Starting From Scratch

Starting From Scratch

Pelican Bay, a sprawling Naples amalgam of single homes, condominiums, high-rises and spectacular beachfront, has transitioned from its heyday in the 1980s to become one of today’s most sought-after addresses. And the development company, Calusa Bay, has stepped into the moment to purchase, raze and rebuild some of the area’s 30 residential communities. At its helm, Leslie Sherman, the owner of Calusa Bay Development, seamlessly coordinates the team: her in-house interior design staff, architects Randall Stofft and John Cooney, and builder Matt Knauf all work hand in hand.

To embrace the tropical feel of the Naples area, Cooney and the team decided this 5,000-square-foot Pelican Bay home should be both contemporary and rustic with numerous “pod-like” elements giving the exterior’s roofline a subtle West Indies twist. Double cypress corbels at the soffits add to the exotic feel. It only gets better inside, where the beams, trays and spectacular 24-foot-high vaults result in a soaring one-story home that takes on the feel of a Bermuda hide-away. An open floor plan flooded with light allows the great room to expand into the kitchen, breakfast and dining areas, and a lanai seems to insist it be a part of the house. The ceilings give functional cues, distinguishing living areas with tongue-and-groove cypress and cottage-like beams.

While the challenges of designing, building and furnishing a home before it’s purchased are formidable, Calusa Bay’s design team chooses a mix of traditional, functional and easily personalized components that make for universal appeal in the great room. “You can change the whole feel of a room with your own pop of color or accessories,” designer Randi Scott says. A large wool and silk rug from begins the play of textures that will dance throughout the home.

Because tropical dwellers often prefer to blur boundaries between ‘in’ and ‘out,’ a wall of folding glass accordions to the side, making the living area and lanai a single entity. Screens drop down to enclose the lanai styled with its tile-faced fireplace and open-air dining space.

With the kitchen just steps from the great room, only a slight shift is needed to draw culinary specialists into any party … small or large. Understanding that modern living and entertaining means being part of the ‘action,’ the open expanses permit conversations at every turn. A corner banquette — one of Calusa Bay Design’s signature elements — makes breakfast a delight over which to linger. Light abounds in the elegant double-transom dining room. Kelly Wearstler’s confection of brass and white-glass cone shades suspends from the 18-foot-high ceiling. Calusa Design created the slate-finished linear-cut oak and brass table, and the stylish chairs with their own polished brass ferrules. The geometry of the custom-designed sideboard is repeated in the chair’s Italian fabric. Scott continues the monochrome palette in the master suite, where architectural form and function combine to create a sense of elegance. The vaulted beams of the ceiling cache ventilation design, while transom windows add a distinctive touch — not to mention a little more natural light.


“Outdoors is just as important as inside,” says Sherman about the most recent Calusa Bay collaboration. “The lanai, fireplace, cooking and dining facilities, as well as the 50-foot-long lap and leisure pool with its hot tub, give an owner everything they could want, and our team is proud to provide it.”

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