Penthouse Style With A Twist

A Jewel On The Intracoastal Waterway, This Penthouse-Style Home In Boca Raton Gleams With Seamless Design And Relaxed Luxury

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For their clients Robyn and Alex Gellman, architects Mitchell Kunik and Benjamin Schreier set out to create a home from their original spec concept, one that had all the style and ease of an oceanfront penthouse, but at ground level. Envisioning the couple relaxing with a drink in hand, the architects nicknamed the home, “the Martini house.” Having had a long history of collaboration with Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Kunik and Schreier teamed with two of its interior designers, Courtney Jacobus and Rachel Jones. “We wanted to style an interior that would complement the home’s architecture with a relaxed, barefoot elegance,” Jacobus says.

Situated on the Intracoastal Waterway located in the Spanish River section of Boca Raton, Fla., this single story, 7,034-square-foot home is secluded with lush green vegetation and a wooden privacy gate surround. Architecturally pleasing, yet understated, the exterior of the home is both modern and clean-lined with a myriad of custom, floor-to-ceiling windows designed by Kunik and Schreier — one of the most dramatic features of the home. Utilizing minimal openings and creative space solutions, the massive windows and 12-foot-high ceilings work without compromising the architects’ vision of an uncluttered and open feel for the home.

Outdoors, the resort-like pool area is perfect for relaxing on dreamy white daybeds from La-Fête Design. Resting atop an ipe wood deck, they appear to float luxuriously in the large shimmering pool framed with dark pebble coping.

In the entry, the abstract painting, Busy Street, from RFA Decor, and Cox’s modern, aqua-blue bench lend visual interest near four large stone columns designed by Marc-Michaels. Piercing a 12-foot-high ceiling through lit openings, they divide the entry from the living area. Wrapping a wall of windows, epay wood gates, custom-built by Affiniti Architects, are fitted edge to edge and offer privacy from the road.

Beyond, in the neutral-toned living space, a creamy chenille sofa and Palecek’s organic, wood teak console are accentuated with pops of turquoise and orange in bold artwork. On the ceiling, rich sapele mahogany echoes a grid pattern of wood inlayed in glossy limestone flooring that flows throughout the home.

An open, custom stone-framed cabinet designed by Marc-Michaels creates visual movement in a hallway. Well suited for intimate gatherings or larger soirees, the formal dining room’s wood-stained table from Vanguard expands to seat 10 comfortably with sophisticated leather chairs from Fairfield. An organic-root, teak server fronts large, floor-to-ceiling windows that draw the eye outdoors to a lush green garden.

A modern take on a classic Florida room, the spectacular custom-designed loggia “can open up completely to make it a true outdoor living space, or it can be totally closed off with seamlessly hidden sliding windows,” Kunik says. The design team selected indoor/outdoor seating with chairs from Lee Industries clad in Sunbrella canvas, and draperies from Holly Hunt to soften a space designed to be as comfortable as a living room.

Today, boats are often seen passing the property, only to turn around and steal a few more glances at the striking residence that Kunik and Schreier created along with the interior design team. When the home was completed, the Gellmans could not stop pinching themselves. “It was love at first sight,” Alex Gellman says. “We are living in functional luxury ... and the space is truly magical.”

Interior Design
Jeff Strasser with Kathryn Dunagan, Allison George and Rachel Ortiz, Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc., Winter Park, FL

Carmel and Robert Brantley, Delray Beach, FL

Mitchell Kunik and Benjamin Schreier, Affiniti Architects, Boca Raton, FL

Mark Timothy, Mark Timothy, Inc., Boca Raton, FL

Landscape Architecture
Joe Peterson, Peterson Design Professionals, Boca Raton, FL

Text by
Katherine West