Translating a vision into a built reality is a feat that architects, interior designers and general contractors accomplish on a daily basis. When this process unfolds seamlessly, the backdrop for the daily routines of those who will live within it becomes a thing of great beauty. Take, for instance, this British Colonial-style vacation home in Naples, Florida, thoughtfully created to welcome three generations of one family for alfresco fun.
After falling in love with a classic yet layered residence in a nearby neighborhood built by London Bay Homes, the homeowners decided to go straight to the source to commission their own abode, with a few changes to better suit their tastes. The main requests on their wish list were interiors that would easily become one with the outdoors and a second-floor set-up that would give their children and grandchildren a fully functional escape all their own. “The homeowners were very specific about achieving a full-on living space that would allow family members to reside on the second floor without needing access to the amenities on the first floor, so it was one of my main considerations from the start,” architect Michael Faulhaber explains.
As for the connection to the outdoors, Faulhaber placed a loggia between the large family room and the pool area, separating the exterior and interior spaces with only a set of folding glass doors. “When the doors are open, the two spaces act as one gigantic exterior room,” he says. “They blur the lines from indoor to outdoor, and that was very intentional with this home.” Faulhaber also maximized natural light by designing most of the spaces to be just one room wide, giving the residence the appearance of a large letter H. “So many homes are a collection of rooms mashed together. By the time you get to the center, it’s dark. With one-room-wide homes, the light gets deep inside,” he explains. This shape allowed for a formal axis from the entry to the living area to the loggia all the way out to the pool area, again emphasizing the outdoor spaces.
Inside, the homeowners asked designer Michael Scott for classic spaces appointed with detailed millwork, inspired by the West Indies style of the architecture. “We looked at magazines, books and mood shots, and then we went into making the preliminary selections—the furniture, tile, wood and textiles,” Scott says. “This client was easy to work with because they came with good intent, which was partly because of the original building they had seen.”
Turquoise is one of the wife’s favorite colors, so shades of the hue were introduced in the main living spaces, though sparingly as she wanted the large, open first floor to exude a sense of calm. “She asked that the colors appear only in accents, in the living room particularly,” Scott explains. “We started with the fabric first, in the pillows on the sofa; then we added the pop of turquoise in the interior of the built-in cabinets that flank the fireplace to balance out all of the paleness. You don’t see it as much in daylight but at night when they are lit, they are beautiful.”
Moving through each space, luscious shades of turquoise greet the eye—from the barstools surrounding the kitchen island to the artwork throughout the home. These echo the hues of the pool and the planters and furnishings surrounding it, the bright color being featured most abundantly outside. Knowing a sizable, thriving family would be gallivanting from room to room and splashing about in the sunlight, resilient materials were sourced where possible. “We weren’t building a museum,” builder Steve Miller says. “We were constructing a home to be lived in.”
Despite drawing inspiration from another residence, the homeowners were really keen to create a residence that would be uniquely theirs. “When we have clients say, ‘I don’t want to have what everyone else in town has,’ it makes for a richer process but it also brings a challenge: keeping an identified theme intact,” Miller says. “The elegance of this home, given its island inspiration, is a testament that it can be done.”