Oasis By The Beach

For The Owners Of A Triple Lot Facing The Gulf Of Mexico, It Was The Essence Of A Warm, Livable, Thoroughly Inviting Beach House That This Naples Couple Most Desired

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Of course, there are small “beach bungalows” and then there are “Beach Houses.” But for the owners of a triple lot facing the Gulf of Mexico in Naples, Fla., the decision to move full-time to an established neighborhood would mean merging their very modern tastes with the more conservative styles seen on Florida’s west coast. It wasn’t long before the busy family with young children began to imagine how great it would be to live by the beach. Enlisting the talents of the award-winning firm Stofft Cooney Architects, with its principals Randall Stofft and John Cooney, and designer Jeffrey Strasser from Marc-Michaels Interior Design, the couple was ready to make their dream a reality … and the design team knew just how to do it.

Professionally landscaped and the centerpiece of a nearly two-acre beachfront property, this spectacular, 11,279-square-foot house seems married to the sea and the sky. “Although the lines are contemporary, the use of organic woods, soft stone, water and natural light integrates the structure into its setting,” Cooney says. And because building codes stipulate that the first habitable floor be elevated, the architects took advantage of the heightened vantage point to build in what they call transparency — wide vistas through a series of cantilevered structures essentially clad in glass. “There’s really more glass to the home than wall,” he says.

Both inside and out, the home’s style is characterized by a unique “barefoot elegance” with a streamlined take on the family’s aesthetic sensibilities, as well as their super-active lifestyle. “This house has a large, grand presence but really lives as a family home,” Strasser says. “All of the spaces are meant to be lived in and enjoyed.”

Step inside, where the warm hue of a teak grid high above a central stairway naturally pairs with the washed white oak flooring. Windows and doors framed in quality teak from a 50-year-old single tree in Hamberg, Germany, impart continuity throughout. “We were going to place a skylight at the top of the stairwell,” Stofft says, “but there was so much light from the main living areas that it wasn’t necessary.”

The home’s signature palette initiates in the stairway foyer, where sandy browns pair with polished stone, warm-toned woods and metal accents. Strasser embraced the “naturalness” with a relaxed interior scheme using organic shape, texture and color as his instruments. The designer screened the foyer from the dining room with a wall of bronze “tendrils.” Here, he mirrored the opposing wall, and grounded the dining space in a geometry of limestone and white oak.

It’s hard to know which vista to choose in the family room, where Strasser used blues, soft creams and sea spray water hues in homage to the outdoors. Wood-framed walls of glass open to a covered pavilion styled with a summer kitchen, casual dining area, and an intimate social grouping set around the flicker of a fire pit table, while the Gulf of Mexico laps beyond the rear pool. There are two — an elevated pool to allow for easy access from the living floor, and a lower one to the front of the house that protects sunbathers from seaside winds.

The soft simplicity of the master bedroom seems a haven awash in tones of cream and soft grays. Plush coverings from ThreadCount top the bed, while glamorous Jean De Merry chairs wrapped in silk velvet graphite provide the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the views.

Even the master bath plays its part in bringing the outside in with a “wet room” that opens to the Gulf behind two panels of glass. A pebble-like path leads the way to the two showers at opposite ends. Bathers can refresh while watching a storm roll in or a sunset’s burst.

Shaped with glass, teak and concrete elements, this contemporary Naples beach house is customized with a “savant sytem” that combines all electronic components of the home, including automated Lutron blinds that open to invite the outside in and close to ensure privacy.

More than a technological “smart” house, and more than a formidable architectural statement of glass-clad modernity, the design team has given this couple what they most wanted — a place to be a family, a place to play in the sun … an oasis by the beach.

Interior Design
Jeffrey S. Strasser, Marc-Michaels Interior Design, Inc., Winter Park, FL

Kim Sargent, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Randall Stofft and John Cooney, Stofft Cooney Architects LLC, Naples, FL

Dave Rogers, Newbury North Associates, Inc., Naples, FL

Landscape Architecture
Koby Kirwin, Exteriors by Koby Kirwin, Naples, FL

Text by
Marina Brown