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Ball High

This three-bedroom house welcomes visitors with imported Balinese sculptures made of volcanic ash. The exterior consists of masonry, Brazilian hardwood ipe and cypress, and a tile roof. Black bamboo and coconut palms continue the tropical theme in the landscaping. The exotic quarried coral stone paver from the Florida Keys lead to the home’s D & D Garage Doors. It took one year to build this house, from permits to completion.

Upon arriving at Jake Martin’s home on Anna Maria Island, visitors are greeted by a Balinese statue meaning “welcome.” It’s the first indication of this home’s warm, exotic feel. Martin, a local builder, has built a few residences for himself before, but he may have finally settled down. “I’m so in love with this house,” he proclaims.

He calls its architecture Bali Modern and took inspiration from locales a little closer to home than Southeast Asia. An avid surfer, Martin once lived in Costa Rica, and he often visited his mother in Laguna Beach, California. Both places influence his design aesthetic for this project.

“I’m really good at modern, but not ultra-modern,” Martin says of his style. “I like it more organic. I don’t like the modern stuff that looks like a hospital.”

It’s hard to say which aspect of the living room is most intriguing—the vaulted cypress ceiling that rises to 20 feet, the expansive view of the waterfront, or the Koi pond which encircles the space. So as not to detract from any of these dramatic features, Holiday custom-designed sectional sofas in a neutral fabric that sit low enough not to obstruct the vista. She selected rugs from Rugs as Art to add softness underneath the strong lines of the Tronco Coffee Tables from Noir. Four surfboards hang on the walls. Martin uses three of them, and one was hand-shaped by renowned surfboard shaper Juan Rodriguez. A photo by local photographer Jimmy White graces the hallway.

The dining area matters greatly to Martin who loves to cook and host dinner parties. He furnished it with an espresso-stained walnut table and leather side chairs. A 48-inch linear chandelier hangs above. The dining area is not only conveniently located next to the kitchen, but also boasts a wide view of the backyard oasis, thanks to a pocketing sliders measuring 32-feet wide by 10-feet high.

With a Koi pond surrounding the living room and a vaulted ceiling made of cypress, his home bares no resemblance to a sterile medical facility.

Also warming up the sleek space are the wood and upholstered furnishings. Martin says he’s “always been fascinated with architecture and design,” but his approach to the décor relies more on instinct than formal training.

The kitchen is open to the living space, as well as the outdoor entertaining area. Almost all of the appliances, however, are hidden behind closed doors. The cabinets are made of sapele, a sustainable African hardwood. Martin collaborated with a local cabinet maker on the kitchen, bathrooms and bedroom furniture. Preserving the organic feel, the countertops are soapstone and the backsplash is fossil stone that Holiday helped Martin select to honor nature and add interest without overpowering. The Arteriors pendant lights shimmer on the brushed bronze fabric stools. The rug’s pattern lends some movement to the space without being too textural.

The master bedroom has perhaps the best view in the house. “I studied the sunrise when I built the house,” Martin says. “I wanted to position it the way the sun rises.” He takes full advantage with a private patio area and glass railings, so he can see the birds congregate on the mangrove branches. Martin designed the custom platform bed which Holiday dressed in linens, simple in color and style. “The main art is the outside,” she says. A waterscape photo quietly brings the outdoors in. The Triarch textured-finish walls are embedded with pieces of stone and mica, providing a subtle shine.

The master bathroom’s focal point is undoubtedly the 2,500-pound bathtub. The hollowed-out granite boulder shipped from Bali required a crane to get it in place. Martin surrounded it with Mexican beach pebbles and finished with floor-to-ceiling tiles. The handheld chrome shower fixtures are from the Moen 90 Degree Collection. Extensive sapele cabinets are topped in soapstone.

While he personally selected all of the furnishings and finishes, interior designer Jessica Holiday was brought in to help him source and design some of the pieces. Owner of HSH Designs, Holiday has been in the industry for 15 years and has previously worked with Martin. “Jake and I just click,” she says.

On this project, Holiday appreciated the neutral palette and the creative latitude it afforded her. “I was drawn to the simplicity of the architecture and how detail-oriented yet simple and clean it was,” she explains.

The house has a breathtaking waterfront view that adds to its appeal, and to the decorating challenges. Martin says of his lot selection, “it was an organic, panoramic site that had privacy and would embrace the house I wanted.”

To take full advantage of the property’s vista, he created an open floor plan with a back wall consisting of sliding glass doors and several windows. He and Holiday completed the interior with minimal colors and understated furnishings and fabrics allowing the view to remain the star.

Martin says he will continue to build every house as if it is his own, but his current one has a hold on him. “I feel very grateful to come home to it,” he declares.

With its own balcony encompassed by greenery, the guest suite almost feels like a treehouse. Its furnishings keep with the woodland theme. The oak flooring retains its natural color. Petrified tree trunks serve as nightstands. On the far wall, a Noir Diamond Chest in washed walnut rests next to a Finley Chair in teak. An oversized vintage lamp and unusual artwork from Palecek add texture to the room. Martin and Holiday designed the custom bed, covered in an old sari, and pillows in vintage fabric contribute a pop of color.

The property occupies 160 feet of waterfront, which can be enjoyed from every vantage point, whether taking a dip in the infinity pool or lounging at the end of the dock. At night, the deck becomes another living room, furnished in weathered teak seating around a rectangular fire table. Local foliage, including aloe, bromeliad and mangroves, decorate the landscape.

Written by Kendra Gemma Photography by Jimmy White

D & D Garage Doors Statewide, FL 888-744-2233

HSH Designs-Jessica Holmes Holiday 1487 Second Street, Suite E Sarasota, FL 34236 941.447.7373

Rugs As Art 6650 South Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34231 941.921.1900


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