There’s definitely something special about a place that starts out as a vacation home and ends up a second residence. That’s where the story behind this dreamy house in the beautiful city of Naples, on Florida’s west coast, starts.
The homeowners, Paul and Linda, are from out of state and bought the seven-year-old residence to have a comfortable, homey place to stay when visiting the area — it’s close to friends and within walking distance of the beach. In fact, the Gulf of Mexico is just across the street. “You can see it from the rooftop terrace,” says Carrie Brigham, a Naples-based interior designer and founder of Carrie Brigham Design. “The couple wanted a fresh, updated coastal-chic look that suited the architecture of the home and its tropical surroundings,”
While most of Brigham’s clients hire her for from-the-ground-up design work, this was more of a “classic decoration project,” she says, where her focus would be on lighting, accessories and furnishings that would transform the house to reflect the owners’ elegant, youthful and comfortable style. (Their taste fit beautifully with Brigham’s aesthetic — she describes her decor style as “welcoming and casual with an elegant sensibility.”) Luckily, says Brigham, the four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath house had great bones and she was given plenty of freedom (plus a generous budget and time frame) to revamp the 4,100-square-foot space.
BRIGHT AND BREEZY
Brigham and her team spent most of their time brightening up the home and giving it more of a breezy feel, making sure to keep the space uncluttered. She chose crisp, airy white hues for the walls — a definite departure from the original darker palette that adorned the place. In her favourite room in the house — the living room — she focused on furnishings and the floor. She went with custom finishes and fabrics to match the fresh walls, and light-coloured textural rugs were brought in to soften the dark hardwood. “We had a nice juxtaposition of styles — a more modern sofa, a classic chair and goat hair on hide area rug. It created a sophisticated timeless look, she says. “Plus, natural light pours in and it’s such a delight when the sun hits the gorgeous beaded pillows on the sofa in the early afternoon.”
THE HOMEOWNERS MUST-HAVES
There was no question about what to do with the ceiling in the kitchen and great room. Its lighter wood panels and beams is spectacular, and it was a feature that would definitely be preserved. “The ceiling inspired the clients to purchase the home, and inspired the look of the rest of the home,” she says.
Another must-have on the clients’ wish list was an intimate conversation space where they could relax with a glass of wine. The design team used the sitting area between the kitchen and living room to give them a cozy spot. The couple also had their hearts set on a full-height sub-zero wine fridge, so Brigham had the kitchen cabinetry modified to accommodate the appliance.
SUNNY BY THE SHORE
Incorporating new lighting and accessorizing with beachy accents rounded out the project. Brigham picked custom lanterns for over the kitchen island, a statement-making chandelier for the hallway and a fixture with natural wood branches in the sitting area. The subtle coastal touches — bringing in coral-embroidered fabric on decorative pillows, oyster shell objects in the living room, washed wood tones and pieces with inlaid shell and mother of pearl — finished off the space.
Not surprisingly, Paul and Linda were thrilled with the result. “They were overwhelmed. Every detail was finished when they arrived — all they had to do was bring their toothbrushes,” Brigham says. “They have told me multiple times since how relaxing and comfortable they feel in the home. This project was actually pretty magical to work on.”
- PICTURES SAM ARNOLD PHOTOGRAPHY
- WORDS ADRIENNE BROWN
- DESIGNER CARRIE BRIGHAM