This award-winning renovation in Royal Harbor rose like a phoenix from what the architect called ‘good bones’ to become a contemporary waterfront masterpiece. The overall renovation entailed repositioning the pool, moving a boat dock, and creating balance between areas designed for specific activities. To ensure a transformation of this magnitude was properly executed, builder Matt Knauf, co-founder and CEO of Knauf-Koenig Group was brought on board.
“Since it was such an extensive renovation, I got to try some new things not found in a typical Naples home build,” says Knauf, who learned his trade not by laying out spreadsheets, but by spending years swinging his hammer as a master carpenter. “I’m a boots-on-the-ground type of builder,” Knauf continues, “I am on-site every day and value a face-to-face connection with my clients. I am available to listen and discuss the project with them, and working with this homeowner was a delight.”
The home, built on the skeleton of an existing building, underwent such a dramatic change that architect Fernando Zabala says, “It doesn’t look like the same structure.” Aiming to make a bold architectural statement while maintaining an approachable presence in this friendly boating community, the team hit the mark spectacularly: The four bedroom, four full- and two half-baths home with 5,098-square-feet under air, won Sand Dollar Awards for Best Overall Renovation and Best Outdoor Space.
Stunning views–looking onto Naples Bay and the prestigious Port Royal neighborhood–are seen throughout the house. Outdoor living was very important to the homeowners, who hail from the often cold climates of Chicago. They entertain regularly, and the multi-tiered outdoor living area was an integral part of making this indoor-outdoor experience a reality.
“The architecture for this home was clean and contemporary, with a strong synergy between the interior and exterior spaces,” says interior designer Tara Gruber, who focused her design around the details that enhanced the architectural elements of the home. “There are no rules in design,” Gruber continues. “The house is the blank canvas and the designer and clients create the masterpiece.”
Interior designer Sherree Woods of Clive Daniel Home agrees, and began by following the homeowner’s lead when she stepped in to finalize the design and furnishings for the home’s main level.
“It was a beautiful project,” gushes Woods, “and the homeowners were lovely to work with.” According to Woods, they knew exactly what they wanted to achieve and made decisions quickly and without hesitation. “The home came together beautifully,” continues Woods, “and although it leans contemporary, we made sure it had a certain touch of elegance.”
The homeowners trusted landscape architect Pat Trefz of Outside Productions International to bring their vision–having many different outside ‘rooms’–to life. “The clients wanted many places for friends and family to gather, including a barbecue area, a fire pit, a bar and an outdoor living room,” says Trefz. “I created a gorgeous pool, and I chose artificial turf to soften the hardscape of the outdoor area, creating a nice balance between hard and soft decking while reducing maintenance.”
“There were a few challenges, like where we designed terraces to accommodate the elevation changes, but I enjoy a challenge. We never used more than three steps so no railing would interfere with the view,” explains Trefz.
An expansive paver drive installed by Allied Paver Systems surrounds a landscape feature designed by Outside Productions International in the center, and leads to the mahogany French door entry. That same warm wood also fronts the garage doors and offers a splash of color in the otherwise unadorned White Wooden Marble exterior. Bronze aluminum railings on the second story border the terrace and Boral Saxony cement tiles in Weathered Ash top this elegant home.
Separate spaces were designed to enjoy many experiences in this multi-leveled pool and entertainment area set on the bay. The infinity pool shines with Lunada Bay Agate Moyou Portofino Pearl tiles. Triple Ledge Loungers, hollow chaises that fill with water to weigh them down, are found resting on the pool’s sun shelf. JANUS et Cie lounge chairs surround the gas-fed Grand Effects fire pit set atop the shell stone deck. JANUS et Cie stools also provide seating at the counter of the custom outdoor kitchen, which features a Perlick refrigerator, and an Alfresco grill and pizza oven from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. A covered outdoor dining area has a Bellagio table by Minotti with seating for ten.
A pair of RC sofas upholstered in Pecos linen surrounds an Interlude Home acrylic coffee table from Clive Daniel Home and sit atop a silk rug in the two-story great room. On the wall, spanning both stories, the Zeno Mirror by Christopher Guy features hand-carved geometric mirror panes situated to reflect light from all corners of the house. In the foyer, you get a glimpse of the many textured wall coverings–specified by Clive Daniel Home–found in niches and alcoves throughout the residence.
The architect worked with the owner’s lighting designer to create beautiful interior lightscapes, like this illuminated ceiling above a Planum leather sectional and cocktail table from Clive Daniel Home. Above the Constantini Grand Palais glass and lacquer dining table is a cascading chandelier handmade by Israeli glass artist Shimon Peleg. Quilted high back chairs in Cattelan Arcadia Couture leather coordinate with the Absolute quilted leather and black glass console that sits beneath the television across the room.
The climate-controlled wine storage room allows hundreds of bottles to be chilled inside, while outside racks were built to showcase vintages best kept at room temperature. Beneath the racks is a customized Sydney bar cabinet by Dorya, designed to fit perfectly under the wine racks. A stainless steel base supports the gray matte wood cabinet, which features leather doors with steel knobs.
This sleek and minimalist kitchen hosts slate gray custom cabinetry by Poliform, which conceal the Gaggenau/Miele appliances by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. The island and lower cabinets’ walnut facing interjects a note of warmth. The TopZero stainless steel sink is surrounded by a countertop and backsplash created from Perla Venata quartzite. A quartet of Constantini leather and polished stainless steel ‘Concept’ counter stools from Clive Daniel Home provide seating for guests.
The spa-like master bath resonates with quiet elegance. The flooring, shower, and walls are created out of creamy marble. The freestanding tub is Evanescence by BainUltra. The floating cabinets are under-lit and mimic the glow from the room’s glass pendants by Bocci. Fixtures are by Dornbracht, Axor Massaud, and GROHE from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.
The architect did away with visual boundaries to allow a true indoor-outdoor feel in this master bedroom. A track in the soffit allows for doors to be stacked, unseen, to one side. The stained cypress ceiling and changeover from European oak plank flooring to tile creates a transition between the room and its terrace that has sweeping views of Naples Bay. A walnut clad wall backs the sitting area with Minotti Blake-Soft swivel chairs and ottomans. The custom maple bed cleverly hides a television in its footboard and sports custom bedding from Eastern Accents. Pillows of silk and cotton echo the water ripple pattern found in the duvet from Kravet Couture Fabrics, and Curated Kravet Sastre Desert hand-knotted rug. On the terrace, Marcello Club swivel gliders by Ebel in a Sienna Chestnut finish allow for perfect sunset viewing.
This showstopper of a headboard, the Cailloux by Christopher Guy, was customized for use in this room. Intricate silver metalwork connects the upholstered ‘pebbles’ of colored silk. The custom bedding makes use of silk, linen, and even a silver leather pillow by Eastern Accents to add to the room’s subtle sheen. Lacquered Pisa nightstands with leather fronts by Dorya support hammered silver and fluted linen Annecy lamps by Christopher Guy.
A wave-textured wall in this guest bath was created from Porcelanosa Contour Beige tile. A pair of unadorned mirrors reflect the Hubbardton Forge Link pendant lights above twin Alapé square vessel sinks with fixtures by GROHE. Calcutta Mystery floating custom cabinets are topped with Perla Venata quartzite.
Gravity Aluminum Hexagon Metal mosaic tiles by Porcelanosa create a dazzling effect in the downstairs powder bath and form a backdrop to the Bianco Gesso quartzite floating sink. The Merit Award-winning Luna spout plumbing fixture by Graff is from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.
A second floor bridge with custom Italian crafted European oak flooring from The Wood Floor Company and glass railing panels, affords a view to the rooms below and connects the two wings of the house. The dynamic space allows light to flood in from the room’s many windows by Andersen Windows. A cream tufted bench by Stella Fine Furniture anchors one end of the bridge, while on the other, pride of place is claimed by a trio of wood carvings depicting Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin, three members of the legendary Rat Pack.
The boat dock was moved to create unobstructed water views. A flexible space, wherein the furniture can be easily moved for different uses, is floored by artificial turf selected by Outside Productions International to soften the surrounding hardscape. A Gloster Grid Modular sectional with built-in teak tables is easily reconfigured to meet changing needs of this entertaining space. The ceramic-topped Meteor finish coffee table complements the grouping, and Ambient Nest and Cocoon Solar lights illuminate the space.
Written by Kitt Walsh
Photography by Blaine Johnathan
Luxury Home Builder
5640 Taylor Road, Suite 3
Naples, Florida 34109
Outside Productions International
5644 Tavilla Circle, Suite 207
Naples, FL 34110
Clive Daniel Home
2777 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34103
Allied Paver Systems
217 North Collier Boulevard #102
Marco Island, FL 34145
100 4th Avenue
Bayport, MN 55003
Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery
38 Goodlette-Frank Road South
Naples, FL 34102
The Wood Floor Company
2122 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, FL 34102