Contemporary Lakefront Charm in Windermere

This traditional lakefront residence in Windermere debuts a contemporary new look with a fresh aesthetic but remains true to its Mediterranean roots


When Joe and Kim Russo began shopping for their dream home, they didn’t have to look too far. They were very enamored of their waterfront property on Lake Tibet in Windermere, Fla., and ultimately decided to renovate the existing Mediterranean-style residence. “The homeowners had raised their family there and loved everything about it,” says interior designer Brianna Sheehan, whose youthful aesthetic and exuberance immediately appealed to the couple. “It just made sense to make significant changes to what Joe and Kim already owned,” the designer says.

Architect Terry Irwin and builder John Taylor came on board to help redesign the dark, heavily ornamented house in favor of a lighter, clean-lined transitional style that would also remain true to its Mediterranean roots. “We touched everything inside and out,” says Sheehan of the reimagined 7,270-square-foot home.

Inside, Peruvian travertine tile flooring, dark-stained wood baseboards and hand-troweled off-white walls lend contrast. But it’s the ceiling details that add organic warmth and spatial definition to the home’s flowing rooms that connect by archways. “I wanted to accent all that lightness with rich contrasting materials,” Sheehan says.

“With that in mind, I specified reclaimed wood beams for the great room, kitchen and master bedroom.”

The great room is intimately arranged with a custom, U-shape gray velvet-clad sectional from Verellen topped with multiple accent pillows. Beyond in the breakfast nook, six scoop-armed leather chairs circle a white oak-topped table that is perfect for casual dining when it’s just the Russos and their four adult children.

“Texture is my palette,” says Sheehan of her sophisticated approach to decor. “I tend to design more with texture and less with color.” Nowhere is this approach more apparent than in the kitchen, where the use of raised-panel cabinetry, antique bronze pulls, a custom copper hood and Old World marble countertops lend a Tuscan vibe. A pendant in mercury glass hovers above the island, while four woven metal pendants illuminate the breakfast bar. “I love these barstools with their unfinished leather edges — the raw detail warms things up and adds softness to the kitchen’s hard finishes,” the designer says.

A softer feel continues in the master bedroom suite. A deep color palette of warm taupe and woodland green blends with a mix of luxurious fabrics such as cut velvet, silk and wool. The four-poster bed visually balances a pair of mirrored fretwork armoires on the opposite wall while adding a reflective quality to the space. “My aim here was to create a retreat-like feel, a special getaway from the rest of the home,” Sheehan says.

This resort-like feel is also captured in a large lanai with stunning lakefront views. The dining area’s custom teak table is reclaimed from a 100-year-old antique bridge and is lined with woven fiber chairs. “The space works for both intimate gatherings and larger groups,” the designer says.

“As a younger designer, I find age either works for you or against you. It definitely worked here,” Sheehan says. “The Russos are young-at-heart and they trusted my aesthetic 100 percent.”

Story Credits:
Interior design Brianna M. Sheehan, Brianna Michelle Interior Design, Winter Park, FL
Architecture Terry Irwin, Terry Irwin Architects, Windermere, FL
Builder John Taylor, Jetco Construction, Inc., Orlando, FL
Landscape architecture Scott Redmon, Redmon Design Company, Maitland, FL
Text Charlotte Safavi | Photography Stephen Allen, Winter Park, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Pool and Patio Area
Pool – Custom designed by Redmon Design Company, Maitland, FL
Fabricated by Artistic Pool Design, Inc., Orlando, FL
Lounge chairs and umbrellas – Janus et Cie, West Hollywood, CA
Decking – Stone Tile Direct,
Orlando, FL
Great Room
Sofas and light accent pillow fabric – Verellen, High Point, NC
Sofa table and cocktail table – CFC,
Los Angeles, CA
Lamp – Arteriors, Carrollton, TX
Area rug – Carpet Source of Winter Park,
Winter Park, FL
Breakfast Nook
Table – Robert James Collection,
Chula Vista, CA
Chairs – Verellen, High Point, NC
Fabric – Moore & Giles, Forest, VA
Pendant – Savoy House, Ferguson Bath,
Kitchen & Lighting Gallery,
Orlando, FL
Artwork – Axiom Fine Art, Winter Park, FL
Cabinetry – Monarch Kitchen & Bath,
Orlando, FL
Countertops and backsplash – Mystic
Granite & Marble, Orlando, FL
Hood fabricated by Dandy Fabrications, Orlando, FL
Barstools – Verellen, High Point, NC
Pendants – Currey & Company,
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Orlando, FL
Master Bedroom
Bed, bedside tables, armchairs, armoires, bench and console – Hickory Chair,
Hickory, NC
Cocktail ottoman – Oly, New York, NY
Cocktail ottoman fabric – Mark Alexander, Romo, Chagrin Falls, OH
Accent table – Bernhardt,
Lenoir, NC
Lamp – Arteriors, Carrollton, TX
Artwork – Axiom Fine Art,
Winter Park, FL
Chandelier – Kalco, Ferguson Bath,
Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Orlando, FL
Area rug – Carpet Source of Winter Park,
Winter Park, FL
Flooring – Britannia Flooring, Winter Park, FL
Dining table – Texture Imports,
High Point, NC
Dining chairs, barstools, armchairs and
cocktail table – Janus et Cie,
West Hollywood, CA
Bar front and firepit – Custom designed by Harwood Brick, Longwood, FL
Hood fabricated by Dandy Fabrications, Orlando, FL
Bar, hoods and ceiling treatments – Custom designed by Brianna Michelle Interior Design, Winter Park, FL
Flooring – Trinity Surfaces, Winter Park, FL

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