Realty Check

Dream Homes

A beachfront home with style to spare, a formal-yet-fun remodel and an outdoor space with a defining detail.

BY October 1, 2021
Calming views of Fort Myers Beach can be seen from the living area and primary bedroom, both of which have spacious balconies. (Courtesy Premiere Plus Realty Co.)

Gold Standard

Cast a quick glance at the homes along the coast of Fort Myers Beach, and you’ll immediately notice 61 Delmar Ave. Prominently situated among Old Florida-style cottages and beach resorts, this modern 2,537-square-foot home stands out. The exterior is all about horizontal lines: Expansion joints create an ordered pattern in the white stucco, while other sections of the exterior are wrapped in bands of weather-resistant, eco-friendly Trex composite decking. Above the windows, slatted metal marquee awnings offer a stylish solution for shade from the sun.

Listing agent Joe Orlandini with Premiere Plus Realty serves double-duty as a builder. He worked with the owners of the four-bed, five-bathroom Gulf-side compound to update its previously Mediterranean facade. “The clients had been in and out of a bunch of the houses I’ve worked on, and they asked if I could make the house look like one of mine,” Orlandini explains. His knack for incorporating subtle, yet unforgettable details dovetailed with the owners’ contemporary taste and penchant for striking silver, black and gray hues.

(Courtesy Premiere Plus Realty Co.)

Orlandini’s attention to details is on full display in the kitchen, where he installed an entire wall of metallic silver subway tiles. “It was really vibrant and matched so well,” he says, referencing the tiles’ compatibility with the high-polish laminate cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Poplar planks are stacked horizontally on the opposite wall in the living room, adding depth to the space and framing windows that look out onto a stretch of the coast. To make sure the wood tied into the surrounding design elements, Orlandini played with several stains until he found a shade that fit perfectly with the tones of the cabinets and the metallic tile in the kitchen.

Large slabs of porcelain tile flooring and inlaid LED ceiling lights flow throughout the home, which shifts the focus to the owners’ decor and the outstanding views. The living space and the primary bedroom and bathroom all have floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors that open onto spacious balconies overlooking the Gulf. Noting the freestanding tub in the primary bath, Orlandini explains, “Traditional houses would have put the window where the tub is. I think it’s cool walking in that room and being able to see the glass go past the tub. When you’re in the tub, you have a full view, and it’s unrestricted.”

(Courtesy Premiere Plus Realty Co.)

Beach access is also unhindered. A sandy pathway runs from the backyard, over a private dune, to the water. With such an enviable location, creating a nook for comfortable outdoor living was also in order. Because the home is situated on a narrow parcel of land, Orlandini tucked the pool beneath the second-floor balcony, a move that struck the perfect balance between light and shade. “It creates a very comfortable area where you can get full sun if you want,” he says. That’s a win-win for this southwest-facing home, which, he adds, comes with “one of the best sunsets you could possibly imagine.”

The home was listed at $4.4 million as of September.

Renovation Spotlight

When it comes to home renovations, open-minded clients push a designer’s creativity into overdrive. Michael Sandsmark, an interior designer with Design West, was lucky enough to experience this with a project in Olde Cypress.

The home is owned by a couple who cut ties with their northern residency to be closer to family in Naples, and wanted bigger and better spaces for entertaining. “The [primary] bath is now the theater, and the existing [primary] bedroom was turned into a golf simulator,” Sandsmark says. 

Designer Michael Sandsmark removed a wall and fireplace in the living room to make space for a wine chiller and a backlit bar. (Courtesy Design West/Venjhamin Reyes)

The homeowners weren’t left without a primary suite for long. Sandsmark added a wing for an ensuite bedroom. In keeping with the mix of formal and coastal for the home’s new aesthetic, he opted to bring a beachy palette to the space. Aquamarine-hued fabrics drape the bed, mirrored by a similar tone in the rug and dresser. To up the formality, he placed an elegant, tapered chandelier in the center of the double-tray ceiling. He also reupholstered the clients’ pair of century-old wingback chairs in a blue-and-white floral fabric to create a sitting area in the primary bedroom.

In the living area, the team blew out a wall and Tuscan-style fireplace and replaced it with a wet bar and a double-sided wine chiller that stores more than 400 bottles. They also ordered three slabs of Caesarstone Concetto Puro (chunks of crystal that are epoxied together) for the bar countertop and backsplash. “When we did this job, there were only 18 slabs in the whole country,” Sandsmark says, of the stone.

The new kitchen has additional cabinets, a crackled porcelain tile backsplash and Arabescato Pompeii Quartz countertops. (Courtesy Design West/Venjhamin Reyes)

He added LED panels to backlight the entire piece and had brackets made to support the glass shelving. “These brackets not only go through the stone, but through the lighting, as well,” he explains. “The glass shelves are floating on that stone.”

The clients loved the finished look of the bar so much that they decided to remodel the kitchen. To create a prime entertaining space, Sandsmark removed a wall in order to raise the ceiling. This allowed for additional cabinets—painted a crisp white—and open shelving outfitted with LED lights that showcase prized dishware and other keepsakes.

Countertops are crafted from Arabescato Pompeii Quartz, a human-made material that’s damage-resistant and easy to clean. A custom RangeCraft hood and a crackled porcelain subway tile backsplash complete the polished look of the space. “‘Less is more’ is becoming more popular,” Sandsmark says. “Overall, it’s an eclectic space, where you still feel comfortable sitting back and making yourself a drink.”

Must Have… Modern Alfresco Dining

When interior designer Jeffrey Fisher lent his expertise to a Naples spec home, he was admittedly put off by the outdoor space. “This small area was a place for one more mandatory outdoor dining table with the exterior stucco of the home acting as the backdrop. Boring,” he says.

Designer Jeffrey Fisher created a striking mahogany backdrop to update a spec home’s outdoor dining area. (Courtesy Jeffery Fisher Home/Venjhamin Reyes)

So, he added a modern detail: a 12-foot slat of mahogany with pinstriped cladding that extends across the ceiling, stretching over the space. It complements other elements in the home, including a dining room set and a custom walnut media unit that Fisher’s team created. He capped the look with a white, teardrop-shaped pendant light from MH2G. “The minute I saw this fixture, I knew it would fit perfectly here,” he says.