Modern Simplicity

One Modern Makeover Calls For A Design Dream Team To Open Up And Unify A Stylistically Confining Penthouse In The Trieste Condos At Bay Colony

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Trust in a redesign team is absolute when upscale homeowners with high expectations leave the final month’s work in capable hands and don’t step off their private access elevator in the Trieste luxury tower at Bay Colony in Naples, Fla., again until the project is complete. “They loved it ... they never dreamed it would be this nice,” interior designer Bethany O’Neil says.

That dream started with celebrated designer Mick De Giulio and home builder Greg Brisson, whose combined expertise transformed this luxurious 7,000-square-foot, Mediterranean-themed penthouse into a vision of modernity. Brisson was elated to join De Giulio, crediting him for setting the tone. “We had to push and pull walls, and create new ceiling designs to make the main living spaces more contemporary yet in proportion,” the builder says. “At a distance it looks simple, but the whole team paid attention to every detail, every intersection of materials.”

With the kitchen and living room redesign underway, O’Neil provided the perfect complement to complete the project. From the onset, it was all about the view. Opening into a living room with 22-foot-high ceilings, a panorama of the Gulf of Mexico provides a spectacular backdrop for the neutral interior scheme colored with solid grays, pale blues and sandy tones. Intended to match the horizon line, the fireplace uses gray, raked porcelain with a brushed finish and white oak cabinetry with polished stainless steel trim to add a three-dimensional component to the grand space. Avid enthusiasts, the homeowners’ collection of art dots the soft-white walls with pops of colors and patterns that mimic the calming palette. “Their hectic lifestyle allowed me to bring a sense of serenity to this project,” the designer says. “Having numerous homes, the owners wanted this one to be different from all the others. They wanted modern, fresh, comfortable … and a little glamorous.”

Opening up the stairwell launches the first layer of the design plan. The right side of the living room gives way to a switchback stairway with a new modern iron railing. “This is my favorite spot,” O’Neil says. “The room was an odd shape and the original stairway did not direct the traffic flow well. I covered the angle with a drapery panel — making it disappear — and added a seating area for casual dining in an intimate setting.”

When structural elements do not cooperate with design inspiration, the addition of a decorated column becomes the architectural solution in the family room. Wrapped in slatted brushed white oak with hand-rubbed bronze corner piping and outfitted with a shimmering sconce, this former obstacle complements the modern makeover of this casual gathering spot.

Continuing to balance clean lines and comfort, the kitchen combines the stainless steel polish of a custom hood and a hand-scraped wenge countertop that runs the expanse of the outer island to shape the breakfast bar. Metal-framed glass cabinetry appears to float between the culinary space and a formal dining area defined by a custom ceiling detail and lighted coves.

Finally, the master bedroom and a comfortable sitting area round out the remodel. The addition of crown molding and a high-gloss ceiling treatment heightens the sensual tone in this contemporary private space. The walkout balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows allow the design to reflect the light blues of the sea and sky.

This project met with exceptional results. Of the homeowners’ many forays into redesign, it was the first job wherein, at the end of the project, they enjoyed a glass of wine and a warm embrace with the design dream team.

Interior Design
Bethany O’Neil, Bethany O’Neil Interior Design, Naples, FL

Lori Hamilton, Naples, FL

Mick De Giulio, De Giulio Kitchen Design, Chicago, IL

Greg Brisson, BCB Homes, Inc., Naples, FL

Text by
Kasye Beza