Harbor Style Harbor Style Sept 2017 : Page 44

Stunning interior and exterior spaces bring the outside in at this breathtaking, beach-front Boca Grande oasis. Story by Carol Bruyere I Photography by Max Kelly Y ou may be enchanted by the coastal colors and tropical style of this beachfront oasis, but it’s guaranteed you’ll be immediately drawm to the breathtaking views of sand and surf that create a 180-degree living work of art across the front of the aptly named “Sea Forever.” Yes, you can see forever. And you’ll want to see more. That stunning Gulf setting was, of course, one of the primary reasons the Chicago-based owners John and Fran wanted to purchase this Boca Grande beauty. They had considered Naples, but preferred the “laid back Florida lifestyle” and that “old Florida” feel of Boca Grande. “One of the things we loved about the way the house is (situated on the lot) is that when you look out…you see no neighbors at all,” John said. Not to mention there’s a protected natural area next door that offers a pleasant green landscape. Most importantly, they saw a “sign.” One of the original works of art displayed in the home was a sailboats-on-the-water painting similar to one they had back home in Chicago. And it was by the same artist! “We said ‘This was meant to be!’” Fran explained. “We would only purchase the home if we could purchase the painting, too.” Turns out the previous owner was retiring from the island and was happy to relocate with a clean slate. She sold it completely furnished, even including dishes, towels, linens – and the painting. The interior at that time was somewhat dark and not as spacious as the new owners wanted. It was time to re-imagine and renovate. John and Fran hooked up with well-known, Illinois-based architect Paul Konstant. He has worked on numerous projects on Boca Grande and has his own residence there. Konstant and his assistants “enjoy the challenge of modifying an existing structure to fit the needs of the client.” John said Konstant is kind of an iconoclastic guy, “a real artist.” Next, they brought local contractor David Benner, owner of Safety Harbor Builders, onboard. They built this home originally, in the early 90s. “It’s kind of fun to come back and take something to a new level,” Benner commented. Renowned and experienced designer Cindy Macfarland had assisted John and Fran with designing their Chicago residence. “They asked if I could join the team,” Macfarland said. ³ 44 | H ARBOR STYLE

Sea Forever

Carol Bruyere

STUNNING INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SPACES BRING THE OUTSIDE IN AT THIS BREATHTAKING, BEACH-FRONT BOCA GRANDE OASIS.

You may be enchanted by the coastal colors and tropical style of this beachfront oasis, but it’s guaranteed you’ll be immediately drawm to the breathtaking views of sand and surf that create a 180-degree living work of art across the front of the aptly named “Sea Forever.” Yes, you can see forever. And you’ll want to see more.

That stunning Gulf setting was, of course, one of the primary reasons the Chicago-based owners John and Fran wanted to purchase this Boca Grande beauty. They had considered Naples, but preferred the “laid back Florida lifestyle” and that “old Florida” feel of Boca Grande. “One of the things we loved about the way the house is (situated on the lot) is that when you look out…you see no neighbors at all,” John said. Not to mention there’s a protected natural area next door that offers a pleasant green landscape.

Most importantly, they saw a “sign.” One of the original works of art displayed in the home was a sailboats-on-the-water painting similar to one they had back home in Chicago. And it was by the same artist! “We said ‘This was meant to be!’” Fran explained. “We would only purchase the home if we could purchase the painting, too.” Turns out the previous owner was retiring from the island and was happy to relocate with a clean slate. She sold it completely furnished, even including dishes, towels, linens – and the painting.

The interior at that time was somewhat dark and not as spacious as the new owners wanted. It was time to re-imagine and renovate.

John and Fran hooked up with well-known, Illinois-based architect Paul Konstant. He has worked on numerous projects on Boca Grande and has his own residence there. Konstant and his assistants “enjoy the challenge of modifying an existing structure to fit the needs of the client.” John said Konstant is kind of an iconoclastic guy, “a real artist.”

Next, they brought local contractor David Benner, owner of Safety Harbor Builders, onboard. They built this home originally, in the early 90s. “It’s kind of fun to come back and take something to a new level,” Benner commented.

Renowned and experienced designer Cindy Macfarland had assisted John and Fran with designing their Chicago residence. “They asked if I could join the team,” Macfarland said.

Macfarland works on design projects across the country and overseas from her Illinois office and her part-time Southwest Florida home. She’s been in the interior design business for 25 years and has done lots of work in the area. “I’m so spoiled working with Safety Harbor. They never say ‘can’t do it.’ They have great vision. It takes creative help when you’re doing a rehab.”

Macfarland takes pride in her dedication to understanding her client’s needs and style preferences even before she begins her design ideas and concepts. John commented that he and Fran are both strong willed. “Cindy was in the middle of discussions. She did a really good job of bringing us together.”

“This project took great advantage of the site,” Benner said. Additional top floor living space and outdoor balconies, plus entrance and access modifications, required some complex structural changes, but, he said, “The owner was willing to do whatever was necessary to make it great.”

John said the contractors and the finish carpenters were “up to the job the architect had designed.” Fran added “We loved working with Safety Harbor and their subcontractors. They were so easy to work with. They were unparalleled.”

Some additional inspiration and assistance came from June Amara, I.D.S., of Creative Window Treatments Design & Décor of Punta Gorda and Englewood. Both owners felt she did a wonderful job of helping them with window treatments and re-upholstery projects. “The quality of her work couldn’t be better,” Fran said. “She’s knowledgeable and gave us great advice.”

John added, “She’s a good listener, but has a very good way of telling you if (your choices) won’t work. We loved her creativity.” John and Fran’s most important design wish? To develop a casual yet elegant feeling while keeping it comfortable and open to the fresh air. They wanted to accommodate lots of visiting family and friends by creating more indoor and outdoor living space and overnight accommodations.

Originally, the bright yellow exterior featured stately white columns supporting a front porch and a second floor entry. An outdoor staircase provided access to the living quarters. Now, foxtail palms shade the glass-enclosed ground-level entrance to the bright white structure. Macfarland thanks landscaper Jesus from Galvan Bros. For making the outdoors inviting.

Project manager Randy Luciano (who designer Macfarland called “my hero”) and master carpenter Larry Shelton (who participated in the original construction) not only incorporated their structural expertise, they were instrumental in implementing some very creative design elements throughout the home.

Major remodel projects can be a challenge, and even though there were some surprises and great unexpected finds, John and Fran said they have enjoyed the journey. “It was a lot of fun to do this,” John commented. They truly appreciate all the assistance from talented and highly qualified designers, specialists, and contractors, as well as artists and artisans.

There are definitely many beautiful interior and exterior areas at Sea Forever. Fran loves them all. “Even when we’re inside we feel like we’re outside,” she said, adding, “When you open the doors to the beach and pull up screens and see (that view), we are in paradise. There’s no better place in the world.”

An oversized painting the owners found in a Naples art gallery sets the tone for the interior décor. Award-winning artist Christopher Still depicted the natural beauty of outdoor Florida in a swamp setting for this artistic centerpiece of the main living area. Macfarland said the colors used in the painting inspired the color palette for the entire home. “We wanted the interior to flow to the water,” she said, “with seafoamy colors of the Gulf and weathered walnut, oak and washed cypress finishes.”

The architect loves white and its minimalist effect, Macfarland said, and has incorporated more outstanding detailed millwork than you might normally see. She added, “It’s a blending of his great eye and what we wanted.”

White coffered ceilings with painted white cypress panels add some additional architectural details. Washed oak engineered wood floors add warmth to the great room, kitchen and dining areas, as well as some of the bedrooms. “They have a light feeling we wanted, but still (add) wood,” Macfarland explained.

In the more casual area of the Great Room, a soft natural beigetone area rug anchors the comfortable seating area, giving you that toes-in-the-sand feeling.

Here, guests can relax on the cushy sectional sofa and watch television, or enjoy chatting with others perched on neutral-colored plaid swivel chairs or a rattan club chair with warm-toned geometricpatterned upholstery. An iron and wood coffee table by artisan Paul Ferrante, who also designed several of the home’s chandeliers and sconces, displays a quirky fish sculpture, while an antique wood trunk, a multi-drawer wood side piece and a louvered-door wood console provide storage and homes for lighting and colorful accessories. Woven-wood roll-up blinds add some texture.

A slightly more formal seating area, designed for entertaining, includes two matching neutral sofas, two upholstered club chairs and large tufted ottoman. The furniture pieces are centered round a custom glass-topped iron coffee table, atop a woven needlepoint Lee Jofa oriental area rug. Oh, and did you notice the beachfront view?

Architect Konstant’s favorite aspect of the home is that the glass doors all open up to the Southwest Gulf view. “The property is all about celebrating the outside…and bringing the outside in.”

New Age bronze drapery rods with beige, brown and green leaf-and-fern-patterned panels soften the expansive window wall. Soft and fluffy throw pillows bring the drapery fabric “down to earth” alongside some colorful striped pillows.

Another artisan’s touch is a custom walnut buffet, designed by Joanne Westwater and crafted by her employer, Mike Bell, Inc. On display above this dynamic piece is the sailboat painting that “sealed the deal.”

Step onto the balcony to access a casual conversation area, a chaise lounge nap space, or an outdoor dining area where you can tip a toast to your hosts and prepare to watch a stunning sunset on the shore.

Sturdy weather-resistant outdoor furnishings, from Carl’s Patio Furniture in Sarasota, blend in perfectly with the sandy shore and aqua surf colors. “When doing the outdoor furniture we were having trouble finding a table for the outside deck,” Fran said, adding that master carpenter Larry Shelton made the durable teak table. “He did a beautiful job.”

Overlooking the seating area (and of course the beach) is an open kitchen, with lots of classic white cabinets and drawers, as well as white camouflage doors to disguise the refrigerator. Sea mist quartzite countertops and backsplashes, with light grey swirl effects that mimic Carrara marble, give the preparation areas and island sink area an elegant, but subtle, classic finish that’s easy to maintain. Two metal, cone-shaped, Ferrante-designed light fixtures above the island add some extra warmth and ambiance.

In front of the kitchen island, a small traditional wood table and rattan/wicker chairs offer an intimate casual dining space for two.

A row of lighted see-through glass display cabinets top out an open-air serving buffet, made of milled washed-cypress cabinets with quartzite countertop, which separates the kitchen from the formal dining area.

Simple but comfortable woven-rattan chairs surround a warm wooden dining table topped with coral, starfish and shell accents and set to serve eight smiling guests. Did you notice the long iron “candelabra” chandelier over the dining table? It’s another Ferrante creation.

Conveniently attached to the dining area is an onyx-topped bar area with wine, liquor and glassware storage.

Real R&R time can be spent in the rooftop spa or on the beach. Grab a towel from the large storage cabinet, because an outdoor shower presents the perfect opportunity to wash away the sand and cool off before coming back indoors to enjoy the “game room.”

This large area, with a herringbone pattern coral stone tile floor and linen-texture vinyl wallcoverings from Inspirations, is home to some framed antique swimsuits and a large model sailboat sculpture that has always been anchored in this home. John explained that the previous owner’s husband had made this artistic creation and master carpenter Shelton carefully researched that craftsman’s inspiration from an early 1900s racing boat so he could restore it properly.

Competitors can get their card game on at the round wood table, surrounded by rattan chairs from the original dining area that have been re-upholstered with a checkered fabric. Card games or casual meals are illuminated by artist Ferrante’s swirled-leaf iron light fixture.

Or maybe they’ll challenge each other to a game of “stand up shuffle board.” When visiting Grand Rapids, Mich., John and Fran stopped by the company that makes these games from all Michigan hardwood. Since John and Fran have young grandchildren, they thought the kids would enjoy this simple game. And they are.

Two aqua plaid sofas invite you to relax. One is new and one is a re-upholstered piece from the original furnishings, as are the two solidcolor soft aqua club chairs and the diamondpatterned ottoman. Soft brown and blue throw pillows repeat the pattern of the roomsoftening draperies. A hand-knotted area rug from Lee Jofa’s Pakistan “Eastern Collection” has subtle patterns and colors that help anchor the space and absorb echoes of laughter and the game winner’s shouts of success.

Sunlight and recessed ceiling lights can brighten the entire space, but two custom iron and glass end tables by Ferrante allow the addition of ambient lamp lighting. “These tables were fun since we got to choose the critters we wanted on the top posts of the legs!” Macfarland said.

The third floor addition not only expanded the usable indoor square footage, but allowed John to add his own dedicated office space – naturally his favorite room in the house!

Macfarland calls it “the Ernest Hemingway room” since the rich-toned grade 3 pecky cypress is something the famous author had in his home. Her inspiration for the space came from the Field Country Club, former residence of retail magnate Marshall Field and his wife.

The wood-paneled walls, built-in bookcase/storage areas and a vaulted wood ceiling with multiple wood support beams create what Macfarland calls a warm and cozy “cognac and cigar” feeling. And, of course, the unusual expansive dual views of the Gulf and the bay add to the appeal.

His custom-designed walnut desk is another handmade Mike Bell creation. And the unusual desktop? “It was kind of an accident,” John said. “We were in Sarasota looking at slabs of stone (at European Marble). All of them were very beautiful. I happened to see it and thought, ‘This would be a fabulous top to a desk.’ We bought the top right away.” It’s a charcoal-toned piece of fossil stone that definitely adds to the old Florida historical look and creates a conversation piece.

Indoor seating includes simple, contemporary camel-tone upholstered swivel chairs and a contemporary glass top coffee table on a water-colored area rug. Neutral draperies and woven-wood shades can block out afternoon sun.

“John wanted to enjoy this room with the kids,” Macfarland said “And it was his idea to add the propeller ceiling fans.”

When they are looking for a tranquil retreat after entertaining or participating in their favorite outdoor activities, John and Fran can escape to their master suite. Just in case the waterfront views and lush greenery outdoors aren’t enough, the gorgeous paintings above the bed and dresser can take them away to a peaceful place on the water.

Simple but elegant dark walnut, custom-designed furnishings and two-tone walnut dresser that were conceived and constructed by David Iatesta create a solid base for the light and airy room. “He will do anything,” Macfarland said.

The “French white” paint color Macfarland selected has a hint of blue and “adjusts itself to reflect surrounding colors.”

White fabric, swimming with aqua-colored fish, adds a whimsical element to the room’s draperies and accent pillows. Plus a pale aqua, geometrically-patterned custom Stark area rug, designed to mimic the architect’s ceiling detail design, warms up the engineered wood floor. Corner spots are reserved for two small, skirted grey armchairs and a matching ottoman.

Recycled elements top off the bedroom’s decor. The “cigarette” table is topped by an antique brass-framed ship’s porthole window that had been left in the home, and classic oriental vases were morphed into bedside lamps.

Another eye-catching slab of fossil-stone decorates the wall above the white oval soaking tub in the master bath. The homeowners can soak in the tub and sip a glass of wine while viewing history on one side, beachfront on the other or a wall-mounted television on the back wall.

Fran loves her special wooden makeup vanity, which she explained was designed by the architect and handmade by Shelton, their master carpenter. That table, a spacious white dual-sink vanity with lots of storage and the curved bathtub “ledge” are topped with the same onyx that finishes off the shower walls and seat. Coral stone floors, two white-framed mirrors with sidelight white glass sconces, plantation shutters and some beautiful orchids from Gina Victor at Blue Pagoda add some pizzazz to this practical space.

Overnight guests and family members have five different options for catching some ZZZs, depending on their needs and personal taste. While all have access to attached bathrooms with glass-enclosed walk-in showers and stone-top vanities, the furnishings, finishes and views in each bedroom are very different.

One choice offers leaf-patterned deep aqua and beige fabric, coral stone floors and a stunning decorative wall mirror framed in flowers crafted from shells. Or perhaps you’d rather be surrounded by soothing light aqua painted walls, dramatic deep aqua upholstered wicker chair and leafprinted fabric accents.

In another room, aqua and blue watercolor fabrics and artwork bring in natural elements and add some bright magenta accents to a peaceful setting, with bamboo, wicker, wood, metal and glass furnishings and accents creating a timeless feel. Yet another nighttime shelter is light and bright, combining soft aqua walls and light floors with a touch of green, tan and aqua fern-leaf patterned fabric and art.

Or step back in time with antique-style furnishings, including an historic card file cabinet/secretary’s desk and some unique 3-D wood model row boat artwork. Blue and green floral fabrics and more orchids add that natural element.

Whatever their needs or desires, John and Fran have plenty of space to accommodate their blended family and many friends.

Simple but comfortable woven-rattan chairs surround a warm wooden dining table topped with coral, starfish and shell accents.

Grab a towel from the large storage cabinet, because an outdoor shower presents the perfect opportunity to wash away the sand and cool off before coming back indoors.

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Sea+Forever/2851493/430262/article.html.

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