Every discerning traveler knows that unmistakable sense of excitement of stepping into a well-designed hotel. It’s a sensory experience—one that transports you to another state of being as the stressors of the real world slowly fade away.
It’s this precise sensibility designer Pamela Harvey materialized in a Sarasota, Florida, condominium. Owning a vacation abode here was never part of the plan for the homeowners, but as business frequently brought the wife to town, the couple became enchanted with the Gulf Coast’s beaches and easy pace of life. Soon enough, the house hunting began, and they zeroed in on The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sarasota, its resort-style amenities and hassle-free upkeep the ideal choice for their pied-à-terre lifestyle. “When you’re traveling, staying at a beautiful hotel can make all difference,” the wife says. “We wanted the condo to feel like a boutique hotel—a little glam, a little sexy and, of course, comfortable.”
Harvey employed this sophisticated aesthetic immediately upon entry to the unit, where a private elevator opens to a vestibule dressed in a graphic black-and-beige palm leaf-patterned wallpaper. “The print hints at the beach, but the color palette elevates the look,” she says. Double doors finished in black satin paint reveal the foyer, one of the formerly blank drywall spaces that awaited the designer’s touch. To dress it up, she relied on wainscoting to add depth and dimension, carrying the millwork into the dining area.
There, luxe velvet dining chairs offer the first hint of Harvey’s bold color decision: emerald green, a departure from the typical coastal blues and a shade that complements the already- established palette. “Black, green and white is such a chic combination that plays really well into the unique vision we had for this home,” she says. “Emerald green in particular is a dramatic color and really helps give that ‘wow’ factor.” The designer weaved the tone throughout the residence’s public spaces: Echoing the dining area, for instance, the breakfast nook boasts a similar green velvet on the banquette as well as a whimsical green medallion print on the coordinating chair cushions.
In a striking effect, green shows up as a fresh coat of paint on the island in the adjoining kitchen, which received the home’s biggest layout changes, executed by builder Heath Linkogle. “The plan here was to create more breathing room while also incorporating some luxurious touches,” he explains. To that end, Linkogle removed upper cabinets for a less cluttered look and relocated wall ovens to make room for an extra-tall wine fridge.
Other decisions focused on addressing the desired boutique-like vibe. In giving thought to recreating a luxury hotel experience, Harvey paid particular attention to light fixtures. “After all, they’re like jewelry,” she muses. “A great statement piece can tie together a beautiful outfit—or, in this case, a fabulous room.” Every space received an elegant finishing touch, like the dining area’s sculptural chandelier, composed of tiers of sandblasted glass, and the great room’s branch-like quartz fixture, its organic shape acting in harmony with the surrounding angled walls.
In the latter space, Harvey created a sense of order using wallpaper panels depicting a tropical paradise scene in black, gray and cream. The mural—now a conversation starter in front of sleek tweed chairs the designer likens to Chanel’s iconic jacket—takes the place of a television. That she tucked away in a cozy hidden den wrapped in cognac brown walls, an intimate space that, in a previous iteration, served as a bedroom.
Harvey dialed down the drama in the condo’s private spaces, approaching them with more serene color schemes. Neutral tone-on-tone patterns in the main suite mix quietly while still creating interest. The guest bedroom takes on the home’s only quintessential “beachy” look with a custom blue wallcovering meant to mimic rippling water.
Overall, though, the owners say the residence provokes a mutual sense of excitement and relaxation—unexpected feelings for business travels to a Gulf Coast city. “The condo definitely has a distinct point of view,” Harvey says. “Something I appreciate about the hospitality world is that experience of walking into a room, and it immediately envelops you and makes you feel at ease. I’m delighted to have brought that to life here in a personal setting.”