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  Issue 19-2 COVER STORY

  THE BEAUTY OF BALI
Picture A Sprawling Tropical Retreat On A West Florida Barrier Island That Captures
The Sultry Splendor Of Its Indonesian-Like Setting And Demands Only One Thing

 


Click Image To Enlarge

                 


CONCEPTUAL ARCHITECT &
INTERIOR DESIGN
Mark Christofi
Mark Christofi Interiors
North Reading, MA

 

 

 

 

ARCHITECT
John Carsi, Palladian Design Studio, Fort Myers

BUILDER
Todd Wolter, The Wolter Group, Inc., Fort Myers

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Robert Walsh, R.S. Walsh Landscaping, Inc.
Fort Myers

TEXT
Marina Brown

PHOTOGRAPHY
Eric Roth, Topsfield, MA


 

Over three years ago, when interior designer Mark Christofi’s clients returned from a Caribbean vacation armed with photos of architectural elements they’d found there and loved, he could feel his heart skip a beat. “This was my first tropical design,” he says of the tranquil retreat located on a West Florida barrier island. “While I’ve already created three homes for these wonderful clients, this fourth one would be an exciting departure.”

With the stacked mahogany steps of the front and rear exterior, the home seems to sit atop a Mayan palace. Wrapping around the back from left to right, the pool house, kitchen, living room and guest bedroom all wing open to catch the tropical breezes through glass sliding doors and windows while roof corners tip up slightly in a nod to Indonesian design.

“My springboard was my clients’ photos from Costa Rica,” says Christofi,
who incorporated elements of the Caribbean and Indonesia into the home.

For the interiors, Christofi selected what he calls an “undecorated color scheme” of taupe, brown and ecru that, along with the glowing warmth of natural materials, intertwine with the calming backdrop of the surrounding lush landscaping, and the dunes and sea beyond. “Often the words ‘Caribbean feel’ might suggest the brilliant colors of a primal palette,” Christofi says. “But our plan was to let the exterior, the greens and golds of the foliage and the blue hues of the ocean, be the primary aesthetic.”

Aware that this was a house for guests and children, with plenty of the outdoors finding its way inside, fabrics that would hold up were essential. Inside, the living room sofa — with its wide taupe-striped Sunbrella fabric, which is also used as outdoor upholstery — provides a comfortable yet durable sitting area while three easy-to-care-for ecru-leather chairs from A. Rudin surround a game table with a carved bleached-wood base. In contrast, plush chaise lounges covered in a rusty red batik-like print offer pure luxury. “I wanted this to be a house that was easy for the owners to live in and care for,” Christofi says. “Splashes of mahogany and painted-white, tongue-in-groove wall and ceiling paneling juxtapose with marine-grade stainless steel to give just the right blend of light and dark, softness and durability, and contemporary timelessness.”

“I wanted this to be a house that was easy for the owners to live in and care for,” Christofi says.

Nowhere is the magnificence of mahogany more on display than in the dining area. With a single slab of polished wood stretching 10 feet and able to sit up to 14 guests, the table is accompanied by an equally impressive banquette covered in organically hued cotton stripes and flanked by sculpted chairs from Ralph Pucci. “The adjacent kitchen is pure ease with limestone countertops and simple cabinetry,” the designer says. Here, Christofi custom designed the kitchen island with X-shaped counter legs to echo the ones found on the dining table and chose drapery fabric that suggests a Balinese palm, attaching it to a rod with grommets and a boat line as a reminder of the nearby Gulf of Mexico.

Heading upstairs, the stairway is itself an aesthetic treat. Cantilevered off the wall like a piece of whimsical sculpture, the mahogany steps, with their front and back zigzag pattern, suggest an M.C. Escher drawing. Dark-stained edges highlight the geometry and stainless-steel railings have the appearance of a sturdy spiderweb.

With four bedrooms in the main house, and a guest house and gym in a separate dwelling, it is in the master bedroom that the owners can find their most private retreat. An expansive ocean view sits facing the custom-designed bed, its mahogany posters jutting to the ceiling suggesting an illusory canopy. Christofi positioned a matching oversized chest behind the bed and attached wall lamps to its back, elegantly creating a headboard and extra storage space in one fell swoop. Golds and browns of the fabric medallions found on the furnishings, bed covering and draperies bring in a touch of the Orient as do the original framed tracings on the wall by Japanese artist Guillermo Resto. “They are of exotic-looking … manhole covers,” he laughs. “But in this context, they’re absolutely beautiful.”

“It doesn’t pay to compete with Mother Nature,” Christofi says.
“The outdoors are primary here. Through every window is a painting you can’t take your eyes off of.”

From the pared-down, natural decor of the daughter’s bedroom and the slightly tribal feel of the son’s, to the wipe-clean lines of wide-planked mahogany flooring, and sisal and seagrass area rugs, this tropical home offers comfort and ease in every dimension. “Designing this home has been an inspiration,” Christofi says.

Click Here to View Interior Design Sources

Pool Area
Pool - Custom designed by Mark Christofi Interiors, North Reading, MA
Chaises, tables and chairs - Rollner Architectural Metals, Brooklyn, NY
Cushion fabric - Holly Hunt, Donghia,
Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Living Room

Sofa - Christian Liaigre, Holly Hunt,
New York, NY
Fabric - Sunbrella, Donghia, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Accent pillow fabric - Clarence House, Webster & Co., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Chaises - Raul Carrasco, Miami, FL
Fabric - Henry Calvin Fabrics, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Game chairs - A. Rudin, The M-Geough Co., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Fabric - Holly Hunt, Donghia, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Game table - Jiun Ho, Dennis Miller Assoc., New York, NY
Cocktail table - George Nakashima Woodworker, S.A., New Hope, PA
Console - Hugo Franca, R Gallery, New York, NY
Light fixture - Palmer Hargrave, The Martin Group Furniture on 5, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Table lamps - Guéridon, New York, NY
Wall lamp - Holly Hunt, New York, NY
Floor lamps flanking sofa - Hudson Furniture, Inc., New York, NY
Floor lamp by chaise - Lee Jofa, FDO Group, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Drapery fabric - Alan Campbell, Furn & Co., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Shutters in study - Back Bay Shutter Co., Inc., Woburn, MA
Leaf artwork - Formations, Los Angeles, CA
Area rug - Stark Carpet, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Stairway

Stairway and railings - Custom designed by Mark Christofi Interiors, North Reading, MA
Bench - Raul Carrasco, Miami, FL
Cushion fabric - China Seas, Furn & Co., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Artwork in foyer - The Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA

Kitchen

Cabinetry and island - Custom designed by Mark Christofi Interiors, North Reading, MA
Barstools - Room, New York, NY
Pendants - Niche Modern, New York, NY
Drapery fabric - Alan Campbell, Furn & Co., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Dining Area

Doors - Custom designed by Mark Christofi Interiors, North Reading, MA
Fabricated by Back Bay Shutter Co., Inc., Woburn, MA
Dining table and bench - Tomas Frenes Design Studio, Miami, FL
Bench fabric - Henry Calvin Fabrics, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Chairs - Ralph Pucci International,
New York, NY
Light fixtures - Holly Hunt, New York, NY

Boys’ Bedroom

Beds and chest - Shelter Furniture,
Los Angeles, CA
Bed covering - SHE Home, Inc., Denyse Schmidt Quilts Studio, Bridgeport, CT
Area rug - Stark Carpet, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Daughter’s Bedroom

Bed - Silho Furniture, Los Angles, CA
Bed covering - SHE Home, Inc., Denyse Schmidt Quilts Studio, Bridgeport, CT
Chair - Oggetti, Miami, FL
Ottoman - Lars Bolander N.Y.,
New York, NY
Desk - Shelter Furniture, Los Angeles, CA

Master Bedroom

Bed - Jiun Ho, Dennis Miller Assoc., New York, NY
Lounge chairs and ottoman - Raul Carrasco, Miami, FL
Lounge chair, ottoman, bed covering and drapery fabric - F. Schumacher & Co., Boston Design Center, Boston, MA
Chest behind bed - Custom designed by Mark Christofi Interiors, North Reading, MA
Bench - Matteo Grassi, Machine Age, Boston, MA
Cabinet - Las Palmas, Tui Pranich & Assoc., DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL
Bedside tables - Ted Boerner, Thomas Lavin, Inc., Pacific Design Center,
Los Angles, CA
Area rug - Stark Carpet, Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Breakfast Area

Table - Troy, New York, NY
Chairs - JF Chen, Los Angles, CA
Banquette and shelving - Custom designed by Mark Christofi Interiors, North Reading, MA
Fabric - Holly Hunt, Donghia,
Boston Design Center, Boston, MA

Throughout
Ceiling, wall paneling, millwork and molding - Custom designed by Mark Christofi Interiors, North Reading, MA

 

 

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