Home & Condo
Getting closer to the golf course was the motive for moving from an Old Naples condo to a detached villa in Estuary at Grey Oaks, but Arthur and Suzy Kurtz weren’t going to settle for a décor that was merely par for the course.
The affable twosome sits beneath the painting of an Everglades scene in their casual dining area as they recount how their three-bedroom, den, four-bath winter home evolved four years ago from a sandy patch with a water view into a one-of-a-kind abode.
"We had a lot of expectations when we started this project," Arthur says. "We hoped our home would reflect who we are. We wanted the furnishings to showcase our collections, and we were looking for a style that was sophisticated, but inviting, and one that was in tune with Floridian surroundings."
"But that’s not all," his wife adds with a laugh. "We needed it to be warm and comfortable for friends and family, and we wished to be with the earth tones we love."
Though it seemed like a tall order, there was a short list of design professionals the couple considered. But in the end, Roz Travis, of Roz Travis Interiors, was the only one the Winston-Salem, North Carolinians wanted for the job.
"Roz worked with us on our condo," Arthur, a retired business executive, explains. "We felt she was already familiar with our tastes." That led the design pro to suggest the warm, casual look of hand-hewn limestone for the main living area floors. The walls are light toffee-colored, enriched with the textured gloss of a wax technique.
The Kurtzes liked her advice to soften the sharp lines of the walls with the curving effect of radius corners, and they took her suggestion of shell stone for a fireplace in the living room. "We had decided on rustic beams to add warmth to the living room’s high ceiling," Arthur says, "and we used one of them to create the fireplace mantel."
The ivory wing-back chairs and Oscar de la Renta-designed sofa are dramatic in their own right. In this living room, however, they must play second fiddle to the stunning painting over the fireplace and the rotating glass artwork the couple commissioned that stands on the room’s perimeter. Earth tones warm the scene in the antique Tibetan area rug and the raw-silk, khaki drapery panels.
"The fabric that inspired our color palette is the shell pattern material we chose for the drapery in our casual dining area," Suzy says. "It seemed ideal for us, because it includes our favorite caramels, rusts, grays and browns, and it has a Floridian theme expressed in what we think is a sophisticated treatment."
The panels’ frame plantation shutters were stained in the same butternut shade used on the kitchen cabinets. It’s a tone in perfect harmony with the stainless steel and bronze tiles that form the kitchen’s backsplash. The Kurtzes have placed another piece of artwork, this time a deep-red apple sculpture, at the corner of their breakfast bar. Its unexpected presence not only punctuates the kitchen’s decorative statement, but introduces a family room with plenty to say.
"We liked the idea of wide stripes on the family room sofas for a couple of reasons," Suzy says. "The oatmeal and rust colors worked well with our shell fabric, and the stripes were another subtle repeat of the beach theme."
The couple’s ceramics collection is a focal point in the entertainment center designed to display it, and the remote-controlled, bamboo roll-ups deliver tropical pizzazz while protecting the two gray theater chairs and gray shag rug. Grays and caramel tones dominate the formal dining room, where a circle of gray glass inset tiles embellishes the floor, and an artful silver mirror reflects the warm caramel tone of the table.
"The table is made with the same alderwood that’s been used for the chests on each side of the living room fireplace," Suzy says. "We paired the chests with smoky glass mirrors, and we paired the table with saddle-colored suede chairs."
The dining room has other unexpected elements. For example, the chandelier is contemporary and triangular while the buffet is hand-painted and Brazilian.
"The master suite incorporates one of my favorite colors, which is misty aqua," Suzy says. "We did the headboard in aqua suede, and we found a lovely silk plaid with cream, taupe and misty aqua to use for the bedskirt, window treatment and easy chairs."
The master bath has walls painted aqua mist and accented with hand-painted, solid gray squares, but the guest baths have equally whimsical walls. In one, the walls are splashed with raised palm trees. In the other, raised leaves add a tropical touch.
"Since we put a plaid sofa in the office, we can use it as a fourth bedroom," Suzy points out. "We created our desk by cutting down our former dining room table."
The veteran travelers, who have two sons and two granddaughters, are fond of relaxing on their lanai with their Yorkie, Buddy, or grilling in their summer kitchen amid the orchids Arthur cultivates and the greenery they both nurture.
There’s a piece of art the couple chose in every room. So far, they say, there’s been little controversy about the choosing. "We’ll walk a gallery separately," Arthur says, "and meet to compare favorites, which usually are the same."
Pressed to choose her favorite part of the 3,900-square-foot home, Suzy confesses she’s stumped. "I walk from room to room and find something wonderful about each space," she says, with a not-too-sorrowful smile.