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VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS • JOHN’S ISLAND VILLA • FASHION MEETS ART • HISTORIC FL GOLF COURSES • DOGS AT WORK • GOPHER TORTOISES VOLUME XXIV, NUMBER 2

FEBRUARY 2021

Vero Beach’s Next Generation: Rennie Gibb returns to carry on a family legacy

Coming Home

Finding the Right Fit | February 2021 | REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION © VERO BEACH MAGAZINE


Finding the Right Fit FOR PATTY AND JOHN DUDZIK, A VILLA REDESIGN LEADS TO THE PERFECT FAMILY RETREAT BY ANN TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY OWEN MCGOLDRICK

The open living room features plenty of seating options for visits from the Dudzik’s three sons. Patty and John chose furniture that not only looked good but was comfortable. Their goal was “a little bit of tradition with a little bit of edginess.”

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P

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atty and John Dudzik never planned to spend more than two or three months a year in their John’s Island villa. After an extensive renovation, it was move-in ready by the end of December 2019, and the couple from Connecticut was looking forward to escaping winter’s snow and sleet, then heading back north in time to see azaleas and dogwoods burst into full bloom. At least that was the plan. Then came the coronavirus and with it orders to shelter in place. No traveling via plane, train or automobile, which translated to a Florida spring, then summer and eventually a fall back home in New England. For two people who tend to look on the bright side, the positives of staying in place have far outweighed the negatives. “We’ve been here most of the year, and with John not planning to return to the office until June, this is where we’ll be,” says Patty, a cheerful lilt to her voice as she reflects on the way things have turned out and the house-hunting journey that led them to Vero Beach, John’s Island and a villa built in the ’80s. “We actually spent about five years visiting places like Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Delray; we even went over to the west coast and spent time in Naples and Boca Grande. We were interested in finding a place that was welcoming, one that felt like a selfsustaining community, and one where we would feel at home,” Patty says. While each place the couple visited offered plenty of positives, there was still that special something missing, so they decided to keep looking. “Two years ago we rented a

The master suite was enlarged to create a sitting area that looks out over the pool.

villa here in John’s Island, one that was very similar to where we are now. Our real estate agent had been showing us properties in J.I., but after spending two weeks in the villa, John and I agreed that it matched exactly what we were looking for.” With that decided, the couple

asked their real estate agent to notify them if one of the villas came on the market. Since there are only 14, they knew the chances of one becoming available were probably slim to none. That’s why they were surprised when their real estate agent called three months after they had

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Two guest suites on the north side of the home provide welcoming spaces for visitors.

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The island’s sky blue cabinetry stands out in a nearly all-white kitchen. Overhead, a pair of pendants cast their light on glass-front cabinetry and a patterned backsplash.

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returned to Greenwich with the news that a villa had just become available. It was just down the road from the one they had rented, so they knew exactly where it was. The location was perfect, and so was the large lot that offered an opportunity to expand and enhance the footprint and surrounding features. However, the dated ’80s design didn’t adapt to their lifestyle and desires. The floor plan was broken up and rooms were dark. A perfect example was a fireplace wall that separated the living room from the entry hall, blocking any possible

view of the outside world. Another example was the fact that the laundry room was located in the garage and accessible via a covered walkway. These and other issues needed to be addressed in what would lead to an extensive renovation that factored in their needs as well as those of their family, along with the delight Patty and John find in having an indoor/ outdoor lifestyle. “While some people may only want a turn-key project, we were not afraid of starting from scratch. Having had renovation experience and a clear vision of our goals, we

jumped in with enthusiasm. At the end of the day we wanted a high-quality interior and exterior. We were also interested in exploring a bit, and the property just lent itself to doing that,” says Patty. “After buying the property the day it was listed, we knew we needed to build our ‘team.’ We spoke to several contractors and builders and had a positive feeling about working with Croom Construction Company. We also spent time getting educated by interviewing three of the premier architects in town.” Those interviews led them to

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In the dining area, Klismos chairs with dark blue leather brass-studded seats with curved backs encircle a custom-carved mahogany table.

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select architect Harry Howle, who, with associate James Stein, got to work creating design options that, as Howle notes, “take a plan from a past market that is somewhat chopped up and chambered, a plan reflecting a different lifestyle, and removing walls to open things up. By the time we were finished, we just about gutted everything. “The Dudziks had specific

requirements and a clear vision for how they wanted the house to function,” Howle continues. “From the very beginning they were in sync with each other. They’re very busy people in terms of their careers, so we communicated a lot by phone. If we were talking to John, he would make sure Patty was on the line, that she was part of the conversation as well.

MARTINA TANNERY

Both Patty and John agree that the loggia is their favorite place to spend time. With a fireplace and large-screen TV, casual custom furnishings and expansive exterior views, it’s easy to see why.

“We went through three or four design options. Whether we were critiquing whatever plan, whether it was A, B or C, John and Patty were on the same page. James worked very closely with them throughout the project; he also oversaw all of the project administration, which meant staying on budget.” The couple got what they wanted with a final design that features an open floor plan, with two guest suites and laundry facilities on the north side and an office and roomy master suite on the south. The spacious center includes kitchen, dining and living areas that lead out to a loggia. Not only do all of the functions flow one to another, they come complete with postcard-perfect views of the pool and elevated spa, a seating area centered around a fire pit, and a five-hole putting green with tee box, where John can often be found working on his short game. Thanks to the fact that the Dudziks’ property is 0.6 acres, larger than the average villa lot, Howle had the opportunity to design a site plan that not only included the putting green, it allowed for the addition of a free-standing cabana with covered porch, ideal for outdoor dining. The cabana is also ideal for the times Patty and John’s three sons, all of whom live and work in New York City, decide they need a little Florida sun, sand and surf in their lives. Now for the final touch, the frosting on a well-designed, wellconstructed cake: “We had the architect, the contractor and we asked interior designer Toni Gallagher, who has done work with us on two other properties, if she would be interested, and she was. With that, our team was complete,” Patty says with delight. “We wanted a sophisticated coastal look that was comfortable, a look that works for when we have company as well as when we want to put our feet up and watch foot-

The Dudziks can often be found on the putting green, challenging each other as they perfect their short game.

ball on TV with the boys.” The couple also wanted a space that would embrace just the two of them but could also accommodate family and friends. Thanks to Gallagher they got their wish, as seen in the living area, where a pair of white sofas with plump, colorful pillows, twin side chairs upholstered in a gray-blue textured fabric, and a pair of sky blue stools offer plenty of seating options if and when needed. All are gathered around a coffee table with a blue leather top, perfect for game-playing as well as for trays of snacks and beverages. Earth tones, shades of blue, splashes of color and subtle textures create a unified look both here and in the outdoor loggia. Again, the couple was in sync

when making choices. “John was very involved with the designer,” Patty points out. “He wanted furniture that not only looked good but was comfortable. A little bit of tradition and a little bit of edginess was the goal.” Once again, Gallagher came up with furnishings and accessories that responded to both. A case in point can be seen in the dining room, where Klismos chairs with dark blue leather brass-studded seats and curved backs with a striking blue-and-white pattern circle a custom-carved mahogany table set before a window that offers a view of the putting green. Overhead, a contemporary chandelier shines light on traditional place settings. “We were fortunate to have a

strong, cohesive team,” says Patty, “so our renovation went very smoothly, which made the project a positive experience, and great friendships were forged.” As she and John continue their “stay in place” lives, they continue to appreciate the villa and enjoy moments in some of their favorite places. For both it’s the loggia, where they savor outdoor living as often as possible, and the putting green is always a draw. “We love everything about this place,” Patty enthuses. “The key for us is that we rented here and knew what our lifestyle would be like. This villa fit the bill in terms of our priorities, and the beauty and charm of Vero Beach won us over. This is where we wanted to be, and we couldn’t be happier.” `

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Profile for TAA

Pure Harry architectural design in John's Island  

Featuring Patty and John Dudzik's home, including putting green and outdoor living areas.

Pure Harry architectural design in John's Island  

Featuring Patty and John Dudzik's home, including putting green and outdoor living areas.

Profile for taac