Harbor Style Harbor Style Sept 2017 : Page 74


Cozy, Casual & Fun

Carol Bruyere

John and Lori Kellen's newly built home echoes their unique personalities and fun-loving nature.

"We absolutely love it!"

That’s the enthusiastic and smiling response John and Lori Kellen give when asked how they feel about their new home and the Punta Gorda community they’ve become a part of.

It’s easy to understand why. Their stunning, three-bedroom, three-bath home on a canal-front setting in Burnt Store Isles is beautiful, comfortable and the perfect location for a couple that enjoys boating and fishing.

Originally from a small town 100 miles from Chicago, Ill., the Kellens started coming to Southwest Florida to enjoy vacations at their Cape Coral condominium. When they both finally retired, they searched for a single-family residence in that same area, but couldn’t find one that made them happy.

Some friends suggested they check out Punta Gorda.

They didn’t want an older home that required renovations, but “I swore I would never build another new house again.” Well, never say “never,” right?

Realtor Kathi Melcher, of Keller Williams Peace River Partners, helped the Kellens pick out a lot that satisfied their needs. Lori wanted a Southern exposure for their lanai, and John, of course, wanted that harbor access for his boat. Burnt Store Isles fit the bill.

After finding the lot, Melcher, now a good friend of the Kellens, introduced them to a few local homebuilders. They looked at various models and plans. When Carlton Hughes of Green Coast Homes came back with suggestions to re-design one of their favorite floor plans to fit their needs, they realized they’d found the perfect contractor.

Green Coast typically builds 10-12 new homes in Charlotte County every year, including some LEED-certified “green” homes. This one, Hughes said, is not certified, but is much more efficient than most. “Our homes are built to a higher standard from the beginning,” Hughes said.

The superior craftsmanship and attention to detail in Green Coast’s construction were especially attractive to John, since he was an engineer for most of his career.

Though Lori did a lot of the design “work” herself, Hughes recommended some design detail assistance, Just Counters and Other Stuff from Port Charlotte and their accredited construction design consultant, Miranda Fields.

“They’re full-service,” Hughes said, “with the ability to customize whatever our clients need and meet their high-end needs. We (always) assemble a team that’s right for each client.”

A circular brick-paver driveway sets the tone for the warm neutral exterior. Deep brown roof tiles and doors to the three-car garage offer an attractive contrast, as does the ivory trim. Arched and round windows repeat the classic look of the elegant archway that invites you to enter the front door.

John and Lori wanted their new home to be like a vacation home, but not “too much.”

“It’s a comfortable home. We don’t want it to be fancy,” Lori said. “We’re flip-flop and swimsuit people.”

Green Coast Homes’ website says part of their mission is to “encourage … unwavering client satisfaction.” Hughes feels they’ve accomplished that with three important elements – the quality of construction and green features; lower insurance and energy bills than a comparable house of the same square footage; and the level of interior finishes that give it a higher-end look.

No wonder the Kellens love their home!

Walk in the Kellen home and you’ll immediately enjoy the simple, wide open living space.

Fields helped the Kellens select the neutral gray and brown color scheme and the rich, trending porcelain weathered-wood-plank tile flooring that continues throughout the home. “The combination of warm (neutral tones) with the bright white throughout this home compliments the contemporary twist on this otherwise classic coastal style,” she said.

When it came time to consider furniture selections, “We sold just about everything we had,” John said. Sydney Sorenson, a design consultant from Ethan Allen in Estero, helped them measure and draw plans to make sure their new furniture would fit.

“They give you (multiple) options, but they’re very good about guiding you,” Lori said.

The spacious entry is home to a carved seahorse sculpture, perched on a weathered wood and iron-based, four-drawer cabinet under a whitewashed three-dimensional framed mirror.

From there, you’re welcomed into the Great Room – phase I of the design plan, they said.

Fields feels an open floor plan with tall ceilings and abundant natural light defines the space. Eleven-foot-high coffered ceilings over the seating area are painted a deep grayed brown and surrounded by white beams.

Rich brown-toned walls, that match the coffered ceilings, surround a bright white painted built-in bookcase wall. Cabinets and shelving on each side feature some of Lori’s shell and coral collection, plus some metal and turquoise accessories that add a touch of color and bling. Lori wanted to incorporate a “beachy look” throughout their home.

John and Lori can relax on the soft brown contemporary sofa while watching TV, carrying on conversations or taking a nap with the extra comfort of the fun blue and white octopus and brown and white coral-patterned pillows.

Round end tables bring white accents to the center of the room and show off the matching glass-jug lamps with woven burlap shades. A rich blue area rug anchors the sofa and three comfortable brown and white upholstered armchairs. Lori was delightfully surprised the design team was able to add that much seating in what she thought was going to be a very small space. A sturdy modern wood-plank coffee table with an iron base is the perfect place to set snacks and a drink.

Fields said her favorite space in the home is this large, comfortable room that’s used for multiple purposes. “It’s very grand and impressive, yet there is a coziness to the space…the casual warmth they were looking to achieve.”

The spacious kitchen is part of that wideopen floor plan, but John explained it’s not like the kitchen shown in the original floor plan. The Kellens wanted to expand it to accommodate a lot of people when they entertain. “We re-did it, he said. Lori added, “Carlton didn’t say he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it.”

Lori also explained that they had some ideas of their own. “We took photos to (Fields)…If we didn’t like (something), she would say ‘okay, you don’t have to do that.’”

“John and Lori were a joy to work with... They had a vision, but were very receptive to my ideas, which made our collaboration a pleasure,” Fields said.

Most people would say this is a kitchen to die for. Beautiful and unique.

The back wall features light, washed-wood “Seagull Poplar” cabinets that provide a large pantry space, a detailed sculpted wood range hood centerpiece, and extra-high upper storage cupboards topped with glassfront lighted cabinets designed to show off some colorful glass and ceramic accessories.

Under-cabinet lighting not only provides some practical work-space illumination, but shows off the light tan stack-stone tile backsplash and the darker gray quartz countertop. “When the downlights are on, it adds dimension,” Lori said.

A large, curved-front island with dark “Gray Silas Hickory” cabinets that Fields suggested and a light Ocean Beige granite countertop offer dishwashing and drawermicrowave space, serving space for snacks (like Lori’s homemade cookies!) And casual dining space for guests perched on blue and white upholstered barstools. Two jawdropping “graduated pendant” hanging fixtures, with round clear glass globes, light up the island area.

They re-did the dining room design as well. “I saw these bookcases in a magazine and said ‘This is what I want,’” John explained. Fields designed them. “The Kellen’s unique design personality is spotlighted throughout their home,” she explained.

The rich wood cabinetry offers a perfect place for wine storage as well as lots of drawers and cupboards for serving pieces, glassware and china. The same granite countertop that tops the island gives a perfect “happy hour” serving space and support for upper glass-door lighted cabinets and drawers.

Lori added the abstract painting to bring in “some needed color.”

Lori said one of the hardest things to decide on was light fixtures. “That was an issue. We pretty much picked them out ourselves.” They saw the dynamic iron dining room chandelier online and ordered it from a smalltown custom lighting manufacturer in Georgia.

The light wood-topped rectangular dining table could easily accommodate 10 when extra guests are attending, but six neutral textured-upholstery modern chairs have a permanent place at the table.

Design phase II was the octagon-shaped den, located to the right of the Great Room. “It’s a nice cozy little room” Lori said. A television sits on a weathered white-painted cabinet. “We love that piece,” she added.

A light neutral sofa, white geometric-patterned area rug, light gray contemporary chairs, white-trimmed arched windows and white weathered contemporary lamps offer contrast to the darker gray walls, gray weathered wood and iron end tables, and the metal-topped wood-base coffee table.

The Master Suite and laundry room are on the opposite side of the Great Room. The bedroom’s simple Craftsmanstyle oak furnishings are some of their new home’s few elements with old memories. They brought it from their previous home. The antique cabinet that Lori transformed by hand-painting it black also gives her a fond thought of the past – it belonged to her Grandmother.

Soft gray and white paisley quilted bedding works perfectly with the washed gray tile floors and gray and white tray ceiling, while bedside lamps bring some dark accents that help balance the room.

Finishing the master bedroom is their next project. Lori has been searching for the perfect area rug to add some warmth and “tie it all together,” and John said they’re “in the process” of selecting some artwork to complete the space. Meanwhile, Lori’s “gotten some great exercise” collecting more shells to add to the décor in the master suite.

Enter the master bathroom and you’ll be jealous of the over-size walk-in shower. “John wanted a big shower, and he got a big shower!” Lori laughed.

Light natural stone-look wall tiles are set off by a mosaic tile floor and an accent strip of gray brick tiles. Lori said “We saw the brick tiles in a magazine.” They extended it onto a narrow wall next to the shower that backs up a towel storage and accessory display area that’s grounded by a dark wood storage drawer cabinet. They plan to add some glass shelving to that wall.

Luxurious dark cabinetry, topped by gray-tone granite tops with dual sinks, gives the couple lots of additional storage space. They continued the seaside theme with starfish and bottle-glass accents.

Next to the den you can access a dual-purpose guest room through a small hallway that features a unique piece of art, a vintage 1965 Silvertone guitar. It not only adds some bright color, it introduces you to one of John’s passions – playing the guitar!

Inside the guest room/“music room,” the light neutral décor comes alive with John’s interesting collection of colorful and dynamic floor and wall-mounted guitars as well as some stunning guitar-themed artwork. Some dark wood storage cabinets and end tables add to the drama.

Guests can sleep on the pull-out sofa bed whenever John’s not practicing. Usually, one of their grandchildren gets to sleep here. John quipped, “Whoever pulls the short straw!”

A second spacious guest suite is accessible from the canal side of the great room.

When the Kellens and their guests want to enjoy a less formal dinner party, they may go through the Great Room’s 10-foot high, impact-resistant glass doors to access a great outdoor kitchen/bar space John designed himself.

“Green Coast had an outdoor cabinet guy that built it, and I tiled it,” he said. “It has a fridge, a grill with a hood to control the smoke, a slidein gas tank storage and a multi-purpose sink that can be used as a beverage cooler since it’s covered and insulated.

A granite remnant the Kellens found tops the bar and lots of storage cabinets and drawers make it a really practical space. “We grill out a lot,” John said. “It’s a really good place to hang out. You can sit and talk when we have friends over.”

A rectangular teak outdoor dining table, with medium-brown outdoor wicker chairs, offers additional under-roof outdoor dining space.

The entire lanai area has a classic brick-paver floor. Due to space limitations, the pool is a bit smaller, but John and Lori feel that Nautilus Pools did a great job in making it attractive, adding two bowl-shaped fountains to create a soothing waterfall sound and soft automated colorchanging LED lighting.

The under-roof areas feature a warm-stained wood plank ceiling that Lori said they thought would make it look more like indoors. Dining and seating spaces feature brown patterned outdoor area rugs that add to that indoor ambiance.

A large seating area with outdoor wicker swivel rockers, a large sofa and teak tables offers another great space to entertain, chat, and watch TV. “One of my favorite things is watching ‘da Bears’ football games out here,” Lori commented.

John, Lori, and their brother-in-law Tom, did what they call “something a little different” when they built a gorgeous walled landscape bed between the lanai and the canal, to add vegetation and reduce lawn maintenance.

Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Cozy%2C+Casual+%26amp%3B+Fun/2851507/430262/article.html.

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