The charm of today’s Old Naples is the classic ‘cottage’ home enhanced with 21st century luxury and style. This 4,880 square foot home is an oasis of comfort, infused with exotic influences. When the team at Jeffrey Fisher Home approached this speculative home project, they hypothesized about the profile of the eventual owner long before he/she even came to see it.
“We imagined the potential owners as having traveled the world, collecting many lovely things, honing their taste and suffusing their home with hints of exotic locales like India and Morocco,” describes Jeffrey Fisher. “Like the riads in that part of the world, behind a discreet exterior lies a tranquil oasis.”
G.O. Thornhill, owner of Salem Homes, developer of the property, found the project a unique challenge—ensuring that the home maintained a warm, welcoming feel, regardless of it’s generous size. “The home makes great use of outdoor space for entertaining, while the louvered doors and shutters help it to remain private,” portrays Thornhill, whose company works with the very best architects, designers, and builders to create a new twist on the industry. “We do not build spec homes. For 18 years, we have been building the very best custom homes; homes that only await the perfect owners.”
BBA Development built the home according to their “built solid” trendsetting techniques and aggressive schedules, setting them apart from others in the field. Vice President of BBA Jim Longwell explains, “We integrate modern designs with space-age materials and decades of construction knowledge to create homes second to none.”
Stepping into the foyer, one is greeted with a colorful Kilim rug and an oversize jade-colored bottle decorated with beads, both set on French white oak 12-inch wide-planked wood flooring from Legno Bastone’s Wide Plank Floors Collection. Found throughout the home, the flooring is handcrafted by European artisans, following the tradition first begun in the 1800s by the great-grandfather of the current owner, Arturo Guido.
“We employ the techniques used in making fine furniture,” explains Guido, “creating custom finishes for the designer until we have the perfect marriage of functionality and artistry for your floors.”
“I needed a subtle underpinning to complement not only the serene elements of the home, but the colorful ones as well,” illustrates Fisher, “and Arturo brought sample after sample, until we achieved exactly that light golden, mauve/gray tone, reminding me of the smoky skyline at dusk outside Marrakesh’s souk.”
As part of the home’s neutral backdrop, sheer linen window treatments are repeated throughout the home, with the same drapery hardware in different finishes providing visual consistency. Window light shimmers off a caned chaise from India, inlaid with shell and accented with pillows sporting a traditional Moorish pattern. The punctured metal lighting fixture also draws inspiration from North Africa.
The great room boosts cream linen couches, accented with tribal patterned linen pillows. An antique end table, wood blocks and Indian drums take the place of a more traditional coffee table. Brass-mounted Colonial Revival leather trunks, featuring brass studs, and matching leather and chrome armchairs were discovered at MP Interiors.
Principal of MP Interiors, Mark Fanta states, “Fisher’s well-trained eye and sophisticated approach results in a refined elegance that is unmistakable. The pieces that Fisher selected seem to bridge the Old World and add a bit of retro elegance to the new.”
In the study, Fisher hung the art in a gallery-style on two facing gray grasscloth walls. Borrowing from an age-old European hanging technique, Fisher shares that it helps make any art collection appear more important when hung en masse. The quartet of mid-century modern chairs is upholstered in complementary gray suiting fabric. The patterned silk window treatment and the copper lattice chandelier add textural interest.
The dining room seats eight on reupholstered vintage “Lion In Frost” lucite chairs at a glass-topped table with a metal tree root base. Two brass and chrome chandeliers, with shades resembling champagne flutes, were intertwined and Fisher commissioned a trio of paintings from local artist Juan Carlos Collada to add color to the room.
The streamlined kitchen was designed for entertaining with two Calacatta marble-topped islands (one featuring a trough sink, de rigueur for icing champagne) and off-white custom cabinetry designed by Martin Bess of Design Studio by Raymond. “G.O. Thornhill, Jeffrey Fisher, and I sit down whenever we begin a project and have a discussion about the look and feel we are trying to create with the cabinetry,” explains Bess. “In the kitchens, we try our best to create a space that will function well for the new homeowner. A space suitable for the new owner to be part of the party, while at the same time playing the host,” describes Bess. The same Calacatta marble was cut, polished and beveled to create a reflective backsplash, while four hanging pendants, inset with crystals, form a fantastical light pattern on the ceiling when evening comes.
The master bedroom’s focal point is the Indonesian wood carving above the bed, the pattern of which is echoed in the window treatment’s fabric. Gray Parson’s end tables hold Fisher’s favorite pieces– a pair of refurbished brass inlaid Indian lamps–and a Chippendale-style accent table adds a nod to tradition. The massive vintage oak dresser and elephant training batons, opposite the gray linen upholstered bed, anchor the room.
Under a vaulted tongue-and-groove mahogany ceiling lays the outdoor living room. A hand-woven sea grass sofa sports a knot work pattern. Twin teak cutout chairs, covered in cream linen, and a pair of retro rattan chairs surround a table of reclaimed distressed mahogany. The limestone fireplace makes the space cozy during cooler nights and a metal-filigreed chandelier shines mellow light down encouraging conversation. The outdoor space opens into the indoor great room to further aid the flow of traffic during a party.
A trio of chaise lounges overlooks the lapis-colored pool, the spa of which is delineated by pearlized glass mosaic tiles. Adjacent is the outdoor dining room and summer kitchen, with seating for 12 at the smoked glass-topped adjustable table and modern chair set. An antique Moroccan pendant lamp creates a lovely pattern of light on the area’s ceiling after dark, completing the journey this home takes any visitor on upon entering its doors.
Written by Kitt Walsh
Photography by Giovanni Photography
5881 Shirley Street
Naples, FL 34109
Design Studio by Raymond
990 1st Avenue North
Naples, FL 34102
Jeffrey Fisher Home
Legno Bastone Wide Plank Flooring
2684 South Horseshoe Drive
Naples, FL 34104
MP Interiors/Miromar Design Center
10800 Corkscrew Road, #348
Estero FL 33928
1395 3rd Street South
Naples, FL 34102