Tucked away off a quiet street on Siesta Key is a home that embodies the island’s cozy, old Florida ease with a unique sophistication. Born from a special respect for the clients’ hopes and expectations, builder Richard Perrone of Perrone Construction, and Interior Designer Carrie Riley of Riley Interior Design have created a dream retreat. “As a team, we had a very enjoyable process. It was a lot of fun working with our client, working with Carrie Riley, and I think that enjoyment comes through in the end result,” says Perrone. With approximately 8,600 square feet under air, and containing five bedrooms and five and a half baths, the residence is a master course on the use of symmetry and contrast, and the definition of a carefully customized home.
Through the front gate, visitors are greeted by lush tropical landscaping and limestone which work together to create a perfectly realized vision of an island estate. The landscape was also used to create a symmetrical feel to the front of the home, echoed by the two wings and the double stair case leading to the front door. Turkish limestone covers the exterior of the lower level of the home, and was also used to create the stairway.
In the grand foyer, the custom staircase becomes the clear focal point, leading the up to tall ceilings and architectural lighting. The stairs take an unusual winding path guided by the custom railing system. Wood rails, polished stainless steel, and bronze finished posts come together to create a staircase that is absolutely unique, and sets the warm and inviting tone for the rest of the house. Hanging above the stairway are two unusual light fixtures. Selected by Riley and supplied by LyteWorks, these stunning Vertigo lights from Corbett Lighting provide an accent of whimsy that pairs perfectly with the stairway. The porthole window above the second landing is exemplary of the design style of the house which Riley aptly calls “island contemporary casual.” Riley also explains that throughout the design process “the homeowner had a lot of input on the design directive and inspiration. They were very clear on saying this is the look I like and this is what I want it to feel like. They visit different resorts and said ‘This particular place I want it to have that feel and I want to have that sort of connection with it.”
The simplicity of the furniture arrangement in the living room draws attention to the two focal points – the stylish candle box that provides the feel of a cozy fireplace, and the breathtaking view of the bay and the Sarasota skyline in the distance. This room highlights the care taken by Riley to showcase the family’s prized artifacts. According to Riley “The family has amazing artifacts from all over the world and we wanted to design around them and for them.”
The kitchen is both functional and conducive to socializing, inviting guests to sit and chat around the large central island. In front of the large pass through to the living room is a prep sink with a gorgeous back splash, which wraps around the room and is continued on the wall behind the range. As explained by Brigid Saah of Tile Market of Sarasota “the white custom tile creates a textural weave effect which complements the darker tones of the room.” The coconut shell ceiling tiles are a durable green product provided by La Casa Tile, and give the room another great textural element.
The layout of the dining room serves first and foremost to complement and accentuate the view. The custom hanging light fixture from Hammerton seems to place floating candles in front of the water, creating a splendid effect. The dining table, from Adriana Hoyos, has a classic appeal, while integrating contemporary elements like an inlaid trim line and a center cutout in the foot. The large window frames a picturesque view of the gulf.
The master bedroom showcases a refined intimacy with the contrast of the dark wood and light walls, which is tempered with the use of lighter accents, such as the rug, bedding, and furniture. Mid tones, like the drawer fronts on the night stands and the window treatments add depth to the room. The long candle box, finished in slate gray, aids in softening the contrast, and adds an undeniable element of romance. Beams and a wood in the ceiling create a dramatic ceiling and accentuates the hight in the room.
The master bathroom provides a view that is nothing short of world class. The Barcelona Model bathtub, by Victoria and Albert, has a modern appeal and enjoys not only the fantastic water scene, but, through a purposeful optical illusion employing the use of the rooms two large mirrors, seems to be surrounded on three sides by water. The window is framed by hand sculpted Italian marble tiles that meld perfectly with the vista. The custom square boardered Malidori yarn rug, from Rugs as Art, adds a touch of softness to the room. The ceiling here, as in most rooms in the house, has a complimentary design contribution. “We wanted the ceilings to carry a design that is both simple and unique but not over done,” Perrone explains.
From the threshold of the master closet, the personal customization that went into the home’s creation is highly apparent. The forward “his” section achieves the effect of an upscale men’s store through the use of clean, modern light fixtures and dark stained custom built walnut cabinetry, by Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Inc. The rear section, specially designed for the lady of the house, evokes the look of a high end boutique. The white custom cabinetry and the Savoy House chandelier combine to create a light, airy space. Darrin Campbell, of Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Inc, explains “We design closets to have a retail feel so that the client feels like they are walking into their own store to pick out their clothes.”
Designed for the daughter of the family, one of the home’s bedrooms is an interesting blend of contemporary and vintage elements. Riley incorporates beautiful pieces from the family’s collection, though the handmade Chinese embroidery on the wall and the chandelier hung in front of the large window. Drawing from the pink cherry blossoms in the Chinese embroidery, Riley uses pink in playful ways throughout the room.
The adjacent bathroom also lacks the use of heavy contrast, instead using a selection of white and gray tones. This room is intended to appeal to a child at any age, with fun elements such as the Dune glass tile on the shower floor, which Alan Lovera of Oracle Surfaces explains creates “a silver glass pebble floor”, and the Dune multi-color tile with a silver glitter stripe on the shower walls. John Smithman, President and owner of The Plumbing Place, explains that the elegant vessel sink is a “stainless steel sink glazed with a porcelain coating making it look like a porcelain sink while allowing it to remain very thin. The Alape sink sits atop custom floating cabinets.
The lanai is the perfect example of the island’s style influence on the house. In this large space simple furnishings encompasses an intimate gathering area round the gas fire pit and a seating area perfectly placed to enjoy the beautiful view. Rising above the outdoor kitchen is a remarkable textured limestone wall with built in candle shelves. The limestone tiles from Marble Systems, called Dimensions, was designed by Riley, and arranged and installed by Oracle Surfaces to create the unique pattern. Alan Lovera of Oracle Surfaces, explains that the tiles “come in different widths and thicknesses and we put them together randomly to create the pattern.”
At the rear of the house, the entire vision comes together. The large limestone patio surrounding a stunning glass tile pool with an edgeless spa that seems to float on the surface is reminiscent of a tropical resort. Here the truly magical effect of the limestone candle wall on the grand balcony as the candles appear to float tranquilly in the salt laced evening air. As a final nod to the amazing location in which the house sits, a spiral staircase leads from the upper floor to a roof top observation deck where the view of the downtown skyline and all of Sarasota Bay can be enjoyed.
Written by Eric Porteus
Photography by Jimmy White
Campbell Cabinetry Designs, Inc.
1531 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
La Casa Tile, LLC
1777 Northgate Boulevard, Unit A-3
Sarasota, FL 34234
816 Manatee Avenue East
Bradenton, FL 34208
Monark Premium Appliance Co.
5670 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232
514 Central Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
7045 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
Riley Interior Design
1929 South Osprey Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34239
Rugs as Art
6650 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231
The Plumbing Place
5678 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232
Tile Market of Sarasota
1962 Main Street, Suite 120
Sarasota, FL 34236