Contemporary Design Meets Gulf Coast Style In One Couple’s Art-Filled Home In Port Royal Punctuated With Serene Views Of Naples Bay
Renee Gaddis, Renee Gaddis Interiors, Naples, FL
Matt Steeves, Naples, FL
Matthew Kragh, MHK Architecture & Planning, Naples, FL
Mike Assaad, Waterside Builders, Inc., Naples, FL
Koby Kirwin, Exteriors by Koby Kirwin, Naples, FL
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Although the breathtaking Naples Bay set the stage for this couple’s dream home with a guesthouse in Port Royal, their main design objective was a serene backdrop to showcase their contemporary art collection. But the existing 3,987-square-foot main house was a modest Florida set of bones with a cottage look. “The house was enclosed and claustrophobic,” Naples-based architect Matthew Kragh says. “While the owners wanted to retain some of the Florida cottage look, they had dreams of a warm yet modern and eclectic home to display their art and host family dinner parties.”
Architecturally and design savvy, the homeowners were very involved in all phases of the project right from the start with the commission of Kragh and, in turn, builder Mike Assaad and his project manager Steve Selfridge, along with interior designer Renee Gaddis. A remodel is always difficult especially with the specific design goal for this project. “The husband and wife were very hands on and let me know that they have extensive contemporary art and vintage poster collections, and we needed to design around them,” Gaddis says. “So we chose soft white walls and custom, white-painted parquet flooring across most of the first level. Since we had to work with low ceilings, we maximized the lighting by using new LEDS with minimal depth.”
An artful, blue-shuttered mahogany front door opens to a spectacular curved stairway with its glass railing that comes alive through the dramatic use of lighting. The biggest challenge in designing this coastal, two-story seasonal space was transforming the old stairway that marred the view into a floating masterpiece that now opens the house to the bay. “It was difficult, but so worth the effort,” Kragh says. Off to the side, a spacious living area merges color and design with the couple’s splashy art collection. The clever use of blue and green hues taken from both large and small contemporary canvases picks up colors in the scattered accent pillows atop the soft chenille-clad sectional. “The blue-and-green canvases work together to give the illusion of height,” Gaddis says. “While the room was designed around the art, it was also very important for the lounging areas to be comfortable for when the couple’s adult children come to visit.”
In the dining area, a polished nickel light fixture twists and turns in sculptural complement to a large abstract canvas offering an exciting pop of green. The artsy pair becomes showstoppers against the floor-to-ceiling wall of glass that reveals stunning water views. The live-edge wood dining table with its acrylic base centers cobalt-blue velvet chairs to complete the space. “We selected bright and fun colors that were different,” Gaddis says. “We wanted a casual yet formal open space, where the living, dining and kitchen areas flow together with natural light.”
The commercially inspired chef’s kitchen is a favorite for both the husband and wife who love to cook. Although the area is slight, the cabinetry housing Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, and the sleek prep island are strategically laid out for convenience while the LED lights shimmer above the streamlined culinary space.
Taking on a feel all its own, the master bedroom radiates in the warmth of tropical wood. The custom bed, back and bedside chests are all one piece of fine teak flanked by hanging metal lamps. “We floated the bed in the center of the room to face the magnificent view of the swimming pool and the bay beyond,” Gaddis says. Stark’s light-beige wool carpet resting atop teak slab flooring pulls the idyllic scene together. “Teak is a unique look and pairs well with the Tabby Shell stucco finish with seashells embedded on the shower wall,” says the designer in reference to the master bath set with a slatted-teak bench to complete the chic island vibe.
The couple was steadfast in their desire to keep the low profile of the house so they could walk outside and admire the bay with ease. “This was an unusual and detail-oriented project with owners who are seasoned and used to working with architects and designers,” Kragh says. “Between the art and the gorgeous views along the axis down the waterway, the end result is spectacular.”