Dream Spaces

BY February 26, 2020
White Out photo by Dan Cutrona
Photo by Dan Cutrona

In creating the 10th anniversary edition of Gulfshore Life’s Home book, our editors had access to the best of what’s happening in Southwest Florida design. In doing so, we found that designers and homeowners are breaking the mold with big, bold ideas. Out are interiors that look like model homes; in is a highly personal approach to living that includes irreverent art, unexpected layouts and architectural furnishings that reflect the owners. Here, we share six standout homes from the issue (on stands now)—from a pop art haven in Mercato to an off-the-grid Keewaydin cottage with soul. Flag these for your future remodels.


Shot in the Dark photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis


Don’t fear heavy paint colors. Midnight blue walls can provide the ideal backdrop for a gallery-like corridor. In this Lake Park home—a recreation of the famed Butterfly House, known for its inverted roofline—designer Andrea Clark Brown takes advantage of the homeowner’s forward-thinking ethos to infuse the spaces with conversation-starter paintings and sculptures from renowned, contemporary artists, such as Naples resident John Carroll Long, Hunt Slonem, Greg Davis and Jordan Waraksa. For art aficionados, there’s no better use of a hallway.


White Out photo by Dan Cutrona
Photo by Dan Cutrona


In a Quail West home, the Dwayne Bergmann Interiors’ team effectively layers on the drama without relying on color. By combining varying textures, creating an architectural ceiling and adding elements that shine, the room looks dazzling, not monotone. A centerpiece chandelier follows the firm’s belief that lighting is the jewelry of a home.


A Sea Change photo by Robin Hill
Photo by Robin Hill


It’s only natural to take pointers from the beautiful scenery that surrounds us, but the key is to do so in a way that doesn’t feel redundant to your neighbors’ abodes. With this Keewaydin cottage, Naples-based Method & Concept accomplishes this by leaning into the rustic, folksy history of the area, instead of going modern and sleek. White paint ties together the varying woods from the original structure, while beachy details—like wave-shaped, exposed joists and sculpted, metal mangrove railings—adhere to the Old Florida vibes.


Living Out Loud photo by Robin Hill
Photo by Robin Hill


Like any good designer, Wilfredo Emanuel is versatile, but where he shines is in larger-than-life, rich design. This Mercato cottage embraces a worldly, audacious sort of appeal with high art as a focal point. Dubbed Villa Bacchanalia by the homeowners, the common areas display an elegant mix-match of colors, textures and finishes, with inspiration for different rooms taken from the family’s personal travels—a perfect starting point for any home design project.


Natural Beauty Photo by Tina Sargeant
Photo by Tina Sargeant


The entryway is the first thing that greets people when walking into a home. The area should make you feel equally zen and inspired. This foyer demonstrates that with cacao leaf-printed wallpaper, bamboo-caged pendants and leafy green paint—all elements that recall St. Barts, a favorite destination for the homeowner couple who wanted to transport the island’s understated elegance back home with them.


Stone Garden Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis


Even better than an outdoor shower is a sleek bath area that opens to a private zen garden. Andrea Clark Brown believes in designing with intention, which is why every element was conceived with function and aesthetics in mind. The blend of organic and man-made materials and classical and contemporary details creates interest, while features like the Mexican stone floors, and the layout, which connects the garden with the bath, bedroom and pool area, promote ease in living. 

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