Let’s not kid ourselves; new is always better. And Debbie and Bob Blinstrub came to that conclusion early on in their search for a Naples home. The charming Michigan-based couple quickly decided to purchase a condo in Kalea Bay, take a blank slate and completely make it their own from day one.
“We had been coming to Naples for quite a while.” Debbie says. “Weekend jaunts and then weeklong vacations, two weeks, then monthly visits, and we knew we wanted to be down here and we started looking. But quite honestly, when we looked at existing buildings, and what we would pay for them and then pay to make them our own—we knew we would have headaches.”
“That was part of the drive for a new facility,” Bob adds. “Living here is truthfully like living in a resort. Plus, I can look out and see our boat at the dock (next door at Pelican Isle Yacht Club), and it made it the total package. And then how Wendy was able to interpret (the space) for us.”
He’s referring to interior designer Wendy Berry of W Design. The Blinstrubs have two other homes in Michigan and prefer that each of their properties has an entirely different feel, and yet still conveys their taste and style.
“Water and nature,” Debbie says. “We love woods. And what she has done with the different varieties of wood and applications of wood is just stunning. We walked in and fell in love.”
Guests feel the same way. Stepping off the elevator with its dark cocoa gray door, visitors are deposited into a clean, organic foyer with a dark wood-paneled ceiling above and European white oak underfoot. The line of sight directs the eye 30 feet across the unit to a stunning floor-to-ceiling custom mirror wrapped in live-edge wood. In between is a spectacular focal wall covered in a full-length Gregorius Pineo wall covering called “Benin” from the company’s Tribal collection that begs to be touched.
“They like things a little edgy and modern,” Berry says. “Nothing too coastal.”
The open-concept 3,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 12th-floor unit balances clean lines with organic finishes and bright whites with more natural tones.
“When guests are over, we have to show them every room, because each room is truly unique,” Bob says. “It’s a four-bedroom unit, but we did our fourth bedroom as a den with a built-in office and a convertible sofa. It is the most comfortable place for me to be. I was a workaholic and kind of continue that tradition.”
But the master bedroom is a terrific example of how quality design can trick the eye and create the illusion of height. Though the ceilings are just 9 feet, Berry added dark walnut tongue-and-groove under an X-patterned beam design. Coupled with a neutral grass cloth wall cover and picturesque views of the Gulf of Mexico, you have a tranquil retreat that’s the envy of most.
“There isn’t a day that we don’t walk in and go ‘Wow,’” Debbie says. “It’s beyond our expectation.”
New and improved, indeed.