REINVENTION OF A HOME | 8th Avenue Naples

The owners already had the Old Naples address, what they wanted was an Old Naples-style cottage home—to go with it. The issue was:  how to get from point A to point B – to renovate or start from scratch? With the help from Waterside Builders and MHK Architecture, they got their answer…do both for best effect.


“In many ways, renovations are more difficult because you have to tie into existing roof lines and work with established design considerations,” explains Mike Assaad, President of Waterside Builders, “but, there are plenty of good reasons to do it, especially when combined with new construction. This property is grandfathered under a previous building code, so it can take advantage of different setback and height requirements, which will make a big difference to the overall effect. When this home is completed, it will look like it has been here for 50 years.”


Assaad proceeds, “it’s going to have all the classic design elements of an old-style Florida home, with wonderful state-of-the-art amenities. It is the perfect blend of the old and the new. Some of the smaller, cozier spaces of the older home will be retained, but there will also be the great rooms and open areas favored today. ”


According to Assaad, as well as other architects and designers working in Southwest Florida, there’s an increasing demand for the Old Florida style homes. “They’re more consistent with the lifestyle here and easier to live in. In their own way, they’re every bit as refined as the popular Mediterranean style, but just lighter in feel and more casual.”

Assaad and MHK Architecture have worked together often and the synergy between them is an asset to the project. From start to finish, the job will take approximately one year; and having a strong working relationship helps the process move swiftly and efficiently. “MHK is a great architecture firm with a clear vision for the home.  They know what they want and they’re very comfortable letting us massage some of the details to make things better. It’s an ideal partnership,” says Assaad.



Also partnering with them is interior designer, Heather Garrett, who is a long time friend of the owners. “Getting the result you want is a give-and-take process. Good communication is essential, as is the ability to truly listen and understand the owner’s desires,” says Garrett.


“One signature feature of old Florida-style homes is the craftsmanship,” says Assad. “You’ll see it in the ornamental woodwork, greater use of finished materials, and lots of decorative trim. This home features wood ceilings which add exceptional charm, character, and warmth.” Complementing this, Garrett is planning an organic mix of colors and textures with a nod toward vintage sophistication. The house will also feature a comprehensive electronics system. From the touch of an iPad, the owners will be able to conveniently control their security system, interior and landscaping lighting, sound, and temperature.


Our focus, explains Assaad, is to add modern functionality to the easy living and alluring style of an early 1900s sun-washed Florida cottage. “It’s a layering process, and when all the elements come together in a few weeks, and we finish, it’s going to be a very distinctive home.”


Sponsored by: Waterside Builders, 790 Harbour Drive, Naples, FL 34103  Office (239) 430-3883


Written by Sarah Adams

Architects: MHK Architects

Interior Design: Heather Garrett Design

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