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Tuscan Makeover

When interior designer Lana Knapp of Collins & DuPont Design Group, first saw this home in Pelican Bay, she knew it had good bones and great possibilities—she just had to first refine some angles. Built in 2001 the home, like so many in Naples at that time, was fashioned after an opulent Italian villa with precast pillars and balconies on the outside and tapestry-like fabrics and an abundance of faux finishing inside.

“The house was heavy and yellow and gold were everywhere!” Knapp laughs. “We started with an initial three-hour walk through where we talked about paint and maybe redoing the floors but the project snowballed from there. With every walkthrough I would notice something different—quirks, odd angles, harsh lines, obstructed views, and a lack of symmetry throughout. As we got deeper into the project these all became things the owners and I felt needed to be changed.”

Knapp realized she needed to create function and consistency to make the home livable while also designing a transitional interior that worked with a modernized Mediterranean exterior. Decluttering the home was the first step. Precast columns, fireplaces, and railings were removed and replaced with simpler profiles and symmetrical lines. The tapestries and thick fabrics gave way to tone-on-tone fabrics, finishes with soft textures, and rich blue accents to create a more tranquil space. “I just had to make it less complicated. For example, any accessory I put back into the home had to be meaningful, no knickknacks just to have something a shelf or table,” she explains.

Another issue in the house were the ceilings. Built on a grandiose scale, they didn’t feel livable or inviting. In almost every room, Knapp and builder Greg Brisson of BCB Homes dropped the ceilings to eliminate the museum-like feel of the interior. “The height threw off the whole scale of the house. It’s not often that we lower a ceiling but we found we needed to throughout. People don’t want to feel dwarfed by their home, so dropping the height and adding beams as needed made a tremendous difference in the final product,” says Brisson. Now a functional and elegant place, the award-winning redesign represents the new and modern Naples.

The main task in updating the home was to take away the heavy and outdated precast. “We wanted to simplify the lines and create a modern elevation. The home is still Mediterranean but now it’s fresh and clean and light,” says interior designer Lana Knapp. Metal railings, cleaner cladding, and new paint were all used to modernize the exterior of the home. Landscaping also played an important role as builder Greg Brisson explains. “The landscaping around the home was overgrown and overdone, blocking the view of the house and from the lanai looking out. Now it shows off the home and works with the new, user-friendly driveway.”



With precast on top of precast, the living room was covered with unnecessary columns, a fireplace with an excessive mantel, and heavy fabrics that weighed the room down. Taking inspiration from the beautiful Southwest Florida skies, Knapp used shades of blue in the redesigned living area. Backlit glass sits above the limestone fireplace surround softening the height of the room while adding light and texture. Custom mirror frames and mullions were manufactured and installed by Generations Metier. The fireplace is now the focal point – simple and elegant it faces a comfortable seating arrangement of Century, Baker, and Henredon furniture. The large Andersen windows are now flanked by drapes with an airy texture.



With her personal love of cooking, Knapp knows a thing or two about kitchen design and her knowledge is evident in this award-winning space (Best Kitchen Design, 2017 Sand Dollar awards). “The kitchen was again, so heavy. Big legs on the island, overdone cabinets, and odd angles made this a tough space to work in,” she explains. Now the space is open with bright with glass tiles from Tropical Tile & Marble, a custom hood with brass and antique and polished nickel, state-of-the-art appliances from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, and new kitchen cabinetry and a warm wood counter from Generations Metier for easy entertaining and family gatherings. Ceiling beams stained a dark walnut similar to the wide plank flooring were crafted and installed throughout the home by Generations Metier.

The original master bedroom was alarming with a large tropical canvas stuffed into an unnecessary niche and soaring ceilings that made the room feel imposing and uninviting. BCB Homes squared-off odd angles to modernize the space, dropped the ceiling, and added beams with up-lighting to make the space more livable and familiar. Knapp selected a soothing neutral tone for the walls, a bed by Century, and a Theodore Alexander consul to add updated style and function.



Perhaps the most dramatically different room in the house, the master bath was an awkward space with a tub on an “altar” accessed by stairs (a potential hazard when wet), columns that closed off the room, and dark faux finished walls. Knapp created an instant focal point in the master bath through the elegant Carrara marble wall— sourced through Tropical Tile & Marble—that moves in multidirectional curves showing off the circle windows above. Five niches add texture and light. A capiz shell and mother of pearl pattern from Tropical Tile & Marble serves as the base for the tub. New, custom cabinetry from Generations Metier and a complementary stone countertop finish the transformation.



Like many of the rooms in the home, the lanai was plagued with angles that obstructed the views. Knapp and Brisson created a layout that allows for a direct line of sight to the pool and golf course beyond. The outdoor kitchen—with island and cabinetry from Generations Metier—provides the owners with a true indoor/ outdoor experience and a place to entertain with plenty of seating and a functional cooking area with suspended hood to preserve the view. Seating options more proportionate to the space were selected, opening up the lanai while still giving guests multiple places to congregate for conversation or meals. The addition of a focal wall with linear gas fireplace from Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living and new porcelain tile floors help to modernize the space.

Written By Channing Spano Photography By Lori Hamilton

Andersen Windows 100 4th Avenue Bayport, MN 55003

BCB Homes 3696 Enterprise Avenue Naples, FL 34104 239.643.1004

Collins & DuPont Design Group 8911 Brighton Lane Bonita Springs, FL 34135 239.948.2400

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 3406 Domestic Avenue Naples, FL 34104 239.643.0070

Generations Metier 883 NE 27th Lane, Unit 1 Cape Coral, FL 33909 239.458.9475

Grate Fireplace & Outdoor Living 7830 Drew Circle, Suites 1 & 2 Fort Myers, FL 33967 239.939.7187


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