For years, a Pinecrest couple and their three children resided in a modest 1958 ranch-style home on a nearly one-acre parcel. While the expansive setting proved ideal for an energetic family of five, the humble Florida abode was never quite as hospitable. Naturally, they dreamt of building a larger residence on the site. “We wanted a house with different functional areas so people could spread out, enjoy it and not be on top of each other,” the wife says. “When you have teenagers, you really need a space for them to bring their friends over.”
When the timing was finally right, the couple commissioned interior designer Ivette Arango and architect Antonio E. Rodriguez to realize their vision. The result is a one-level contemporary stucco home with oversize doors and windows that frame views of the lush grounds and innovative water features, giving the home the effect of a peaceful island escape.
At the front of the residence, a keystone walkway leads across a serene pool to the entry door, which is protected by an overhang with an ipe wood ceiling. Cantilevered over the water, the house appears to be floating; even its rooflines seem to hover over one another, creating the feeling of several cabanas grouped together, as though it is a resort. “The property is like an oasis,” Rodriguez says. “Although it’s modern with lots of glass, it’s still a cozy house with a really nice tropical feel.”
The foyer opens to the double-height formal living area, where a fire box accented with a heavily textured porcelain complements the home’s large-scale porcelain tile flooring. Maintaining the focus on the lush backyard, Arango kept the home’s walls white and covered the tailored furnishings in a soothing palette of neutral-colored fabrics. “Everything relates, and it feels good when you walk in,” she says. “Nothing jumps out at you.”
In this way, the design honors the clean-lined interior architecture, which features recessed baseboards and open corridors unobstructed by headers. The lighting is equally subtle–and just as important, especially for highlighting the owners’ art collection displayed throughout the residence. “Lighting creates a background,” Arango explains. “It gives the room the mood you want, and it enhances the art and furniture.” The living area’s domed ceiling is back lit, with a merger track system that allows for spotlights to be added to highlight particular artworks and walls. “We like to do a lot of special details with our ceilings, because this is the fifth wall in the room,” says general contractor Ken Gomberg. In the family room, a wood veneer-paneled ceiling that cascades down one wall is illuminated from behind. And also lit from the back, the onyx backsplash of the space’s wet bar appears to glow.
While the new construction fulfills the clients’ desires for different gathering areas, the private spaces have not been overlooked. In the master bedroom, for instance, Arango upholstered the wall behind the bed in fabric and housed the TV within sycamore wood wall panels, creating an enveloping feeling. “This room embraces you,” she says.
Like all the prominent spaces, the master bedroom opens to the backyard, where landscape designer Jesse Plasencia incorporated celestial palms, large oaks to fill in the existing canopy and black ironwoods around the perimeter, blocking views of the neighbors. “It’s completely private and has a resort-like feel,” Plasencia says. “It’s tranquil.”
Adding to that feeling are the property’s many covered patios, which include spaces for exterior living and dining. Detached structures flank the swimming pool behind the home–a guest cabana with its own poolside patio, and a covered seating area in front of a fire pit. “I’m very earthy, and I like the stone, fire and water concept,” the wife says.
Just as the owners envisioned, their new home provides something for everyone, including plenty of room for their children’s friends. And despite its contemporary look, the residence is far from cold, offering a feeling of tranquility without fail. “Even when we come home from vacation, we have that ‘ah’ moment,” the wife says. “It’s such a wonderful space.”