Not long after a young couple purchased a two-story, Old Florida-style home in North Naples, they decided an open layout would suit the 4,100-square-foot dwelling much better in order to comfortably accommodate their three children and three dogs.
“The wife is a professional organizer, so she wanted something that was functional and pretty,” says interior Kelli Esposito, owner of Harper Haus Interiors, the firm hired to bring order and style to the residence. For the homeowner, that meant brightening up and enlarging a dark, matchbox-sized kitchen, creating space for a combination laundry and mudroom, and upgrading a bathroom adjacent to the pool.
Because the house sits on a one-acre lot, Esposito and her team had plenty of room to work with. First, the size of the kitchen was doubled by knocking out rear walls and expanding the space into the backyard. The walls between the kitchen and dining room also came down to improve the flow between the spaces and make entertaining more convivial. A combination of traditional cabinetry and open shelving now keeps the united space light and uncluttered. “The lower cabinetry hides the boxes and things you don’t want to see,” says Esposito. “And the wicker and wire baskets on the open shelving are both practical and aesthetic.”
The rest of the design decisions involved rethinking the function of overlooked spaces in creative ways. The home originally had a three-car garage, but the design team took over a third of it to create a stylish laundry room and mudroom with locker-style storage for the children’s backpacks, coats, and shoes. Here, the family’s dogs even have their own custom built-ins, with space for their water and food bowls. A small poolside bathroom was also recast as a proper changing room complete with a full vanity, a larger shower, and floating shelves, so family and guests never have to set foot inside the main part of the residence in their wet swimsuits.
Due to COVID-related delays, the project took a year-and-a-half to complete, but the clients were overjoyed when they were able to move back into their home, which gained an extra 1,100 square feet because of the renovation.
“To this day, they still text and call me to thank us for their new space,” says Esposito. “They feel very comfortable and happy in their home.”
Text by Paige Bowers
Photography by Venjhamin Reyes