Modern Marvel Perched Above Sarasota Bay

A local tastemaker honors the city’s homegrown design style in her own way at a light-filled sky residence overlooking Sarasota Bay

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Characterized by sweeping windows, open living spaces, and clean, contemporary sight lines designed to maximize Florida’s broad horizontal landscape, abundant sunshine, and continually moving air, the Sarasota School style is synonymous with Sarasota for obvious reasons. When a couple from Maryland recently purchased one of the 23 condominiums in the Epoch building on Gulfstream Avenue, they appreciated the unit’s interpretation of the mid-century design but were eager to make it their own. 

“They wanted the residence’s look to be minimalistic to maintain the purity of form and the timelessness,” says interior designer Gail Carlson, who was tasked with customizing the 3,681-square-foot residence. “They also wanted to personalize the space, to make it inviting and approachable with a focus on quality and luxury.”

Soft colors and varying textures helped Carlson achieve this goal, as she remained focused on maximizing the apartment’s incredible views of Sarasota Bay and the skyline beyond. Epoch was constructed in 2021 with massive floor-to-ceiling windows and cantilevered overhangs that allow natural light to flood its apartments. “The structure’s style of construction created patterns of ever-changing light and breeze,” says Carlson, “and that’s one of the things I love most about the building.”

Carlson and her team opted for furnishings and design accessories (many of which came from the designer’s two showrooms in the city) that are neutral and light, offering a simple elegance that is at home with the architecture. Leather swivel chairs in the great room easily turn to the windows to reveal gorgeous sunsets over the water. When the owners wanted custom, Carlson was game. Case in point: a living room fireplace that burns bioethanol fuel and results in “more or less a monolith” that stops just short of the ceiling. 

While the residence is exposed to abundant natural light, the designer also relied on fixtures to highlight focal points. In front of the fireplace and off-center in the room is a light installation that Carlson describes as “a bit like a constellation” to further draw attention. In fact, the designer carefully chose lighting pieces that are organic in form—some reminiscent of birds in flight and others that allow air movement through them. In the kitchen, ceiling pendants virtually disappear, allowing for an open sightline through the minimalistic space, which is accented by the soft luminescence of the glass tile backsplash and quartzite island countertop.

Artworks in the residence, curated by Tre Michel of State of the Arts Gallery in Sarasota, infuse color and mid-century modern sensibilities while carefully placed biophilia (including orchids, a fig tree, a slice of exotic wood, and a cloud-inspired light fixture in the primary bedroom) creates connection to the outdoors. “In our projects, we always like to incorporate a feeling of being attuned to nature,” says Carlson, noting that’s an important tenet of the Sarasota School movement.

“This project was defined by the contrast of light and shadow, softened materials, and design ideas that harmonize together and don’t detract from the residence’s optimal views,” says Carlson. “Those are the qualities that elevate the art of living.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Gail Carlson, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Text by Kelley Marcellus

Photography by Ryan Gamma, Sarasota, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Elevator Lobby

Console – Interlude Home, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Ottomans – Interlude Home, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Chandelier – Moooi, Light Up Your Life, Sarasota, FL

Wall panels – Greg Pennenga, Sarasota, FL

Art – Alexa Snyder, State of the Arts Gallery, Sarasota, FL

Living Room

Sofa – Bracci, Shibui at Home, Sarasota, FL

Chair and ottoman – Bracci, Shibui at Home, Sarasota, FL

Cocktail table – Century Furniture, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Accent table – Arteriors, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL 

Fireplace installation – European Marble, Sarasota, FL

Dining Area

Table and chairs – Bontempi, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Chandelier – Artemide, artemide.com

Area rug – Feizy, Shibui at Home, Sarasota, FL 

Kitchen

Kitchen cabinetry – Cucine Ricci, Sarasota, FL

Stools – Enrico Pellizzoi, Cascina La Valle, Italy

Chandelier and pendant lighting – Sonneman Lighting, 

Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Family Room

Sleeper sofa – Bracci, Shibui at Home, Sarasota, FL

Cocktail table – Arteriors, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Buffet – Esseneza, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Chandelier – Moooi, Light Up Your Life, Sarasota, FL

Primary Bedroom

Bed and headboard –Taracea, Shibui at Home, Sarasota, FL 

Art over bed – Brian Miller, State of the Arts Gallery, Sarasota, FL

Bench – Arteriors, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Dresser – Interlude Home, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Desk – Hickory White, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Chair – Bontempi, Studio G Home, Sarasota, FL

Chandelier – Arturo Alvarez, New York, NY

Area rug –  Feizy, Shibui At Home, Sarasota, FL

Primary Bathroom

Cabinetry – Cucine Ricci, Sarasota, FL

Lava stone – La Casa Tile, Sarasota, FL

Throughout

Bar cabinetry – Epoch Solutions, Bradenton, FL

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