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Southwest Florida's Interior Designers Choose Their Favorite Rooms

Seven elite decorators tell the stories behind the interiors they’re proudest of.



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When we set out to showcase the finest interiors in Southwest Florida, we realized: Who better to ask about great design than the designers themselves? We spoke to seven leaders in the area’s design industry and asked them to share with us their favorite rooms that they have designed. Here, we give you seven exceptional rooms designed by seven standout designers, highlighting some of the best residential style along the Gulfshore.

 

Pamela Durkin of Pamela Durkin Designs selected an open-plan kitchen and great room she designed last year in Pelican Marsh.

“I really loved how it came out,” Durkin says of the space. “This project started much smaller. We were going to change only the kitchen island and a master bath, but it ended up being a top-to-bottom, inside-outside renovation. So many people walk into this house and say it looks like brand-new construction.”

Some of the architectural details Durkin introduced include columns in the front entryway to create the feel of having walked into a foyer, dark-stained wood beams in the kitchen to draw the eye upward, and a 300-bottle refrigerated wine wall.

“The clients are really into wine,” Durkin says. “We were going to put in a smaller 50-bottle wine refrigerator, but then I convinced them that because wine was such a part of their life we should make it a feature. I like people to think about how they’re living and to manifest that into some strong design elements. The wine wall doesn’t take up a lot of room, and they are able to display the bottles different ways that look interesting. It’s a point of conversation when the clients entertain friends.”

Durkin also created a small seating area with a hammered-metal coffee table, comfortable piped swivel chairs and custom-printed photography.

“The gentleman is a jazz musician and a writer, and there was this big blank wall,” Durkin says. “I suggested something strong there, so we added a molding detail and three large pieces of art, each 5 feet wide, 10 feet tall. They’re really strong; we don’t do anything halfway. The images of blue smoke are tied back to old smoky jazz bars from a long time ago. They’re so beautiful and stunning, you see them from every room in the house. People stop and stare at it. We put those swivel chairs there because that’s just a few steps from the bar, and they can sit there, hang out, have some nice conversation. Plus, it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door.”

So, how did Durkin take her clients from wanting their kitchen island replaced to having their entire house redesigned?

“My part in a project is to make the outcome better than it would have been if I were not involved. When I walk into a space, I can see the final design already done. I feel it is my responsibility to make the client aware of ideas that will make a space as wonderful as it can be.”

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