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Home of the Month: Fresh Appeal

A Myrtle Beach developer and his wife create a vacation-home feel for their new place in Old Naples.

John Sciarrino


Before Sam and Cindy Scalise discovered Naples, they never thought they wanted to live in Florida. The couple, who had lived in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, were ready for retirement after finishing work on an exclusive development there known as The Hermitage in Murrells Inlet, which was built on land from two 19th century rice plantations.

“We never really liked Florida, and then we found Naples,” Sam says.

“It felt like home,” Cindy adds.

More than two years ago, they purchased a lot in Old Naples and began contemplating the new house they would build. That meant a major scaling down from their 12,000-square-foot Tuscan-style home on the water in South Carolina.        

They started talking with builders and upon meeting Chris van Emmerik of Van Emmerik Custom Homes, Sam felt as though he’d met a kindred spirit.

“Chris is the first one that spoke my language,” Sam says. Sam’s building career started in his home state of West Virginia before he began the South Carolina business that blossomed through the years. He and van Emmerik have since collaborated on a second project—a home that’s now for sale—in Old Naples, too.

After living in their large Tuscan home, the Scalises were looking for a fresh style for Naples. “We didn’t want that Old Florida Italianate look,” Sam says.

Instead, a collaboration among the Scalises (Cindy focuses on interior design), Van Emmerik and Weber Design Group resulted in a house perfectly created for the couple’s current needs. Their new place is only 3,300 square feet of living space under air, with plenty of finished outdoor areas, too.

“I wanted it to be more of a vacation home,” Cindy says. “We didn’t want an Easter Sunday house. We wanted an everyday house.”

For Van Emmerik Custom Homes, the collaboration was a successful one. The house won a perfect score for product design in the 2015 CBIA Sand Dollar Awards in the category of single-family homes ranging from $1 million to $1,249,999 (excluding the cost of land and interior furnishings).


Bougainvillea winds up the trellis at the house’s rear entry, providing a quaint entrance to the private backyard. The homeowners, who hail from South Carolina and have collaborated on dozens of homes in the past, considered the concept of the perfect beach home when designing their Old Naples retirement home. Landscape design was done by Blue Landscape Group.


The homeowners for this Old Naples space wanted a casual living environment as they scaled down from their 12,000-square-foot coastal South Carolina home. The central portion of this home, built by Van Emmerik Custom Homes, is completely open. Ceiling detail provides subtle divisions between the living, dining and kitchen spaces. White oak engineered hardwood is used for floors throughout the home.


The homeowners’ pooch, Bentley, poses on a bench at the foot of the canopy bed. Floor-to-ceiling draperies offer privacy by night, while large doors open to the pool’s lanai in the daylight. Homeowner Cindy Scalise has completed the interior design for the couple’s new space.


Even though this home is within walking distance of the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico, residents can instead choose to relax on the lounge shelf built into their new swimming pool. Well-manicured landscaping and a privacy wall made of tabby stucco secludes this home from the alley beyond.


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