When longtime Naples residents Norman and Lesley Klym decided to invest in their forever home in the exclusive community of Coquina Sands, they assembled a tried-and-true design team to build the house of their dreams. “This is the second residence we’ve done for these homeowners,” says architect Robert Herscoe, who collaborated with his colleague Michael Hajjar on the 5,000-square-foot Old Florida-style house. “It was important for us to achieve aging-in-place with this one,” Herscoe says. “There are no level changes on the ground floor, which includes a master suite and open social spaces.”
Having previously worked with the couple as well, interior designer James Kunstel became involved in this project during the architectural phase to consult on custom cabinetry, banquettes and built-ins, as well as materials, finishes and the overall palette. “The homeowners have two grown sons and four grandkids, and they love to host family and entertain friends, so the open main living space is really important to them,” Kunstel says. “They wanted to have communal spaces indoors and outdoors that were roomy and comfortable.”
Despite its larger scale, this Old Florida-style home manages to have a coastal cottage vibe with painted tongue-in-groove and beamed ceilings, wide-plank white oak flooring, a smaller portico in front, and on the rear, a spacious lanai. “One of the challenges in an open floor plan is to make sure there is some definition between the different spaces,” Herscoe says. “We achieve this through ceiling shape and elevation.”
Defined by a more intimate 10-foot-high dropped ceiling, the dining area remains completely open to the great room with its vaulted ceiling that reaches up to 16 feet. “The dining room is designed to be cozier,” Kunstel says. “We created a custom built-in, with tongue-in-groove vertical backing, to house the owners’ antique English pond yacht model, as well as to hold serving pieces in its lower cabinets.”
Coastal hues extend into the great room’s living area, where low-profile furnishings shape a contemporary social grouping to keep through-views open. “We grounded the space with a textured chevron-patterned sisal area rug and put in plenty of seating options for everyone,” Kunstel says.
Nearby, an open kitchen features both a large freestanding partition, which houses the cooktop on one side and a dish pantry on the other, and a center island painted blue and topped in solid mahogany. “We really love to cook and entertain,” Lesley says. “It was important to have an enormous island where people can pitch in with prep.”
On view through pocketed glass doors, the picturesque swimming pool and lushly landscaped gardens provide the perfect venue for family fun. To the right, the lanai expands into a complete outdoor entertainment space, with TV, fireplace, kitchen, and furnished living and dining areas. “The idea was to repeat design themes from the house in the lanai, such as the vaulted ceiling,” Herscoe says. “The lanai is also slightly offset from the interior living area, so there isn’t a redundancy of stacking rooms and the through-views to the pool and gardens remain unobstructed.”
The Klyms spend most of the year using their lanai, whether alone or entertaining family and friends. “We wanted a modern updated house, not an old-fashioned one, but we still wanted warmth and plenty of details,” Lesley says. “And that’s exactly what we got with our new Old Florida-style home.”