top of page

Dramatic Design

Anchored by a neutral, custom-sized rug from Rugs As Art in subtle shades of gray, an off-white linen-blend sectional by Cassina is accented by custom made black and white pillows. A black and white throw drapes over the chaise. “I always like a little bit of black because it gives definition to the space,” says Geisdorf. Customized chairs wear pin-striping in a soft-textured fabric.

Many things about the remodeling of this condo unit in the Promenade on Longboat Key were a little unusual. A resident of South Florida, the homeowner saw the building and purchased a small unit to see if he liked the building. That was three years ago. Deciding that he did, he patiently waited until the right unit became available, purchasing this corner unit with unparalleled views in early 2018. Searching for the right interior designer to transform the unit into the warm, welcoming home with the contemporary look he envisioned, he selected Jill Geisdorf of Chic on the Cheap.

Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal paint on the kitchen cabinets and dining area buffet unifies the two spaces. The kitchen backsplash and buffet doors are both crafted from printed porcelain tile to mimic terrazzo. A mixture of chairs from the Isabel collection surround an oak expansion table. A quartet of Mina pendant lights by Tech Lighting from Light Up Your Life sport the Locus accessory hoop.

“We were familiar with the building,” explains Geisdorf, referring to herself and designer Tori Wansley, who partnered on the renovation. “The building was vanilla, but he (the client) trusted us to do something that was not vanilla.”

Using mood boards to direct conversations about what the client did and didn’t like, the team settled on a palette of saturated grays, painting the interior walls with Sherwin Williams’ Mindful Gray. After that says Geisdorf, “he let us take the ball and run with it.”

Rift cut oak was used to fabricate the kitchen island and cabinet, lending warmth to the sleek galley design. Frost White MSI quartz from Design Works tops the counter and island. The kitchen is equipped with a SubZero refrigerator, induction cooktop, and wall-mounted microwave. A pair of gray Nerd counter stools from Swedish furniture manufacturer Muuto tuck neatly underneath the island.

A custom-designed laminate wall system with inset upholstered gray velvet channels provides a dramatic backdrop to the master bed. Seven-inch-wide white oak flooring is laid on the diagonal here and in the other guest rooms, visually expanding the spaces. A Liam chair by American Leather invites relaxation. The metal console with Gemini finish is by Rene Cazares Furniture.

The striated laminate cabinetry continues in the master bath, topped with the same Frost White MSI quartz countertops from Design Works used in the kitchen. The shower features dual heads and a full-length bench with storage niches. Tile from Atlas Concorde’s Fray collection in Stripe Warm covers the back wall of the shower, while the bench and side walls are a solid taupe. The shower floor is Sunshine Stone Products’ Maluku Mix colored stones.

To effect the remodel, Geisdorf brought in Jeff Francola of J & K Building and Remodeling. The principals of the companies have collaborated on projects for more than 10 years. The Promenade building was constructed in 1985, with the ceiling of each unit essentially being the floor of the unit above it. Francola added metal furring strips to the ceilings, to which he fastened drywall, creating a shallow drop ceiling with just enough room for recessed can lights. The drop ceiling also allowed the team to create a pocket at the windows to completely hide black roller shades when retracted.

Instead of beginning their design with the living area, Geisdorf and Wansley started with the kitchen. Oversized 18-by-36-inch travertine tiles were laid throughout the open living area. A bank of rift-cut oak wood cabinets, recessed about two inches from the surrounding painted cabinets, add a bit of dimension to the galley kitchen.

Geisdorf and Wansley made extensive use of the rift-cut oak, crafting the bathroom cabinetry with it as well as cladding a living area wall. The warm tones are repeated in select furnishings such as the quartet of handcrafted hexagonal tables, purchased at a small shop in Pennsylvania.

Custom woodworking throughout the unit includes a floating media cabinet in the living room with doors covered in acoustic mesh for optimal sound transmission. The many built-ins support the sleek, minimalist, contemporary look the design team strove to achieve.

Clarke & Clarke’s Echo wallcovering in Granite from International Design Source wraps the guest bedroom on three sides. A Marlo bed covered in Flint Charcoal plain-weave fabric is flanked by a pair of nightstands topped with Louis Poulsen AJ wall sconces in black. The Nuevo occasional chair features a leather seat with wool blend cushions. Geisdorf commissioned the artwork to coordinate with the multi-colored bed pillow.

As in the master bath, this powder bath is floored with the travertine found in the main living areas. The rift oak cabinetry warms up the space, and JF Fabrics’ Metropolitan collection wallcoverings from International Design Source add pizzazz.

This double duty space was created by choosing a Murphy bed from More Space Place in Antique White trimmed in Vanilla Latte. The rug and bed linens range more toward taupe than the gray found throughout the home, resulting in a light, airy environment.

When not in use for overnight guests, the room easily transforms into a spacious office by sliding out the desktop. A printer fits neatly into the cabinet above the desk, out of sight yet close at hand.

Written by Ginny Cooper Photography by Nicholas Ferris

Chic on the Cheap 242 South Washington Boulevard #118 Sarasota, FL 34236 866.663.6062

Design Works 4500 Carmichael Avenue Sarasota, FL 34234 941.355.2703

International Design Source 1785 Northgate Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34234 941.552.2552

J & K Building & Remodeling 6321 Porter Rd. Suite 12 Sarasota, FL 34240 941.620.1963

Light Up Your Life 1620 North Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34236 941.330.0422

More Space Place 3906 South Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34231 941.927.0807

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


bottom of page