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Breathtaking Boca Grande

Panoramic views over Gasparilla State Park–a lot on the very bottom of Boca Grande–and out across the Gulf make this piece of property on Gasparilla Island extraordinary.

Not only was it the last lot to be built upon in the exclusive Hill Tide neighborhood, but the location is historically significant as well. Deep-water pylons mark where cargo ships once docked and delivered fuel to the town’s residents and there’s even a picturesque old lighthouse visible from the lot.

“I got very excited when I saw this gorgeous piece of land, “says Residential Designer, Rich Guzman of R.G. Designs. “I knew there would be constraints with both county restrictions and even the size of the lot, but I knew I could design a home that would take full advantage of those dramatic views.”

What Guzman designed was a tropical four bedroom, four-and-a-half bath coastal contemporary home with 4,865 square feet under air. “I wanted visitors to immediately feel as if they’d arrived in a Caribbean paradise,” says Guzman.

To that end, his design included multiple rooflines, architectural brackets, long overhangs, and Gasparilla-style railings for the home. He also elevated the home to 12 feet above grade (a towering 38 feet high), allowing infinite water views.

Keeping the integrity and history of the lot was also important to builder James Nulf, president of Seagate Development Group, who wanted to build a home to honor its surroundings. “This is a one-of-a-kind piece of real estate,” says Nulf, “It is the last remaining developable land out of 19 homes in Hill Tide, and it was very important we did things properly. We needed to create a home with unique character, one that stood out and took advantage of its stunning views and incomparable location. Rich Guzman developed a design that met those criteria, and we formed a great partnership.”

Just as Nulf has created a name for himself as a top waterfront builder, Seagate Development Group has earned a stellar reputation as well. “We are a very design-centric developer,” Nulf says. “We understand that building a home is a process. As we design-build from the ground up, we work collaboratively with our clients, listening to their wants and needs, and guiding them with our experience. We help them get the greatest value for their investment and that is why we have such an impeccable reputation.”

In keeping with the beach vibe of the laid-back island, Landscape Architect Pat Trefz, owner of Outside Productions International, chose to use a variety of plants instead of a more staid landscape design.

“In the front of the home, I used Cocoa Palms, Christmas Palms and Sylvester Palms and lots of different specimen plants to keep it from looking too manicured. I wanted the home to have a Key West-type feeling,” says Trefz.

For added privacy at the rear of the house, Trefz used a wall as a “curtain” and water features to masquerade any noise between the home the nearby State Park’s parking lot. He kept the rest of the pool design simple, as nothing was allowed to interfere with the wonderful sight lines from the elevated lot. “We didn’t have to create a view for this house,” says Trefz. “We just had to honor the one that was already there.”

When it came to the interior views of the home, interior designer Ruta Menaghlazi of Theory Design wanted to bring in artisan touches and natural looks as well as keep the lines of the design very modern and clean.

“We do lots of research and work hand-in-hand with the residential designer in doing space planning when we take on a project,” explains Menaghlazi. “We share our ideas about everything from flooring to ceiling details and by collaborating with the whole team, we help create a seamless vision for the home.”

“Introducing hints of a maritime theme in our use of a blue and gray palette, our choice of finishes and materials, and even our selection of accessories, was important to our design,” says Jenna Kowalczyk, vice president of operations for Theory Design. “What makes this site so stunning is its views of the Gulf and the Bay and we had to pay homage to the home’s connection to the water.”

“We found this whole project a dream to work on,” says Menaghlazi. “The builder/developer welcomed our ideas, and to be able to help realize this home’s potential, so brilliantly designed by Rich Guzman, was everything an interior designer could ask for. We got to stretch our creative wings and were thrilled to bring our talents to create this spectacular home.”

To maximize spectacular water views for this stunning coastal contemporary Boca Grande home, Residential Designer Rich Guzman had the house elevated 12 feet above grade to allow for unimpeded views over the Gulf of Mexico and Charlotte Bay. Multi-level roof lines, a Gasparilla X-style metal balcony, a center front entry, graced by split garages for symmetry, and a tropical mix of landscaping designed by Pat Trefz of Outside Production International, set the tone for this to be the loveliest of Caribbean beach cottages.

The boxed beam shiplap ceiling sets a cottage tone in this simple and clean-lined great room. Linen blend Vanguard sofas are separated by Lexington Carrera end tables, sourced through International Design Source–as are the majority of the home’s furnishings. A pair of Palecek Sea Cliff raffia lounge chairs surround a zinc coffee table by Sarreid. A stacked media console is flanked by two framed authentic sea fans. The Sonoma sofa table by Century Furniture features a wire-brushed natural oak finish.

Looking past the kitchen’s farm-style sink with brushed stainless steel Kohler fixtures from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, the intimate dining room comes into view. Three raffia Maxim pendants provide warm light over a glass top table by Hurtado with espresso stain chrome-inlaid legs and extension leaves that seats up to eight. White canvas Cisco Brothers slipcovered chairs are from International Design Source.

SOHO Kitchens and Design custom cabinetry brings a two-tone palette to this bright kitchen. Moher Grey and Benjamin Moore Calm white cabinets are adorned with brushed nickel hardware and the upper-stacked cabinets have glass cutouts to allow light from the windows into the sunny space. Beneath a custom range hood, porcelain herringbone subway tiles add movement above a Vena Carbona quartz countertop.

A trio of nickel hammered pendants by Currey & Company from Wilson Lighting shine down on the expansive island topped in Rhinestone quartzite, which hosts Oslo counter stools by Palecek from International Design Source. Appliances are by Wolf and Sub-Zero from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, and an adjacent butler’s pantry houses an extra refrigerator, icemaker, and handy laundry suite.

A Nicolette sofa and chair by Bernhardt, wrapped in a mushroom cotton blend and a pair of sea grass ottomans offer comfortable seating in this bonus room. The coffee table by Lillian August is raffia-wrapped wood. Blue ceramic lamps with navy shades by Arteriors rest on Monterey Sand end tables by Lexington. The seating group faces a dark stained Oslo Art media credenza from Noir and an abstract painting from Wendover Art, all sourced through International Design Source. The custom bar by SOHO Kitchen & Design has a Rhinestone quartz countertop and contains a built-in wine cooler. Floating shelves above showcase nautical themed treasures.

A bronze open lantern by Currey & Company from Wilson Lighting hangs down from the vaulted shiplap ceiling in the study. Moulding in Sherwin-Williams Snowbound stands out from the slate blue walls painted in Sherwin-Williams Cadet. A Vanguard white canvas sleeper sofa faces the Noir oak credenza with burnished bronze finish and geometric carving. Atop the credenza are blue and white Arteriors lamps, and the grey oak coffee table is by Restoration Hardware. The Panavista Architecture Writing Table from Stanley Furniture creates a convenient working space in this functional office.

The whitewashed wood four poster CFC bed has linens by Peacock Alley. A white canvas bench with nail head trim is from Noir. A Loloi 100% wool rug sits atop the wire-brushed oak flooring that flows through the whole house. Two-toned white oak Composition nightstands by Theodore Alexander sport painted drawer fronts and hold ceramic lamps with linen shades. Twin Jessica Charles Felicity chairs from International Design Source are clad in a textured oatmeal cotton blend, and the whitewashed oak chest is the Hadley from CFC. A Bryant Ring chandelier by Visual Comfort from Wilson Lighting hangs from the shiplap tray ceiling.

An oversized mirror is centered in the SOHO Kitchens & Design custom built-in cabinetry topped with White Beauty quartzite in this tranquil master bath. Matching the floor, the expansive shower wall is clad in Pietra Antica tumbled stone, inset with a mosaic band of blue and gray Lunada Bay subway tiles. A rain shower and two other showerheads are by Kohler, as is the freestanding Sunstruck tub from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

A cypress tongue-and-groove ceiling tops the delightful outdoor living and kitchen area. A stacked stone fireplace wall hosts a linear fireplace by Empire Comfort Systems and provides a focal point for the CabanaCoast seating group of outdoor woven raffia with white Sunbrella cushions from International Design Source. The garden stool between the chairs is by Emissary and the dining set, with seating for six, is from the Palma Collection by Restoration Hardware.

Atop the porcelain pool deck sit CabanaCoast chaises, perfect for soaking up the picturesque view of the Gulf beyond the turquoise glass triple fountain feature wall. Blue block tables by Emissary offer a place for sunscreen or cool drinks. On the second floor, an aluminum balcony runs the length of the house and, off the guest suite at the far end, a fire pit and seating group by CabanaCoast offer a perfect spot for both marshmallow roasting and stargazing.

Written by Kitt Walsh

Photography by Blaine Johnathan

Residential Designer

R.G. Designs

28071 Vanderbilt Drive

Bonita Springs, FL 34134


Luxury Home Builder

Seagate Development Group

12801 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 12

Fort Myers, FL 33913


Interior Designer

Theory Design

12801 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 12Ê

Fort Myers, FL 33913


Landscape Architect

Outside Productions International

5644 Tavilla Circle, Suite 207

Naples, FL 34110



Andersen Windows

100 4th Avenue

Bayport, MN 55003


California Closets

2367 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 810

Naples, FL 34109


Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

38 Goodlette-Frank Road South

Naples, FL 34102


International Design Source

6001 Taylor Road

Naples, FL 34109


Nassau Pools Construction

5187 Tamiami Trail North

Naples, FL 34103


SOHO Kitchens & Design

1610 Trade Center Way #1

Naples, FL 34109


Wilson Lighting

2465 Trade Center Way

Naples, FL 34109



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