It is a modern love story in which building a life together has a very literal meaning. For this Kansas City couple, their new chapter began designing a beachfront home, which would double as the perfect backdrop for their wedding.
The couple wanted an inviting, clean, and contemporary palette, which would compliment, and not compete with, the resplendent seascape and sunset views seen from nearly every room. Naturally, blue and white seemed just the thing.
Interior designer Janet Bilotti of Janet Bilotti Interiors welcomed the challenge of a contemporary expression of a typically traditional blue and white palette. She knew that with the right balance of scale, proportion, and color, she could create a welcoming home that was modern and stylish with a warmer look than what can sometimes accompany modern design.
Bilotti’s primary goal was “to design a wonderful space in its entirety. I wanted the overall impression to be about harmony, light, and beauty. I didn’t want first reactions to be about a great chandelier or a sofa,” reveals Bilotti. “It needed to flow.”
In the stunning foyer, Bilotti uses jewel-toned blues, watery elements, light reflecting crystal, and clean lines to immediately set the stage for what’s to follow. The large photographic art adds drama with an intense splash of color and a modern super-realism. Below it, specially crafted coral legs anchor an extra long console. The dark floor warms and unifies the space throughout. On the wall to the left is an art installation of hand-blown crystal rods, similar to those used in Murano’s glass-blowing studios, which when lit from above creates an arresting sculptural effect.
In the living room, the clean lines and straightforward color scheme are fused with a sophisticated mix of materials and textures. Graphic patterns add pops of blue to the custom made, elegantly upholstered sectional. Glass and Lucite contrast with the natural fabrics and plush carpet. The effect is stylish but easy, with a modern tone.
Bilotti’s design of the kitchen came with a space planning challenge. The couple did not need a breakfast table, rather they desired a more social area for entertaining guests while cooking and preparing food. So the kitchen floor plan was altered, deleting the small breakfast table and adding an extended bar top area. Now guests can be part of the kitchen happenings, and the homeowners can engage with them more casually. Pendant lighting for just the right mood, and television monitors for family viewing were also incorporated. The countertops and backsplash are a striking ice pearl granite that has flashes of blue mica, and the custom contemporary cabinetry is finished in matte white with black accents. The space now has the form and function it needs.
Coupled on the side of the living room, classic Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs create an intimate seating arrangement for a game of chess or lively conversation. With such a large space in which to work, and the client’s penchant for entertaining, both client and designer understood the importance of multiple and flexible seating options. A nubby, pale blue and white woven carpet anchors the space and adds textural interest.
The sleek dining room is a feast for the eyes with a spectacular dark wood table featuring a backlit blue agate inlay. As the focal point of the room, the semi-precious tabletop had to be cut into careful slices and put together gingerly by master craftsmen at Antolini, the renowned Italian stone company. “Fabricating semi-precious stone like this, is the high art of the stone world,” explains Susan Stewart of UMI Inc. Although agate is an organic material, it is not found in nature in a solid block.. “The color and intricate composition of these stone slabs are extraordinary,” says Stewart. “They are jewels in their own right. However, when Bilotti added the backlight, it took them to a whole new level. Simply spectacular.”
The proportions of blue and white are reversed in the family room creating a casual and cozy environment for watching television and relaxing. Bilotti selected sumptuous leather and faux suede on the furniture for its durability, while the pillows and brightly colored artwork add a cheerful accent to this family friendly space.
The powder room, which sits right off of the family room, showcases a gleaming cobalt blue basin in front of a spectacular mosaic of sapphire and royal blue. The curved volume of the pendant light brings softness into the space, as does the dark wood.
Softening the palette in the master bedroom, Bilotti introduced serene and varied hues of gray. “Charcoal gray has a soothing effect on the color scheme,” says Bilotti. “It is calming and restful, while remaining close in value to the blues.” As she demonstrates throughout the home, Bilotti continues her careful balance of color and texture throughout the master retreat.
Gray bedside tables from Casa Italia are accented with glass, which in addition to being very pragmatic, are elegant and highly tactile. Their polished surfaces offer a sleek counterpart to the softness of the oversized padded leather headboard. “The proportion and refinement of Italian furniture is unmistakable,” explains Ozzie Pancaro of Casa Italia. “There is a depth and subtlety to the design that gives it an extraordinary loveliness.” Opposite the bed, a pair of upholstered barrel-backed chairs with complimenting ottomans in a pale gray fabric offers an inviting respite while taking in the panorama of the beach. Thoughtful cove lighting and a fireplace opposite the bed contribute to the master suite’s quiet tranquility.
A masterful blend of textured blue and white materials complete the home office design. The custom desktop is made of Vetrazzo glass in cobalt blue, which is made entirely from recycled Skyy vodka bottles. The walls of the home office are adorned with a harmonizing pale blue and white grasscloth, which in addition to looking handsome, helps with acoustic control for softening phone conversations. On the floor, a darker shade of blue finds its way into the carpet and sets off a Style Moderne desk chair. A chic white lacquered display case showcases family mementos with chrome-accented lighting completing the room.
For this Kansas City couple, nothing embodies the spirit of their new life together better than savoring the tropical breezes and majestic sunsets from their beachfront terrace. The large veranda peeks over the beach and offers everything they need to enjoy memorable moments with family and friends: a spa pool, private sun deck showcasing a magnificent Tom Corbin bronze sculpture, fire pit, a vast array of seating, a full bar for entertaining, culinary grill, and a long, shaded table for alfresco dining. This space is as splendid for intimate parties as it is for larger, more festive events such as wedding celebrations.
A wedding date as a design deadline may be daunting to most, however this couple found it inspiring and romantic. When the special day finally arrived, hosting their big day on the lanai at sunset, they knew that this project was only the beginning.
Written by Sarah Adams
Photography by Giovanni Photography
Janet Bilotti Interiors
1786 Trade Center Way, Suite 5
Naples, Florida 34109
United Materials, Inc.
1998 Trade Center Way
Naples, Florida 34109
Miromar Design Center
10800 Corkscrew Road, Suite 250
Estero, Florida 33928