WIDE water views
Taste. It’s harder to quantify than you might expect. But when the owner of this lovely home was boating past this spot a few years ago while on vacation, he was struck by the area’s beauty. It turned out the double lot he admired as he cruised by held a duplex that was a short sale — and serendipity lent a helping hand.
The Scandinavian gentleman, along with his wife, bought the property, razed the duplex and then sold off the second lot to help fund what you see on these pages: a simply stunning single-family getaway that blends perfectly into its surroundings.
Not too big, not too small, the 2,400-square-foot (under air), three bedroom, 3½-bath home has a modern shotgun sense to it as soon as you pass through the lipstick red front doors.
So Ms. Owens designed it so you can look straight through from the main living area right out the back and onto a beautiful exterior space that seems to spill directly into the turquoise waters off the Isles of Capri near Marco Island.
“Before Joyce we had another architect designing a larger, two-story home,” says the homeowner. “But we thought maybe that wasn’t the right thing to do.”
He and his wife wanted to maintain the peaceful and unpretentious style of the surrounding community. To that end, Ms. Owens delivered a beautifully modern and luxurious expression of a Florida fishing shack. “They were very interested in having a contemporary design on that lot, but they had to be careful because there was nothing like that on the street,” the architect says. “But they wanted something to suit their taste. So you had to get the scale right and not make it overwhelming.”
Frankly, once the accompanying second lot was sold, it left a pretty tight space with which to work. But the homeowners, who have an exceptional amount of renovation experience with much larger homes in Europe, took the responsibilities of interior design upon themselves — with great success.
Perhaps nowhere is that more impressive than in the bathrooms. Because of the home’s fairly small footprint, they decided to make the walls of the showers glass and incorporate them into the bedrooms.
“It makes the rooms feel much larger,” the homeowner says.
They also used some unique features that make the space very clean and modern.
“For example, all of the showers, rather than having tiles floors, have (granite) slabs like you would use on a kitchen counter,” says the homeowner. “So there are no seams or grout lines on the floors.” The use of granite slabs was a first for the builder; they are also used at the entrance to the home. “And all of the toilets are hung on the wall,” he adds, “so it’s a very clean look and very easy to maintain.”
Another slick decision: The homeowner had the builder lift the drywall just enough to all for the wide-plank, white oak flooring to slide underneath. This allowed for stainless steel kick plates to be used instead of traditional baseboards.
Which brings us to the galley kitchen, which is defined by a lowered ceiling that hangs via wire cables. “We didn’t want any pillars, so we just hung it with steel wire,” says the homeowner. “It’s sort of like a nautical thing. Those wires are used on sailboats.”
Stainless steel shows up in another unusual place in the kitchen as well: the large island. “We love stainless, but to be honest, I couldn’t find a granite slab big enough and I didn’t want a seam in the middle of it,” the homeowner says about the striking expanse of countertop. So as not to distract from it, none of the kitchen appliances are in stainless steel.
And speaking of seamless, a generous expanse of ipe wood decking surrounds an infinity edge pool that appears to spill seamlessly into the bay. Its accompanying spa flows over on all sides, giving users a spectacular tiered visual of water upon water.
The property has a mid-century vibe that skews modern and yet pays homage to surrounding nature. “Obviously we liked the modern design,” says the homeowner. “But at the same time, being Norwegian — and with my grandfather a commercial fisherman (back in the day) — I like that vaulted style. Almost like a boathouse, but bigger obviously.”
Let’s just call it beautifully appropriate. ¦
— Architecture Joyce Owens 2281 Main St., Fort Myers 425- 5773 www.architecturejoyceowens.com
— Gulfstream Homes/ ARCS Construction 2244 Trade Center Way, Naples 254- 1664 www.gulfstreamhomes.com