Cherishing wonderful childhood memories of Sanibel Island, Canadian resident and owner Erica Eidt wanted to give her three children, Preston, Gracey and Parker, the opportunity to make their own memories of living on the Gulf of Mexico. So last year, she and her husband, Craig Smith, bought a sixth-floor unit in the Westgate Condominium in Naples. “I wanted my kids to see manatees, stingrays and dolphins,” Eidt says. “This is our winter retreat, our getaway from the hockey rink – all three of my kids play travel hockey. It’s non-stop.”
In a 1970s-era building with its Y-shaped configuration, this white-box 3,000-square-foot condo embraces spectacular sky and water views. To renovate and reconfigure it with an open floor plan, the couple commissioned builder Parker Borelli; and to style it like a beach bungalow, they brought interior designer Sally Richardson on board. “Erica and Craig did everything 100 percent, taking finishes to another level,” Borelli says. “I would say it now has a very coastal style, and since it’s right on the beach with windows all around, it feels like being on a cruise ship.”
An easy, relaxed interior scheme begins in the living area, where crisp white millwork and walls with a hint of a watery blue-gray hue wrap the space in seaside comfort. Here, Richardson chose sofas slipcovered in white washable linen topped with pillows that mix Manual Canovas’ bright-blue textured fabric with Kravet’s bold tie-dye accents.
The coastal vibe continues in the kitchen, where bright white cabinetry lines the walls and frames a picturesque view of the aqua blue waters beyond. For a touch of elegance, Richardson chose arabesque white thassos marble tiles accented with mother-of-pearl to style the backsplash. “The island countertop is a leathered blue calcite that recalls the water and the waves,” the designer says. Nearby, natural elements combine as a raffia-wrapped chandelier casts a warm glow around the casual dining area set with woven rattan “Riviera” chairs.
In the master bedroom, a retreat bathed in blue and white, the tufted, textured-linen upholstered bed is dressed in cool white linens. “We wanted soft and washable, perfect to climb into after a day at the beach,” Richardson says. A deep-seated lounge chair and ottoman, slipcovered in a soft blue-gray blend, and the “Mariana” floor lamp styled with stacked silver spheres tuck casually into a corner sitting area.
A hand-carved mermaid presides over a full balcony, where friends and family gather to relax and enjoy impromptu meals. “Strategically placed seating allows the family to watch sunsets, passing sail boats and the occasional manatee,” Richardson says. A breath of fresh air, the couple’s condominium appears to float above water with the Gulf breeze, the sound of waves, and the seagulls as they fly by and swoop down to nab a fish. “It’s a magical space … the perfect beach retreat for our family,” Eidt says.