This newly constructed beachfront vacation home in Fort Myers Beach is elegant, clean-lined, and created with a palette in natural and blue tones that reflect ocean hues. “Our clients, a couple from Flensburg, Germany, a northern town located on the Baltic Sea, value quality and comfort in a home,” interior designer Karen Benson says. Along with her colleague interior designer Shana Williamson, Benson set out to create a stylish home that balances contemporary comfort with a barefoot lifestyle.
Located at the south end of Fort Myers Beach, this 4,000-square-foot, three-story property overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. “We wanted to bring out all the outside colors – the water, sand and the big blue sky,” Williamson says. “Everything is streamlined, functional and comfortable.”
Shades of blue and gray dominate in the den. A leather ottoman from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in dark gray rests atop a light-blue wool area rug, while driftwood stools lend an organic feel. A blue watercolor panel divides the space from a quietly elegant living area with stunning beachfront views. Here, a modular sofa clad in champagne linen with a soft sheen and a cantilevered, dark burled wood cocktail table offer a contrast to the room’s lighter tones.
Clean modern lines continue in the dining area, where Natuzzi Italia chairs in sand-colored leather surround a dining table topped with a natural slab of bleached driftwood. A custom floating buffet in rift-cut white-oak complements the ensemble. “Its craftsmanship is beautiful and seamless, and the touch is like velvet,” Williamson says. Open-weave sheers of natural hemp netting laced with green and blue hues cover the doors and windows in the main living spaces. “When they are closed, the beautiful sunsets cast shadows on the floor,” Benson says.
A stairway created with oak treads and a wood railing with horizontal steel cables leads the way to the kitchen, where pristine white cabinetry and a center island in natural wood blend together to lend a coastal feel. A stunning glass counter tops the island. “We kept to the beachy feel,” says Kelly Hall of Richlin International, who, along with the Richlin team, designed the cabinetry. A floating vanity in the master bath is backed by a mirror framed with porcelain tiles that resembles a grid of driftwood. “It’s a very ethereal seascape bath,” Williamson says.
The serene coastal motif continues in the daughter’s room with a unique headboard styled in a Phillip Jeffries watercolor grasscloth and framed in rift-cut oak. “The seascape looks just like waves where the sky meets the ocean,” Benson says.
It’s all about the sea, albeit a warmer one, for this couple whose close collaboration with the designers was both productive and fun. “Karen and Shana are wonderful designers who made this home feel like our own,” the wife says. “We have beach views from almost every place in our house and we just love sitting on the patio where we can enjoy gorgeous sunsets.”