French Flair


 
Since 1982, Freestyle Interiors in Bonita Springs has been furnishing award-winning homes in Southwest Florida. The firm brings their design excellence and construction experience to each project and facilitates the design of each residence from the ground up. The owner of Freestyle Interiors, ASID designer Faith Fix and her associate, ASID Designer Ruta Menaghlazi, have created another stunning home in Barefoot Beach. Working closely with Bill and Tom Potter of Potter Homes, residential designer Rich Guzman of R. G. Designs, and Vincent Tormey of Distinctive Kitchen Studio, the design team of Fix and Menaghlazi began their meticulous selection of the design elements with the home’s exterior, where the residence was given a finish reminiscent of alabaster plasterwork with a porcelain-like finish.
 
The paint color on the shutters, riverway, was specifically chosen as an accent element, as were the pale gray entrance columns. Together with the height of the residence, the design elements serve to create a light and airy, beachfront feel at the front of the home. Drawing upon French influences, Fix and Menaghlazi consulted on the plans for the home with R.G. Designs, Inc., a well respected firm whose goal is to to create one-of-a-kind, custom luxury residences for a discriminating and passionately unique clientele. Guzman believes that each home is an extension of the individual and they strive to translate that into a beautiful and enduring work of art. With the plans drawn, Bill and Tom Potter of Potter Homes stepped in to oversee the construction of the residence and manage the project, as they believe that daily, hands-on management is critical to building a dream home.
 
The main living areas throughout the home feature chiseled-edge, brushed-oyster stone flooring. In the spacious living room, two walls of pocket sliding doors offer breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. The feature wall has custom cabinetry comprised of a built-in unit surrounding the fireplace. With crisp, clean lines, and a tongue-and-groove application at the back panels, the details form a cross pattern on the doors. The muted color palette was carried through to the furnishings, with the sofa covered in cream linen. Accent pillows provide a pop of color by introducing a blend of lagoon colors and tapestry prints. The reclaimed wood and wrought-iron base of the coffee table have been paired with a natural fiber area rug in warm shades of aqua and earth tones.
 
The feeling of warmth and elegance carries through to the designer kitchen. Here, Fix and Menaghlazi consulted with Vincent Tormey, the owner of Distinctive Kitchen Studio, who brought his expertise and over 30 years of experience in the cabinet industry in both Europe and Southwest Florida to the project. Together, they decided upon custom, honey-color cabinets that were given a glaze finish offset to perfection by the natural stone backsplash of mosaic accents. Fix and Menaghlazi, working on the kitchen plans with Tormey, chose to extend the space to a pantry, which works as an extension of the kitchen and serves to house part-time appliances.
 
The granite countertops were done in a surf green. A dining table of reclaimed wood holds center place in the dining room and anchors the chairs. Here, Fix and Menaghlazi added visual interest by using two different styles of seating; the modified, wing-backed host and hostess chairs are covered in a striped fabric, while the side chairs feature cane backs and natural washed linen skirts. The vintage, wood-orb chandelier light fixture in a dry wood patina finish features Edison filament bulbs, which were used throughout the home.
Located on the first floor of the residence, the media room offers walls covered in a rich, textured burlap fabric offset by custom white paneling that has been integrated with the trim work around the doors and windows. The trim was designed to incorporate a hidden door to the room that houses the audio and visual equipment. There is also an adjacent morning kitchen. The large, sectional sofa has been covered in Belgian linen and holds accent pillows printed with images of vintage Parisian maps.
 
The design of the spectacular staircase was a further joint effort between Fix and Menaghlazi, who chose to use aged, black iron railings with an alternating design of circles and pickets that are finished with a driftwood handrail. The stairs were produced from brushed champagne wood. Eyes are drawn upwards by the custom spoke pattern of the ceiling above, the molding panels, and a series of black iron sconces finished with white linen shades.

A French influence runs through the design of the master bedroom, where the upholstered linen headboard had been set against a wall covered in a grass cloth comprised of various ocean tones. At the foot of the bed, the television is cleverly concealed in a hidden, scissor-lift cabinet. Fix and Menaghlazi chose to cover the bed in a white linen fabric accented with a pinstripe and embroidered detail. On either side of the bed, driftwood nightstands with antique mirror accents hold vintage, mercury-glass lamps topped by linen shades. In the adjacent sitting room, the Gallic inspired chaise lounge offers a spot from which to enjoy one of the best views of the Gulf from the house. The sitting room leads into an office and half bath. Here, the window valances were done in a black linen fabric with an architectural motif. The trestle-style desk was made from reclaimed wood and the credenza behind the desk is comprised of a pair of French cabinets. A convenient beverage tray, a cozy wing-backed chair, and a pharmacy lamp make for warm and welcoming design elements in this private space.
 
In the large and inviting master bath, the sculptural, floating tub was paired with a retro floor faucet and sits before a pair of large windows offering views of the Gulf. Further elegant appointments include the Travertine marble floors and the custom wainscoting painted a crisp white. The double vanities boast Madreperola granite countertops, while the frame-less shower doors give the illusion of uninterrupted space. Deceptively simple in its design, the master bath certainly delivers a “wow” factor.
A second master bedroom sits by itself at the very top of the house, where guests are treated to stunning Gulf views. Fix and Menaghlazi achieved a spa-like quality in the space by beginning with a soft, blue fog paint color on the walls. The mansard coffered ceiling boasts tongue and groove, as well as beam elements for visual interest. The headboard was covered in a light, charcoal linen and finished with nail-head trim. Capice shell wall sconces hang at either side of the bed, while other natural accents throughout the room include driftwood branches and orchids. The sitting area at the foot of the bed includes a gable-legged trestle table to hold morning coffee without obstructing the views through the sliding doors on the opposite wall.
 
Enjoying the water views and the company of guests is easy to do in the classically designed outdoor living area. Shell stone was used on the floors and at the fireplace, where amber colored glass tiles were added as accents. The Cypress cabinets are paired with countertops of ivory coast granite and together add organic elements to the space. The outdoor kitchen incorporates every convenience, including a stainless-steel barbecue grill and refrigerator. Crowning the space is a Cypress tongue-and-groove ceiling and the wicker furniture in the seating area includes a loveseat and two chairs. The nesting tables can be easily moved for ease of entertainment, while the dining table and chairs overlook the pool and tropical gardens to rival any found on the French Riviera.
 
Freestyle Interiors has conceived and executed a design for a residence that represents the very best of Florida living.