top of page

Aquatic Allusion

The front of the home adapts British West Indies style to the Florida vernacular according to Guzman. “The use of cleaner lines, rectangular windows, Bahamian-style shutters, sand-finished stucco, and bracketry at the eaves of the roofline are important details we are seeing these days,” he says. 10-foot high mahogany doors with glass insets bring about a sense of grandeur, and tiny ball-shaped fountains introduce the water theme. An out-of-the-ordinary move: the garage doors are placed out of sight so as not to detract from the front elevation’s stunning ranch profile.

Situated within an inland neighborhood in Naples, this home’s references to the ocean, be they subtle or overt, allude to a seaside locale. Nautical motifs appear in the furnishings, fabrics and artwork. And no, none of this is unintentional. “Coastal is the buzzword these days,” acknowledges John Zagar of McGarvey Custom Homes, the builder of this 4,476-square-foot residence as well as numerous others in the Quail West community. Zagar was on-board with the genre of the moment, as long as it didn’t get too “cottage-ey” and instead lent itself more to transitional/contemporary coastal.

The space that would generally be used as a foyer has been repurposed as an inviting reception parlor. A pair of cushiony Braxton Culler Osborne chairs surrounds a Bernhardt Candide cocktail table which features intricate, open metalwork. The right wall is inset with Phillip Jeffries silk and abaca wallcovering. On the left, a large mirror creates the illusion of expansiveness. A huge picture window, fashioned with draperies cut from Fabricut Bahsora Chevron frames the view of the pool. Colorways of Mediterranean Sea and Aqua Haze hint at the ocean, while the shell prints from Currey & Co. are a more direct reference.

The coastal homage continues into the voluminous great room, where darkly-stained driftwood tongue-and-groove with contrasting white beams is applied to the ceiling. A wall unit custom-built from driftwood by Tradewind Designs is backed by Arte Hive wallcovering in Blonde Maple. The ample seating consists of two Taylor King Larsen swivel chairs in lagoon chenille and a Lexington Strada sectional in Plush Nude. Behind the sofa it’s game time, as Lexington’s Ariana armchairs, upholstered in a wavy peacock pattern, flank a Vanguard leather table with nailhead detail. In the foreground, the gray Ava side table generates a ripple effect.

He was resolute in implementing statement water features like bubbling fountains and a reflecting pond, committed to clean lines, and unafraid to let the designer upholster major pieces and paint focal areas in seaside hues of turquoise, teal, and aqua.

Before any ground is broken, a concept is born, and so it was residential designer Rich Guzman of R.G. Designs who developed the home’s parameters from the outset. His vision included a “less is more” approach to the exterior, soaring ceilings indoors as allowed by the one-story ranch profile, and an efficient, contemporary layout suited to today’s market. “Any good floor plan still has traditional elements—a kitchen to cook in, a bed to sleep in—but the simplicity of the layout makes it easier to focus on the details,” says Guzman.

“This is not your typical dining room,” remarks Guzman, acknowledging its unconventional placement beside the loggia, pool and spa. Mitered glass provides necessary separation from the outdoors, so you feel like you’re dining al fresco when in fact, you are cool and comfortable inside. The fabric on the Lexington dining chairs calls to mind ocean waves. The built-in driftwood credenza custom-designed by Tradewind Designs, offers storage and display. Acrylic cube light fixtures by George Kovacs light the night.

Along with the rest of the team, Guzman prioritized allusions to water. “When there’s no waterfront, we need to create our own by emphasizing the pool, landscaping, and outdoor spaces,” Guzman explains. He thereby oriented the rooms so that most could take advantage of the handcrafted aquatic view.

The study emphasizes the cohesiveness of the palette, with a bookcase custom made by Tradewind Designs painted Sherwin-Williams’ Grand Canal. It complements a shaped cornice fabricated from Thibaut Daintree Embroidery in Blue Moon. An inspired workplace is created with the inclusion of the sleek, dual trestle Scribner desk by Michael Weiss, paired with the tweed Leighton chair, both from Vanguard. Cyan Design’s adjustable Pixor table lamp in polished nickel brings a utilitarian vibe.

The bright kitchen overlooks a courtyard, keeping the sense of nature ever present. The center island, finished in dark driftwood, grounds the palette and contrasts the crisp white cabinetry, which houses two integrated SubZero refrigerators from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. The island is topped in Victoria Falls quartzite. A Presidio five-light linear fixture from Visual Comfort hangs above. Sand-colored, multi-dimensional rhomboid tiles beautify the backsplash. Vanguard’s Piers counter stools boast creative, coral-themed bases and vibrant peacock-hued cushions. “The kitchen is equipped with high-end Wolf induction cooktop and SubZero appliances but nothing is obtrusive… it’s kept clean,” says Zagar.

The happy medium between dark and light finishes, the layered effect on the ceilings and elsewhere, and the restrained neutral palette with vibrant pops of color—all of these and more are attributed to interior designer Chrissy Howard and her associate Barbara Schwenk of Jinx McDonald Interior Design. “The coastal elements we incorporated are apparent, but elegant and not too literal,” says Howard. “’Coastal Current’ is the style we derived.”

“I get more comments about the master bath shower than anything else in the house,” notes Zagar, referring to the gorgeous chevron tilework. A decorative, contemporary floating tub rests in front of the glass shower wall. The cabinets are topped with Fantasy Brown marble. In contrast to the bedroom, the ceiling is more transitional with cove-lit reverse soffits. A Posini Euro Vestachrome and LED circular pendant imparts pure glamour. The master sanctuary is completed with walk-in closets customized by PLC Closets.

Coastal features are abundant in the master bedroom, from an oceanic blue-upholstered Vanguard Pennington king bed to Bernhardt’s Adagio bachelor’s chest fronted with Capiz shell. The pair of Century Joyce ottomans at the foot of the bed are wrapped in Robert Allen Neptune patterned velvet. A sand-toned daybed from Jessica Charles is placed by the window. “We wanted a free-flowing ceiling, so we created a 4-sided slope,” explains Guzman. A Hudson Valley Wentworth chandelier dangles in the center. Paintings depicting nautical shells make for fitting wall décor.

Howard selected elegant silver travertine for the flooring and wall insert on the loggia. The feature wall boasts a see-through fireplace that offers a peek of the pool and spa. “I designed this magical fire and water detail years ago and it’s still relevant,” says Guzman, joking “My wife says I’m not romantic, so this is my way of showing otherwise.” Outside dining and convening is made possible by woven and wooden furnishings from Cabana Coast’s Riverside collection. Wendover Art’s earthy Big Waves on plexiglass is yet another attention-grabber.

The feeling of excitement as you step into the backyard is heightened by an elevated spa with a 360-degree spillover, a lengthy swimming pool, and a reflection pond with spouting fountains lit from underneath. There are so many clean lines, from the columns to the hardscaping, that the movement from classic to contemporary is almost palpable. “The glass sliders are very contemporary but don’t push the boundaries, so it’s very transitional and a lot of fun,” states Zagar.

Andersen Windows 100 4th Avenue Bayport, MN 55003 1.800.426.4261

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 38 Goodlette-Frank Road S. Naples, FL 34102 239.643.0070

Jinx McDonald Interior Designs 1959 Trade Center Way Naples, FL 34109 239.598.4800

McGarvey Custom Homes 9260 Estero Park Commons Blvd., Suite 101 Estero, FL 33928 239.738.7800

PLC Closets 1408 Railhead Blvd Naples, FL 34110 239.260.1890

R.G. Designs 28071 Vanderbilt Drive Bonita Springs, FL 34134 239.949.2929

Tradewind Designs 2800 Davis Boulevard, Suite 112 Naples, FL 34104 239.354.4708

Written by Robin Hodes Photography by Amber Frederiksen


bottom of page