A Contemporary Naples Home Remains One With Nature

A Two-Year Project Culminates In A Sleek And Livable One-Story Contemporary Home Built To Remain One With Nature


From the outside, the soaring residence in exclusive Aqualane Shores, near downtown Naples, Fla., could be a contemporary two or three-story head-turner. In a neighborhood of traditional structures, only one or two have embraced the geometry of white rectangles. But the balanced scale and proportioned symmetry have allowed it to tastefully bring the future to bear.

And inside, it is indeed stunning. Arranged on one convenient level, its 10,300 square feet of under-roof living is designed for someone who will stay a long time or someone whose access to water is paramount. Interior designer Tara Bates and her husband, developer James Bates, helped their client from the razing of an existing house to the completion of this Florida-modern residence two years later. Personalized touches like an option to install an automotive lift in a bay of its three-car garage, and innovative construction which extends the back deck out and over a spring-fed lake are but a few of the unique elements in a home that is about convenience, love of art and a deep affection for nature.

“Designing a contemporary residence with white as the predominant backdrop is not the challenge it may seem — in fact, I find minimalist projects calming,” Tara says. “With spare design and decor, the details become all important. Textures and finishes stand out.” The attention to balance and decorative character becomes immediately evident from the front door faced with textured Italian porcelain tiles from Oikos Synva and entry flooring of volcanic limestone by Walker Zanger that continues through to the main social spaces.

Bates divided the main living area into two conversation groupings, one focused around the fireplace, the other facing the deck and sparkling fountain that erupts from the lake beyond. With 30-foot-high ceilings edged with clearstory windows, light floods onto low-profile sofas covered in a flecked ecru weave. A teak cocktail table sets a casual tone, while “Egg Chairs” in a wool flannel add an ergonomic touch. Beyond the sofa table and brilliant blue vase, four white armchairs covered in soft Elmo leather shape another comfortable grouping.

Balance reigns in the kitchen and dining area that combine spare lines with an explosion of color. Sleek Poggenpohl cabinetry wraps the kitchen in soft gray beach-like hues, while molded island stools provide comfortable perches for kitchen helpers. “I like everything to be hidden … no clutter,” says the designer in reference to the streamlined space.

Without interrupting kitchen conversation, a glass-topped dining table and pearl-colored chairs sit mere steps away. Tara introduced an explosion of color along the gallery-like hallway overlooking the lake. The vivid lithographs from Art Gallery Modern merit more than a perfunctory glance with their abstract complexity.

The master suite, seemingly spare, is an example of efficient design. A “floor chaise” is clad in a tight houndstooth topped with soft leather-covered cushions. A streamlined bed with its Lucite support appears to float from gray wrap-around leather that morphs into delicate bedside stands. At night, for whimsy and convenience, the under parts of the bed are illuminated, emphasizing a dreamy, air-borne illusion.

Both the master and the guest suites have baths streamlined in white. With floating vanities and textured tile wall coverings from Porcelanosa, the true integrity of artisan-crafted construction is vital. Amid the suggestion of waves, the monochromatic bath becomes a sensual space when textures are carefully curated.

In the guest suite, Tara boldly  introduces a brilliant, but unsigned work from Art Gallery Modern depicting a tropical island replete with sailboats and sunbathers in gaudy suits. Another suspended bed sports perky blue accent pillows from Clive Daniel Home.

Outside, a 50-foot-long lap pool caches a sunken spa at one end, both lined in shimmering glass tiles. “The swimming pool is remarkable,” Tara says. But the property’s focus on water doesn’t stop there … it extends beyond. “The owner wanted to feel that the house was a part of the surrounding nature and the lake itself.” In order to do that, 248 pilings were driven to support the cantilevered structure that extends out and over the water. A glass balustrade makes sure the view with its fountain and the bespoke arrangement of specially chosen trees is never impeded. The end result: convenience, fantasy, and elegant living.

Story Credits:

Interior Design

Tara Bates, Lime International Decor, Naples, FL


James and Tara Bates, Lime International Development, Naples, FL


Gerald J. Yurk, Architecture Artistica, Inc., Fort Myers, FL


Pat Masters, Old Naples Builders, Naples, FL

Landscape Architecture

Daniel R. Isaacson, Isaacson Landscape Architecture Group, Naples, FL


Blaine Johnathan, Naples, FL

Text By

Marina Brown

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Front Exterior

Front door – OIKOS Synua, Richlin Interiors, MDC, Estero, FL

Square lights – Bega, Carpinteria, CA

Living Area

Sofas, Egg chairs, cocktail table, armchairs and floor lamps – Ligne Roset, Naples, FL

Accent table – Roche Bobois, Aventura, FL

White planters – Silk Tree & Co., Naples, FL

Fireplace – Hot Concepts Fireplaces, Naples, FL

Area rug – Kravet, Naples, FL

Dining Area

Dining table and chairs – Ligne Roset, Naples, FL

Centerpiece – Owner’s Collection

Light pendants – Rotalina, VIBIA Lighting, Edison, NJ


Artwork at end of hallway – Clive Daniel Home, Naples, FL


Cabinetry and island – Poggenpohl, MDC, Estero, FL

Countertops – Stone Express, Naples, FL

Double ovens – Miele, Mullet’s Appliances, Naples, FL

Barstools – Ligne Roset, Naples, FL

Blue glassware – Saint Tropez Home, Naples, FL

Blue sculpture – Clive Daniel Home, Naples, FL

Master Suite

Bed – Casa Italia, MDC, Estero, FL

Yellow accent pillows and stainless steel spheres – Clive Daniel Home, Naples, FL

Chaise – Ligne Roset, Naples, FL

Area rug – Roche Bobois, Aventura, FL

Master Bath

Vanity – Poggenpohl, MDC, Estero, FL

Linear light fixtures – Eureka, Montreal, QC

Mirrors – Porcelanosa USA, Miami, FL

Guest Suite

Bed, bedside tables and cabinetry – Casa Italia, MDC, Estero, FL

Accent pillows – Clive Daniel Home, Naples, FL

Blue glass on cabinetry – West Elm, Estero, FL

Area rug – Kravet, Naples, FL

Guest Bath

Tub, mirrors and wall covering – Porcelanosa USA, Miami, FL

Vanity – Poggenpohl, MDC, Estero, FL

Linier light fixtures – Eureka, Montreal, QC

Faucets – Graff, Richlin Interiors, MDC, Estero, FL

Blue vases – West Elm, Estero, FL

Lanai/Pool Area

Pool – Cabana Pools of SW Florida, Inc.,

Fort Myers, FL

Wood deck – Resysta, Chino, CA

Fabricated by Old Naples Builders, Naples, FL

Chaise lounges and armchairs – Casa Italia, MDC, Estero, FL

Accent tables – Jardin de Ville, MDC, Estero, FL

Umbrellas – Tuuci, Jardin de Ville, MDC, Estero, FL


Artwork – Art Gallery Modern,

West Palm Beach, FL

Windows and doors – WinDor, Orlando, FL;  Kawneer, Norcross, GA; and LaCantina Doors, Oceanside, CA

Flooring – Walker Zanger, Model Tile & Marble, Inc., Naples, FL u



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