The Gulf of Mexico is such a vital part of our life in Naples. One morning as I was walking the beach just a block away from where this home was being built, I bent down and picked up a shell and a piece of coral that had washed up the night before. I thought of the rhythms of the sea, with every wave, every tide, and how they relate to the rhythms of our lives – every day, every season, every year. I thought about how coral will build their homes on ancient shipwrecks that litter the sea floor, and how the nautilus adds new chambers to its shell over time. From the old we continually create the new.
This house is not so different, being designed as an architectural continuation of the unusual home that occupied this plot years before. You can see its influence in the polygonal rooms – some with six sides, some with eight.
In that spirit of creating the new from the old, I used occasional antiques and period reproductions, but in the context of a very clean, modern, and sustainable environment. An oasis of quiet and symmetry, this peaceful home is the perfect expression of sanctuary.
I am enchanted by the balance of the living room. Its soft blue hues welcome in the color of the sky and are contrasted by the warmth of the wood tones featured throughout the house. The strand bamboo floors feature both light and dark tones, creating a renewably-resourced floor for the entire ground floor.
The symmetry of the stately urns and the double-tiered klismos cocktail table gives the room a deliberately layered feel. Combined with more modern pieces like the leather daybed and the straight-lined sofas, they create interest through contrast.
This home presented a clean canvas on which to work. The lack of crown moulding and other traditional decoration – along with the pure geometry of each space – speaks to a bold clarity and offers the ideal palette for authentic, organic materials and carefully designed furnishings.
My favorite bookcases are visually organized into squares. They provide the perfect opportunity to present a curated collection of unique objects and treasured volumes.
I love nothing more than curling up with a good book and a hot mug of Earl Grey tea. This library nook is a little slice of heaven and an intimate corner in a larger, more formal space.
In the dining room you can again see the stark geometry of the coffers in the ceilings accented with pale green venetian plaster and a hand-applied stencil design. A geometric light fixture suspended over the more traditional dining table and soft, comfortable chairs make it inviting for everyday dining.
The wool challis drapes soften the large windows that illuminate the space. The luxurious hand and drape of the fabric make it one of my favorite choices.
The kitchen and bar is a contrast of woods – light, rift-cut oak and rich wenge, tied together with zebra wood accents on the bookcases at the end of the island. The tiles on the backsplash are stainless steel and the pendant lights are hand-blown Italian glass.
In the nearby breakfast nook, the backsplash repeats the zebra wood from the adjacent kitchen space creating a visual rhythm from one room to the next. The direction of the wood grain in the backsplash, flooring, and kitchen table lead your eye toward the lake view through the window.
The original house that stood on this property was a unique structure, composed mostly of hexagonal and octagonal rooms. For this house, architect Rob Herscoe of Herscoe Hajjar Architects referenced the original structure, creating livable spaces that capture the imagination while honoring the past as seen in this octagonal great room.
The upper clerestory windows provide a flood of light to the room. Drapes embroidered with a bamboo pattern, cable lighting in the ceiling, and a custom rug complete the highly detailed design. The ottoman is covered in cork for a touch of unexpected texture.
A unique table anchors an antique botanical print, which together create a focal point at the end of a long hall.
The study (top right) is another octagon that looks out to the pool and the guest wing beyond. It is home to the owner’s two beloved and well-worn leather chairs (alas, sometimes you must pick your battles).
This powder room (bottom right) features cork walls – the perfect backdrop for a mahogany vanity finished with a stainless steel top.
The theater is lit with iron sconces on the wall and a custom-designed light fixture that runs the width of it above. It is composed of hand-colored art glass panels inside an iron framework.
The anigre panels on the walls and ceiling – a complement to the custom anigre doors throughout the house – alternate with a fabric that serves to absorb sound reflections and keep the room acoustically correct in every seat.
The master suite opens to gorgeous views of the lake and sky. Hand-woven birch bark wallpaper panels create a textural feature wall behind the master bed.
This master bath is one of my favorites. The floor is finished with Calcutta marble. The antique Parisian chandelier is juxtaposed with very contemporary stained vanities. The chunk of petrified wood next to the bathtub brings in a touch of raw, natural beauty.
This second-floor bedroom looks out at the tree tops and fittingly features tree artwork and table lamps with natural branches in the bases.
Twin beds with upholstered headboards and alabaster lamps on the mirrored piece create a serene environment for guests.