Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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NAPLES 239.262.7677

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DELRAY BEACH 561.243.0799

SARASOTA 941.316.0936

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We appreciate your desire for


You expect no less than renown and achievement. When you engage professionals to design and create your custom home. To reimagine and remodel a single room or the entire structure. And to maintain the lasting beauty and integrity of a residence that expresses your singular aesthetic. We’re proud to have devoted over three decades to astonishing the most discerning clients with our capabilities in custom home building, renovation, and estate management. Share your most extraordinary wishes with us. We’re uniquely qualified to fulfill them.

b c b ho me s .com

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239-643-1004 3696 Enterprise Avenue Suite 100 Naples, Florida 34104

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32 A Curve In Time

Achieves The Sublime

A uniquely modern vacation home carves out a well-balanced space in angles and curves amid the intracoastal waterways of Port Royal Story by Deborah Brannon | Photography by Lori Hamilton

50 A Sophisticated Retreat in Naples

Lana Knapp of Collins & DuPont Design Group creates a casually sophisticated second home for homeowners who love to host family and friends. Story by Deborah Brannon | Photography by Lori Hamilton

68 Surrounded by Serenity

Herscoe Hajjar Architects blends indoor and outdoor living with this dream beach home. Story by Emily Ballard Photography by Michael Biondo and Raniero Tazzi

86 A Quest For Simplification

Robin McGarry helps these homeowners scale down and light up Story by Emily Ballard | Photography by Neil Landino


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Editors Letter Ask the Experts Profile

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Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk 203-820-1092




Managing Editor James Eagen


PREMIER ISSUE FALL 2017 Contributing Photographers

Contributing Writers Deborah Brannon, Lisa Gant, Susan Heller, Lollie Mathews, Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw, Jessica Rivest, Kait Shea

polished, supple, rustic, refined, easy, chic, comfortable, time-honored

Style for your entire home

Jane Beiles, Michael Biondo, Phillip Ennis, Tria Giovan, John Gruen, John Hannon, Paul Johnson, Neil Landino, Mark La Rosa, Tim Lee, Daniel Milstein, Janice Parker, Durston Saylor, Debra Somerville, Eric Striffler, Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography Copy Editor Elena Serocki


Graphic & Web Design East Coast Home Publishing

Publisher Shelley E. McCormick 203-545-7091 Account Managers Alessandra Flanagan Patrick Giddings Lollie Mathews Business Development John Oleynick East Coast Home Publishing 8158 Natures Way #23 Lakewood Ranch, Fl 34202 Fax: 203-286-1850



Gulf Coast Design + Decor is published four issues per year. To subscribe:; Subscriptions: one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at For editorial inquiries: Editor, Gulf Coast Design + Decor 8158 Natures Way #23 Lakewood Ranch, Fl 34202 or e-mail: mattkolk@ To learn about about our fabulous new title, please contact Sh For advertising inquiries: Please call Shelley McCormick at 203-545-7091. ReproMcCormick, Partner of East Coast Home Publishing at: 203-545 duction whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publicaor for tion are for private, noncommercial use only. No rights commercial use or exploitation are given or implied. The opinions expressed by writers for articles published by Gulf Coast Design + Decor are not necessarily those of the magazine.

is proud to be new members of the C

Over 15 Years of Publishing Excellence

EAST COAST HOME PUBLISHING 8158 Natures Way #23 Lakewood Ranch, Fl 34202


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Barlow Tyrie Inc. 1263 Glen Avenue, Suite 230, Moorestown, NJ 08057 - 8101 Tel: 800 451 7467 Email: Visit:

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Monterey collection

Barlow Tyrie has been making exceptional outdoor furniture since 1920, with collections in premium teak wood, stainless steel, powder-coated aluminum, and hand-woven synthetic fiber. Receipt of eighteen international design excellence awards.

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Matthew Kolk

Partner and Editor in Chief


e are so proud to introduce you to our new publication Gulf Coast Design + Decor.

Opening a publication in a new market is always a very humbling experience and we would like to thank each and every individual within the pages of this beautiful issue for their belief in our brand, sharing with us their experience and especially their willingness to be part of something that we believe is very special. This is not a first for us, we have been producing East Coast Home + Design in the northeast covering New Jersey, New York and Connecticut for the past 15 years and have developed wonderful relationships with our industry partners and our readership. As a magazine that is focused not only on the beauty of the home, we are also focused on creating informative content, being a hub of debate on relevant topics and uniting the industry. We look forward to developing this same level of unity for the industry in Southwest Florida as well. We believe that the industry professionals themselves are experts in their specific fields and we are committed to creating a voice that allows them to share their expertise with the consumer. After all, a better educated client is the best client. We hope that you enjoy this first issue as much as we did producing it for you.



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Designers Picks

Eclectic selections from our favorite designers chosen just for you!

ELEGANT OUTDOOR LIVING ELEGANTOUTDOORS.COM Your outdoor space should be an extension of your indoors. Customize your space with colorful and stylish accessories that are designed to withstand the elements.

Sea and Wave This engaging Sea and Sand Outdoor Wall Sculpture will add a breezy, tropical feel to any indoor or outdoor space. The multi-dimensional sculpture is individually crafted and beautifully detailed to stand-alone or synchronize with other sculptures.

Hermosa Dining Chair from the Sunrise Collection Offers a combination of crisp angles and a large intertwined side graphic. Capturing a contemporary chic aesthetic.

Sunbrella The SunbrellaÂŽ Makers collection is an expression of values celebrating human creativity, craftsmanship and individuality through fabric. The collection reveals intrinsic values shared between traditional hand weaving and modern manufacturing.


Bay Crab Wall Art This multi-dimensional Bay Crab sculpture lets you enjoy sea life close-up in your indoor or outdoor space. Its stainless steel is finished with a heat patina, giving it an iridescent finish.

Klaussner Brisa Reclining Sectional Serene style and lovely, sophisticated design will have your guests gushing as they join you out on the veranda for summer evenings of conversation and cocktails.

Leaf Lafon Pillow Add a sophisticated bit of nature to your dĂŠcor with this palm pillow. Woven in shades of lagoon and white, it is gorgeously rich in texture.

Castelle Aluminum Faux Wood Top Table Creates a sophisticated timeless style while continuing to provide comfort and durability

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Home and Salvage offers an inspiring blend of designer consignment with new home furnishings. Never the same store twice, as we receive new arrivals daily. Coastal. Unique. Classic. Chic.

Pendra Chandelier Beach-inspired white-washed wood floor lamp with rectangular cane shade

Winston Double Bench With Linen FabricVintage Gray Frame Durable bamboo gray bench with ivory cushion. The backless design gives you access to both sides. Perfect for entry, foot of your bed, or any space that requires additional seating

Swimsuit Model Art Beach beauties giclĂŠe wall art, framed in a silver block wood molding

Jungle Floor Lamp Beach-inspired whitewashed wood floor lamp with rectangular cane shade

Nova Club Chair Eco-friendly solid plantation teakwood armchair with linen back and seat cushion Tortoise Console Rustic meets elegant: versatile wood and oval mirrored console. Offers two drawers and lower shelf, with plenty of room for open storage

Brynne Sofa Made in Virginia, the oh-so-comfortable and stylish Brynne is available as a 88-, 98- or 110-inch sofa or as a sectional. Premium down-blend cushion and 500+ fabrics to choose from

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Jean De Merry – Lumiere Eclat Chandelier Antique brass custom chandelier

Kevin O’Brien Studio Each of these pillows is hand-made and hand-painted

Mally Khorasantchi - Faked News #12 Mally is a local artist who is originally from Germany. Mixed media on canvas.

Arete Collection Polis Tower Lamp Large white plaster lamps

LBK Studio – Large Wasp Comb Each piece is unique. wasp combs with crystals Lafabrique Du Verre Pauline Betin – Glass Houses Each piece is unique, hand-made glass houses. Based out of France

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REPUBLIC OF DECOR REPUBLICOFDECOR.COM Republic of Decor is an award winning store and design studio located in the Naples Design District. The shop features the best, most stylish, on trend home furnishings and gifts. I selected some of my favorite statement pieces which have a handmade or heirloom quality to them. I am always drawn to merchandise that is unique and believe that you should fill your home with special pieces that provide great energy. - David Fruscione

Birdcage Candle - L’Objet Made of Limoges porcelain with 24k gold accents, this pink champagne scented candle looks like a favorite heirloom.

Dip Dyed Throw Johanna Howard Home Lightweight baby alpaca throw with sophisticated ombre design is a perfect pop of color.

Handmade Floral Pattern Bowl J ill Rosenwald Bali Toile Med Bee Bowl Handmade, handpainted ceramic blue and white floral patterned bowl, perfect for a centerpiece!

Handmade Wallpaper - Weitzner Handmade recycled wallpaper made from artisans. The graphic open weave pattern allows for wall colors to come through, making it a true work of art.

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Selenite Burst - AB Home Made of shards of selenite, this floral burst makes a luxe focal point on a table or wall

Leather Fringe Ottoman - V Rugs and Home Made with strips of leather, this whimsical swivel pouf is a stand out accent piece for a living room, bedroom or vanity.

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SMARTHOUSE INTEGRATION Please tell us about the home security systems you provide for your clients. SmartHouse offers a variety of security solutions for our clients. Our systems include burglary, fire heat and CO detection, as well as unique options such as infrared beams for the property, water leak detection, and security screens for windows. These more traditional sensors also work well when we integrate this system with occupancy, security cameras and home automation. Can these systems be customized for each client? If so, which of these can be integrated? Each client has different security needs, so we have to consider the different variables that are unique to the project, such as family size and home location. We need to consider the level of security the client needs to feel safe. Are there specific assets we need to pay special attention to? Many of our clients are highprofile members of the community and have unique security requirements. Do you utilize both cameras and sensors? We utilize IP (network) cameras in conjunction with our systems. Our cameras have built-in analytics that allow us to track people or vehicles that enter a zone. The cameras can be programmed to distinguish many variables, including whether a person is an adult or a child; the direction, color and speed of a vehicle; smoke or fire; and even loitering or moving. We have pan-tilt zoom cameras that can follow a person around the property or perform a “patrol” of one’s property, moving to specified locations in a given time. Our cameras’ analytics can also trigger other events, like turning on interior or exterior lights, and notifying the homeowners of movement with a sound. These events can vary, based on whether the client is home or away. We also offer infrared cameras for long-distance night viewing and thermal notification. Our system designs are some of the best in the country. We’ve won numerous 14

national awards for our systems, several of which are for innovation. We use our years of experience to create designs that incorporate all the variables at our disposal. Are these systems “hack-proof”? We work very hard to use network firewalls, encryption, passwords and other security techniques to keep the hackers out. We do a very good job of keeping our clients safe, but it is an ongoing battle to stay ahead of the bad guys. As we have seen in the past with Netflix and even the IRS security breach, nothing is hack-proof, but we know that our clients are safe. We offer an additional level of protection for our clients should there be a breach: We provide a premium identity theft protection through Kroll, the country’s top cybersecurity company. Our clients who have this option have unlimited access to their personal investigator, who will do whatever is necessary to correct any security breach. What are some other benefits of integrated smart home systems that we might not have considered? A home that is integrated can be safer, more comfortable and green. When we integrate all the subsystems of a home to communicate with each other, we can create a design that takes the best attributes of each system and combines them for an amazing homeowner experience. A basic design will know when the homeowners are approaching the property through geofencing, and turn on the “Welcome Home” lighting scene if it is dark. Our leak-detection package is very popular: We install water sensors at appliances that use water and HVAC air handlers. If a leak is detected, the automated main water valve to the home can be shut off, and the lowest outdoor water bib can be opened to drain the water from the home. The homeowner gets an alert that this just occurred. This will minimize any water damage if the homeowner is away for an extended period of time. With our many years of experience and hundreds of smart home installations completed, we have a large repertoire of ideas we can draw from to solve even

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the most challenging requirements. What’s on the horizon for the secured homes and smart home space? Smart homes are quickly becoming the standard in new homes—however, there is a huge difference between the DIY products and the professionally designed and installed systems. We focus on the client who requires a comprehensive security solution. SmartHouse is leading the industry, and we find that many of our designs are helping to shape the industry. One of our newer products is a perimeter detection system powered by solar energy, which can detect anyone entering a property, regardless of the size. When a breach is detected, we can initiate lights to turn on and cameras to swing into action to identify the breach. For larger areas, we can deploy ground and flying drones to the area and view the activity live from onboard cameras to determine the level of threat. We offer full security monitoring and video monitoring for all our systems. As security systems become more intelligent and our lives are more connected to the Internet, it is critical that you employ a company that understands the new technology and can use it to enhance your lifestyle. Our systems are reliable and easy to use. Resources: Mark van den Broek Smarthouse Integration 1385 5th Street Sarasota, FL 34236 941.404.4470

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DESIGN STUDIO BY RAYMOND What is the concept behind your studio? We’ve created our studio as a welcoming yet sophisticated environment where the customer is in control. We stock our studios with the finest products on the market, and we consistently strive to provide the highest level of service to our customers. Our goal is to help clients create the design of their dreams by enabling them to visualize our products in their own homes. Our on-site vignettes display our cabinetry, finishes and appliances together in one cohesive setting. Customers can also test out the functioning appliances in our showrooms. In addition, our Naples showroom serves as an event venue for up to 150 guests. The two-story, open-format design and outdoor areas provide ample space. Working appliances, lighting, refrigeration, A/V system and storage create an ideal space for entertaining. What differentiates your brand from others? Our experience certainly sets us apart from other studios. We have been a part of the Raymond Building Supply family of companies since 2007. Our in-house design and product specialist teams are also very experienced, and it shows through the mutual respect and trust they hold with customers. We pride ourselves on our diverse and comprehensive selection of fine products you may not find elsewhere, as well as our record of flawless implementation of customers’ design ideas. We are also the only certified Florida recipient of the National Association of Builder Quality Assurance Certification for both supply and installation. While touring the studio, we came across the Andersen Weiland Sliding Door. What makes this a top choice for design and practicality? We are proud to offer Andersen Weiland Doors in our showroom. The Weiland Doors, including our favorite, the Liftslide door, have countless configurations to maximize views in any space, from corner to curved to pocketing configurations. The advanced design of the Liftslide allows for doors up to 16 feet tall to retract into the wall and provide a true indoor-outdoor experience, ideal for Southwest Florida living. There are also endless and customizable finishes 16

and wood choices. In addition, the Weiland Doors are practical because of their high-quality, dependable European hardware and the high-performing, energyefficient glass they use. With so many outdoor grills to choose from, what makes the EVO Outdoor Grill a good choice for homeowners? Outdoor kitchens are a must-have for most Southwest Florida homeowners, so choosing the right grill for the space they have is essential. The EVO Outdoor Grill models are designed to accommodate any space, and therefore increase the functionality of an outdoor kitchen. EVO has three models—the wheeled cart, the built-in cooktop and the tabletop models—so customers can choose one based on their specific needs. The grill has a 30-inch circular cooking surface that allows for other types of cooking besides just grilling. The EVO Outdoor Grill is a great choice because it offers customers versatility. With the recent powerful hurricane here in Florida, what products do you carry for storm protection? The Anderson line of windows and doors in our showroom are specifically designed to resist the impact of storms and severe weather. Each can be equipped with Stormwatch® protection and hidden structural reinforcements to withstand harsh coastal conditions. The Andersen Windows and Doors are not only a great choice for protection, but also for design. They offer customization options iand numerous different colors, finishes, hardware and glass options. Resources: Jimmy Martin Design Studio by Raymond 990 1st Avenue North Naples, FL 34102 239.278.1334

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ORACLE SURFACES How does your design background assist you with your projects? Any designer’s background becomes a core element for all work. Each time we create environments, we are playing with the elements of balance, composition, texture, form. My background as an industrial designer is purely functional and very practical. I love to compose environments with useful elements to make sure everything has a purpose. I project a concept with my ideas—that is the only way to differentiate art from design. Designers have an obligation to explain their decisions; we don’t have an abstract side to our practice. What materials do you like to use for a more modern aesthetic? I prefer a composition of cleaner elements because sober environments are long lasting. A clean design could potentially turn into a vintage classic. I give my projects room to accommodate many materials and textures. There is no right or wrong if you can justify an element. Where do you suggest splurging on materials for the bathroom and kitchen? It depends on the goal. When it comes to splurging on materials for bathroom, kitchens or any part of a home, I search my library first. At the store, we have a variety of materials. I personally recommend selecting one key element that will lead the theme on style—everything else will flow around it. Which products are easily maintained? We live busy lives these days! Technology is giving us amazing products that truly reduce the amount of effort we exert in caring for them. It is a real advantage to have time-saving products, from paints, to fabrics, to surfaces such as porcelain floors, quartz counters, and glass. The trick is to know what the actual material is. We offer options with low maintenance. I will just say that customers need to research and learn a bit about materials. For us designers, it is mandatory to keep up with the newest and the better. What up-and-coming trends do you see in the marketplace? The biggest trend now is “old is new again,” mixing materials and textures. This is very successful because it reaches a wide range of customers. It creates new, but also validates old. It is where clean lines are found inside natural and rustic 18

products—such a clever trend that allows the creation of dynamic scenarios. Where do you look for design inspiration? Design inspiration comes from learning about the end user, knowing the customer will always lead you to great design decisions. But everything gets me inspired. It can be as simple as looking at a color or at beautiful objects. That is what excites me. How do you source materials for your showroom? Sourcing products is relatively easy. Trade shows like Coverings, High Point Market and KBIS are the best places to get manufacturer/distributor updates on the latest trends and to source new products. Sourcing products is the most fun part of having a showroom. Each season I visit our trade partners, and it feels like the holidays to me. At a kitchen roundtable with our sister publication in the Northeast, one of the surprising things said was that porous stones, such as Carrera marble, are on the downturn, and manufactured products, like Silestone, are on the rise. This is due to the changing demographic of younger, more mobile buyers. Do you see that happening here in your marketplace? Totally. Society is not only changing, but rapidly evolving. There are two different things happening: young adults want materials that are maintenance-free, and many of them are also environmentally oriented. Manufacturers are being forced to produce green products with recycled content and less toxicity, not only on production but on usage. It is a nice perspective. Design is about evolution. Resources: Liliana Allen Oracle Surfaces 514 Central Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236 941.302.4414

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DESIGN DEFINED Our favorite architects are assigned a term in design and asked how it integrates into their visions

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lthough the concept of circulation may at first seem mundane and utilitarian, the way people move through and occupy spaces and architecture is essential to a design’s success or failure. Circulation covers a wide range of factors, including how we approach a building and how easily we can furnish it.

Every designer must keep in mind how a user will live in an architectural design. We want to direct people how to experience our designs, and guiding how they circulate can be a useful way to achieve that goal. Circulation can support the order and hierarchy of the design, and, if done well, it will eliminate confusion, congestion and unused spaces. On a very practical level, the circulation within a room such as a bedroom should make clear the location of the ideal bed wall, the access to support areas such as bathrooms and closets, and the orientation to views, whether inside, to a TV, or outside.

Circulation Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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atthew H. Kragh calls himself “The Florida Architect” for good reason. His style of coastal contemporary architecture is a true nod to the tradition of Florida vernacular architectural style. Rooted in Olde Florida architecture, Florida vernacular exhibits distinctive characteristics that are a combination of horizontal and vertical siding, proportioned windows, exposed rafter tails, and a mix of hip, gable and shed metal roofs. (A metal roof is a recent change in Florida vernacular style.) By introducing stucco as the dominant exterior finish and eliminating window mullions, MHK Architecture and Planning, where Kragh is principal architect, uses these guiding principles to redefine the coastal contemporary style of today. Contemporary is often used interchangeably with modern architecture, but it is not the same. While modern often refers to a specific design movement, contemporary is a bit more flexible in its definition. Coastal blurs the lines between indoors and out, creating a feel that is relaxed and fresh, and bringing in bright, airy spaces. Since coastal contemporary reflects many aspects of a traditional family home by the way it functions with respect to space, lighting and materials, this style of home is very popular with native Floridians and vacation homeowners alike. The practicality of the design is unparalleled. Not only does the architectural 22

design make excellent use of a small footprint, the orientation of the building and landscaping is also an important factor in designing for the hot Florida climate. “Historically, keeping weather away from buildings and especially windows was an important design consideration,” says Steven Jallad, director of residential design at MHK. “This is why we see shutters on windows, large overhangs and porches on historic Florida homes. Large overhangs needed structural support, which is where what we refer to as ‘brackets’ originated. Today, building technology has come a long way, so even though these same elements make their way into our homes as a nod to those roots, they are mostly decorative.” There is an art to this style of architecture that is mimicked throughout the signature white coastal cottages designed by MHK. The repetitive use of Florida vernacular architecture is important to its style and function. This style of architecture comes from a much simpler form, the Florida Cracker Farmhouse, which had features relating to climate that are still important for today’s southern living. Cracker-style homes are energyefficient and maximize space. Today, these charming little white cottages are in high demand due to the form and function of modern-day living. “In Naples, there has been a move away from an imported Mediterranean

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architecture replete with ornate columns, barrel tile roofs and heavy textured stucco, and back to a vernacular architectural style rooted in Naples’s history,” says Jallad. Though this style has many similar characteristics in overall architectural framework, the distinctions among them are absolute and reflect the individuality of the owner. Each coastal contemporary home designed by MHK Architecture and Planning is drawn to reflect the personality of each client, taking into consideration the size of the lot and how the space will be used. “When designing homes for a particular city, it’s important to maintain a respect for the history and culture of that city,” says Kragh. “That’s why our coastal contemporary architecture is so distinctive here in Naples. We design each custom home to not only reflect the personalities of our clients, but also the personality of the neighborhood. Each detail is important—even the lot and landscape surrounding the home matter.” MHK describes its architectural style as timeless, which is reflected not only in the design but also in the airy coastal color palette. “We strive for a timeless look, which is why we tell people they can paint their house any color they like—as long as it’s white!” says Jallad. Everywhere you look in Naples, you are sure to find a little white coastal cottage. And this signature architectural style is what contemporary coastal living is all about.

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o create good modern architecture, one needs to first understand classic architecture. Modernism pulls from the essence of traditional architecture, while adjusting proportions and scales. Within the “art” of architecture, modernism celebrates the sculptural aspect of architecture: details or lack of details. Everything is intentional. For Phil Kean, president of Phil Kean Design Group in Winter Park, FL, modern architecture lends itself to a lifestyle: large pieces of glass, indoor/outdoor spaces, sculptural elements and artistic expressions used to articulate a building. “I find that designing the floor plan to meet lifestyle needs first, then designing the elevation afterward, is more of a modern concept I use,” Phil explains.


Taking advantage of views and creating its own views is another value of modern architecture, says Phil. From panoramic walls of glass to infinity edge pools, creating sight lines through a home and designing focal points within the home, modern architecture integrates the beauty of the surrounding environment while creating thoughtful artistic details within. By using large overhangs and lots of glass, many modern architects, like Phil, design to take advantage of natural daylighting, which reduces the need for artificial light fixtures and supports both energy-efficiency and streamlined design. With the use of natural lighting and an appropriate lighting plan, a modern home can have a completely different day-to-evening look and feel. Technology is also an important aspect of modern architecture. One of the benefits of newer streamlined technology allows home comforts and “green” technologies to be cleanly incorporated into homes without being visually noticeable. “One of my favorite design features is to include retractable screens into a home’s lanai to create a larger indoor/outdoor living space for buggy days,” says Phil. While many people think of modern homes as having flat roofs, they can also be designed with sloped roofs. Though one might think of a simple “white box” when discussing modern design, that is only one example of what can be considered modern architecture. Much of today’s modernism uses wood, stone and texture to add warmth to the typical concrete, metal and glass materials. “I like the warmth of the mid-century modern architecture, so I make a conscious effort to lean warm,” says Phil. “I am inspired by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, Le Corbusier and Hannes Meier,” Phil reveals. “You can’t deny the significance of the iconic houses designed by these famous modernist architects/artists.” Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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imply stated, the definition of “timeless� is something that is not affected by passage of time or changes in fashion. But what does timeless actually mean in terms of all the design decisions and physical results involved with a building? What are the nuts and bolts of timeless design in architecture? How can something so simply stated be technically complicated and challenging to achieve? Timeless design has a permanence, yet is adaptable. It is relevant for several generations. It outlasts trends and instead concerns itself with the needs of living and working. A timeless building is made of current materials and methods that will weather well and improve the architecture over time. Timeless design takes advantage of sunlight and shade. It keeps the heat in and the rain out and integrates the environmental system into the architecture. It deliberately organizes the functional elements, like structural walls, and allows for big open spaces that can be altered over time as needed. Something timeless is a classic that is unchanged by time. It’s just as good or true to design now as when it was created. It illustrates the construction methods to the viewer by following the principles of natural proportion. It has confidence without being egotistical. 26

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orm follows function” are the famous words of renowned architect Louis Sullivan. But what if function were defined as movement from the form through which it was travelling? Would we be able to understand why a structure makes one person experience the space differently from another? Structure defines and surrounds us every day, yet we rarely pay attention to the surroundings in which we experience daily life. Distracted 28

by common-day tasks and devices, we don’t notice our surroundings and, as a result, we each remember places and spaces differently. Why do people want to return to places that hold memories or a feeling— whether good or bad? Architecture has a way of helping people remember and hold fast to something special. And yet, the structural components behind architecture are commonly missed and forgotten. This is not the case, however, when you are visiting the superb and admired “Oculus”: the

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centerpiece of the new World Trade Center transportation hub in New York City. The architecture displayed within this amazing structure is exposed from the exterior and visible for all to see. Structure is the sole definition of all great architecture and, without it, architecture cannot exist. Beams and columns by themselves seem boring and undefined to most observers, but when their meaning is understood, they are in fact the very architecture behind the faรงade and cladding that most think is the beauty. Clear-span joists and trusses enable great and wide-open

spaces in architecture. Thick and strong columns support the height and induce those within to feel tiny or massive. These are the fundamentals on which architects base their designs. We test the limits of physics and math to create new and untold stories. Every architect understands and expresses structure differently. We all take the limits of what we know and apply them in a new way to create the most amazing environments possible for those who respect and appreciate what we do. Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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A CURVE IN TIME ACHIEVES THE SUBLIME A uniquely modern vacation home carves out a well-balanced space in angles and curves amid the intracoastal waterways of Port Royal Story by Deborah Brannon | Photography by Lori Hamilton

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A lush green terrace curves around the residence, playing off the Bermuda style-inspired home with its modern angular lines.

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odern architecture can be cold—even sterile. Angular designs of poured concrete and glass boxes stacked atop each other may create a structure that stands proudly with clean lines and a dramatic silhouette, but leaves life feeling stilted along the way. It takes a lively imagination and a deft touch to foster a sense of easy luxury living and to find a balance between welcoming warmth and striking modernity in contemporary homes. This elegant, Bermuda-style-inspired modern home was forged in just such conditions, brought from concept into form by knowledgeable, experienced homeowners and a first-rate team of adept designers and builders: architect John Cooney of Stofft Cooney Architects, interior designer Sharon Gilkey of Montanna Design Associates, builder Joe Smallwood of BCB Homes, and landscape architect Scott Windham. What they achieved is a simply beautiful home that sings in a serene key and gracefully fits into its setting in Port Royal. Contemporary Luxury Living The list describing this home and its comforts begins with “contemporary architecture” before moving on to “resort-like amenities.” A curved terrace invites you into the light-drenched entry, which opens onto a tremendous space composed of the great room and dining area. Here, generous windows pull you toward a breathtaking pool before you eyes come to rest on the spectacular palm-feathered horizon. When asked what the homeowners were looking for with this seasonal retreat, John Cooney explains, “The whole premise of this design was to create a resort-like atmosphere for their children to come visit them and vacation. They wanted a unique residence, a different style, and they stressed that they really love contemporary architecture. The contemporary portion of their request is sometimes difficult in this community because Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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there are significant regulations and restrictions mandating sloped roofs and different materials.” John rose to the challenge through his architectural design, which Joe Smallwood made real with his building acumen. John’s marvelously modern design is a single-level house largely squared off in sharp lines, but also softened by concrete tiles simulating sloped slate roofs that appear to float over the whole.

serene setting for visitors—which is just what Sharon Gilkey was going for, layering atop John’s superb architecture. The overarching concepts for the interior were “organic, serene, calm—-but not boring—with a bit of modern glamour added in,” says Sharon. White oak floors in a natural stain run throughout the house, providing her with a graceful foundation that she punctuated here and there with Kravet or custom-made rugs.

Inside the home, elegant materials and simple choices provide a calm and

The great room perfectly captures that contemporary look with captivat-


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White oak floors and an abundance of natural light soften the interior, ensuring that simple walls and a dramatic barrel-vaulted ceiling don’t appear too severe. A large window above the home’s main door floods the entryway with natural light; art curated from the homeowners’ collection is displayed in alcoves and on the granite shelf at right.

ing details. A barrel-vaulted ceiling with wood radius beams in a dark ebony stain defines the space, contrasted by the straight edge of a granite shelf underlining the fire ribbon and highlighting the space’s asymmetrical details. Low-slung, off-white Grafito sofas from Adriana Hoyos Furnishings underscore this modern interior, while also providing that desired glamorous touch with its upholstery featuring metallic Lurex thread. A capiz shell console table and cubes repurposed from one of the homeowners’ previous residences flank the sofas and add some warmth.

This stylish tableau has a uniquely organic heart, grouped around a breathtaking Phillips Collection coffee table. Artwork curated from the homeowners’ collection is prominently displayed throughout the home in architectural alcoves with recessed lighting, along with more structural art pieces in the great room, and pottery in the hallway/gallery leading to the office and master bedroom. “We curated the clients’ art collection to create moments of color and contrast,” Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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Sharon explains. “The art was warm earth colors, which was perfect for the organic design. They almost have a cosmos vibe, which I love.” A floating ceiling down the gallery passageway continues visual interest, while also providing a chic way to incorporate heating and cooling without conventional vents. Significant light fixtures are used sparingly, encouraging unobstructed appreciation of the art and of the rear yard’s impressive views. “All the elements stand alone, so there’s not a lot of extra detail on top of detail that makes it blend together,” Joe points out, explaining the importance of precise planning and execution in contemporary architecture. Each detail must be done exactly right, since limited embellishment means people will look at these features “almost like they’re independent pieces of art,” he says. In this home, they most certainly are! Just beyond the glass of the great room is a major example of the home’s resort-like amenities: a generously proportioned pool that provides splendid options for enjoyment. “It’s a resort-style multiuse pool,” Scott Windham explains. “The intent was that the client and guests or family could all find their place.” He points out the inset spa large enough for eight to 10 people, complete with peninsular access, and the adjacent sun shelf area with its raised tanning bed. In the center, an infinity edge punches through the raised water feature to look out on a fire pit and the intracoastal view. There’s also a beach entry with a gradual slope and steps leading into the swimming area, and a cocktail nook with a swimout beach for seated conversation around the pool’s curved feature wall. This wall is actually a raised water feature with wetting walls over magnificent textured tropical stone that fill and spill toward the home. “In the evening, those textured walls are illuminated and the water gently flows over them,” says Scott. “It almost sounds like a gentle rain. It’s not a rushing or pouring sound, it’s just this beautiful, melodic, gentle sound of water.” The outdoor living area is one of John’s favorite pieces of the design. “There’s more amenities in this outdoor living room than we’ve ever put in before,” he says, noting the extensive summer kitchen with its barbecue grill, pizza oven and more. “And the outdoor living room is equipped with a sound system for dance parties and entertainment.” This luxury space also features a pass-through window to the ultra-sleek interior kitchen. “It’s not your traditional kitchen,” John says. High-gloss white cabinetry and white Gaggenau appliances create a neat and subtle space softened by a Carrara Graniti granite island featuring waterfall edges and a variegated appearance. The layout of this kitchen is highly customized as well, and has done away with the conventionally expected hood in favor of displaying more art. A cooktop integrated into the island with a downdraft vent takes care of the homeowners’ cooking needs. “This kitchen, this house, was specifically designed for entertaining and being a contemporary space, so it’s not your traditional kitchen.” Curves are Sublime One of the most sublime aspects of this home’s design is the second language of form that took shape as architect collaborated with builder collaborated with landscape architect collaborated with interior designer. Specifically, it is a language of curves. Curves turn up everywhere in this home, one unexpected delight after another, utterly complementary to the home’s modern angularity. You move among curves from the moment you enter the property: passing through the powdered aluminum gate with its decorative arcs, flanked by natural stone posts and shaded by gorgeous Cuban laurels. 38

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The dramatic wine cellar with its curved glass wall features motorized shades, so it can easily be opened or closed depending on whether the homeowners are present.

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A sensational barrel-vaulted ceiling with radius beams of ebony-stained wood define the generous space of the great room.

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The lack of hood in this unique kitchen purpose-built for entertainment encourages more art to be displayed, while extensive storage keeps the interior neat.

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When you approach the home’s entrance, you again pass over that arcing form, this time writ large. “It’s a juxtaposition to the more angular steps and movement of the architecture,” Scott expounds. “Because the architecture did have movement in and out, and massing across its design the very spaces of the home, these curved forms draw together and provide a smooth, calm ribbon that contained a lot of the movement and the building itself.” Large, locally cast bowls repeat the motif in miniature, sporting the iconic spikiness of blue agave plants—a motif repeated in the rear yard, providing a continuity of rhythm throughout the property. “So you had the real strong architecture,” he says, “but you had a calm and a simple foreground with these curved forms.” Moving into the house, you find that curves both concave and convex are prominent features, inviting you under striking shelter and winking at you in smooth glass. First, that sensational barrelvaulted ceiling arcs over you, its darkly stained wood radius beams spanning the space. In this airy interior, an astonishing smaller room is defined by a curved glass wall. “It’s a large wine cellar,” John reveals, “and it’s all glass. It even has windows in it, so we had to design blackout shades to protect the wine when they’re not there.” Motorized shades let the homeowners close the whole wine cellar when they’re not using the house, but whether open or closed, the glass wine cellar is a marvelous piece of design. Sharon also reflects these curves in her own work. “I selected elements that would underscore this important theme of the architecture, so it was a seamless flow from architecture to interiors,” she Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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The master bedroom features deft modern touches: a ceiling fan with transparent blades, directional lamps from YLighting creating a sculptural statement, a padded wall in textured Coraggio fabric, a Robb & Stucky chaise.

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Sumptuous ceiling detailing of concentric rectangles in darkly stained wood along with a provocative Tantrum light fixture by Corbett counterbalances the master bath’s simplicity.

explains. One particular example is the dining area that stands adjacent to the wine cellar. Sharon selected a Giano dining table from Casa Italia, and set a Moooi Random Light to shine over it. Soft simplicity with a touch of magic is communicated by the light fixture’s random pattern of translucent fabric. “Harmony is a key element to creating a calm and serene interior,” Sharon continues. “I wanted the design to be fluid, with some well-placed intentional tension to keep it interesting.” 44

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In the master bathroom is the next major curve informing this home’s outstanding design. Beyond a profusion of rectangular windows is a private courtyard encircled by a curved wall. Zinc pots from Restoration Hardware featuring snake plant repeat at regular intervals, standing amid Mexican Beach Pebbles and punctuated by architectural lighting between each pot. Ipe wood decking completes this sophisticated space, along with an outdoor shower. “Then you have the Montgomery palm cresting over the wall for that simple tropical texture,” Scott points out, “but in a very

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clean and architectural way, where the palms kind of step where the pots step inside.” In the rear yard, curves are slipped into the pool’s design as well: from the handrail with its graceful series of arcs, to the water feature wall that is itself a curve accented with those same large bowls from the front of the house, here also planted with blue agave. Tension Beautifully Held Many of the finest elements of this design emerge from intentional juxtaposition and tension—between cold and warm, sterile and alive, angular and curved. Scott approached his design for this property innately understanding that. “It was really about a beautiful, clean architecture, and creating a setting for that architecture in a very simple, beautiful way that did not overwhelm it.” Scott explains. “That was how we looked at it—more of a celebration of it as art, rather than something to be landscaped.” The choices made in landscaping focus on simple forms and accenting the building. “That’s why the entry terrace is lawn with a lower species of snake plant bordering the building, but letting the building be the building,” says Scott. Red Latan palms with their sensational red touches throw striking shadows against the home’s walls, while Sylvester palms dot the lawn terrace, and Royal Palms stand in an arc. Asian jasmine provides subtle groundcover, while snake plant gives some vertical interest to the entryway. These swaths of well-manicured green play off a driveway of Yankee Hill paving in Dark Iron Spot, which gleams in the sun with an iridescence not unlike an oil slick. Scott also did extensive lighting on the grounds, from tiny lights flush with the paving that cast a pattern of light on the edges of the driveway, to more architectural lighting illuminating the home—lighting for both ambience and navigation. “We also did subtle LED wall-washing to define corners and define the primary massing of the architecture,” Scott points out, “and also silhouette effects with the Red Latan palm. It’s beautiful at night—you wash the wall behind the palms so the palm’s in shadow, and you get this beautiful, cut-shadow pattern.” This tension is carried inside as well, from Sharon’s contrast drawn between the glass curves of the wine cellar and the soft opacity of the Moooi Random Light, to John’s master bathroom ceiling and Sharon’s accompanying 46

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A cantilevered roof and cypress ceiling shade the walk from the master bedroom to the pool area and detached exercise room.

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The pool’s infinity edge with a wetting wall of textured tropical stone provides a gorgeous view both away from and of the house, gorgeously lit in the picturesque Port Royal gloaming.

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selection of light fixture. The master bath is intensely luxurious from a simple tub to its stately cabinetry, but its most remarkable features are above your head. “In contemporary architecture, ceilings tend to be very simple and geometric, which they are in this house as well,” John notes. “But I wanted to warm it up a little bit, so I used the same ebony wood from the radius beams, and built a series of rectangular beams that are suspended in the tray to give some warmth to this room.” Sharon put the finishing touches on this room with a pendant light from Corbett’s Tantrum series, drawing the line taut between simple elegance and a touch of angular embellishment. Taken altogether, this home is an amazing balancing act, delivering resort-like amenities while providing a superb example of modern architecture in the middle of Port Royal. There’s no other vacation home like it, just as there’s no team quite like the one that came together with such impressive results. “It’s a pretty aggressive contemporary design, but it still feels very warm and inviting due to the materials,” Joe observes. “I think that whole combination is really difficult to achieve. A lot of times you’ll see a very sterile contemporary house look almost like a museum, whereas this house feels like a home that invites people to live in it.” And they do. Resources Partner & Architect Stofft Cooney Architects John Cooney 633 Ninth Street North, Suite 300 Naples, FL 34102 239.262.7677 Principal & Interior Designer Montanna Design Associates Sharon Gilkey ASID P. O. Box 730 Winter Park, FL 407.339.7444 Photographer & Owner Hamilton Photography Lori Hamilton Naples, FL President & CEO BCB Homes Joe Smallwood 3696 Enterprise Ave, Suite 100 Naples, FL 34104 239.643.1004 Landscape Architect Windham Studio Scott Windham P.O. Box 1239 Bonita Springs, FL 34133 239.390.1937 Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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A Sophisticated Retreat in Naples Lana Knapp of Collins & DuPont Design Group creates a casually sophisticated second home for homeowners who love to host family and friends. Story by Deborah Brannon | Photography by Lori Hamilton

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lorida is a spectacular locale for a second home. If you’re in the market for gorgeous property and balmy delights, why look anywhere else? This was certainly true for a couple from Indiana who, with a corner property nestled between a nature preserve and a golf course in Naples, brought Collins & DuPont on to craft the interior of their home. “We wanted someone who would listen to us, help


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and guide us,” says the homeowner, “so making decisions would be uncomplicated.” The couple found this productive partnership with Lana Knapp, senoir designer at Collins & DuPont. “They asked for a soft contemporary look with a neutral palette,” Lana explains. “Their Indiana home is quite beautiful, but much more traditional. When I met them, they said they needed help with everything from floor to ceiling.” Lana rose to the challenge, de signing ev-

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ery detail of their sumptuous retreat. “They wanted a sophisticated look with a little glitz and glamour,” Lana adds, “but since it is their Florida home, it needed to be as comfortable as it would be beautiful.” A Home Meant For Many Lana succeeded in this endeavor, creating a comfortable home, purpose-built for large groups of guests. In fact, the owners’ grand reveal and housewarming took place on Thanksgiving with a guest list of 24! The open floor plan caters to this hosting-focused lifestyle, providing bright and breezy spaces for friends and family to flow around the house, group and converse, and break apart again. “Our open floor plan is effortless; it lets us feel connected and not so formal,” says the homeowner. Three guest bedrooms and a king sleeper sofa in the study provide accommodations for a fair number of family members. This home isn’t just meant for parties, but is a true haven for repose as well. Sophisticated voluminousness is an apt description of this home, and is one beautifully captured by a perfectly balanced kitchen. Two islands topped in seal pearl quartzite stand centered in this light and generous room, complementing the Cristallo quartzite countertops around the perimeter. All back splashes are Cristallo quartzite as well, providing a continuity of theme in its glittering array of crystal specks and quartz deposits. Crema Europa limestone tiles from Spain pull this stone motif together with a polished gleam, and all the soft, creamy shades play off white cabinetry to cultivate a refined, yet relaxed vibe.

The entryway features a John-Richard mirror overlaid with a decorative pattern, hanging above a Duchamp demilune sideboard from Hickory Chair. The dining area is a study in glamorous serenity: an elegant Lily Buds chandelier (Fine Art Lamps) in a silver finish shines above a glass-topped dining table surrounded by Century Klismos chairs covered with Kravet fabric.

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The Century Amesbury chair in the foreground is splendidly covered in Zimmer + Rohde fabric; voluminous custom draperies of sheer Romo fabric frame the stunning windows.

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A Karl drawer desk in a light ash finish from Lillian August peeks from beside the fireplace; the framed abstract by Martha Brooks Marshall is actually a motorized cover from VisionArt that retracts to reveal a television.

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Burton James’ sofas are covered with Baker fabric, while throw pillows are enclosed by in Duralee and S. Harris fabrics.

Cabinet space is plentiful—this room is all about function—and also beautiful, accented with decorative mullions. Emerald series pulls from Top Knobs rounds off everything with a touch of modern simplicity, while ROHL’s Modern Lux sink faucets in a satin-brushed nickel finish stand in understated elegance above undermounted sinks. With their open floor plan, the couple can wash dishes and look out at the verdant nature preserve and golf course surrounding them. When asked which part of this graceful retreat they like best, the homeowner replies, “Our favorite area is the kitchen, family room and outdoor living area. It’s great to open the doors and bring it all together.” It’s plain to see why. Their outdoor living area is an exquisitely executed lanai, with a deeply-coffered ceiling in stained cypress presiding over warm groups of furnishings. One side is open to the spectacle of nature, providing striking views intercut with handsome rectangular columns. An outdoor kitchen in one corner sports a grill and bar (with its own small flat-screen television), while an intriguing fireplace flanked by decorative ceramic squares in blues and yellows stands adjacent. A large flat screen above the fireplace and comfortable seating offers an amiable place to enjoy sports broadcasts.

Astoria lounge chairs are pulled up around Loop fire pits from Brown Jordan Fires, striking fire features crafted with a concrete finish and accented with nautical rope. The space also includes a dining table—sitting pretty with a charming tiled edge and oversized columnar legs—for meals enjoyed al fresco. “They use this area all winter long and love living outdoors!” says Lana. Functional, Art, Glamour and Glitz The living room is an oasis of casual sophistication, drenched in light from splendidly partitioned windows that stretch nearly to the ceiling. Capacious custom curtains in a sheer Romo fabric complement the views inside and out without distracting the eye. Rather, one’s gaze is drawn up through this 18-foot space to appreciate the splendor of the Cascading Waterfall Pendant lighting fixture by John-Richard, before sweeping down to Martha Brooks Marshall’s prepossessing Patterns, hanging above the mantelpiece. This piece of abstract art is, in fact, a clever motorized cover by VisionArt that discreetly disguises the living room television when not in use. The browns, blues and creams in the abstract print are echoes of colors appearing in luxurious materials throughout the room. A transitional wool area rug vaunting a silvery blue trellis pattern picked out against an ivory backGulf Coast Design + Decor

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Kristall™ pendant lights from Elan Lighting hang above the living room’s luminous quartzite bar; cabinetry in the background is solid wood in a light taupe.

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In the Tangerine Room, the Talia table lamp from Arteriors Home draws the eye with electric orange threads in a glass base. A stunning Fantine chandelier with mercury glass shade from Currey & Company glitters down on the study; a bamboo silk rug from Creative Touch lies underfoot.

ground defines a space populated by furnishings from Century and Lillian August. An Aurora cocktail table from Century with an antique mirror top draws the space together. Adjacent to this oasis is a particularly alluring bar. “I don’t typically put a bar like that in a living room, but they entertain so much and they are avid sports watchers,” Lana explains. “So even though the living room is a little more formal area, the bar’s in there.” She points out that the bar has a backlit Cristallo quartzite waterfall top, transforming it from something simply lovely into a luminously enchanting statement. “It’s artsy as much as it is a functional piece of furniture or a bar,” she adds. The wow factor of that glowing bar counts as one of the home’s most unique spaces; the outdoor fireplace on the lanai is another. “The fireplace is a stacked stone,” says Lana, “and, believe it or not, it glimmers, too!” Arctic white stacked quartzite stone surrounds the fireplace. “Because it’s chiseled instead of polished, it allows the light to reflect off of its edges which creates a soft and elegant glimmer.” Crowning the fireplace is a fine expanse of remarkable wood-look porcelain tile from Ruben Sorhegui Tile Distributors in a herringbone pattern. “It has a very organic

look, but at the same time a little bit of sophistication because of that shiny stone.” This sense of glimmering, tasteful glamour continues into the master bedroom, Lana’s personal favorite space. “It has a beautiful neutral color palette with touches of crystal,” she says. “It’s very romantic.” The bed by Century is sublime, upholstered in Holly Hunt fabric. The pillows are covered in Osborne & Little silk and Samuel & Sons embellished trim, snuggled up to Italian sateen bedding. A rug of 100% New Zealand wool from Fabrica in Spun Sugar is luxurious underfoot, and the Lillian August Meryl Bed Bench is utterly charming in Donghia fabric. While a beautiful crystal chandelier cascades over all, one of the most remarkable pieces is a Wildwood mirror above the bed’s headboard. “It’s very dimensional; it almost looks like a flower that’s opening,” Lana observes, outlining how it adds texture and interest to the wall—something she wouldn’t do with a piece of art, considering how high the piece sits. “I don’t like to put art that high because you can’t really appreciate it. So I opted for a mirror to give it—again—glimmer, because it’s catching the light from the windows and the doors, and then giving texture to the wall.” The result is a delightful focal detail in a lustrous room. Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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Rooms Deserve A Little Character While “relaxed” and “refined” are watchwords in this design, the homeowners requested specific characteristics for several rooms. “They wanted a lemon, lime and orange room!” Lana laughs delightedly. “I loved the idea, and the rooms turned out very fun but still sophisticated.” Each guest bedroom is a study in restraint, with carefully selected pops of color: the Tangerine Room features a King’s Road poster bed from Century, with marvelous carved posters and pineapple finials. Tangerine orange-patterned 60

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boudoir pillows in Shumacher and Jim Thompson textiles accent the bed, and a deep orange occasional chair sits nearby underneath vertical art pieces in burnished tangerine and yellow, along with cool green and blue. The Lime Room flaunts its color more widely through bedding from Wildcat Territory ’s Cake Custom line, featuring Samuel & Sons trim. Throw and boudoir pillows continue this thread, while a Century Dover rectangular ottoman in Duralee fabric sits at the foot of the bed. These color themes continue into each bedroom’s en suite bathroom through brightly patterned wall coverings and ombré shower tile effects.

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A Darlana pendant light from Visual Comfort adroitly captures the sophisticated essence of this kitchen, while Jessica Carson bar stools in Romo metallic microfiber fabric ground the scene. Softly bright cabinetry featuring decorative mullions works gently with the alluring depth of quartzite countertops to create a soothing kitchen space.

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Lana demonstrates how these colors were carefully calibrated to suit their setting. “You can see it’s not what I call a misinterpretation of Florida colors where they get too bright,” she says.

A Dover ottoman from Century stands at the foot of the bed in the Lime Room, covered in subdued limegreen Duralee fabric.

The study was another carefully orchestrated space that balances between the home’s overall aesthetic and a personal directive from the mister half of the homeowners. “He wanted a very masculine study,” Lana explains. “To him, masculine means dark, rich wood.” She approached this by giving him a handsome, custom, walnut built-in on one wall, complete with recessed lighting, a mounted television and plenty of places to organize files and display mementos. She balanced the large swaths of dark brown with an off-white rug featuring a taupe pattern, and some brightly colored throw pillows in burnt oranges on the sleeper sofa. An Asheworth Campaign Desk in a custom finish lightens up the room as well, and Lana snuck in a bit more color with an exquisite painting. “I put a beautiful painting over the sofa, and it’s got little splashes of color, too,” she says. Since the study is where their grandchildren most likely sleep when visiting, Lana added some whimsical sculptural accents on the desk and built-in through oversized pencil pieces and several giant Monopoly pieces (the dog, thimble and car). Altogether, they created a masculine retreat fit for both work and rest.

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Hickory Chairs in Rodolph fabric with Hickory Chair trim create a comfortable lounge space drenched in natural light in the master bedroom.

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A Sanger chandelier from Visual Comfort glitters down on a Mia ottoman from Marge Carson, sitting amidst a Masland wool-blend area rug.

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“Home is a place we look forward to being, a place to relax and share with family and friends,” says the homeowner. Through this spacious home so artfully arranged to support the couple’s lifestyle and celebrate the joy they find in living, Lana appears to have achieved everything they asked for in a second residence. What do the owners think? “We love everything about our home!” Can’t ask for more than that. Resources Senior Designer Collins & DuPont Design Group Lana Knapp ASID, NCIDQ 8911 Brighton Lane Bonita Spring, FL 34135 239.948.2400

Astoria line furnishings from Summer Classics are scattered across the lanai. Made of resilient aluminum and N-Dura™ resin wicker with water and UV-resistant cushions, they’re ready to weather the elements.

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Surrounded by Serenity Herscoe Hajjar Architects blends indoor and outdoor living with this dream beach home. Story by Emily Ballard Photography by Michael Biondo and Raniero Tazzi

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feeling of seclusion, breathtaking ocean views enjoyed from the front porch, the calm bay residing on the back side, and ocean breezes flowing throughout the space: these were the wishes of the owners of this property in Casey Key, Florida. Herscoe Hajjar Architects was able to bring these goals to fruition with its full-service design, delivering on the traditional elements and comforts of a beach home with a luxurious and grandiose quality that leaves a lasting impression. After working together for almost 20 years, Michael Hajjar and Robert Herscoe have spearheaded innovative projects in the architecture and building industry with a focus on high-end residences and luxury homes in the Florida market. The two have impressive backgrounds in their fields, so it was a perfect union of expertise when they came together to start their firm Herscoe Hajjar Architects in 2003. As a full-service firm, Herscoe Hajjar Architects has a comprehensive involvement in every step of the project. The firm approaches each design from a collaborative perspective, beginning with a conceptualization phase in which it confers with clients to analyze the site and parameters, identify challenges and develop a program that meets the client’s stylistic and functional goals. “We go through a whole process of understanding what they want, how they want their house to function, the relation-

ship between rooms—every client is different,” Michael explains. “From that initial analysis, we start to come up with different concepts.” Michael and Robert look at every detail as they enter the design phase, developing multiple concepts to present to their clients. Once they have narrowed it down, they turn one or two into three-dimensional models so the client can visualize the project beyond a two-dimensional plane. After a final design has been chosen with all the agreed-upon elements, they initiate the schematic and development phase, which examines the nuts and bolts that will lead to actual building and construction, including mechanical, electrical, engineering, materials and finishes. Next the firm embarks on the construction planning phase, collecting and creating all necessary documentation, site plans and permits, and then moving into bidding and negotiating contracts. “By the time we reach this phase, the client has been involved, and it is specifically customized to what they are looking for,” says Michael. This attention to detail and inclusive process ensures that the final product and design are representative of the high-quality work of Herscoe Hajjar, as well as the needs and vision of the client. The firm realizes this type of work is much more personal than commercial building, and the result reflects a completely customized and unique product. “The quality level they are looking for is a higher-end product,” Michael explains, “and we Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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strive to make sure that everything is properly designed and detailed.” This level of personalized service is the foundation of Herscoe Hajjar Architects. As they enjoy the success and growth of their hard work, the two founders intend to maintain a smaller company to sustain their individualized passion and purpose. “Both Rob and I are heavily involved in our projects,” says Michael, “and we are intentionally trying to keep a small firm so we can be involved in the design and detailing, and construction and administration phases of our work.” Casual Yet Refined The homeowners of this beach getaway reside in the Northeast and were looking for a place to escape the harsh winters, a place where their family and friends could enjoy beautiful beaches, poolside lounging, kayaking, amazing sunsets—all with a sophisticated level of comfort and amenities. Herscoe Hajjar Architects was the perfect choice to create this oasis, which blends tradition with luxury while maintaining an approachable Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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Details were a combination of owner’s collection and architectural design.

atmosphere. Although this home certainly has formal elements, it was essential that the clients be able to relax and fully enjoy the features of a beach home. It was particularly important that they be able to utilize the cross breeze from the ocean to the bay. This property is uniquely situated on a remote, narrow island with one windy road that weaves from the southern tip to the northern tip with two bridges allowing access. The road actually severs the property, and the house was built on the bay side with the property running across to the beach with an elevated wooden boardwalk. The path to the beach is built above the sea grass, and the owners and visitors can enjoy the sanctuary and preserve of an

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untouched area filled with sea turtles and wildlife. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway, the home provides a beautiful private setting, and because the seasonal usage of the property is typically during a low-humidity period, the architects were able to design the home with customized screen doors to facilitate the wishes of the homeowners. The team also installed fans in all the rooms to circulate the air and regulate the heat. “They wanted to feel like they were outside—to hear the beach, hear the waves crashing,” Michael says. “Especially at nighttime when you are lying in bed, you can hear the very soothing sound.”

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Doors open onto patios for outdoor living and beautiful views.

Life on the Water As you cross the bridge leading to the house, vacation life bids you a warm welcome. And as you pull into the palm-tree-lined driveway, you are greeted by a grand entryway. The formal stairs lead to an elevated courtyard that is concrete and turf with a fountain resting in the middle as a centerpiece, foreshadowing the elegance that is within. Branching off to the sides are the guest porches. “It was important to have the porches on the front, to be able to sit out there and hear the sound of the water,” says Michael. “The front is really spectacular from the porches on the second floor; you sit out there and feel like you are on the beach.” Past the fountain are the front doors adorned with brass mer78

maid handles, part of the homeowner’s personal collection and a playful beach house salute. The interior is crisp and clean with a mixture of muted tones, white and wood. The painted trim work, stained ceilings and painted paneling are the perfect combination with the wood floors throughout. Finishing touches such as marble in the bathrooms create an exquisite effect, and the homeowners worked with a kitchen designer on custom-made details such as the metal hood above the oven. The customized winding staircase is paired with a decorative railing system the client specifically requested, and is lit by a unique oversized chandelier. The walls are adorned with a personal art collection of a framed bird series. Robert and Michael were tasked with incorporating these personal effects and requests to fit seamlessly within the design.

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Stunning customized stairwell with stained ceilings and unique spindle design

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Adjacent to the main living area is the pool that provides an extension of the space with an outdoor living area that is perfect for socialization or relaxation. The decking is stone with cable rails. Around the pool are steel railings, while wooden mahogany handrails enhance the front. The indoor living area spills out onto porches and pool areas, revealing an openness with views and ventilation. “The whole connection from front to back is really my favorite part of the house,” Michael reveals. Robert and Michael describe the aesthetic as a “Traditional Florida Coastal Vernacular.” They worked closely with the homeowners’ chosen interior designer, their long-time friend Wendy Kirkland, to produce a smart design that showcased the client’s taste and collections. Wendy is no stranger to the desired aesthetic of these homeowners, as she has helped with the design for several of their homes. Wendy loves to design in a way that showcases specific pieces, and antiques in particular. She typically bases her designs off a neutral palette and mixes in textures and pops of color. She finds great satisfaction in the hunt for treasured items that fit into the design, but elevate it with an unexpected flare. For this home, she worked closely with her clients to create a West Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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Indies style, starting with ornate rugs. Much of the furniture, including all the beds, were custom built, keeping with the traditional style of the home, yet adding a uniqueness of its own. Wendy incorporated whimsical items, such as local seashells and corals and the mermaid door handles. “It’s really more about looking at the pieces there and the home itself,” Wendy says. “I love antiques and the old pieces, and I love to mix old and new.” By combining modern elements with sculptural antique pieces, Wendy was able to achieve the simple design her clients love, focusing on a regional aesthetic and, ultimately, a comfortable atmosphere. Overcoming Obstacles This was a new construction, and although the secluded nature of its location is its appeal, it came with its own set of construction and building challenges. First were the logistics of getting the materials to the site. Large trucks and hefty materials were met with bridges and winding roads. Due to beach building codes and regulations, the house had to be elevated to a certain height. The first floor was required to be 12 to 15 feet above the road, and everything below had to be built with breakaway walls. This is done so if there is a surge or storm, the wall can collapse without causing damage to the building or supporting foundation. In this case, that space was utilized as a garage you can drive

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through and come out on the other side. With this elevation necessity came the daunting task of elevating the pool to the same level as the living area. “The structure to put this whole thing up in the air was an engineering feat, and getting the equipment there was difficult because of the narrow, windy roads,” Michael explains. “The piles are usually 30 feet long and the trucks bring them in, lift them and bang them into the ground. It took probably about a year to get the structure in before we could actually get into the living part of the house.” Constructing a home in the beach elements of sun, salt and unpredictable weather requires building materials that can withstand the increased wear and tear. It is essential to find materials that are durable. The architects utilized resources that wouldn’t require rigorous maintenance and could hold up to the harsh conditions without constant updates and repairs. It is not always easy to mix styles and elements. An architect’s job is to create a masterpiece that reflects a desired aesthetic and accomplishes the dream and vision of the client. Herscoe Hajjar Architects has perfected this process with customized, detailed work that is forwardthinking. This is evident in this classic beach house that affords breathtaking views, quality construction and the ultimate refuge for leisure and entertainment. 84

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Resources Architect Herscoe Hajjar Architects Robert Herscoe Michael Hajjar 22 Tenth Street South Naples, FL 34102 239.643.4010 Interior Design WDK Design Wendy Kirkland 51 Quorn Hunt Road West Simsbury, CT 06092 860.559.4984 Builder Craig M. Kobza Aerial Companies 4492 Mercantile Ave Naples, FL 34104 239.643.7625

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A QUEST FOR SIMPLIFICATION Robin McGarry helps these homeowners scale down and light up Story by Emily Ballard | Photography by Neil Landino

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The geometric light fixture floating in the stairwell complies with the request for 5-star energy rating, and adds a visual element for statement and style.


n older couple transitioning to a smaller home came to Robin McGarry with some very specific requirements. Ready to make a significant lifestyle change, they wanted to use personal pieces from their previous home to create a traditional twist on their contemporary new dwellings. Robin saw this as an exciting challenge—and her interior design expertise was the perfect fit to accomplish the modern, airy and light feel the homeowners desired. Robin can certainly relate to her clients as they embark on a shift from their comfort zone. With 30 years of design experience and a successful private design firm that she started in 1995, she had just accepted a position as principal designer for Dwayne Bergmann Interiors. This involved a move from Connecticut to Florida and a venture into a larger design firm.

The Dwayne Bergmann team offers comprehensive design services on both the national and international scale, and is able to take on much bigger projects, with a sizeable support staff. “It is basically offering me an opportunity to take my design to another level, while helping this younger company take it to the level they want to take it,” Robin says. “It is a win-win for both of us.” Robin is delighted to bring her design aesthetic and experience to this growing company. Every project is different, and her designs reflect this, but Robin approaches each project with a desire for elegant simplicity. She avoids over-ornamentation and excess décor. “The designs have different feelings, character and spirit, but they have a very clean design, which I think transcends into something more peaceful and tranquil,” Robin explains. She believes this is very important in a world full of visual noise. Each of her designs is a conscious effort to create a personal place of calm and respite, and it is this philosophy Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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The intricate lighting fixture in the entryway resembles molecules adorned with Swarovski crystals and was hand-picked to fit an area with length but low ceilings.

that attracted Dwayne Bergmann to Robin’s work. Searching for Light When the homeowners approached Robin, they explained that they were downsizing from an approximately 15,000-squarefoot house on about 10 acres in the countryside. Their new space would be around 5,000 square feet and closer to a half an acre near town. They were insistent that the home be fivestar energy rated, meaning that every single lighting fixture had to be dedicated as either LED or compact fluorescent. This presented Robin with a challenge that she confronted head-on. She exhausted all possible resources in her research. As Robin found options online, she diligently visited the vendors at their locations to get a full grasp of what they had to offer. She even attended an LED conference in Boston to further explore lighting options. Throughout the process, she collaborated with the client to find the perfect balance of style and efficiency. It was imperative that the fixtures were certified five-star energy rated and created a statement that fit the space and the client’s wishes. “It took an amazing amount of time to find the proper lighting fixtures, proper scale, and proper design and style,” Robin remembers. All her hard work and back and forth with the client paid off: the result is a unique home filled with intricate and detailed lighting in every single room. Perhaps the most challenging space was the entryway, which is long and narrow with red carpeting and a low ceiling. Robin was tasked with finding

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The open great room with high ceilings was the perfect platform to showcase the art from the homeowner’s previous traditionally designed home, in a new modern dwelling.

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a fixture that was long enough for the space, but didn’t hang so low that those passing below might hit their heads on it. She describes her solution as the hardest yet most exciting piece she found: it consists of Swarovski crystals and a molecular-type design.

throughout the home are original pieces, such as all the artwork and the black marble side table in the entryway. The brass bed in the guest room was actually the first bed the couple owned when they were married. The chairs by the fireplace were recovered to replace the leather and nailheads and create a more modern feel.

In the great room is another unique fixture, which was chosen to complement the high ceilings. “There were lots of big, voluminous ceilings, so you don’t want to have something that is too small of scale in those spaces,” explains Robin. Up the stairs is another light that Robin describes as a geometric matrix, which she believes is the perfect addition to guide someone through the space.

These ornate touches are what define the Robin McGarry interior design experience. She explains: “I am able to connect with the clients to figure out what they want, create something beautiful to bring out their personality and character, and help them choose beautiful design elements.”

Another important factor for the client was that the home be low maintenance. Having grandchildren who often visited, the couple struggled with fingerprints and stains on the walls of their previous home. The solution for their new residence was wipeable and cleanable wall surfaces throughout the house. Interesting wallpaper met these criteria and provide a textured look. Not only were these homeowners drastically changing the size of their home, they were also altering their entire perspective. Their previous home was designed with a traditional feel, while the new one was planned with a modern vernacular. A distinctive quality that Robin brings to her design is the ability to incorporate traditional elements into the modern motif. She recognizes that this was a courageous leap of faith for her clients, and

These homeowners were unafraid to change their lifestyle to create this modern and tranquil home that better fits their needs. They trusted Robin with this undertaking, and she delivered. And as she begins this new endeavor in her own life, Robin is undoubtedly channeling the same bravery and sense of adventure as her clients. New opportunities await, and she is thrilled to get started.

Resources Dwayne Bergmann Interiors Principal Designer Robin McGarry 12195 Metro Parkway, Suite 1 Fort Myers, FL 33966 239.344.7455 Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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Builders of Dreams, Crafters of Tradition Story by Deborah J. Brannon


estled far down the Florida peninsula, cradled between the Gulf of Mexico and a wide open sky, stands luxury custom home builder and remodeler Acadian Builders. With client relationship and true custom design among the highest principals of their operation, Ray Allain and Ken Smith proudly offer their expertise to fellow residents of Naples. Tradition + Experience Acadian Builders is a one-of-a-kind, full-service builder founded on productive relationships and master woodworking all the way down to its foundations. Ray Allain established the firm over 15 years ago, naming it in honor of his heritage. Ray grew up in the Iberia Parish in southern Louisiana, one of three parishes collectively known as Acadiana for the Acadian diaspora that found a new home in then-Spanish colony Luisiana after being exiled from Canada in the 18th century. This sense of history and connection to community is something that Ray values and infuses into his work. “I learned woodworking from a maître charpentier, a true master carpenter of the French guild,” Ray explains. This primacy of tradition and quality runs throughout Acadian Builders, from accomplished partners Ray and Ken to the master craftsmen in their private millwork shop. Ken is a more recent addition to Acadian Builders, having come on board as a principal last April. Ken and Ray have known each other for many years and discovered they work well together in business, complementing one another with their unique strengths and backgrounds. Ken adds experience in high-rise remodeling and collaboration with architects and interior designers. “Ken enjoys the ever-changing aspect that a day in construction brings,” Ray says. “He’s flexible, ready with solutions and a natural communicator. He provides an upbeat energy that our staff, trades and clients really enjoy.” Ken is equally enthusiastic about Ray. “Ray is the consummate craftsman,” Ken says. “His experience in the finish trades and fine woodworking has translated to him having a certain exactness that’s unmatched. I hear Ray use the term ‘aesthetically perfect’ daily. His appreciation for the


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details is the best I’ve ever seen—and it certainly shows in the homes we build and remodel.” Mastery at Work Acadian Builders tends to have three to four projects in construction at any given time, working with clientele who are invested in true custom homes and luxury remodeling. They may also have two or three projects in preconstruction, working first on paper with architects and interior designers. “I enjoy that creative process quite a bit, and working with designers and architects,” Ken reveals, “whereas Ray has more of a proclivity for the field. He loves to be out there on the job.” This workload gives their private millwork shop and highly skilled family of master craftsman the space to excel. They partner frequently with fine architects, interior designers and other specialists, though they sometimes have a homeowner approach them directly. “Occasionally, the client will come to us first,” Ken explains. ”Once we get to know the client, we’ll suggest they meet an interior designer or even two designers and architects, depending on the scope of the project. So we do work with clients directly, but we always lead them back into a relationship with a true creative.” When asked how they each approach project and address the unique and exciting challenges they face each day, Ken says, “Ray has the background in woodworking that I don’t have, so obviously when it comes to the custom woodwork details and how the shop is run for a certain project, Ray will always take the lead on that end of things. I’ve got a strong background in remodeling, particularly high-rise remodeling, so I will typically lead those projects.” Ken and Ray bring out the best in each other, each bolstering the other and ultimately leveling up the work completed by their firm. “The craft of building appears to be a dying art,” Ray muses. “When I first started the business, someone referred to me as a ‘dirty-boot builder.’ I took offense at this, not because I felt it an insult, but because it diminished the understanding of the process. I was not in the field and on the ground because I didn’t know better—it was a conscious decision to control the qual-

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ity of the product. There are many builders who are executive managers of the process and don’t have a lot of practical experience, while others choose to treat this as a vocation and a ‘craft’ rather than a means to an end. This was the path we chose.” True Custom Devotion The superb artistry and dedication to the craft of building exhibited by Acadian Builders rests firmly on two foundations: their one-of-one philosophy and the highly refined and skilled team they’ve built. Ray is ebullient on the subject of “true custom,” which is their philosophy of giving each client true one-of-one millwork and construction that is aesthetically exceptional. “We enjoy bringing our client the ability to have something that is truly their own,” Ray says. “We can make anything that our client, architect or interior designer desires. When we build or remodel a home, they are not limited to choosing from a catalog or another company’s offerings. For example, we don’t buy doors for our client’s home— we make them. It’s rewarding when the client realizes they will never see their details in anyone else’s home—that’s when they understand what ‘true custom’ is all about.” Equally as important is their team of magnificent carpenters. “I’d love to talk about the longevity of our staff here,” Ken says. “Their loyalty to Ray and this company—and the company’s loyalty back to them—is really magic.” Several team members have been with Acadian Builders for nine to 12 years, and one prominent member for 14. Ken adds that they now have a second generation joining the company as well, highlighting how Acadian Builders is all about developing craft, fostering relationships and building things that last. Plans to Grow Ray and Ken and the team at Acadian Builders are in the industry of building long-lasting and beautiful things, so of course they’re building their own future as well. They hope to expand their business, but in a measured and intentional way. “Expanding is a real challenge in this venue, because the risk is to become just like everyone else, and compromising what made us who we are,” Ray points out. “Organic growth while preserving our ethos is key. Commitment to our craft and providing a positive experience for our client is non-negotiable. Building a home is a daunting and, at times, stressful process. Guidance, support, empathy and understanding are critical to all relationships, and none more so than this process. We care, and our clients feel this at every juncture.” He reiterates: “The client and their needs are premier.” Discussing their expansion, Ken indicates how they’re hoping for growth in renovations and remodeling. “I think we’d like to see the same three to four custom homes a year,” he says, “and three to four custom renovations or custom remodeling projects a year as well. That’d be a great company for us.” Acadian Builder’s dedication to Naples, their clients and each other is palpable and commendable. “The market in Naples is educated and demanding, and has an expectation of value,” Ray says. “Acadian’s hallmark has always been quality, from the simple hidden details to the appointments everyone sees. We approach the process comprehensively, with the client’s personality, needs and long-term interests in mind. I have found that clients value being able to make an informed decision. Cost, maintenance, aesthetics and function are all factors that impact decisions and should be thoroughly vetted.” Indeed, Acadian Builders’ homes, millwork, remodels and more are exquisitely built with durable function—just like the firm itself. Resource: Acadian Builders Ray Allain Ken Smith 4573 Exchange Avenue. Suite 4 Naples, FL 34104 239.248.0982 Gulf Coast Design + Decor

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Lisa Davenport Designs


Story by Ashley Rose Marino

isa Davenport has been in the design business for more than 20 years, bringing her signature Cashmere and Blue Jeans™ aesthetic to her clients in Connecticut, and more recently, Naples, FL. While she was working on a project in nearby Bonita Springs, the choice to expand to Naples was a natural one for Lisa and her team. After walking down 5th Avenue, she says, “I ended up at the beach, where I kicked off my stilettos and walked on the sand, and it just took my breath away. I knew then that I needed to be here.” Since the expansion, Lisa has split her time between her own small-town “Mayberry” in Durham, Connecticut and Naples Florida.

Her inspiration to become a designer stems from three sources: her mother; Pierre Strauch, a professor of interior design at Paier College of Art in Hamden, CT; and Michelangelo, the architect. Her mother was a wildly talented artist, and after years of resisting comparisons to her mother, Lisa says she “couldn’t resist the pull. I slowly began to discover that the life of an artist could be very fulfilling and rewarding.” Pierre was the person who pushed Lisa to mold her raw talent into what would become her lifelong passion. During a class she took at Paier, Pierre took one look at the drawing of hers that wowed her classmates and passionately said, “This! This is sh*t! Take it down and bring me something decent!” After realizing he was right, Lisa knew that Pierre would be her mentor; he helped “form a designer that would truly understand design and not stand for ordinary,” she says. Michelangelo’s architectural works inspire her when designing interiors because classical architecture challenges her to think differently. Lisa and her team won’t focus on the “what” they’ll design, they focus on the “why.” Her intake process includes an in-depth, eight-page 96

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form about the client’s tastes and lifestyle. This attention to detail helps Lisa Davenport Designs (LDD) get a true sense of who each client is. “While we take design seriously,” she says, “the LDD team is often complimented for its approachable style and ability to take the stress out of design.” Her clients often become friends for life, which speaks volumes about who they are as a firm. Her most memorable accomplishments in design have been her ability to give back to the community through mentoring interns and benefiting charitable organizations. Lisa’s goal in design is to create an environment that is an extension of each of her clients. “Design should be easy yet refined,” she says. “Design should be experienced, cultivated and stimulating. For each of my clients, it’s important that I reflect their personal style, sprinkled with a little of my own signature approach to design, while pushing their envelope just a little. My aesthetic is authentic, polished, rustic, comfortable, chic, time-honored. I just like to say it’s Cashmere & Blue Jeans™.” Lisa Davenport Designs has been serving the greater New England and East Coast areas for over 20 years. In 2016, Lisa expanded her firm by opening a division in Naples, FL. Lisa Davenport Designs 6 MainStreet, Unit F Durham, CT 06422 860.316.5718 780 Fifth AVvenue South, Suite 200 Naples, FL 34102 239.261.9132

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