Esprit De Corps

A Collaboration Of Visionary Clients And Top Design Talent Results In An Exceptional Home That Coalesces Seamlessly With Its Beautiful Surroundings
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Confirming the belief that  a great client is the best inspiration, the "dream team" that collaborated on this 20,000-square-foot residence in Boca Raton, Fla., unanimously credits the home's visionary owners as the primary ingredient for its resounding success. The team was assembled by interior designer Louis Shuster, whose long-term relationship with his clients spans nearly three decades. "We have a very high level of trust working together, with this project marking our seventh since 1983," says the designer, who called upon the talents of builder Steve Paskoski and landscape architect Krent Wieland. The only newcomers on the scene were architects Robert Jay Colestock and Mark Allen Muir, whose firm was a direct referral to the homeowners.

Having outgrown their previous residence, the discriminating couple decided to look for another lot within the same community on which to build a home. And they found one with a desirable waterfront location with golf course views — one of the few double lots in the club. But this project was not without challenges, most notably a near-impossible, 17-month completion schedule. Additionally, the site itself involved a huge setback requirement from the lake, but a creative solution to line the pool edge with stepping stones of custom-cut flagstone lends space. "By their very nature, these types of projects create adversity," Paskoski says. "But these particular clients inspire people to be the best they can be, which resulted in a spirit of camaraderie and enthusiasm."

The architectural concept originated from the wife's vision for a home conducive to family enjoyment, elegant yet low-maintenance with tall ceilings and lots of windows to take advantage of the outdoor view. "She afforded us tremendous creativity," Colestock says, adding that her only caveat was that the house not be a full two-story design. A timeless unification of a Mediterranean theme balanced with warm, contemporary articulation resulted in a partial two-story format with finely detailed architectural elements. Such elements define the voluminous living room, where meticulously crafted, curved-glass window walls flood the space with natural light. Here, herringbone-patterned bird's eye maple flooring bordered by onyx sets the color palette: an organic mix of jewel-toned gold and amber with near-emerald accents.

"This space is all about entertaining," Shuster says, citing the trio of seating groupings designed to work individually for cozy conversation or together to accommodate large gatherings. Custom-designed sofas are clad in nubby chenille, while a pair of lounge chairs near the fireplace are upholstered in floral-patterned cotton.

Seating near the window includes four custom lounge chairs covered in brushed chenille with hand-loomed silk cushion fabric, all grouped around an oversized, chocolate-toned leather ottoman with hand-embroidered detailing.

"The owners love comfort and warmth, and tend towards neutral palettes with textural interest," interior designer Louis Shuster says. "This space features a variety of textures but still manages a clean-lined, simple elegance."

Space for entertaining continues in the adjacent dining room, where dual dining groupings accommodate both small and large parties. "The wife fell in love with these trestle-based tables, and their slightly rustic feel is a great counterpoint to the refined dining chairs," Shuster says.

A bit more casual, the sunny breakfast area features custom banquettes upholstered in linen and suede that wrap around a table made of honey-toned milpa wood. Above, a dramatic domed ceiling with spoke wagon-wheel woodworking echoes the room's circular motif.

Rendered in an opulent palette of gleaming wood, stone and tile, the wife requested that the master bath feature the same golden amber hues as the main living areas. Jerusalem stone flooring inset with hand-cut tiles provides the backdrop for a custom tub surround and vanity cabinetry of exotic muvinga wood, with shower walls clad in a mosaic of multi-colored tiger's eye.

Architectural elements and lush finishes continue into the master bedroom, where a backdrop wall of walnut and lemonwood features a centerpiece headboard upholstered in soft cotton. Shuster's custom-designed bedside tables eschew drawers to allow easy access to books and periodicals, and feature pullout trays incorporated in the tabletops.

Looking back on the project, Shuster's expressions of synergy and satisfaction are emblematic of the project itself, which has been lauded as "House of the Year" by the Construction Association of South Florida. "I'd credit this endeavor as a most successful collaboration, foremost being the best clients anyone could hope for," he says. "It was a true labor of love for all involved."

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Interior Design
Louis Shuster, Principal, along with Clayton Weidner, Shuster Design Associates, Inc., Wilton Manors, FL

Robert Stevens, Haverhill, FL

Robert Jay Colestock and Mark Allen Muir, Colestock & Muir Architects, P.A., Boca Raton, FL

Steve Paskoski, along with Kevin Brooks and Jim Watson, Paskoski Construction, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Landscape Architecture
Krent Wieland, Krent Wieland Design, Inc., Delray Beach, FL

Text by
De Schofield