What better way to ensure your dream home, then to design it yourself? That was interior designer Wendy Berry’s task for her new Kalea Bay condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a contrasting juxtaposition for Berry, whose primary home in Ohio is in many ways the antithesis of this Naples dwelling in Florida. Perched on the 18th floor, the 3,800-square-foot home boasts unobstructed views of a narrow inlet with white sand beaches on either side. Sanibel is visible on a clear day and so is Wiggins Pass.
A true representation of Berry’s design ideology, the home is comfortable, eclectic and calm. “You could pick a lot of beautiful things, but you need to see beyond each piece and how it works overall,” Berry says. “I look at things as a whole, not individually.” Such is the case in the sprawling great room, where Berry framed distinct sections with a combination of ceiling details and furniture arrangements. A spacious living area immediately invites relaxation. There’s nothing busy or cluttered about it, just tasteful positioning of purposefully chosen pieces in a setting for conversation and, sometimes, a game of chess.
“My husband is 6’4 and I’m 5’10 so we’re tall people and we have tall children,” Berry says. “Everyone just wanted a space to kind of plop down on a big sectional that’s really super deep and comfortable enough for eight.” The custom cocktail table helps to infuse the casual space with a polished flavor, incorporating hand-scraped rift, white oak, and a heavy coat of high-gloss white paint. Black, metal supports buttress the table on all four sides. “I always try to infuse the casual with the polished, and kind of switch back and forth with metal finishes so that nothing becomes boring or expected,” the designer says. Berry staged a good amount of art throughout the home, each piece hand-picked and strategically placed. Fragile, yet hefty live coral — a piece Berry acquired in Capri, Italy — poses in front of a blue wall niche, off to the side but undoubtedly on display.
Nearby, the kitchen itself is an artistic composition. White cabinetry and rows of classic white, subway tiles line the back wall, while black and stainless steel appliances create a strikng complementary contrast. “To mix in warm colors, I went back to a beachy wood hue with illuminated, exposed cantilever shelves,” Berry says. The adjacent dining area exudes a somewhat informal aura. It’s a place to lounge, pull out the laptop, or watch the game — the space yields a full view of the TV across the great room. Huddled around a custom, whitewashed, raw wood table, covered chairs and banquettes interrupt the dominating white of the kitchen with Romo’s still so elegant, wide-striped pattern.
Tranquil tones wrap the master suite, where mesmerizing views instantly engage the eye. “I wanted it to be almost spa-like,” Berry says. The accent wall is crafted of rift white oak with a semi-gloss sheen placed in a herringbone fashion, a variation of the lateral lines made by oak ceiling beams that direct attention outside. A bold splurge of color appears on the wall leading to the master bath. As if Berry saved all occurrences of color for this one instance, the Marco Grassi painting makes a statement of elegant eccentricity. A study in luxurious relaxation, the master bath relapses into an orderly fashion where white dominates.
Outside, the balcony provides a calm space that embraces the view beyond. The area is cooled with tones of gray and the presence of a natural limestone set in a herringbone pattern. “I love this place … this is home inside and out,” Berry says.