Family Focus


There is a certain comfort and confidence that applies to any strong and enduring relationship. And so, when it came time for a seasonal Naples homeowner to select a builder for their new custom home at Grey Oaks Country Club, they turned to a familiar local partner—London Bay Homes.


The couple was first attracted to London Bay several years ago when they purchased a Santa Barbara-style home that the company had built as a model in The Estuary at Grey Oaks. This time, the inspiration for their new home came from another region of the world – the Caribbean. Having spent time at the famous Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic, they found themselves attracted to the relaxed and casual style associated with the West Indies design.


“We had established a strong relationship with the homeowners as a result of their first purchase,” says London Bay Vice President Steve Miller. “When they came to us with their ideas for this new home, we were able to show them some of the West Indies designs we had already built in the area. Once we understood how they wanted to live in the home and how they wanted it to function, our in-house architects created some initial drawings that served as the starting point for a magnificent residence,” explains Miller.


The home occupies a nearly one-acre home site in Isle Royale, a private enclave within the exclusive Grey Oaks Country Club and includes panoramic views of Grey Oaks’ Palm Course. “The owners’ penchant for a relaxed, casual, Caribbean lifestyle makes Isle Royale in Grey Oaks the ideal setting for their West Indies style home,” says Grey Oaks Realty Broker and Vice President Erika Kemp. “Over 3,500 coconut palms are planted on the Palm Course fairways, many of which are reflected in the lakes that dot the course. The views of the course will certainly call to mind the tropical setting that inspired the home’s architectural design. Like the other residents here, the owners will experience that sense of place and being at home that is a Grey Oaks hallmark.”
One of the central design criteria was a focus on family. The owners regularly host their growing family, including grandchildren, and wanted ample space for entertaining inside and out, with the addition of private spaces where guests could enjoy personal time. With five bedrooms in its 8,200-square-foot interior, the home also takes advantage of beautiful golf course views with a spacious outdoor living area and a separate carriage house and workshop that complements its 12,000-square-foot design.


The West Indies architecture is brought to life with large wrap-around balconies, open railings and louvered shutters. The concrete tile roof is fashioned in a split shake pattern and provides a perfect parallel to the durable HardiPlank and stucco exterior finish. The color palette includes a pale yellow, highlighted by white trim and green shutter accents.

Calling upon another trusted relationship, the client selected Romanza Interior Design to develop and execute the home’s interior décor. Having worked with the company to personalize their home at The Estuary, they decided to engage the services of Senior Designer Michael Scott. “The client had some very clear ideas with respect to the interior design, one of which was an ample display of their favorite colors that included greens, yellows, coral, and turquoise,” says Scott.

Because of the confidence the client placed with London Bay, they were comfortable deferring some of the decision making to the builder which allowed for an even more timely 11-month construction schedule. “A home of this size could have easily taken 18 months or more to build, but because of our relationships and our internal processes, we were able to cut that time frame dramatically,” Miller says.

The home itself is a stylish example of West Indies living. Large French doors and high ceilings serve a dual purpose of adding eye-catching design elements, but also allowing for natural light to illuminate the home. The ceilings include crown molding with concealed lighting elements for bright, indirect lighting at night.

To create a more functional floor plan to accommodate the client’s lifestyle, the traditional study was removed from the home, creating a living room that’s nearly 50 percent larger than what is normally found in other homes of this size. The large living area is not only spacious, but also incorporates three separate seating areas, framed by several floor-to-ceiling built-ins. The display areas include specially designed LED lighting configurations that can be easily changed, along with the shelving, to accommodate different display pieces.
One West Indies accent element that’s carried throughout the home is sustainable bamboo flooring. In the family room, the bamboo also creates a unique wall covering background for a 103-inch television. And while the client selected a 72-inch screen for the space, it demonstrates the flexible design of the home’s custom millwork. The family room includes Venetian-plaster walls finished in a Kiwi green, vaulted ceiling painted in crisp white, and many colorful accent items to create a comfortable and cheery setting.
The focus on entertaining with family and friends extends into the home’s three separate dining areas, all within close proximity to the kitchen and butler’s pantry. In a space that is many times devoted to a wine cellar, the homeowners chose to create an overflow seating area. This complements a spacious island and peninsula that typically becomes a favorite gathering place for guests. The kitchen itself is bright with large areas of grass cloth with hand-painted stenciled lattice between the ceiling beams serving as a unique design element. Lighted cabinetry in a coordinating Kiwi green color frame the sink area and provide contrast to the kitchen’s yellow Venetian-finished walls. Ceasarstone was selected for the countertops. A breakfast area with large windows and Wicker furnishings looks across the pool pavilion and summer kitchen to the golf course beyond.
For solace, the homeowners created a large master suite that extends across an entire wing of the home. Its reading alcove contains French doors that open onto a private garden area. The master suite is done in a soft yellow plaster finish and accented in fabrics of coral and green floral designs. In the master bath, double glass panels between the shower and the main space were sandblasted to create an impression of rain but also create privacy.
The home’s other four bedroom suites also provide for secluded family areas, but not without a whimsical element of fun. A children’s bedroom includes four bunk beds with each grandchild having their own LED lighting control and a rolling ladder that moves between the beds.
It is the home’s outdoor living areas that best exemplify the client’s desire for family fun. Here, they chose to adjoin the interior and exterior spaces with large sliding glass panel doors that pocket into the wall. Colorful draperies frame the outdoor vista and again provide unity with the home’s overall colors palette. The outdoor dining and seating areas, beneath a beamed loggia draped in wisteria look across the infinity-edge lap pool that is lined with green mosaic Tiffany glass.
The pool cabana, a private retreat area most often used as a guest suite, serves another purpose for this client. It has been fashioned as a working office for the man of the house, complete with full bath, closet, morning bar and golf course views. But the most playful element of the outdoor space is a splash fountain designed especially for the grandchildren. Computerized electronics and LED lighting can be used to design and set colorful water shows to music. In fact, the system allows the user to operate the show from a Smartphone device, allowing the grandparents to surprise the children with playful spouts of water. The home also has a Lutron lighting system and an integrated Crestron home automation system that operates security and the home’s entertainment systems. London Bay President Mark Wilson said he has received a lot of positive feedback from the client. “Our team worked very well together,” he says. “We appreciate the trust they placed in us and take great pride in the fact that they have already received such enjoyment from their new home.”
Written by Mary Lou Smart