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Mediterranean Dream

Date published: February 02 2017


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The clients wanted a property that had a chic European feel with a classic twist

This magnificent 11,000 sq ft family villa, located just off the west coast of Florida, was built from scratch in a five year project to create the ultimate future retirement space. Lauded as the ‘design project of a lifetime’ by Bonnie Lancaster, this enormous project was a dream not just in terms of the scope of the work, but also because it allowed her the chance to work alongside her daughter, Keffie, on a project of such vast scale.

The plot was created by tearing down two Gulf front properties and one Bay front home, to make the grand footprint for the project which incorporates the 11,000 sq ft multi-storey main villa, a 4,500 sq ft guest house, a pool cabana, tennis courts, an outdoor loggia for cooking, and the boat house onto the bay itself.

With Italian heritage, and a love of visiting Italy, the clients wished for the property to have a chic European feel, but with a classic twist which is reflected in the grand architecture, the choice of Mediterranean style roof tiles, the cool stone floors throughout and the clever colour palettes in the interior design.

Working closely with the architect to get architectural details right gave a basis on which to build the design feel and colour palette upon to achieve the desired look. Bonnie travelled to many venues with the clients to select furniture, antiques and art, and to get ideas and inspiration for everything from landscaping to lighting, making sure no stone was unturned in the quest for perfection. The clients are a young and active philanthropic couple who spend the majority of their time currently in their New Jersey home, but while this project was built with a vision to the future and retirement someday, it is currently to be used for family getaways and holidays so it was important that the style worked and had longevity to cover all these needs.

From the moment you step inside the door of this beautiful Florida villa, the attention to detail and high end design spec are apparent. In the master foyer, Tile Market collaborated with mosaic artists in VA to create stone mosaic ‘rugs’ using a combination of waterjet and hand sniped lavender marble.

The combination of these two techniques allow the creation of beautiful scrolls in natural stone, giving the fl oor a unique and decorative look whilst remaining cool in the summer heat.

A similar technique was utilised in the dining room where a completely custom mosaic was created out of hand clipped polished Botticino with concentric circles made from white travertine and a border outlined in light green marble. Th e entire oval mosaic was created in Virginia, disassembled and reassembled during installation in the client’s home. Th is one of a kind handmade mosaic stone rug is a stunning feature and draws the eye beautifully to the centre of the stunning room where the glass table allows diners to appreciate its beauty while they are eating.

Above the dining table hangs a stunning crystal chandelier, adding more light to the already dramatic room which is fl ooded with natural light from the wall of glass doors at the far end which give spectacular sea views.

Another room enhanced with spectacular feature lighting is the functional and cool kitchen, which features stunning low hanging black lanterns which tie in with the dark worktops of the breakfast bar and island beneath it. Contrasted with ornate white unit doors and a splashback of geometric black and white print tiles, the whole room has a very crisp and clean modern feel to it. 

The sleek look is softened slightly in the bedrooms, with the master bedroom featuring an oversized ornate brushed silver bed, with matching Art Deco inspired mirrored side tables and huge wall mirrors either side of the bed to bounce around the light from the large window. A grey carpet picks up on the silvery theme of the room, and the bed is dressed with a variety of textures and patterns in a range of grey to give depth and warmth to the sleeping area. A soft grey has been chosen for the top half of the walls, giving the whole room a cool yet opulent feel.

The outside of the property has been given as much care and attention as the inside, and all the landscaping was done to ensure that the inside space flowed seamlessly into the outdoor
entertaining space. A magnificent pool area has been created with a spectacular swimming pool flanked by fountains, whilst an expanse of sofas runs down one side under a long white pergola. On the other side of the pool is a large stone tiled terrace complete with sun loungers, umbrellas and tables and chairs for eating, and the whole area is surrounded with
views of palm trees and sea views, making it a perfect spot for both entertaining guests and relaxing alone.

“This has been a wonderful project to work on”, says designer Bonnie Lancaster, “we had lovely, gracious clients, and just a dream team to work with”. The end result of this expansive five year project is an incredibly successful home which doesn’t just meet the original brief set out by the owners, but surpasses it. 

Designer: Bonnie Lancaster

Author: Katy Briscoe

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