone railings were removed, and the planters raised; the spa was updated, and a pair of light bowls were added as a water feature. Photographed from the air, this newly transformed coastal-contemporary enjoys an “incredible location,” says Cocozza, a factor that certainly weighed heavily in lightening up the former Mediterranean design.
Written by Ginny Peterson
Photography by Ryan Gamma
Architect & Interior Designer
1348 Fruitville Road, Suite 204
Sarasota, FL 34236
Luxury Home Builder
Trinity Construction & Design
2017 Fiesta Drive
Sarasota, FL 34231