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Home Tour : Smart & Beautiful

When one Old Naples residence was replaced for structural considerations, homeowners requested that several of its features remain, including beautiful views of a lake and recurring patterns in the shape of a hexagon. The design team was given the challenge of opening the home to the outdoors. The homeowners, a couple with a large family who enjoy entertaining, felt their existing home was not quite up to par with their lifestyle.

Herscoe Hajjar Architects was called upon to create a residence that takes full advantage of an expansive courtyard. Instead of smaller, more defined spaces, a great room floor plan would open settings to views of both the lake and the courtyard’s resort-style pool. In addition to the living room and formal dining room, open spaces contain comfortable seating arrangements. The kitchen seamlessly connects to a more casual dining room and a large vaulted family room. The spacious 10,500-square-foot home delivers desirable privacy as well. The master bedroom is set apart from the more public courtyard, and a very private guest wing of the home features two bedrooms that enjoy living and kitchen space.

“This residence is definitely a memory of the home that came before because the previous home had concepts that the owners loved,” said Robert Herscoe, architect and co-owner of Herscoe Hajjar Architects. “With new construction, we were able to do away with aesthetic and structural flaws, improve on the function of the courtyard, and enhance the water views. The home even has Gulf views now because we put an observation deck on its roof,” adds Herscoe.

Kahn Design Group captured the full flavor of the tropical setting with a focus on nature. The color palette consists of crisp, refreshing blues and greens with neutrals. Woods are a pattern play of sturdy strand bamboo on floors, dark wenge on kitchen cabinets, honey-toned anigre, and energetic, multi-toned zebra wood.

Much like hexagons, squares give a space dynamic energy. Focal elements such as bookcases in the open living area lend warmth to a contemporary style. In addition to an arrangement of books, the shelves present an opportunity to display treasured personal objects.

“Squares are a really strong design element, and the alcove with bookshelves adds so much character to the home’s great room,” describes Lisa Kahn, ASID, owner of Kahn Design Group. “We thought it was lovely to tuck two comfortable chairs with ottomans next to bookshelves for a reading corner. To me, a beautiful room always has a place where you can curl up and read a book, have a cup of tea, sip a glass of wine, or just relax.”

Custom decorative finishes by Florian Spahiu, owner of Ancient Modern Finishes, add finesse to the focal centers of the home. The dining room’s coffered ceiling is green Venetian plaster with a metallic gloss finish and embellished with a custom stencil borrowed from an historic architectural motif. When combined with an antique table and a contemporary chandelier, the striking surface delivers a fresh twist on traditional design.

The home’s study enjoys a generous courtyard view and has been designated into an inspired workspace for the man of the home. To instill the appropriate ambiance, Kahn and Spahiu put their heads together and decided that calligraphy would not only be magnificent, but would also capture the essence of a home office. The stencil design on the Venetian plaster ceiling is painstakingly applied by brush and brings to mind the fountain pen and ink of yesteryear.

“Spahiu is an artist,” explains Kahn. “We use these unique decorative finishes sparingly in a design, but when we do they are memorable.”

The master bedroom suite is a soothing retreat. Away from courtyard views, it favors privacy. The backdrop for the upholstered bed with wood night tables is hand-woven birch wallpaper. The custom Tai Ping carpet uses a carefree leaf pattern of blues and greens found throughout the home.

The master bathroom is a getaway that blends cool white marble, sleek contemporary cabinetry, a magnificent antique chandelier and lush tropical views.

A second great room is the open setting that encompasses the kitchen, dining room space, and a family room. Featuring multiple preparation and storage areas, a large island flanked by bookshelves, and state-of-the-art appliances, the kitchen is a fantastic place for creating gourmet meals. With a large island and bar seating, it is also a desirable setting for casual entertainment at any time. The adjacent dining room is larger than a traditional morning kitchen. The family room has windows open to the lake on one side and the courtyard on the other. In addition to the dramatic wood-lined vaulted ceiling, clerestory windows add light to the setting.

The family room draws the colors of the home in with a second Tai Ping custom carpet in a geometric pattern. Complementing the tropical views are a generous ottoman upholstered in cork and soft white linen draperies embroidered with a bamboo design.

“There is natural flow to this home in the way that the spaces open to each other and the views and the design elements meld,” says Kahn. “On the heels of the Mediterranean movement in Naples, it felt wonderful to create something that is very sophisticated, and almost a bit urban.”

Written by Mary Lou Smart

Photography by Giovanni Photography

Kahn Design Group

1025 1st Ave South

Naples, FL 34102


Herscoe Hajjar Architects

22 Tenth Streeet South

Naples, FL 34102


Ancient Modern Finishes

26950 Nicki J. Court

Bonita Springs, FL 34135



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