A home’s hidden treasure
This home was not a case of love at first sight for homeowners Bob and Virginia Forgét. They, like most, had the expectation that a waterfront home in Naples would allow them to spend time enjoying the view of blue water and passing boats. That wasn’t the case.
“When we first saw the house, we thought how odd it was we couldn’t see much of the water, even though the property was on Venetian Bay,” explains Bob. “But we knew right away we could remodel the property, open it up to the water, and adapt it to our lifestyle,” adds Virginia.
To accomplish that task, the couple hired architect John Cooney of Stofft Cooney Architects and builder Mark Nourse to be their partners in the project. “It turns out that the house was dilapidated and we ended up reducing the existing structure down to just a concrete shell and roof trusses,” says Cooney. In keeping with the overall ambiance of Venetian Village, Cooney designed a home that is a new interpretation of a Mediterranean villa. By adding subtle and dramatic modern elements like louvers, a glass entry and garage door, and a front fountain, Cooney elevated the home to a new level.
Armed with Cooney’s extremely detailed plans, Nourse used his knowledge of local vendors and contractors, hard-won over 40 years, to put together a crack team to work on the home. “Whenever we ran into a challenge, we found our way through,” says Nourse. “I am old school and often do things myself to get it done right. I live by the motto, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’”
Virginia herself handled the interior design of the home. Her creativity shines through to such a degree she has been offered jobs by local design firms, though she calls herself only “a talented amateur.” Her design scheme for the couple’s Naples restaurant, The Warehouse, even won a coveted Sand Dollar Award.
“Working with John and Mark was just phenomenal,” she says. “Both of them were very hands-on and in constant contact with us,” adds Bob. Virginia sums it up, “They helped us reveal that this house was really a diamond in the rough.”
Situated on the water in Naples’ Venetian Village, this home is a new interpretation of a Mediterranean Villa. Devoid of arches, with modern windows and garage doors, the home has a decidedly more contemporary appeal.
The outside and inside truly seem to merge in the great room of the four-bedroom, four-full and one-half-bath home. Doors pocket back, opening the whole space to a panoramic view of the outdoors. The cypress glass and aluminum deck panels have no top rail, so as not to interfere with the view over Venetian Bay. The hand-plastered ceiling reflects light off the water and polished limestone flooring blurs the distinction between indoors and out. An Addison House monochromatic gray plush sofa and twin white leather bucket chairs rest sleekly on a Greek key rug.
The couple commissioned glass specialist Jeff Downing to create the etched glass bar set atop a stainless base. Dove gray leather stools from Naples Leather & Fine Furnishings provide seating. Floating shelves are mounted on a wooden wall painted in a sand dunes pattern using automotive paint. The wet bar itself is of black wenge wood topped with black Pompeii quartz. Built-in shelves hold other treasures like resin “Out of the Bowl” sculptures by Thad Markham.
The Addison House Air Table is a block of varnished polished wood floating on glass legs. Chairs clad in gray flannel tweed provide seating for six. The crystal icicle chandelier is from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Art in the room was sourced at the Naples Art Festival and other local art shows. Twin kitchen islands feature waterfall edge Pompeii quartz counters atop walnut wood. Stools of white leather are set beneath the underlit coffered ceiling. Appliances are by Bosch and Sub-Zero.
The showpiece of the study is the Addison House glass desk with a marbled insert. The dark brown leather and stainless base of the Addison House Avant-garde chair complements the espresso porcelain floor tile. Floating shelves provide a home for one of the owner’s treasures, a basketball signed by Boston Celtics legend, John Havlicek.
A spiral brass and glass chandelier hangs from the step-coffered ceiling of the master bedroom. The white leather-framed bed, set on a custom retro shag rug, is from Naples Leather & Fine Furnishings. Glass-paneled barn doors reveal the linear gas fireplace in the master bath. A built-in wall credenza with a gray Pompeii quartz counter provides plenty of storage.
Backlit mirrors illuminate the master bath’s countertops of gray quartz, inset with trough sinks and Grohe faucets. Wavy cabinets anchored by espresso porcelain floor tile provide movement in the space. The white leather vanity chair is from Naples Leather & Fine Furnishings.
The covered deck, with its tongue-and-groove celling, holds a Barlow Tyrie sectional upholstered in Sunbrella fabric. The aluminum coffee table is from the same collection. Underfoot is the same limestone floor as within, but unpolished for surer footing. Overhead, a Minka-Aire fan makes the most of the bay breezes.
Family photos in Wexel Art Lucite magnetic frames—which allow the selections to be easily changed—line the gallery hall facing the pool. Stainless-steel banisters and stair treads adorn the steps leading to the master suite. A reverse trough ceiling—twin to one in the study—hides the home’s mechanicals, and light from the Andersen Windows A Series casement windows reflects off the wood-look porcelain tile floor.
Bronze kerosene lamps border the pebble-glass tiled pool, which features a trio of waterfalls. Glass mosaic tiles in shades of cerulean, taupe, and moss separate the spa from the main pool. The deck was scrapped and replaced with natural stone and has room enough to host two different seating areas of chairs, chaises, and a sheltering umbrella, created of weather-resistant Sunbrella fabric.
This home is offered for sale by Michael G. Lawler, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.
Written by Kitt Walsh
Photography by Michael Anderson
100 4th Avenue
Bayport, MN 55003
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
38 Goodlette-Frank Road S.
Naples, FL 34102
Michael G. Lawler, P.A.
800 Harbour Drive
Naples, FL 34103
Naples Leather & Fine Furnishings
3333 N. Tamiami Trail
Naples, FL 34103
Stofft Cooney Architects
633 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 300
Naples, FL 34102