“Anyone who has ever built a home knows, there are a lot of moving targets once the process gets underway, “ says Mike Assaad, President of Waterside Builders. “There is a logic and order to construction, and of course, there’s the human factor. Almost everyone makes some changes midway, especially to the trim and finish elements.” For the past year, Assaad and Architect, Matthew Kragh, of MHK Architecture, have been bringing their vision of an Old Naples cottage to life on a grand scale. “We had more than the normal upfront design work and conversation with the client,” says Kragh. “And this has made the process incredibly smooth. Any changes that have come along have been easily assimilated.”
Kragh and Assaad have worked together on numerous projects; they share an easy rapport and a solid understanding of what they are trying to accomplish architecturally. Old Naples-style cottages are typically situated on small lots. In this case, however, the property is full size, which allows for the scale of the home to increase by two or three fold ─ that is both a challenge and an opportunity. “We want the clients to get exactly what they want,” explains Assaad. “It just takes time and patience. Most people find it hard to look at plans and see what the finished product is going to look like. That’s just normal. Changes happen.”
“The scale of the home allows it to be more functional than a standard cottage; space is really at a premium,” says Kragh. “We’re able to give it the look and the feel of an older home with the livability of a newer one. We went through a lot of refinements to get just the right balance.” Kragh goes on to add that his favorite thing about the house is how deceiving it is from the street. “We started with an older home and have maintained the character, charm, and scale of the original façade. Once you walk through the entrance, though, the space opens up and there is a ton of light pouring in. It’s fabulous.”
Interior Designer, Heather Garrett, shares his enthusiasm. “The way in which you enter a home always sets the stage. Here, the doors open and you see continuously through the sundrenched open space to the French doors on the pool deck. It’s really extraordinary.” Another benefit of the scale and the light, according to Garrett, is that it allows the use of saturated color without making the space feel dark or heavy. “The owner loves strong, rich color and this light-flooded space can really handle it well.” Garrett is working with an eclectic mix of finishes, furniture, and artwork to create a lively, yet relaxing, home. The floors are bleached and limed which adds interest and patina to the knots and the wood grain. Gracing the high ceilings are walnut stained beams with beautiful pegging. A blend of antiques and linens will contribute to the casually sophisticated look. The owners will be moving into the home later this summer. The finishing touches and landscaping are underway.
Throughout the process, Waterside Builders has supplied the owners with an ongoing progress report complete with photographs and video clips. “They love being able to see what’s happening,” says Assaad. “We’re big on sending emails that highlight different areas and activities. It a great comfort to see progress as it happens.” When the project is complete, Waterside Builders will have a photo album for the owners documenting the job from start to finish. Everyone involved points to good communication as one of the most critical components in the project’s successful completion. “It’s turned out even better than we imagined,” says Kragh with a smile.
The Old Naples cottage reinvention on 8th Avenue is due for completion in July 2012—just in time for some celebratory fireworks! Sponsored by:
Waterside Builders, 790 Harbour Drive, Naples, FL 34103 239.430.3883 www.watersidebuildersinc.com Written by Sarah Adams Architects: MHK Architects Interior Design: Heather Garrett Design