At the southernmost end of Fort Myers Beach, looking toward Lover’s Key and out across the Gulf of Mexico, rests a beachfront abode that exemplifies Florida leisure and comfort. Lush native plants hide this retreat from the noise and bustle of the outside world. With a panoramic view of one of Southwest Florida’s widest, whitest beaches, this custom-built home is just over 3,700 square feet, including four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and a great room. Built by Potter Homes and complimented with an interior design by Sheryl Blake of Freestyle Interiors, this beachfront getaway was carefully crafted to provide an ease of living and an unsurpassed view of surf and sand.
Architect Carl Erickson design pays particular attention to the mass and scaling of the frontal features. “We wanted a small footprint and a wide view,” recalls Tom Potter of Potter Homes. A slight asymmetry adds a touch of wit and playfulness. The exterior is constructed of siding from James Hardie™ with Miratec trim, guaranteeing shelter from coastal storms. Impact resistant doors and windows remove the need for hurricane shutters. An open staircase sweeps around the north side of the home and the ground floor foyer contains both an elevator and internal staircase. On the Gulf side of the ground floor is an impressive pool and oversized spa area.
“It’s all about the view” states Potter, describing the first floor great room. By merging kitchen, dining room, and family room, the space is kept open, allowing the homeowner to stand anywhere to appreciate the splendor of the beach through the many glass doors and windows. Multiple pocketed sliding glass doors allow wide access to Gulf breezes and lead to a lanai equipped with motorized retractable insect screening for those rare nights when it’s needed. The white porcelain tile flooring was specified and supplied by Abbey Carpet & Floor of Naples, who coordinated the entire finish selection with Freestyle Interiors. “We provided and installed all of the tile, wood, carpet,” adds Josh Skinner of Abbey Carpet & Floor of Naples.
The interior design is a transitional style that combines nautical and beach motifs with bold primary colors. “It is a stylized Cape Cod,” explains Blake. “Only, instead of being full of antiques, this home is full of bright, fun, little treasures.” The traditional nautical color palette of white and blue mimics the home’s surroundings, but is refashioned with the addition of exciting red and yellow accents. Polished nickel light fixtures glimmer like the waves beyond and keep the design modern.
The kitchen, as well as all of the other rooms of the home, feature custom-designed cabinetry by Vincent Tormey of DKS Distinctive Kitchen Studio. These solid maple cabinets, with their vertical lines hinting at an informal beadboard style, complement the relaxed atmosphere of the overall design while maintaining the highest level of craftsmanship. Most of the cabinetry is painted in the classic white with chrome hardware. However, according to Blake’s request, the sidebar is finished in a daring red to enhance her interior design. “When first presented with the design, I was unsure about the red. It’s a very unusual request for cabinetry,” reveals Tormey. “However, once it was in, it looked spectacular. It really brings excitement to the space.”
The kitchen is furnished with chrome plumbing and KitchenAid appliances, provided by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Behind the sinks and gas range there is a backsplash of blue and white tumbled glass tiles that seem like they could have been brought in from the beach. “It is refreshing to see these beachside homes focusing on bringing the beauty of outside elements into the home. It is a perfect example of an open floor plan, bringing in light and incredible views of the natural environment. Clean lines, simple textures, and light colors give you a sense of calmness and serenity,” states Beth Ann Tuyls of United Materials, Inc.
Contemporary chrome pendants illuminate the breakfast bar. Even the countertop granite contains traces of blue, maintaining the design consistency.
The red side bar connects kitchen to dining space, where Blake’s design continues to employ blue, white, and yellow in the custom cushions, window treatments, and table setting. The unique chandelier above the dining table is chosen to supplement the design and provide adequate lighting, yet hang in such a way as to minimize the interruption to the view of the beach.
The master suite encompasses the entire second floor, creating an additional level of retreat for the homeowner. The floor plan presses the master bathroom to the front of the home, towards the street, allowing the west wall of the master bedroom to open fully to the gulf.
The exemplary collaboration between Potter Homes, Freestyle Interiors, and DKS Distinctive Kitchen Studio can be seen in the seamless design and construction of the master bathroom’s vanity space. Tormey’s modified beadboard design for the cabinetry is continued here, with added elements of Shaker style, such as decorative feet. This style is carried upward through Potter’s custom moldings and built in medicine cabinets. Brass finished plumbing elements and matching vanity sconces bring in just a touch of yellow and red, while the walls are a vibrant blue. Plantation shutters maintain privacy, while still allowing the morning sunrise to fill the room.
Sliding pocket doors leading to a second floor balcony bestow the master bedroom with one of the greatest views of the sunset on the Southwest coast. White oak floors and a ceiling that reveals its beams and planks hearken back to an “old Florida” casual style. The modified beadboard style wainscoting connects with the cabinetry in the remainder of the home.
Balanced on either side of the master bedroom are smaller step-up “his and hers” nook areas, approximately eight foot square, for occasions when further solitude is desired. One is equipped as a small study or den, with a writing desk and bookcase, while the other is furnished with a comfortable window seat. And consistent with the home’s concept, each of these nooks has its own great view of the beach.
As is his habit, Potter worked closely with environmental authorities to maintain and restore the native wildlife and vegetation. With the assistance of Christian Andrea of Architectural Land Design, the home is surrounded with plant species that provide privacy, add beauty, and leave the dune habitat intact.
Written by Scott Hickerson
Photography by Daniel Newcomb
3525 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 105
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Potter Homes, Inc.
809 Walkerbilt Road, Suite 4
Naples, FL 34110
DKS Distinctive Kitchen Studio
6230 Shirley St. Unit #101
Naples, FL 34109
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
3406 Domestic Ave
Naples, FL 34104
United Materials, Inc.
1615 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Naples
13250 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34110