Waterfront Wonderland : Coastal Style on Longboat Key


Calling it “calming and exciting at the same time,” Longboat Key residents Keith and Kristie Harrison loved living on the water, so much so that when a vacant lot with both canal and bay frontage became available, they seized the opportunity to build a new home on it, in concert with John Cannon Homes. The design-build firm has completed over 370 custom waterfront homes during its 30 years in business, each with its own particular set of requirements and goals.

“It was very important to maximize every available square foot of allowable building area while respecting how this home’s shadows fall on adjacent properties, all the while taking advantage of the spectacular waterfront views of Sarasota Bay,” John Cannon explains.

John Cannon Homes’ design-build approach couples the firm’s professional design expertise with superior construction practices to ensure the finished home is a true reflection of the client’s character and sense of style. The process solicits input from the client along the way and in this case, the team reworked several aspects, which resulted in opening up the main floor to create one room with living, dining, kitchen, and family room areas.

“It was the best change we made,” explains homeowner Kristie Harrison, an interior decorator who served as her own client. Kristin Goff, ASID, NCDIQ, of Robb & Stucky International’s Sarasota store, aided Harrison in her search for the perfect furnishings. Heather Weisenborn of Mélange Home Décor sourced seaworthy accessories.

“The Coastal style is well-suited for both the neighborhood and the Harrisons’ lifestyle. A balance of new trends, such as the intricately detailed coffered ceilings, with timeless features such as the open floor plan keeps this home relevant,” continues Cannon.

“A house takes on a personality and after you start making a few decisions the process gets easier because you let the house tell you what it should look like,” muses Harrison. “You also have to keep in mind how the house will be used. This house will host adults and babies, so even though most of my furniture pieces are upholstered in white, I used outdoor fabrics wherever I could and I covered most of the case goods with custom glass.”

With her love of seashells as inspiration, Harrison chose a soft palette of whites and tans, mingled with grays and blues inspired by the sea to create the coastal ambiance of this waterfront wonderland.


A multitude of mullioned windows, a metal roof, and a high contrast between the light-colored stucco and the dark brown shutters, and garage doors by D & D Garage Doors combine with lush tropical landscaping to create the coastal style of the home. The stately, yet welcoming design of the front elevation, is one of builder John Cannon’s favorite features.


A wall of windows in this sitting area commands a view of the bay. Tempus Pro Services completed the audio-visual in the home including a TV which rises from the custom-built, wood-top bar. Harrison created what she jokingly refers to as the world’s largest sofa by combining leather sectionals. A striped, occasional chair and the Palecek Owen seagrass chair from Robb & Stucky rounds out the seating. Harrison further unified the living area with four table lamps which were custom-painted using automotive paint for a glossy-finish.


A spectacular view greets you in the main living area where a pair of chaises from Jonathan Adler invites lounging by the fire on custom-made pillows from Robb & Stucky, snuggled under raw-linen, ombre throws from Mélange Home. Between the chaises is a glass-topped, hand-woven, natural seagrass coffee table. A Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams rectangular cocktail table in acrylic, glass, and polished stainless steel serves the sofa. Twin Drexel Heritage stepped étagères flank the fireplace. The light-colored furnishings are set atop a dark wood, plank flooring from Design Works.


A custom-built dining table with glass top is impervious to water marks and other damage. “That’s a hallmark of mine,” says Harrison, “Topping pieces with glass protects the furniture without distracting from the beauty.” Seating is a combination of upholstered end-chairs, and Stewart seagrass and teak side- chairs, with custom chair pads in Robert Allen’s Grand Chenille fabric from Robb & Stucky. Harrison used slat stock as crown moulding throughout the home to unify the space, and serve as a valance for the window treatments.


Central to the kitchen is the dual surfaced island. Carrera marble from Distinctive Surfaces covers the work areas. The same wood treatment found on the TV cabinet provides a warm countertop for casual dining. Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances are from Mullet’s Appliances. A trio of single-light, chrome pendants illuminates the island. A drum chandelier hangs above a semi-circular, zinc-topped table. A quartet of woven counter-height chairs encircles the unique table.


With its view of the bay, Kristie Harrison says awakening in the master bedroom feels like she’s on a cruise ship. An upholstered bed with nail-head trim is dressed in custom linens from Mélange Home. A small-scale sofa, covered in the same fabric as the bed is placed against its footboard. Cylindrical, Palacek seagrass drum-stools from Robb & Stucky are paired with the sofa, atop a Turkish area rug in muted tones of cream, and blue. Drexel Heritage side tables, also of seagrass, are topped with Harrison’s signature glass. A pair of EJ Victor Mr. Loud wingchairs, and matching Baker ottoman offer relaxing water views.


The slender, oval, freestanding, 2-person soaking tub nestles under an arched wall covered in the same Carrera marble as the master bath floor, shower stall, and countertops from Distinctive Surfaces. Glossy-white subway tiles climb the sides of the arch and shower walls. Pristine, custom cabinetry, accented with crystal knobs, sparkles under the light from a five-arm chandelier with crystal-drop accents.


Upstairs, the home has five guest bedrooms plus a nursery, all situated to take advantage of the waterfront. Custom bedding from Robb & Stucky graces an upholstered bed in this guest room. Ralph Lauren lamps on Stanley side tables from Robb & Stucky cast a soft glow. Facing the window is a double chaise in neutral tones with bolsters. A lantern stool serves as a side table.


Extensive use of glass, mirrors, crystal accents, and white cabinetry combine with brushed-nickel fixtures, and chrome accessories for a brilliant guest bath. Floored in white tile, a mosaic-tile rug by Design Works is composed of Carrera marble.\


The upper-level lanai is accessible from the exercise room, and a guest bedroom. The fullsize, custom-built porch swing from Advantage Trim & Lumber of Florida is dressed with blue and aqua Elaine Smith decorative outdoor pillows, and Textillery outdoor throws from Mélange Home.


Taking advantage of the wide-water view, an infinity-edge pool and spa are embellished with glass mosaic tile and a fire bowl. The rear elevations show the intricate details and architecture of the seaside retreat.

Written by Ginny Cooper
Photography by Jimmy White

Advantage Trim & Lumber of Florida, Inc.
7524 Commerce Place
Sarasota, FL 34243

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

Design Works
4500 Carmichael Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34234

Distinctive Surfaces
8272 Vico Court
Sarasota, FL 34240

John Cannon Homes, Inc.
6710 Professional Pkwy West, Suite 100
Sarasota, FL 34240

Mélange Home
64 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

Mullet’s Appliances
4233 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233

Robb & Stucky
7557 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota,FL 34231

Tempus Pro Services
7519 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 101
Sarasota, FL 34243

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