Neutral Colors and Clean Lines Prevail in Sanibel Island

An unexpected turnkey residence in Sanibel Island turns out to be everything its new-to-Florida homeowners envisioned

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Native Texan Laura Wood-Smith is a self-described “beach girl” who decided in 2021 that it was time for her and her spouse to try something new. After all, their kids were grown and on their own, so why not live life on their terms? Before they knew it, they had sold their house on Lake Travis and set about finding a new home on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“My father used to live in Bonita Springs, and when he was still alive, we used to take day trips over to Sanibel Island and we’d marvel at how lush, green, and beautiful it was,” recalls Wood-Smith, who had set her sights on the low-key island as a potential retirement locale. But finding a dream home in the area was a lot more complicated than she anticipated. It was “next, next, next” until the day they walked into a four-bedroom, four-bath, 4,785-square-foot residence that took their breath away. The place was ideally situated, bright in tone, and required no renovations. Best of all, it came already decorated in a style ideally suited for the new Floridians.

“Our agent asked me if I wanted to look at anything else and I said, ‘I don’t think so,’” says Wood-Smith with a laugh. “This had it all.”

As luck would have it, the residence had been previously designed by Dwayne Bergmann and Mary Sica for clients who then decided to move on and sell it fully furnished. Wood-Smith immediately responded to the elegant aesthetic and neutral background enhanced by organic textures, wow-factor lighting pieces, and geometrical accents.

“The original directive was for a serene living environment that would keep lives simple and comfortable,” says Bergmann. “There’s nothing too formal or stuffy, nowhere you can’t sit or engage with the tactile features of the rooms.”

The residence is a contemporary design lover’s dream. In the living room, hard-edged stone and steel coffee tables are softened by a sofa’s plush velvet throw pillows, which cry out to be touched. In the dining room, a petrified wood table base is lightened by a glass tabletop and playfully patterned curtains. Horizontal lines lose their harshness in rooms with stone walls and animal prints. These mixes may be unexpected for Sanibel Island, but in Bergmann’s and Sica’s hands, they come together effortlessly.

After so many disappointments, Wood-Smith was delighted with what she saw. “At first, we felt intimidated by how bright the house was because everything we’d known before in Texas was marked by dark wood and heavy limestone,” she says. “But now, when I open the blinds and I see the foliage and the bay, and the pelicans and ospreys flying by, I think, ‘This is home.’ It’s everything I dreamed of.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Dwayne Bergmann & Mary Sica, Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL

Text by Paige Bowers

Photography by Venjhamin Reyes, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Dining Room

Table – E.M. Soberon, Dania Beach, FL

Chairs – Century, Atlanta, GA

Lighting – Hammerton Lighting, Salt Lake City, UT

Drapery designed by Mary Sica, Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by Mona Raye’s Custom Bed & Windows, Altona, NY

Grand Salon

Sofas designed by Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by Taylor King, Taylorsville, NC

Pillows designed by Mary Sica, Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by Mona Raye’s Custom Bed & Windows, Altona, NY

Club chairs – Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by Hammer Fine Furniture, Bell Gardens, CA

Thin, round cocktail tables – Vanguard, High Point, NC

Pedestal side tables – Interlude, Trumball, CT

Lighting and sconces – Hammerton Lighting, Salt Lake City UT

Fireplace designed by Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL

Round area rug – Kyle Bunting, Austin, TX

Kitchen

Cabinetry and island designed by Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated Artcraft, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Stool – Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, fabricated by Hammer Fine Furniture, Bell Gardens, CA

Backsplash and countertop – Cambria, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Lighting – Hammerton Lighting, Salt Lake City, UT

Family Room

Sofa – Bracci, High Point, NC

Cocktail table – Vanguard, High Point, NC

Side pedestal table – Vanguard, High Point, NC

Area rug – Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by L&M Custom Carpets and Rugs, Johns Island, SC

Primary Bedroom

Bed designed by Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by Diamond Upholstery, Cape Coral, FL

Bedding designed by Mary Sica, Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by Mona Raye’s Custom Bed & Windows, Altona, NY

Wall designed by Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by ROMO, Chagrin Falls, OH

Bedside chest – Armadi Art USA, Millburn, NJ

Sofa designed by Mary Sica, Dwayne Bergmann Interiors, Fort Myers, FL, and fabricated by Hammer Fine Furniture, Bell Gardens, CA

Primary Bathroom

Cabinetry – Artcraft, Niagara Falls, ON

Bench – Jessica Charles, Atlanta, GA

Hanging lighting – Hammerton, Salt Lake City, UT

Sconces – Hammerton, Salt Lake City, UT

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