Stylish Living

Tailor-made Home for This Port Royal Couple

A Port Royal couple calls on Kukk Architecture & Design to transform their 1991 home into a modern-day refuge, tailor-made for entertaining.

BY March 31, 2022
(Photo by Venjhamin Reyes)

It’s rare to find a spot in Naples where you can have a beautiful, wide canal in your backyard and stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico out front. But that’s what Wendie and Jerry Smith found when they purchased their Gordon Drive home in 2003. While the location was top-notch, the 1991 build, with its traditional and compartmentalized design, left a lot to be desired. “It wasted a lot of space and was an echo chamber,” Jerry says. Plus, he notes, the primary bedroom was upstairs, and climbing stairs every day wasn’t ideal. 

After living in the house for 16 years, the Smiths decided to renovate and called on architect Jon Kukk, of Kukk Architecture & Design, to conceive something that took advantage of the sightlines in a way the old home did not. The house is now complete with all the modern conveniences—smart home features, open concept design, upgraded lighting—you’d expect from a Port Royal address. “They knew intimately how the space lived and could influence us as the house went forward,” Kukk says. “Here was a second chance for them to do all the things the home formerly couldn’t.”

Originally built by BCB Homes, this five-bedroom (plus office), seven-bathroom, two-story transitional home is positioned perfectly east to west to make use of the light and views, resulting in dazzling sunrises and sunsets.

There are living areas on both floors, with a pocket door at the top of the stairs that allow the second floor to become autonomous. It’s a great feature when guests want to keep the party going in the upstairs lounge and game room long after the Smiths have decided to retire for the evening.

Interior designer Edie O’Reilly, of Everett-Grace Design Associates, made sure plenty of entertaining could take place on the main floor, too. The couple gravitates toward natural materials and warm tones, so O’Reilly incorporated European white oak flooring throughout, including on the thick semi-floating stair treads immediately beyond the foyer. Espresso-stained beams overhead recall the wood-and-glass double doors in the entry. And, just beyond the stairs, the AlliKristé-designed kitchen is defined by 10-foot-tall swaths of matte vertical-grain walnut surrounds, which conceal two SubZero fridges.

Modern staircase
Shades of blue, orange and green to recall a Caribbean coastal look. (Photo by Venjhamin Reyes)

In the dining room, the table’s matte legs match the island’s carbon veneer, the wet bar and the dark burnt bronze metal range hood in the kitchen, while handmade aqua subway tiles in the partial backsplash keep the space grounded to its coastal location.

Because entertaining is a big part of the Smiths’ lives, they had Bonita Springs-based Black Mangrove Woodworks create a live-edge rosewood slab table that contains two sections, which can be separated or joined, depending on the size of the party. Custom glass-and-bronze pendants overhead can adjust to cover a long distance when the tables are separated. “We wanted an elegant space for them to entertain, but also to use themselves, so we made it flexible,” O’Reilly says.

While most of the palette recalls organic elements, the Smiths did not shy away from color completely. In the living room, artwork by local artist Rachel Pierce and an abstract rug in blues, reds and yellows alert guests to the couple’s playful nature.

They also chose a showstopping aqua recycled glass as the surface of the his-and-hers bathrooms in the primary suite, which is now on the ground floor. The room is cheery, with shades of orange and blue winding from the bedroom back to the great room, which spills out to the outdoor living area. Kukk effortlessly terraced the outdoors, from the living space to the spa to the pool and out to the dock—all of which overlook Cutlass Cove. “There is nothing we would change about this house,” Jerry says. “It’s a fun place to live. And you never get tired of the views.”

Architect: Kukk Architecture & Design
Builder: BCB Homes
Interior Design: Everett-Grace Design Associates
Photography: Venjhamin Reyes

Related Images: