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Bay Beauty

For this show-stopping six bedroom, five full- and two-half bath home with 8,200 square feet on Tampa Bay, a great deal of thought went into the placement of the array of windows. Architect Stephen Smith’s goal was for all major spaces to have fabulous water views and natural light. One of the home’s unique features, borrowed from an island resort, is the 5-by-10-foot, 900-pound Sapele African Mahogany front door that pivots at the touch of a finger to allow entry. Another is a living wall, fronting the motor court, which has a hidden irrigation system to maintain the plantings.

When a hardworking team of highly creative people put their heads together, the outcome can be brilliant. This gorgeous home in Tampa Bay’s Culbreath Isle community is one such outcome.

Builders Mark Jordan and Peter Kieffer were contacted by the extremely well-traveled homeowners who were interested in incorporating things they’d admired on their travels into the home they wished to build.

Knowing just where to turn to realize the clients’ dreams, Jordan brought in architect Stephen Smith, with whom he had worked on previous projects. “I have extensive experience in coastal and tropical architecture and Mark thought that would be helpful in this project,” says Smith.

A two-story glass wall affords views of the black stone-lined reflecting pool, infinity swimming pool, and bay beyond, bringing the element of water into this dramatic living room. The other main focal point is the massive floating fireplace flue, adapted from one seen in a Vegas hotel. The 20-foot high flue is clad in Sapele wood veneer panels and finished in Wagamama marble. Suspended above the 66-inch custom graphite-colored porcelain hearth, the flue shows no outward support for its 6-foot width and 12,000-pound weight, making it a gravity-defying structural engineering miracle. Gray and white leather All Modern seating gets pops of color from the citrine JF Fabric cushions topping the metal stools and Zoffany fabric pillows. A white lacquer Baldwin piano takes pride of place under an Info Maurer by Kabir pendant of aluminum sheets, which glow with refracted light.

This casual family room shares the floor of gray-black Ceruse Oak with the adjacent living room and hosts a round walnut table with purple Lucite chairs for casual meals beneath a chrome circle Tech Lighting pendant. Designer Krause punched up the homeowner’s own gray-toned seating group with pillows of Zoffany Pucci Peony fabric. He also selected the white abstract Alivar bookcase seen just beyond the hearth.

The last member of the trio to sign on was the wildly creative designer, Eric Krause of Eric Krause Designs. Together this triad designed a house flowing with the Feng shui principles of balance and harmony, mixed with a bit of high-end destination glamour.

“The homeowners were inspired by elements of hotels and resorts they had seen and wanted to incorporate them into their home,” says Jordan. “Some of those elements were complicated, but I met with the family every week and, ours being a small firm, I was able to focus solely on this project. I listened carefully and was able to meet all the client’s expectations.”

“My challenge,” says the architect, Smith, “was to design a home that was beautiful and spatially open, both horizontally and vertically. I wanted to create flowing and interconnected spaces, allowing for the modern and casual lifestyle this growing family needed.”

For homeowners who love to cook, a chef’s kitchen is outfitted with SubZero appliances set in Old World Cabinetry’s shaker-style cabinets in shades of white and charcoal gray, with Amerock brushed-nickel hardware. A Concrete quartz-topped island serves as prep space. A second entertainment island with a Wagamama marble waterfall edge doubles as a homework station for the family’s children. The stunning Glazzio tile Metallic Weather Series backsplash incorporates stainless steel. All Modern carved wood pendants echo the hearth.

The cohesive indoor-outdoor design is evident in the use of wood-look porcelain tile and stainless steel doors in the outdoor kitchen. Charcoal sheet porcelain—able to withstand the rigors of the Florida sun—fronts the outdoor kitchen that features a grill by Alfresco and a refrigerator by Uline from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Two-stories of outdoor living space benefit from chaises of steamed and bent teak, as do chairs, tables, and settees in the same wood from Lexington Furniture’s Trés Chic Collection. The upper porch is enclosed in stainless steel aircraft-cable railing and the pool deck surface is a concrete paver tinted to Krause’s exact specification.

The designer, Eric Krause, worked closely with the builder and architect to maximize the spectacular water views from every room, while also creating an atmosphere of calm and balance uniquely suited to the family.

“Any qualified designer can design a beautiful home, but I am often told by my clients that my design embodies exactly what the clients had envisioned for themselves; that I translated their ideas perfectly. That is the highest compliment.”

A sense of movement is imparted upon the master bath via Happy Floors’ Krea Black tile which extends into the shower. The freestanding egg-shaped tub is filled via a ceiling-mounted Kohler waterfall fixture from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. A backsplash of Metallic Weather tile from Glazzio’s Orbit Collection adds to the spa-like atmosphere. A quartz-topped floating walnut vanity hosts mismatched sinks. Tangerine Chinese porcelain jardinières glow under LED-mounted ceiling lights.

Fantastic views over the bay through the commercial doors and windows are best appreciated from the twin gray velvet chairs. A pair of Corvus Sputnik chandeliers of chrome with Edison bulbs overlooks the fully upholstered bed with textured sateen coverlet. A lighted curved-blade fan sheds light on an original abstract art piece created by the homeowner.

Dimmable LED recessed lights illuminate the rear of the home at night, offering a charming glow to passing boats on the bay and to outdoor celebrations. On the left, steps to the master suite are lit by oversized sconces from Modern Forms by Avec Lighting, and to the right a circular staircase of stainless steel aircraft cable allows ease of passage between the home’s two stories.

To avoid grout lines, Krause chose an interwoven 12 –by-24-inch tile by Ceramica D’Imola to surround the three-sided infinity-edge pool. This negative-edge effect works well since the deck was built six feet above the bay. The rectangular pool and infinity-edge raised spa are covered in French Grey PebbleTec tile lit by color-changeable LEDs.

Eric Krause Designs 5504 N Cherokee Ave Tampa, FL 33604 813.310.3124

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 302 N Willow Ave Tampa, FL 33606 813.253.0390

Written by Kitt Walsh Photography by Rixon Photography

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