With five bedrooms, seven and a half bathrooms, and 10,000-plus square feet of luxury living—including an immaculately appointed guesthouse—La Playa is a sprawling, yet serene, beachside manor where comfort and style live in harmony.
When it came time to build their dream home, La Playa’s savvy year-round residents enlisted the help of Stofft Cooney architects, Collins & DuPont Interior Design and BCB Homes to bring their vision to life. The original inspiration for a beach-loving family was to combine the best of East Coast resort styles. Lap siding and a metal roof with wood bracketing evoke Old Florida. The heavy timber post and beam structure call to mind Nantucket, and the courtyard is a nod to Low Country. The challenge was in blending these ideas into a seamless design with low maintenance materials befitting an active and growing family.
La Playa is not only beautifully regal, it is also incredibly secure. A concrete roof, one of the largest and steepest of its kind to be installed on a private residence, ensures that the structure will withstand whatever weather the Gulf throws its way.
That roof posed an exciting challenge to the builders because the concrete had to be poured over a steep pitch and then covered with metal so the underlying material would not be visible. “The roof and its particular specifications was a major highlight of the project,” says BCB Vice President Greg Brisson. “We took the homeowner’s concept and came up with an incredibly robust and strong structure.”
As with other beachfront property, the structure also had to be elevated. The ground floor houses a six-car garage, and the entry lobby features stairs and an elevator leading the way up to the main floor living space.
One of the challenges in designing a spacious home such as this one is in keeping the look “homey.” This was done in part by managing the proportions of the rooms to a comfortable scale and by using reclaimed woods and soft linens for a textured, casual look. It begins with the inner “landing pad,” where a built-in bleached maple storage nook and table provide a place for shoes, hats and cell phones, and extends through the living spaces where the furniture is easygoing and approachable.
“We wanted the feel to be very relaxed, very comfortable,” says DuPont. “The fabrics are all soft, with a washed finish that you want to touch.”
The neutral palette of gray blues, ivories and beiges and bountiful streaming natural light are a constant reminder of the beach, inside and out. While the windows on the outside are proportional, their elevation is in keeping with the home’s traditional style. The Gulf facing walls are full of large windows that capture the stunning views. “When we build a beachfront or waterfront residence, we try to take advantage of every opportunity to capitalize on the water views. My goal in developing the floor plan, was to allow as many of the rooms a glimpse of this seascape, even the guest bedrooms,” says architect John Cooney. This attention to the view carries on throughout the home to include the great room, office, kitchen, dining area, bar and master bedrooms as well.
Limestone floors and tongue-and-groove wood ceiling beams, which cleverly disguise AC registers, lend a rustic warmth to the kitchen and eating area, while a marble-topped island with second sink, and recessed coffee bar with camouflaged mini-fridge and freezer offers modern conveniences.
The formal dining room is dominated by a custom-built walnut table and English-style chairs. Crisp white wainscoting, a Niermann Weeks chandelier with matching sconces, and a beachscape painting from the owners’ personal collection accent the monochromatic swath of golden sand.
With its soothing sitting area, the master suite echoes the themes of the house: reclaimed European white oak wood flooring, cypress ceiling, gauzy drapery and soft colors. “We chose to tuck the television away and stick with quiet hues, so that nothing would interfere with the phenomenal view,” DuPont says. “We went for a soft, neutral space with a monochromatic layering of colors.” The master bath has a dual entry shower tucked behind the vanity, marble and limestone floor, and built-in cabinetry from Nantucket. A second, al fresco shower lies just outside the shuttered door.
The detached, one-bedroom guesthouse sits east of the main house, capped by its own concrete roof. Inside, the fully outfitted kitchen overlooks stunning mature Magnolia trees, active plantings, butterfly garden, golf course-quality lawns and fountains, all modeled after Charleston and Savannah-style courtyards. “We brought in stunning trees and plantings. The landscaping is incredibly well planned to offer a year-round view that is very richly detailed,” says Brisson.
On the ocean side of the house is a lagoon-shaped pool and spa amid handset stone decks. Surrounded by swaying palms, the living space includes an outdoor fireplace, bar, well-shaded sitting area and deceptively simple-looking Native American-built chickee hut with television, stereo and wifi. Here as elsewhere, an extremely sensitive Savant smart-home automation system allows the owners to control lights, hurricane shutters, pool heater, televisions, sound systems and more remotely. Perhaps the smartest feature of all, however, is the pergola covered security gate to the beach, which doubles as beach chair storage and foot wash.
“Everything about this property has been very carefully thought out. When you can meet the homeowner’s needs and create an original yet functional design, it’s the greatest sense of accomplishment there is,” concludes John Cooney.
Written by Elisa Ludwig
Photography by Lori Hamilton
Collins & DuPont
8911 Brighton Lane
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Stofft Cooney Architects
633 Ninth Street North
Naples, FL 34102
3696 Enterprise Ave. #100
Naples, FL 34104
United Materials, Inc.
1615 Trade Center Way
Naples, FL 34109