When Emilio Sadez, president of International Design Source, met with David Weekley Homes’ Division President Jeff Waddle about the company’s plan to build a “Modern Farmhouse” on a corner lot in Sarasota’s historic Laurel Park neighborhood, he immediately thought of international celebrity designer Thom Filicia for Home & Design Magazine’s Suncoast Signature Home. “I thought, ‘Hey! This is the right fit’,” recalls Sadez, who had read Filicia’s book American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat and knew the designer’s propensity to create modern, yet meaningful, and classic interiors.
Filicia readily agreed to serve as the design consultant on the project, saying, “I was excited to be a part of the downtown Sarasota area. I love being able to connect with neighbors in a walkable environment, to bring energy to a community, and architect Alan Anderson did an amazing job. He was respectful of the neighborhood, making the home feel authentic and appropriate. He was adept at utilizing the lot—I liked the way he connected it to the environment.”
“The lot was a challenge,” admits Anderson. “This lot is one of four in this neighborhood that we are working on with David Weekley Homes. It is the corner lot and the smallest of the four, so maximizing the size of the house as much as code would allow, was critical. We feel we did this, yet gave the rooms good sizes and created great spaces. Corner lots can be exceptionally challenging, but we embraced this with the corner dining room opening out.”
For interior designer Stephanie Nolan of Distinctive Interiors of Sarasota, the challenge was to find ways to modernize traditional farmhouse design and make it work in a coastal locale. “We did a Thom Filicia house. I tried to do it from his point of view. I studied his work, asked myself, ‘What would Thom do?’ I took myself out of the equation.”
Filicia enjoys the process and the creative result. “With these collaborations, I become the muse for the local designer; it’s always fun to see how another designer uses our product; to see his or her interpretation of me.”
On the first floor, Nolan used blues from Filicia’s fabric collection to convey the coastal ambiance. Upstairs, she says she went “a little more urban, a little unexpected, masculine” in the bonus room. She pulled the whole house together by mixing wood finishes to give it “a collected look” and “added detailing to give it an upscale, Signature look.”
The resulting 2,908-square-foot, three bedroom, four full- and one-half-bath home proved to be so popular that it sold the very evening that it was revealed at an open house. Waddle says David Weekley Homes will build custom “Modern Farmhouse” designs on the three additional Laurel Park lots. The trend will also feature prominently in the Reserve at Honore, the company’s intimate Sarasota community of 19 homes currently under development.
Traditional farmhouse design is evident in the standing seam metal roof, gabled ends, and cedar tongue-and-groove ceilings. The travertine porch floor, five-glass-panel front door, and the dining room’s storefront windows depart from the traditional and give a modern edge to the design. The home by David Weekley Homes features CMU construction (concrete masonry unit) on the first floor and frame on the second. Both stories are covered with HardiePanel vertical siding accented with white brick.
Crisp blue and white dominate the great room, with fabrics from the Thom Filicia collection for Kravet gracing the walls and draperies, covering the seating bench, and sewn into plump pillows nestled on the white Rugby Road sofa and Armory Square upholstered chair, both from the Thom Filicia Home Collection by Vanguard. The cocktail table is actually a pair of triangular-shaped Edgewood Nesting Cocktail Tables in a glossy white finish, also from Vanguard’s Thom Filicia Home Collection. Cobalt blue table lamps from Currey & Co. rest atop twin Drumlins end tables in a mirrored polished stainless steel finish with glass tops. The slender cast aluminum accent table with recessed top in a polished nickel finish is from Prima Design. A white stacked-stone focal wall houses a 42-inch gas fireplace. A Feiss Corinne six-light globe pendant provides whole-room light.
A collection of top-end stainless steel appliances such as the Thermador wine cooler, Bertazzoni dishwasher, refrigerator, speed oven (electric convection plus microwave), and six-burner dual fuel gas range with the Cattura telescopic downdraft range hood by Best punctuate the simple lines of gleaming white cabinetry. A built-in Bosch coffee machine utilizes a Home Connect app, allowing the homeowner to prepare coffee from anywhere. Appliances are courtesy of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. White wood bar-height dining chairs tuck under the quartz-topped kitchen island. The handmade Italian tabletop setting is courtesy of Mélange Home. Overhead a Feiss Jonah chandelier casts a decorative glow, while recessed cans in the tongue-and-groove ceiling and under-cabinet fixtures provide task lighting. The front-facing kitchen window is dressed with a Roman shade from Kravet in a Thom Filicia fabric.
In a departure from the pure white walls found elsewhere in the main floor rooms, strips of Montana Ghost Wood in Silver City run horizontally across a dining room accent wall. Natural light pours in from the trio of floor-to-ceiling fixed windows. Color-blocked draperies in a Thom Filicia fabric for Kravet soften the edges. A quartet of Vanguard Thom Felicia Home Collection Brattle Road side chairs featuring polished nickel casters, and top handles, surrounds the 48-inch Brownstone dining table. The mirror-front four-door Vanguard Durston Road sideboard has two shelves, and two drawers with silver liner.
Deep, vibrant blues underscore the driftwood tones of the Salt Springs case goods, the pure white tufted headboard of the Chatfield king bed. Custom Euro shams, bed linens, and draperies all feature Thom Filicia fabrics. The ensemble is set against an accent wall painted with Sherwin-Williams Dignity Blue. An area rug from Surya anchors the bed, while a silvery Monte Carlo ceiling fan from the Butterfly collection flutters overhead. Filicia points to the versatility of his collection, saying, “The Chatfield bed, a timeless classic, could be dressed in all white to look fresh, clean, and Floridian, or in sumptuous color to suit an older home or a New York loft.”
Deluxe finishes and furniture-style, built-in cabinetry give the master bath a decidedly modern, luxurious vibe. Carrera marble lines the floors and faces the walls up to a pencil line wainscoting. In the shower, the marble takes on new dimensions as an inset of basket weave surrounding the high window, and a hexagonal mosaic on the floor. A full-body spray, as well as a rain head, pours water lavishly into the frameless glass enclosure. The shower’s interior wall creates a nook for the freestanding solid-surface resin tub. Glossy-white plantation shutters filter light and maintain privacy.
Light and breezy, the guest room features a full-size bed tucked beneath a trio of transom windows. Sherwin-Williams Waterscape paint lends a coastal ambiance. The adjoining bath is tastefully floored with marble laid in a chevron pattern. Thom Filicia fabrics were used in the custom pillows from Kravet and the coverlet. Antique mercury-glass star column lamps shine from the mirror-topped, single drawer Windsor white lacquer nightstand.
Furnishings from Vanguard’s Thom Filicia Home Collection fill the bonus room. A low-profile Oakwood sectional with chaise, covered in Cornflower polyester/cotton blend velvet fabric with nail-head trim, occupies the window wall. Fabrics from the Thom Filicia collection for Kravet were used for the custom Roman shades, matching accent pillows and on the custom Pompey chair. Next to it, a navy ceramic Currey & Co. lamp sits on a Strathmore side table in a rich walnut finish. Travertine tops the Pen Yan cocktail table and satin brass-plated metal accents dangle from each of its three wooden legs. The Dungaree rug by Surya is handcrafted in India from cotton and leather recycled materials, with a cotton canvas backing.
A pair of Surya area rugs adds shades of blue to the home office. A dark wood dining table, and four x-back chairs do double duty as a conference table. Twin side chairs from Fairfield Chair Co. face the Barton Creek desk from Lexington-Sligh. A window seat covered by Kravet with Thom Filicia fabric, nestled between custom built-in bookcases, creates a cozy seating nook.
Pools by Design tucked a 10-by-20-foot custom-built saltwater pool into a corner of the backyard. It features a sheer descent waterfall on a two-foot raised wall at one end. A four-foot-square floating glass-bead fire table is centered on the split sun shelves. One-by-two-inch glass mosaic tile sparkles at the waterline and on the raised wall. A blue LED fixture casts its light on the custom black and blue quartz pool finish. The silvery coping and decking is Turkish travertine. Tropitone outdoor furnishings are arranged around the pool and lanai. “The way the home opens to the outdoor space is one of my favorite features,” says Anderson. “The outdoor kitchen and pool area really expand the space and make the house feel larger than it is.”
Written by Ginny Cooper
Photography by Jimmy White
David Weekley Homes
1900 Main Street, Suite 201
Sarasota, FL 34236
1785 Northgate Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34234
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
2451 17th Street
Sarasota, FL 34234
International Design Source
1785 Northgate Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34234
64 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
Pools by Design FL
1037 North Washington Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34236