Stylish Living

From Mediterranean to Masterful and Moody in Naples

Memphis designer Sean Anderson transforms a dated Neo-Mediterranean home with dark, organic colors and materials.

BY April 22, 2024
Sean Anderson Moody Kitchen
Sean kept the barn beams but added a darker stain to contrast the lighter walls and furnishings; a concrete coffee table he designed adds an industrial edge. In the adjoining kitchen, quartzite countertops juxtapose leather-clad Richard Wrightman Chatwin bar stools. (Photo by Haris Kenjar)

When it came time to renovate, Beth and David Genuardi embraced the Mediterranean facade of their Aqualane Shores four-bedroom, five-bathroom home. The retired Philadelphia couple, who winter in Naples, pulled from the dark, organic palette of the Italian countryside to reimagine the interiors but in a fresh way fitting for our modern age and coastal locale.

The couple enlisted Memphis designer Sean Anderson to refashion the interiors in a Neo-Mediterranean style. Out went the typical blue-and-white beachy interiors; in came a rich range of dark woods and natural stone, organic finishes, and a delightful play of textures. Curved, midcentury-inspired furnishings and lighting keep the look grounded in the now.

Near the entrance, a mahogany pod installation by Naples artist Ran Adler and a bonsai tree on a cast stone table lead into a lounge, where light-colored Holly Hunt mohair upholstery on the daybed, side chair and ottoman balance the ebonized wood Sawkille Co. credenza and custom draperies in taupe heathered wool. Legno Bastone European white oak flooring in a dark finish runs throughout the majority of the home, providing depth and warmth against the beige walls and plentiful natural light.

Sean moved the dining room to the former formal living room, where French doors open onto a patio garden with a fireplace and water views. “The architecture had a little drama to it, which made it the perfect spot for a sleek, sexy dining space,” he says. The room now flaunts a blackened brass, leather cord and semiprecious stone chandelier, linen banquette seating and a round maple table. Ran Adler’s acacia thorn birds scatter across the wall atop the banquette. 

Sean also creates original artwork for each project—in this case, he made a 60-inch square painting resembling marble, which rests on a wooden console table in the dining room. “I hung the canvas on the first day of our install and worked on it for a couple hours a day as the house continued to come to fruition,” he says.

The interplay of light and dark finishes continues in the kitchen. Pale gray Crystallus Azulado Quartzite countertops juxtapose Richard Wrightman Chatwin bar stools in acorn with dark chocolate English bridle leather strapping. The quartzite carries into the wet bar, discreetly hidden behind walnut millwork stained in ebonized charcoal. In the great room, Sean stained the existing wooden barn beams a darker color and hung a framed collection of antique loom brushes for added texture and to play off the client’s Southeast Asian antiques.

Across the central courtyard, which features a wading pool, water feature, sunning deck, outdoor living space and kitchen, Sean repurposed a detached guest cabana into an office suite for David. To counter the abundant natural light from the walls of windows, Sean used darker charcoal linen drapery and leather slipcovers. An antique gymnasium ladder provides unconventional storage for David’s reading materials. “The client is a voracious reader,” Sean says. “I sourced some old newspapers from Philadelphia to hang on the rungs to demonstrate the intent while being a charming, layered moment.”

For the primary bedroom, Sean found an inverted cast of a tortoise shell that appears bleached by the sun. He also designed a bed bench and long wooden table, recovered an antique chair in amber velvet, and added an antique Tonga sisal rug to ground the space. The primary bathroom carries a lighter feel with travertine countertops and flooring and a contemporary bath from Kohler’s Veil collection. “They wanted to use this opportunity to embrace more of that organic, naturally derived texture,” Sean says of the finished home. “We achieved something that reflects both of them beautifully.” 

(Photo by Haris Kenjar)
A mahogany pod installation by Naples artist Ran Adler hangs in the entryway. (Photo by Haris Kenjar)
(Photo by Haris Kenjar)
Dark colors and textured surfaces with clean-lined furnishings and abundant sunlight honor the home’s Mediterranean architecture and the lightness of the Florida coast. (Photo by Haris Kenjar)
The kitchen’s quartzite and primary bathroom’s travertine countertops and flooring keep the home feeling bright and contemporary. The primary bedroom flaunts a hand-hewn wooden bench and soft linens by the centuries-old Matouk and Italian textile brand Signoria. (Photo by Haris Kenjar)
(Photo by Haris Kenjar)

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