What is “De-Tuscan,” and why would someone want to use this term when thinking about their Naples home? As a skeptic of home trends and lover of all things design, I had to ask expert interior designers Chantal Warmoth and Susan Trivison of Clive Daniel Home (CDH) to pause the beautifully-crafted, flashy CDH television commercial (that features one of the company’s namesake owners, Daniel Lubner) and explain exactly what “De-Tuscan-izing” should mean to our Neapolitan clientele.
TYE DAVIS: Looking at these photos, ladies, you make me feel like the design pendulum is swinging back to a warmer, traditional design. Could this be true?
A shock wave of emotion vibrates through the phone as we all dine on our favorite lunches, chatting about a terrific project and design forecasts, like old friends.
CHANTAL WARMOTH: [Laughing] Maybe! But these clients had a typical design dilemma: she wanted to move, and he wanted to stay in this home. Just look at those before pictures. A pretty and very dark palette of reds and golds with fringe pillows and plaid.
SUSAN TRIVISON: Their home was a pretty, albeit typical, home with dark cherry woods, warm colors, lamp shades on every light fixture… you know, beautiful for the decade when it was built.
CHANTAL: Yes, the home has perfect “bones” since it was a model home spanning 6800 square feet [originally built by BCB Homes and designed by Stofft Cooney Architects].
TYE: I agree! Now, tell me about this homeowner and let me in on the ways you “de-Tuscan-ized” this space for them.
SUSAN: This homeowner is simply amazing — she interviewed several designers and decided on us based strictly on our chemistry. We are currently designing their third home, which is in Indiana! For this Naples home, she wanted a simpler design, incorporating sleeker lines and light, neutral colors.
TYE: I see from the before pictures that many of the previous architectural elements have been spared!
SUSAN: Right! Notice that all the floors are original! The wood floor inlay in the dining room is original to the home and works beautifully with the new palette.
CHANTAL: The staircase railing was painted from brown to black. We added a large, vintage-inspired chandelier to the foyer instead of relying on the light from the existing sconces, which were removed, and took down the gothic faux shutters to clean up the heavy Tuscan look. The columns in the foyer and living room were cherry veneers on wood. These were painted the same color as the trim, beams, and existing doors: Sherwin-Williams Extra White.
SUSAN: You don’t have to go into a Tuscan-styled home and destroy it or rip everything out. Of course, we can do that since we love construction! But we do what’s best suited for the client and appropriate for the project.
TYE: So, what’s the secret sauce in your design process when using the now-infamous “de-Tuscan” terminology?
SUSAN: There is nothing wrong with Tuscan design or traditional design! We have super contemporary clients and super traditional ones. Every home and every client are different. We take the time to get to know our clients so eventually we can say, “Oh yeah — they are going to LOVE this.”
CHANTAL: We strive to incorporate every little detail about them in their home — [Laughing] sometimes a little too much!
TYE: No such thing! Attention to detail ensures your client is walking into their home — like you just get them. It looks like you totally nailed their style: Mediterranean and refined.
SUSAN: It’s definitely a new version of traditional — a Spanish Revival. And they [meaning “De-Tuscan” clients] must know that we are great at working within budgets. That’s a common misconception that designers are too expensive. Making mistakes is actually expensive, and designers help you avoid making mistakes!
TYE: With so many furniture choices and products, how do you narrow down your selection and find the perfect piece for your clients?
CHANTAL: We are fortunate to have our own team of craftsman for our Clive Daniel Home line of furniture products. We can draw and specify every inch, finish, accent (we used gold leafing on the two matching chests in the dining room), and hardware to our (and our homeowner’s) exact specifications.
SUSAN: For this client, we designed two matching buffet servers for the dining room. They have a customized interior for optimal storage. Along with the unique two-toned finish, they have beautiful crystal knobs!
TYE: Ok, so in this Clive Daniel Home version of “Love it or List it”, where is this client living now?
CHANTAL: They ultimately decided to downsize. But, when they put this home on the market, it sold in a week!
TYE: Sounds like a new take on traditional and the “de-Tuscan” style wins twice; congratulations!
“We are fortunate to have our own team of craftsman for our Clive Daniel Fine Furnishings line of furniture products. We can draw and specify every inch, finish, accent (we used gold leafing on the two matching chests in the dining room) and hardware to our (and our homeowner’s) exact specifications,” says Warmoth. Trivison adds, “For this client, we designed two matching buffet servers for the dining room. They have customized interior for optimal storage. Along with the unique two-toned finish, they have beautiful crystal knobs!”
“The kitchen is lighter with the new Taj Mahal granite countertops. The cabinetry was refinished, and the original backsplash was softened up a bit by our faux painter who added ivory over some red coloring in the tiles. We removed the massive, heavy light fixture that was over the island and replaced it with metal lanterns — no fabric lamp shades. Instead, we used exposed, candle-like bulbs,” details Trivison.
The dining nook is softened by swapping out exposed-frame wood chairs for fully upholstered, ivory-colored winged chairs. A tufted ottoman in lieu of traditional chairs offers more seating, as well as an unobstructed view to the outdoor fireplace. Many of the kitchen’s original elements were simply refinished. “You don’t have to go into a Tuscan-styled home and destroy it and rip everything out,” says Trivison.
The designers transformed a dark study into one that is bright and airy. The original brown cabinetry was refinished in an antique white and the walls painted in a subtle taupe. Trivison clarifies, “There is nothing wrong with Tuscan design or traditional design! We have super contemporary clients and super traditional ones. Every home, and every client, are different. We take the time to get to know our clients so eventually we can say, “Oh yeah—they are going to LOVE this.”
Interviewed by Tye Davis
Photography by Naples Kenny
Clive Daniel Home
2777 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34103
Architect Of Record
Stofft Cooney Architects
111 10th Street South, Suite 308
Naples, FL 34102
Luxury Home Builder Of Record
3696 Enterprise Avenue, Suite 100
Naples, FL 34104