It’s no secret that the pandemic has fueled the at-home workout craze—which has come a long way from VHS aerobics lessons in the ’80s to interactive smart gym equipment in the 2010s—but this tennis-centric home in Sanibel Island suggests that the evolving movement is here to stay.
Rena and Ryan Martinson were ahead of the game in 2018 when they tapped Brandt Henning, of HLevel Architecture, to dream up a home with a court incorporated into the design. “When I first heard what they wanted, I said ‘Are you serious?’” Henning says. “And when I found out they were, I thought it was awesome.” Henning got to work drawing plans for the two-story home, building a regulation-size, screened-in court off the back of the house—blending with its contemporary architecture.
The Martinsons have always taken an interest in their health—walking, biking and eating clean in between rounds on the court. “I had been playing tennis almost every day with our son, Cash, and we thought it would be great to have a tennis court of our own. The original plan was to build a tennis court along with a little casita that could be used for tennis getaways,” Ryan says. Rather, they built a permanent residence around the court, with a layout that lends easy access and serves as a constant reminder to step out and break a sweat.
With plentiful court-side views from the main living areas, tennis is always top-of-mind, and they often take advantage of how easy it is to pop down to practice serves between conference calls or work on volleys after homework. “Either I’m practicing with Cash, or Rena and I are playing doubles,” Ryan says. “The convenience of being able to play at any time is great. We never have to battle to get court time, and it’s fun to invite friends over for a match.”