Suncoast : Home Tour : Understated Elegance

What started as a vacant lot on Anna Maria Island has become the dream-home come true for homeowners Jason and Lauren Sato. Full of youthful energy, this couple envisioned a home that would be inviting to family and friends, yet sophisticated in its design, “The biggest thing for us was building a home that would be functional for our family” Mr. Sato explains, “We wanted to maximize the space and be able to entertain guests comfortably.”

Regulations on the Island determined the floor plan of the home to some degree. It is required for new structures to reach a certain elevation for the main living areas. Unlike many of the other homes in the region that adhere to a multiple split-level layout, this Mason Martin Builders home keeps all the living space on one living plane on the second story. The entry level looks straight through to the pool cabana at the back of the house, serving as an entertainment space for the family, while the kitchen, living room, dining room, playroom, and all bedrooms are upstairs together.

The façade of the home offers a glimpse of this unassuming, modern blueprint. Sylvester palms, from Right Way Design, frame the custom front door, welcoming guests without overwhelming the eye. “The Brubacher Brothers use handcrafted ipe, which is a Brazilian wood. The railing upstairs is custom, too. It is just great craftsmanship,” explains Jake Martin and Frank Agnelli of Mason Martin Builders. The symmetry of the house façade, with twin his and hers two-car garages bookending the entryway, features stone brought in from the Florida Keys.

The wide-open layout of the upstairs connects the living room, kitchen, and dining room without hallways. It is therefore essential to create unity while defining each space. “The concept of the seating area allows everyone to be in the same room, but not in the same space,” says designer Jessica Holmes Holiday of HSH Designs. Tall ceilings give the room a loft feel; the seating divides the spaces into various niches that each pull in the clean lines of the modern design. It is the rug from Rugs As Art, however, that drives the colors for the living room. “This transitional rug is hand knotted in India of 100% wool and features rich blue tones complementing an oversized pattern,” describes Jesse Murse of Rugs As Art.

The gray tones throughout the living room create a neutral, sleek palette that allows the rug to pop. Punches of color in the art and pillows tie the space together. Finally, the decision to extend the veneered, white onyx stone fireplace wall elongates the space, while a combination of floating shelves on the split face quartz wall, sourced from Oracle Surfaces, give it fluidity. From bathroom tile, counter top selections, back splashes to a gorgeous stone wall, there isn’t one room in our house that doesn’t have Liliana’s touch,” raves homeowner Lauren Sato.

When it came to the kitchen, Lauren Sato knew she wanted black and white. According to Brandon Campbell of Campbell Cabinetry Designs, “This is a great look, but poses the challenge of not being too stark. To achieve this, we chose a dark stain rather than a black paint. The hand-rubbed stain allows for the wood grain to bring a soft, yet rich depth to the finish,” adds Campbell. To tie in the dark island with the white background, Campbell decided to accent the interiors of the glass sections with the same finish. All the cabinets are made of maple, and the construction is inset which creates clean lines. Triplet crystal chandeliers over the island create a sophisticated light source that sets the tone for the glamour of the room.

Since the dining room is open to rest of the house, the challenge is to make the dining room its own space without detracting from the featured living room. Starting with Benjamin Moore metallic paint on the walls offers a shimmer that gives the space an identity of its own. The white linen drapes ensure that the dining room is not lost in the drama of the other rooms, while the rug provides color accents. According to Murse, the “contemporary rug is hand-knotted in India of 100% wool and features an ikat design in varying shades of blue and gray.” The artwork ties into that color scheme without diminishing the vibrant feel of the shouldering living room. Designer Holiday notes, “a black silk dim shade around the crystal chandelier adds depth and dimension to the space,” again working to set the room apart without detracting from other elements of the home. Sturdy and comfortable furniture complete the dining room, making it a perfect space for daily dining. The decorative touches on the chair backs, however, speak to the versatility of the dining room, and with the addition of the table leaf and extra seating, a sophisticated eating space emerges.

If the open design of the common areas creates a spacious feel, the master suite can be said to be an extension of that vision. Homeowner Jason Sato worked on the floor plan himself. “We wanted a wide open door to the bathroom and a walk-in closet through to the far side,” describes Sato. Featuring a four-poster bed to draw the eye up to the 13-foot vaulted ceiling, the master bedroom brings together luxury and warmth. The room boasts a contemporary and whimsical chandelier, crystal lamps on the night stands, and a chic bench at the foot of the bed, opposite a settee. The jewel tones in the pillows and wall art stand out from neutral bedding, and the gray velvet drapes soften the space, giving a luxurious feel to the room.

The master bathroom, opening directly from the bedroom, uses clean lines to distinguish the separate spaces. The base cabinets are on legs with open shelving below to create an open, lighter look. “We gave them plenty of storage with drawers in the bases and flanking the left and right with towers,” describes Campbell. A large, floor-to-ceiling glass shower is just one feature of the master bathroom, whose fixtures were sourced from The Plumbing Place. Damask porcelain wall tile by Oracle Surfaces flows from the shower into the rest of the bathroom, making a seamless transition to the dual vanities. A lamb’s wool rug from New Zealand softens the room, and a black glass chandelier lighting fixture offers a touch of smoky warmth with style.

The must-have walk-in closet signals the end of the master bathroom, adding weight to the overall wow factor of this extraordinary master suite. “Lauren Sato gave me the freedom to play with textures, colors, patterns, and very modern bathrooms made with high-end tiles mostly from Porcelanosa,” describes Liliana Allen of Oracle Surfaces.

Situated at the end of a canal just off of Tampa Bay, the home site offers privacy in the back yard that begs for a large outdoor entertaining area. The back patio showcases three substantial seating areas, each with its own purpose. Guests can enjoy the pool, share a meal in the outdoor dining area, or relax in the under-cover hot tub. The cypress wood ceiling planks create a streamlined look for the patio that carries the dark flooring of the interior, outside. Complete with durable furniture, bright colors, and custom-made indoor/outdoor Trina Turk pillows, this space is made for leisure.

From the metallic cork wallpaper of the foyer to the recessed LED lights of the patio, this residence truly speaks to the value of detail. As Holiday reflects on the finished product, “Using clean lines, a grey palate, and punching the rooms with vibrant color helped achieve a nice mix of fun, youthful, and still understated elegance.”

Written by Kasye Beza
Photography by Jimmy White Photography

Campbell Cabinetry Designs Inc.
1531 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

HSH Designs, Inc.
1220 East Avenue North
Sarasota, FL 34237

Mason Martin Builders
6000 Marina Drive, Suite 105
Holmes Beach, FL 34207

Oracle Surfaces
514 Central Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236

Rugs As Art, Inc.
6650 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34231

The Plumbing Place
5678 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34232

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Luxury Homes | Interior Design | Home Furnishings

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