The fabulous water view tucked behind a modest home near Old Naples convinced one couple to move forward with their plans to build a local residence.
“We had looked at property for several years,” explains the woman of the house. “We knew we wanted to be close to Old Naples so that we could get to the shops and dining and all the things Old Naples has to offer. And we’ve always loved the water.”
During one trip, her husband—who sails—noticed a “for sale by owner” sign in front of a small home. He knocked on the door to chat with the homeowner and, once inside, was stunned with the view of a broad cove that was visible from the property. The couple was quickly convinced that this was the site where they could position a new house.
“We had never built a house before,” he explains. “The owner had a suggestion that we look at who was building on the water.”
Soon after, the couple stopped at a building site nearby and spoke with a superintendent from BCB Homes. By the end of the same afternoon, they were sitting in architect Jon Kukk’s downtown office talking about plans for their recently discovered site. “The original house didn’t utilize the views,” Kukk explains.
Today, the couple admits they were lucky, hiring the first—and only—architect and builder with whom they talked. “We’ve got a good feel for people,” the husband says.
Kukk visited their 1930s home near Washington, D.C., for a few days and met with their interior designer so that he could get a better feel for their lifestyle and their design tastes. Admittedly, it was an architecturally difficult transition for them, the couple says. They laugh about their initial desire to install three fireplaces in their Naples home. In the end, they settled for only one, in the family room, and a cozy fire pit overlooking the cove in their tiered backyard, just steps away from the pool and spa.
“They were good listeners,” Kukk recalls. “They were open to new ideas.”
Now, the homeowners are content as they contemplate eventually making the house their primary residence. Meanwhile, when in Naples, they keep busy with plenty of guests, including their family, who arrive from throughout the country. “We really wanted to have a place where everyone could come and enjoy themselves,” the wife says.
A Water Expanse
Wide water views are the main attraction in the family room, thanks to the home’s southwest positioning by architect Jon Kukk. “They wanted a coastal, light and beautiful property,” he explains. For cooler weather, a fireplace was also installed here.
A traditional, two-story structure was designed for the home’s façade, obscuring the private water views in the property’s backyard. A modest, Old Florida dwelling originally situated on the premises didn’t take advantage of its views, explains architect Kukk. A second-floor study at the rear of the home also overlooks the water.
Light and Airy
“I’ve always wanted a white kitchen,” the wife says. Situated just off the family room, the kitchen gets plenty of use, although the couple enjoys eating most meals on the lanai. Top-grade appliances, a backlit China cabinet and a desk were integrated into the room’s traditional design.
ARCHITECT Jon Kukk, Kukk Architect & Design
BUILDER BCB Homes
INTERIOR DESIGN Judith Shehan Interiors of Arlington, Va.
PHOTOGRAPHER Lori Hamilton