It’s difficult to say if modern home design is inherently cooler than typical architecture or if it just seems that way in Southwest Florida because we see so little of it. Regardless, this captivating four-bedroom (two master suites), four-and-a-half-bathroom, 4,768-square-foot-under-air home in Naples certainly stands on its own merits.
It was designed by husband-and-wife team Michaela and Brandt Henning of Hlevel Architects, and the homeowner asked for a courtyard-style house that was “a showpiece—a house that would deliver stunning architectural features; tight lines; a big, beautiful kitchen; high ceilings; walls of windows … (under) a specific budget. Brandt Henning delivered something just astounding.”
If that sounds like a happy customer who might come back for more, it is. In fact, Hlevel renovated this owner’s previous home, taking a forgettable concrete block ranch construction and turning it into an award-winning two-story modern treasure. But because of the footprint constraints of that house, it was never going to be the owners’ dream home. So Henning helped them find this corner waterfront lot and drafted this LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified Silver home, just the second of its kind in Collier County. (That means the home used green materials and practices wherever possible, making it more efficient and environmentally responsible than traditionally built structures.)
The exterior features a shed-style roof with a large terrace offering views of the Gulf of Mexico; warm wood accents (that are actually composite deck material designed to handle the elements with zero maintenance); a silver vein travertine wall that cleaves its way through the entire home; and a stunning, 1,000-pound, 4-by-10-foot mahogany entrance door that tells everyone they’ve arrived.
“And when you walk inside, immediately to your right there is a 22-foot wood feature wall (made of cypress),” Brandt Henning says. “The owner showed me an image from a house in Cabo in Mexico—it was actually Cindy Crawford’s house—and he said, ‘I want that.’ It’s an amazing piece (paired with the) 28-foot-tall vaulted ceiling. It brings some compactibility and warmth to a large and cavernous room.”
Off of the open-concept main living area is a chef-grade kitchen including high-gloss white cabinetry with painted glass backsplash, and featuring a 60-inch Wolf range and a commercial size Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer. The space’s simplicity is balanced by a built-out ceiling with inset wood beams, a styling cue incorporated in the foyer and great room. The back of the quartz-covered island features walnut paneling that matches the flooring on the second level.
“For the kitchen, we wanted the ‘big bad Wolf’ oven—six burners, two sets of grills, big hood—plus area for everyone to help in cutting,” the homeowner says. “We wanted seating for four at the island, and a big long dining room table to seat 12 or 16. And we wanted overflow to the living area and the TV area.”
In short, it’s perfect for entertaining.
Upstairs includes the main master suite, two guest bedrooms, and his and hers CEO-style offices, all with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the courtyard, which features an infinity pool and views onto the canal.
“We have had a continuous stream of visitors,” the homeowner adds. “Everyone thinks my wife and I are brilliant. (It’s) visually breathtaking. Brandt is our secret weapon.”
Perhaps we’ll see a few more modern marvels popping up along the Gulfshore.
Walking through the 1,000-pound mahogany front door puts guests into the foyer, which features 28-foot ceilings and a 22-foot feature wall made of cypress that was fashioned after Cindy Crawford’s home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
The island, which uses a quartz surface with waterfall edge, features a walnut inset that matches other dark wood elements throughout the home. A painted glass backsplash gives off a cool blue hue, while art is always a welcome addition to a cook’s space.
With a glass railing utilized on the outdoor balcony, the home’s second-floor master bedroom, with American walnut flooring, enjoys long water views. The clean building practices utilized during construction earned the home just the second LEED Certified Silver designation in Collier County.
The clean lines of modern design come to a head in the home’s master bath. Fashioned after the penthouse bathroom from the movie 50 Shades of Grey, this space is a showstopper. Ceramic tile that looks like marble is perfect for durability, yet retains its movie star good looks.
ARCHITECT: Hlevel Architects
BUILDER: Sea Coast Construction Associates