Nick and Sara Ferguson have moved 10 times, built two homes together, and renovated many others. But their Sandpiper Lane home is Sara’s favorite “to date,” she says with a knowing smile.
The couple, a contractor and a real estate agent, took a chance on the property. Originally part of a double lot, it had been on the market for a while and some site work was needed. Nick offers one example, “There was a boat basin that protruded into the canal, creating setback issues. We filled it in and built a new seawall.”
“This project might have been a big undertaking for others, but we had the knowledge and the resources to take advantage of a really great piece of property,” adds Sara.
“The neighborhood is a hidden gem, west of the Trail, between downtown and Siesta Key. Nick loves to boat, so being one lot off the bay was a plus. But the real reason this lot was perfect for us,” continues Sara, “is that it’s close to our kids’ schools — we can walk there.”
When it came time to design and build their dream home, Sara was clear about what she wanted. “I had a vision, I wanted something you just don’t see in Sarasota — a traditional design with a coastal feel. It had to be cozy and casual for two little girls, yet comfortable and elegant. I wanted a home that didn’t feel like a museum.”
Some of their clients were curious to see what they would build for themselves and many were surprised with the Fergusons’ design choices, as their last few houses were more contemporary. “This home most closely reflects our personal style,” Sara muses. “But it still has clean lines, and it’s still white!” she laughs. “I can’t remember the last time I didn’t live in a white home. This home is white inside and out and the paint can be touched up over time, whereas color fades, and then you must paint the whole wall.” Sara relied on interior designer Melissa DeMore to “steer me, to keep me on track, on time, and within budget. Hiring a designer actually saves you money!” she declares.
Using his employees from NC Ferguson Construction and his regular team of subcontractors, the house took a year to build. “For a house like this, in today’s market, that’s pretty fast,” Nick states. “The typical time frame for a home of this quality is 18 months or more. There are a limited number of subcontractors who can do this caliber of work and that dictates your schedule. I used my guys, the same crew I use on clients’ homes. They are like family.”
The 5,000-plus-square-foot home was designed with the ease of construction in mind, in the most cost-effective way possible, leading Nick to remark, “What looks large and complex was really pretty simple as far as building goes. That’s a benefit of having a builder design the home.”
Nick Ferguson explains that while the design morphed during the build, the home’s layout did not change. Originally planned as stucco and cast stone, the home’s façade gave way to a Hardie board product that has a cedar shake look without the cedar shake maintenance. Slate-look flat tile roofing complements the traditional look. Custom-fabricated powder-coated aluminum railings introduce “the x-theme,” repeated throughout the home.
Aurora hardwood wide-plank flooring in walnut provides a dark contrast to the home’s all-over white. The living room’s sectional and chairs, slipcovered in a washable cotton-linen fabric, surround a glass-topped Blake raffia coffee table from Serena & Lily. The pair of Robb & Stucky green chests flanking the fireplace came from the Fergusons’ previous home and served as inspiration for Sara’s accent color. The oyster shell mirrors from Made Goods bring in a coastal element.
Phillip Jeffries’ Seaside Linen covers the dining room walls above the custom-built wainscoting. Stationary drapery panels of Bellavista Ombre linen-look voile flank the windows fitted with glossy white plantation shutters. A silvered tarpon from International Design Source adds a touch of shimmer to the window wall. The Vintner Blanc Chandelier from Currey & Company glows above a black-painted solid wood trestle table surrounded by upholstered and slipcovered dining chairs.
Serena & Lily natural rattan Sunwashed Riviera counter stools add warmth to the all-white kitchen, outfitted with Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Miele appliances. Custom cabinetry features “the x-factor,” echoed in Visual Comfort’s Osborne black iron pendants from Blu Home illuminating the center island. The island’s quartzite top is mitered to add thickness. Antiqued glass sparkles on the bar backsplash where an ice maker and wine refrigerator are tucked behind custom cabinets.
Because she works mostly from home, Sara needed functional storage. Not wanting to sacrifice style, she presented her cabinet maker with a picture and he brought her vision of a bookcase wall to life. Painted a deep charcoal, it is a foil for the trademark white walls, glossy Phillips | Scott Crawford desk, slipcovered chair, and Dash & Albert’s Glitter Diamond woven rug from International Design Source. The hand-braided Lidor raffia chandelier from Made Goods adds a feathery touch.
With a view to the bay, the eat-in kitchen is Sara’s favorite place to sit with her morning coffee. White Chippendale-style chairs of cape lilac mahogany from the Quay collection at Bungalow 5 surround the Stockholm black cerused tabletop mounted on a hammered-metal tulip base. Made Goods’ Silvana classic empire chandelier featuring strands of white shells adds a coastal element. The Serena & Lily South Seas rattan bar cart doubles as a console table.
Airy draperies of 100% polyester fabric from Opuzen open to reveal views of the canal and Sarasota Bay. The tufted, linen-covered headboard and bed, flanked by black cerused oak Oscar nightstands by Gabby Home from International Design Source, rests atop a gray-and-cream hand-tufted Antelope rug. It’s a favorite spot for Lucy, the Fergusons’ French Bulldog, to curl up.
Surprising herself, Sara makes great use of the dedicated vanity — a first for her. Resembling earrings, a pair of glitzy Kate Spade sconces flanking the mirror lend femininity to the space. Tucked into an alcove, the tub is surrounded by the same marble that cloaks the shower walls (not visible). The herringbone basket weave Carrera marble flooring also continues into the shower. Touches of brass and mixed metals provide a subtle shimmer.
Originally planned as a mancave/TV room, this space above the garage has an attached bath and a separate stairway. It was built out by NC Ferguson Construction’s carpenter as a true kid space, with “the x-factor” incorporated in the top bunk railing. Beds are dressed in mermaid-themed linens and the alcove glows with light from the Lily chip quartz beaded chandelier by Ro Sham Beaux from Blu Home, softened by sheer drapes in sea glass.
Unabashedly coastal, fish scale tile and Barbies-as-mermaids artwork add pizzazz to the guest bath. A subtle gray driftwood frame and accessory baskets carry on the theme. Shiny chrome appears in the fixtures, cabinetry, and wall sconces; quartzite glows atop the white vanity, all tempered by gray linen-look floor tile and black matte door hardware.
To eliminate the need for bulky storage pieces, Sara commissioned her cabinet maker to build custom closets throughout the home, each room having its own configuration of rods, shelves, and drawers. The vintage desk and bedside chest were repurposed and painted white. The bright accent colors of coral, aqua, and navy were pulled from the Ananas drapery fabric by Matthew Williamson from Osborne & Little and repeated in Dash & Albert’s Aruba Stripe woven cotton rug.
Nick used sandblasted marble on the pool deck. A first for his family’s home, the marble gets rave reviews from his clients. On par with travertine, the textured stone remains cool throughout the day. The gentle breeze off the water keeps bugs at bay. Because the pool is within 30 feet of the water line, a pool cage was prohibited, which was fine with Nick, as he prefers a clear, unobstructed view.
From the rooftop deck the Fergusons can see North Siesta Key, Lido Key, and downtown Sarasota. The southwest orientation offers expansive sunset views over the bay. Powder-coated aluminum railings repeat “the x-factor” design element.
Accessed from either her office or the main living area, the patio is another of Sara’s favorite coffee spots. The Pacifica all-weather resin wicker furniture in Driftwood from Serena & Lily features white canvas Sunbrella fabric on the cushions. A 100% polypropylene pink and white rug pulls the color from the office artwork onto the patio.
Written by Ginny Peterson
Photography by Ryan Gamma
Luxury Home Builder
NC Ferguson Construction
4549 Mariotti Court, Suite 101
Sarasota, FL 34233
Bee Ridge Lighting
3909 Bee Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
1830 S Osprey Ave, Suite 101
Sarasota, FL 34239
International Design Source
1734 Northgate Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34234
Robb & Stucky Furniture | Interiors
7557 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
Rugs As Art
6650 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
Sara Ferguson, Michael Saunders & Co
5100 Ocean Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34242