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Old Naples : True Blue

Just like beauty, charm is in the eye of the beholder. This Old Naples cottage, with its double-stacked front porches and dual-pitch, standing-seam metal roof has a definite colonial island influence. The exterior’s muted yellow and smoky blue palette hearkens back to the local vernacular, thus creating the epitome of curb appeal. Builders Steve Cantera and Greg Griffin of Foresite Homes have masterfully taken ‘charm’ to a whole new level.

The Chicago-based client was looking for a second residence, close to the beach but with a warm, homey feel. “The clients loved one of our previous custom homes and worked with us to create their own dream home,” says Greg Griffin of Foresite Homes. “I selected Rich Guzman of R.G. Designs and Stacy Flanagan of Echelon Interiors to collaborate on this project to make the clients dreams a reality.”

Tucked away behind the house is one of its most surprising features — a two-way garage that can accommodate four cars. The homeowners can drive in through a single door and out through one of the three rear doors, creating a porte cochère effect with easy access to the alley behind. On top of the garage is a cabana suite, which Guzman says “maximized the space of the home while creating a private experience for guests.”

Griffin shares, “This home is a classic traditional design, which has elements that everyone desires in a Florida vacation home.” The first level encompasses a formal family room, living room, kitchen, dining room, and master suite, plus two powder rooms. Brushed white oak flooring runs throughout. The coffered ceilings are accented with white-painted bead board, creating an overall feeling of solid comfort with luxe polish.

The dominant palette is blue and yellow, accented with white. “I was trying to keep a running theme, but also trying to make a familiar color combination feel new and different,” says Flanagan.

Cream-painted maple cabinetry around the perimeter anchors the kitchen with visual heft. The double farmhouse sink, tiny blue backsplash mosaic tile, and nickel hardware lend a delicate layer of detail. A contrasting island with a distressed black finish serves as a breakfast bar, with hickory colored wicker chairs and a spectacular blue granite counter. “The slab of granite was brought in whole with a forklift and the island was custom built to match,” says Griffin. An equally stunning chandelier with mother-of-pearl arms —what Flanagan refers to as “jewelry” — is suspended over the island.

The state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, including a Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, Sub-Zero wine storage, and Wolf cooking appliances, were all provided by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery. Jeffrey Campbell of Ferguson shares, “Naples is a heavy luxury market. Sub-Zero is the premiere of refrigeration, and Wolf is top-notch for cooking. Any project in which I collaborate with Foresite Homes has top-of-the-line detail. We selected the integrated Sub-Zero pieces for the way they seamlessly blend in with the cabinetry and for their outstanding performance record. When deciding on Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, we are assured quality and performance, as well as style and design detail.”

Pale yellow walls extend to the family room where a cobalt blue sofa echoes the kitchen tile work, and the prominent black-finish built-in entertainment center resembles the finish of the kitchen island.

In the dining room, Flanagan punched up the color without sacrificing her light coastal theme. The cobalt walls are offset with white cypress wainscoting; a recessed wall contains the white buffet. The Stanley dining furniture has a country-rustic simplicity, dressed up with a few formal touches like a candelabra and gilt-framed artwork. A floral motif in the drapery and upholstered end chairs brings a playful burst of garden brightness into the room, while the china blue dining chairs and topiary plants maintain its formality.

Flanagan and her clients were striving for maximum comfort in the living room, opting for overstuffed cotton sofas with plenty of cushions. Her starting point in this room was the sea creature print drapery that inspired a whimsical mix-and-match of striped and floral patterns. The whitewashed coffee table, constructed like a shadowbox, allows the homeowners to display their local shell collection. The mirrored picture frames and lamp base add a contemporary wink.

Both the living room and the master suite overlook the lagoon-style courtyard spa and pool, replete with LED lighting and rock formations.

The master suite offers another spin on the blue and white color scheme, here trending lighter with soft blue-striped bed linens and heavily contrasted by the black furniture. Yet the overall effect is still very much a coastal ambiance, with the shutter detail on the bed frame, and the hand-embroidered sea horse pillows. The adjoining master bath features a black wall vanity unit with marble countertop, freestanding bath, and sea glass circle mosaic band that lines the open shower. Another “jewel” of a lighting fixture hangs over the tub.

The upstairs bedrooms were designed to offer a welcoming respite for the homeowners’ adult children. In the daughter’s bedroom, sand-colored carpeting is natural and unobtrusive, with a foil for the blue walls, a pottery pattern comforter and crisp white headboard and night stand. The attached bath features a mother-of-pearl framed mirror and bead board vanity.

A son’s bedroom is outfitted with natural grass woven furniture and tropical theme bedspread in shades of blue, green, brown, and white. On either side of the bed are grass and bamboo wall hangings woven through with shells. Doors lead out to a large porch with wicker seating.

Griffin is thrilled with the way the home turned out, integrating all of the familiar references for a wholly original final product. “This charming home combines all of the best elements of the coastal trends while retaining its own character. This is the new Old Florida cottage.”

Written by Elisa Ludwig

Photography by Tom Harper

Foresite Homes

1046 6th Avenue North

Naples, FL 34102


R.G. Designs

28071 Vanderbilt Drive

Bonita Springs, Florida 34134


Echelon Interiors

5440 Harborage Drive

Fort Myers, FL 33908


Ferguson Bath, Kitchen &  Lighting Gallery

3406 Domestic Avenue

Naples, FL 34104



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