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Lofty Ambitions

The new construction, 3,200-square-foot home is flanked by another new house to the left and a vintage home on the right. A small fountain in the middle of the walkway quietly welcomes visitors, while the front door serves a dual purpose. “You have privacy, yet you can still see who’s at the door through the beveled parts,” says Cook. The Therma-Tru door is embedded with Axis decorative glass, a combination of reeded and clear panes.

Darla Cook, owner of Green Life Luxury Homes, always dreamed of creating an urban loft. So, she built one in suburban Sarasota, and it fits right in with its neighbors. The street’s mixture of vintage houses and new construction makes an attractive juxtaposition, much like the house itself—a combination of old-fashioned charm and modern-day design.

“We wanted to keep a contemporary feel yet bring in very subtle hints of industrial in an elegant, luxurious way,” Cook explains.

She achieves this fusion by strategically using the exterior materials and the interior finishes and furnishings. For example, the home’s façade has some classic elements, such as the brick, which contrasts with the dark bluish-gray trim resembling metal. It is actually painted in Cyberspace by Sherwin-Williams. They also aged the driveway and walkway by sprinkling salt in the concrete before it dried. Inside, nearly everything is dulled down to make it feel older, from the honed granite in the living room to the burnished brass fixtures in the upstairs master bathroom.

The living room makes a perfect entertainment area or cozy family space, as it is open to the kitchen and steps right out to the pool area. The darker hand knotted wool area rug from Rugs as Art, frames in the seating area, which consists of a comfortable Vanguard Furniture sofa and unusual acrylic and fabric chairs from Thayer Coggin. All furniture in the home is sourced from International Design Source. The throw pillows come from Charlotte’s Grace. Above the electric Dimplex fireplace hangs the painting titled “At Peace” by husband-and-wife team Michelle and Robert Casarietti of Casarietti Studio.

The dining room is separated from the living room by a series of brick knee walls. A storefront window brings in light and adds a New York loft feeling to the space. The flooring here and throughout most of the home is porcelain wood-look tile. Hanging above the Vanguard Furniture dining table is the Sethos Chandelier by Currey & Company. The dining chairs are by Century Furniture and Lexington Home Brands from International Design Source.

In the kitchen, matte contrasts with shiny in a subtle way. The granite, hand-selected by European Marble, is book-matched. The poplar Cucine Ricci cabinets have a two-toned concrete and walnut finish, and the backsplash is Crossville’s Sideview Glass tile in Tungsten Polished available at Omicron Granite & Tile. The appliances include KitchenAid’s new black stainless-steel refrigerator from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Above the stove, Cucine Ricci custom-made twin hoods with a faux finish make an industrial statement, as does the Blanco Silgranit sink in the peninsula. The basin, a combination of resin and quartz, looks like stainless-steel without the spotting and scratching. Velvety stools with nail-head trim and exposed wood provide seating. Overhead, Currey & Company Moorsgate light fixtures are mounted on wood brackets designed by GreenLife.

While the look is timeworn, the home’s innovative products help it be energy-efficient and create a healthier breathing environment, two tenets of GreenLife Luxury Homes. “We build green every day,” proclaims Cook. Electric fireplaces by Dimplex warm up the living room and the master bathroom. The Sherwin-Williams paint used throughout the house is zero VOC (volatile organic compounds), meaning it gives off no noxious fumes. The color is appropriately named City Loft, and its taupe tone appears slightly different in each room, giving the house unique uniformity.

Despite its urban loft description that sometimes conjures visions of sleekness over livability, the house is family-friendly and welcoming. Interior designer Meg Carson of EMCY Interior Design contributes to this vibe with the carefully selected furnishings. She calls them “comfy without being frumpy.” Carson’s design choices complement the black ironwork and other industrial features with a neutral palate of creams and grays and soft textures, including feathers and silk. “It’s not typical coastal Sarasota,” Carson says of the décor.

The home office is just off the foyer, but it feels a world away from the rest of the home. Soothing colors in the Casarietti Studio painting and the Henredon Furniture East End étagères create a sense of peace, even while hard at work. The Xavier Desk is by Fine Furniture Design. The hand knotted wool rug from Rugs as Art features a high-low design with both soumak weaving and cut pile. “Close the barn door and enjoy your space,” Carson says of the little getaway.

ucked beside the staircase, the wet bar cabinetry, also from Cucine Ricci, has a textured black-brown brass faux finish called Volcano. The stair risers are made of red oak stained walnut, and the railings are powder-coated in Cyberspace, the same paint used on the home’s exterior trim. Cook says it looks like metal even on the wood trim below the railings. The colorful portrait is by Jane Fidalgo. A first-floor powder room just beyond the stairwell boasts a mitered block of Carrera marble as the sink’s pedestal, with LBL Facette pendant lights overhead.

n addition to its overall concept, another aspect the four-bedroom home has in common with an urban loft is its walkability. The quiet neighborhood offers deceptively easy access to popular stores and restaurants, and it’s a short drive to downtown Sarasota, with more dining and shopping options. Unlike a New York City apartment, however, a few stunning beaches are also nearby.

Boasting an ideal location, architecture that is at once current and classic, and an inviting interior, it is safe to say this home lives up to its lofty ambitions.

The oversized downstairs master bedroom accommodates a king-size Weiman Ornette bed, along with nightstands by John-Richard and StyleCraft Home. The dresser is a dark contrast to the lighter colors in the room. “It used to be so faux pas to mix metals and wood tones,” Carson says. “As long as you use the right tones of gray and brown, you can mix them beautifully.” The Rugs as Art abstracted wool rug adds a hint of blue to the room. Abstract painting provided by Casarietti Studio.

The large master bathroom is a luxurious escape with a Wyndham tub warmed by a Dimplex electric fireplace. The Cucine Ricci cabinets are topped with pure white granite and quartzite counters and chrome-and-white faucets. Fine Art Lamps Arctic Halo sconces shine next to three Triple Beaded Vanity mirrors from Uttermost. The porcelain tile floor has a marble woven inlay mimicking a rug. A built-in vanity is practical and beautiful. Next to it, the shower has a combination of Hansgrohe PuraVida fixtures and a Delta Zura H20kinetic Pendant RainCan showerhead from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. The shower floor is marble penny rounds.

Entertaining, relaxation, and recreation are all possible in the backyard. Granite pavers lead to and surround the oval-shaped pool, with a waterfall adding interest and a peaceful sound effect. The Alpha Tiles Black Glass and Grey Atone Mosaic wall beautifully separates the greenery from the pool deck. Two seating areas offer dining and conversation opportunities. An outdoor kitchen, equipped with a Blaze Grill, makes it easy to prepare and serve meals.

Casarietti Studio 2403 Huron Lane Sarasota, FL 34237 970.389.8996

Charlotte’s Grace 64 South Palm Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236 941.444.7969

Cucine Ricci 1515 Main St Sarasota, FL 34236 941.554.8000

EMCY Interior Design 205 North Orange Avenue Suite 303 Sarasota, FL 34236 941.807.0479

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 2451 17th Street Sarasota, FL 34234 941.951.0110

Green Life Luxury Homes 1762 Hawthorne Street Suite 4 Sarasota, FL 34239 941.538.7858

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

Omicron Granite & Tile 7910 25th Court East Suite 101 Sarasota, FL 34243 941.351.4600

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

Written by Kendra Gemma Photography by Nicholas Ferris


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