Wonderful Whimsy : A Playful and Palatial Home


When the clients asked Ed Biggs of Biggs Design Group to create the interior of their newest Sarasota home, it was a grand reunion. Biggs has designed their primary Ohio residence, their penthouse office suite, and a prior Sarasota home, so a comfortable rapport was present.

“After all this time I’ve gotten to know their taste, their lifestyle, and the things that make them smile,” said Biggs. “They like a little bit of whimsy in everything they do.”

Once they bought the 6,500-square-foot home, Biggs’ clients — a former Miss Ohio and cosmetic company CEO and her busy national radio show host husband — wanted to put their stamp on the property. With no desire to change the landscaping or architecture of the palatial West Indian-influenced home, Biggs started by adding something unexpected to the front entrance: a life-size fiberglass black sheep, grazing on the top step.

“The sheep lets people know right off that these owners take life lightheartedly and have lots of fun,” says Biggs. “That’s why I so enjoy working with them.”

French doors open into a foyer featuring a quartet of columns covered in hundreds of glimmering silver gray and black glass tiles. Two Mercury glass urns from The Phillips Collection reflect the light from the glass block walls. Down the marble steps into the living room, visitors are greeted by a wire figurine seated on a bright red classic marshmallow bench. The walnut mirror sits above a curvy walnut and glass console, topped with an abstract fish sculpture from the Phillips Collection. An ultrasuede sectional in vanilla floats on the dark sisal area rug. It joins the oversized black granite cocktail table from Stone International and the tiny hammered metal drink table from Interlude, declared “indispensable” by the designer.

Dark wood and metal chairs from Artistica are covered in ivory Ultrasuede and surround the 72-inch round table that seats eight. Hand-blown glass male and female sculptures decorate a corner. No window treatments, besides built-in solar shades, were used, to make the most of the lush landscaping surrounding the home. The room’s show-stopping element is the bronze and gold leaf Vertigo Chandelier by Corbett, which hangs from the ceiling via a custom taupe ceiling cloud. The impressive lighting here, and throughout the home, was sourced through LyteWorks.

The kitchen with Sub-Zero and Jenn-Air appliances came with the home. Its blonde Norwegian wood cabinets, dark quartz countertops, and mosaic pendant lights stayed in place, allowing Biggs to show the workmanship of his shop by sourcing the metal stools and having them upholstered in woven metallic silver fabric for a bit of glitz and lots of durability.

A custom-built cloud suspends an LED circle chandelier from Sonneman above the custom oval freestanding tub in the master bath. The platform is made of taupe, gray and white glass and marble circular tile with fiberglass and ceramic abstract sculptural pieces in black and white. The floor, shower, and countertop are clad in travertine and dark European oak cabinetry and mirror surrounds provide contrast. Inset sconces of glass and metal provide an art deco touch and illuminate the African head art next to the sink. Fixtures in this stylish bath were provided by The Plumbing Place.

Biggs decked the bed with contrasting shades of european oak in custom-made bedding from his Sarasota workroom. The Duralee all-cotton fabric sports shades of orange, taupe and copper. The sham pillows are in a Duralee cut velvet. The curved Wyman chaise is upholstered in nubby paprika tweed and is fronted by an acrylic “Z” table from Interlude. The six abstract paintings over the wall-mounted dresser were locally sourced and flanking the bed are 7-foot-tall sculptures of a female and male figures. Live grass tops a 36-inch round jar of coconut shells with steel banding next to the Brazilian leather recliner and another of the “indispensable” metal tables. Window treatments are limited to Scandia solar electronic shades to preserve the light, and a textured tonal Fabrica carpet completes the room.

Here, Biggs chose an extra long custom sectional and wave shaped ottoman designed by Dellarobbia in tomato red butter-soft leather. A set of nutmeg leather recliners from Brazil provides additional seating. To the right of the recliners is a circle of bent rattan. The two sculptures on either side of the fireplace, from the Phillips Collection, are 7-feet-tall and made of woven wicker. The tapestry is from the owners’ collection. Artistic Indonesian oil drum lids create an intriguing sculptural wall hanging above the walnut wall unit hosting the 75-inch TV. The fireplace itself is fronted in Florida limestone. The custom walnut and granite coffee table invites visitors to put their feet up and relax. The Berber carpet is from Masland.


The multi-level home is best appreciated from the pool deck, where a giant rubber ducky floats in the mosaic pool. Brown Jordan furniture is covered in silver mesh fabric, and just beyond the umbrella in the background is a sectional upholstered in stripes of tomato and white.

Written by Kitt Walsh

Photography by Jimmy White Photography


Ed Biggs
Biggs Design Group


International Design Source
1785 Northgate Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34234


816 Manatee Avenue East
Bradenton, FL 34208


The Plumbing Place
5678 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232

Posted By