Touches of West Indian architecture in the surrounding community inspired this Dutch-West-Indies themed home in Spice Bay on Siesta Key. With the main home site on an inner coastal waterway with Gulf access, and an adjacent, empty lot dedicated to a family guest house, architect John Cooney of Stofft Cooney Architects had much to keep in mind. He reflects, “We had to find a blend of the West Indian style while meeting the needs of the client from a floor plan perspective. The master plan includes complementary architecture for the guest house, which is not yet built.”
Entering its 35th year in business, Perrone Construction is a Sarasota staple for custom homes. “This is a fantastic project for Perrone Construction. We are thrilled with the result and thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with Stofft Cooney Architects and Gail Carlson Interiors,” states builder Rich Perrone.
The bold architectural statement of the façade sets the tone of this home from the outside in. Indubitably, Perrone himself attests: “[this home] epitomizes all that is right about the Dutch West Indies style both inside and out.” The scalloped gable ends and clean, white, smooth stucco walls create a formal piece of architecture with privacy from the street. A corbeled arch brings elegance to the entryway while dark stained brackets, garage doors, and rafters create a contrast that matches the dark wood floors and exposed beams of the home interior. Sitting on an easement for wildlife preservation, the home site features natural foliage and several existing trees. “As you approach this project, the center island of the large circular drive is created of existing oaks and palms that you will find in the most native areas of Florida,” clarifies landscaper Stephen Hazeltine of Hazeltine Nurseries, Inc. The angled foundation both protects the forest and achieves a stately, stylized look that does everything for curb appeal.
The vision for the great room can be easily marked as accomplished. According to Cooney, the task was multidimensional: “Take advantage of the volume, and bring in an exorbitant amount of natural light and water views.” The 1½ story great room maintains a proportional scale, featuring the high ceiling with exposed, stained beams and high windows. The room boasts three sets of windows. First, the 10-foot windows that exploit the bay view, then two-foot transoms that add extended height, and finally two-foot, clear, story windows near the ceiling that allow even more natural light.
The custom console table in the entryway is truly one-of-a-kind. “Concrete is the perfect material to blend with other elements such as wood, steel, or glass. In this instance strips of walnut were inlaid as an architectural feature at the top of the table’s legs,” describes Jake Brady of Jake Brady Concrete by Design.
Handcrafted walnut floors provide the perfect balance to warm this voluminous space. La Casa Tile, LLC claims an exclusive relationship with Naples-based Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring, “We are the sole distributors of Legno Bastone custom-engineered wood flooring in Sarasota,” co-owner Maria Gelinas asserts. Arturo Guido of Legno Bastone speaks to the process of procuring the stunning walnut floors: “We started by selecting the finest mature walnut available globally. The veracity and maturity of the tree is exemplified in the magnificent burling that you see at your feet.” Clearly, the choice of dark flooring throughout the house is a huge part of what unifies the rooms. “Because of the overall size of the home we wanted to create a look with fewer seams and more panache. We provided lengths up to 12 feet for this project,” states Guido. With each hand-crafted European wide plank in place, the home is designer-ready.
The gas fireplace is a strong focal point of the great room. Designer Gail Carlson of Gail Carlson Interiors Inc. describes, “the fireplace wall tapers up and the light limestone French pattern harmonizes the space, drawing the eye to the walnut mantle.” A cozy seating area—complete with accent pillows of F. Schumacher fabric, a Baker chair with leather strapping from the Laura Kirar collection, and a rug woven of natural sea grass—gives the room an airy feel. Carlson references a melding of Asian and Balinese influences with the aforementioned tropical West Indies architectural style: “The overall design is comprised of unfussy shapes and colors, with painstaking attention to natural materials and finishes. Rich, warm walnut woods, natural stone, matte surfaces, and lightweight cotton and linens combine for a soothing, tropical tranquility.” The panel on the left wall, an antique Batik framed fabric, offers accents of indigo and white that complement the linen blend fabric on the sofas and chair. Finally, keeping with the natural scheme, drift wood lamps with modern, square shades finish the room.
The family room, which is featured on the cover, is centered around a custom wall unit made by Campbell Cabinetry Designs that continues the West Indies feel throughout the home. Sliding doors on the wall unit allow you to casually watch television or cover them up for a more formal, elegant feel.
Continuing the theme of natural lighting, transom windows above the cabinetry lend brightness to the kitchen. The tongue-and-groove stained ceilings in the kitchen reflect the deep color of the flooring, maintaining consistency in pigment and tone. A back stair from the kitchen to the second floor makes the space accessible from anywhere in the home. “The kitchen is part of the central living space,” Carlson explains, “so the challenge was to integrate the functions of the kitchen with the architecture and furnishings.” Double islands in the kitchen adopt the look of furniture with their contrasting neutral colors and unique drawer front-end panels. One island serves as a breakfast bar and the other as a workstation, welcoming family and guests to congregate in this user-friendly space.
The attention to detail in the kitchen defines it as more than a place to prepare meals. “The sleek elegance of the kitchen is perfect for an impressive evening of entertaining friends,” portrays Darrin Campbell of Campbell Cabinetry Designs Inc. Glazed white cabinets take form with a built-in design. They incorporate inset panels and walnut wood “reveals” and walnut lined interiors that complement the floors and ceiling. The Franke “Orca” stainless steel sink and the Blanco “Culina” faucet, available through The Plumbing Place, provide professional fixtures to this clean-lined kitchen. Foreshadowing the mosaic tile pattern of the master bath, a 1’x1’ matte glass mosaic backsplash by La Casa Tile texturizes the wall. With recessed LED lighting, an abundance of storage space, and an extensive list of appliances concealed behind tasteful cabinet panels, this kitchen loses sight of no detail.
Upstairs opens into a split-level layout for bedrooms and bathrooms. Sheer linen panels in the guest bedroom suite add to the sensual, tropical feel of the home. A vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and tongue and groove painted white panels recalls the height of the great room, maintaining the clean lines and wholesome aura of the home. Pierce Martin table lamps and bench are perfect accessories to the woven, organic sea grass rug. A simple writing desk and chair fill a nook at the side of the room to provide a small, laptop workspace for guests.
The master bathroom extends the Asian influence of the woven naturals through art in a corner statue of the Empress of Compassion. Designed to blur the lines between the wet and dry areas, this bathroom obscures the division between shower and sink with a single frameless glass partition. The walls themselves continue this fluidity with a wave-patterned Calacatta marble mosaic supplied by La Casa Tile and manufactured by Walker Zanger from the Opus Anticato Collection. Modern floating walnut cabinets by Campbell Cabinetry Designs Inc. paired with the raw elements of the stone, creates a true spa-like feel. Liliana Allen of Oracle Surfaces LLG makes special note of her company’s contributions on this project: “We take pride in the installation and craftsmanship for the tiles and stone materials,” she says, praising the materials in particular: the “patterns [were] made with the best and most beautiful stones.” The Plumbing Place provided “Axor Massaud” fixtures in the shower and Hansgrohe “Puravida” wall-mounted faucets for the sinks. An Italian, freestanding bath tub, from Rifra, augments the classic simplicity of the bathroom, and features a relaxing view across the balcony to the bay. A Hansgrohe “Puravida” freestanding tub filler, also from The Plumbing Place, is installed over the tub, creating an elegant visual feature for this detailed master bathroom.
Wending along the master suite uncovers this unique niche: an exclusive master lounge. Designed to be a simplistic and contemplative space where the homeowners can retreat, this lounge provides sanctuary against an increasingly fast-paced world. A pair of relaxing, Indonesian teak lounges designed by Donna Karan, provide the essential seating for this space. A white steer hide rug contrasts the deep brown of the flooring and stained beams, while patterned, sheer draperies by Cowtan & Tout softly infuse light into the room. The high arching floor lamp and Asian wall panels add texture to complete this informal, tranquil retreat.
The walkway that transitions between the guest suite and exercise room creates a Zen courtyard, bringing serenity to the outdoors as well. Hazeltine reflects, “The courtyard…is quite charming with a custom water feature and planters enhanced with dense Dominican coral. As the bamboo grows in at the backdrop of this courtyard, it will create the mood that is meant to intrigue.” Black river rocks embedded between coral stone on the path bring a strong, centering presence for quiet contemplation. The wooden trellis to the left offers hints of an Asian design and will fill in with climbing plants to lend more privacy to the space.
A full appreciation for this Perrone Construction home would be impossible without a look to the back. Unlike the façade and its gabled ends, the back showcases the split pitch roofs, making it “a little more casual and less heavy,” according to architect, John Cooney. In Cooney’s words, the plan was to keep things “light and bright,” and to “open up to the views for a cleaner, tropical look.” The shed dormer over the great room, the outrigger brackets, and the overhangs help to create that tropical ambiance in the architecture for the back of the home. In addition, a pool with an infinity edge allows water to cascade over the side, mimicking the body of water behind the house. There are pool deck terraces and a complete outdoor living room with seating and cooking availability to make outdoor living convenient and comfortable.
Designer Gail Carlson may get the last words on this extraordinary custom build: “The objective was to create an environment where the clients were surrounded by quiet elegance and spiritual strength—a respite from the bustle of travel and a place to enjoy privacy and peace with their family.” From the formal West Indies-inspired façade to the natural and seamless interior, owners and guests alike will certainly achieve their Zen in this resort home.
Written by Kayse Beza
Photography by Jimmy White
Campbell Cabinetry Designs Inc.
1531 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
by Beginning to End Interiors
4453-C Ashton Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
Gail Carlson Interiors Inc.
1517 State Street No. 101
Sarasota, FL 34236
Hazeltine Nurseries, Inc.
2401 North River Road
Venice, FL 34292
Jake Brady Concrete by Design
614 Florida Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
La Casa Tile, LLC
1777 Northgate Boulevard, Unit A-3
Sarasota, FL 34234
Wide Plank Flooring
2684 South Horseshoe Drive
Naples, FL 34104
Oracle Surfaces, LLC
514 Central Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
Perrone Construction, Inc.
7045 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
Rugs As Art, Inc.
6650 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
Stofft Cooney Architects
633 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34102
The Plumbing Place
5678 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232