site stats
Two for the money – Sarasota Herald |

Two for the money – Sarasota Herald

This year’s Designer Showhouse project is two impressively styled houses for the price of one ticket


The 2018 Jewels on the Bay Designer Showhouse is actually two homes, both in Granada Park, both two stories, both constructed by Anchor Builders and both for sale. Within a short walk of one another, the touring public can see both coastal contemporary homes and confer with interior designers for the price of $25 at the door. The event opens to the public today and runs through Feb. 18.

Proceeds from the month-long Designer Showhouse project benefit the Boys Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. Chair of this 23rd Designer Showhouse is Robert Henry, who renovated a kitchen in one of the homes. Captain for both homes is Kristin Pantone, who did a modern powder room whose accents are navy and white.

Approximately 25 interior designers are participating in this year’s design project. The two homes are located within the gated Granada Park community at 1651 Bay Road in Sarasota. Granada Park is a collection of 15 two-story homes done in a coastal contemporary style. One of the showhouses is at 1757 McKenzie Lane and it is priced at $879,000. The other, larger home is at 1775 Stapleton Street and is on the market for $939,000. Both homes are owned by Deborah and Dan LaBriola, who vacation in Sarasota but live in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

If either or both homes sell during the month-long public house tour or within 60 days after, 2 percent of the sale price will go to the Boys Girls Clubs besides the ticket proceeds. The homes are offered through Peggy Mock and Mary Elizabeth Ameal of Michael Saunders Company.

“Blue is the color of this year’s rooms,” said designer Jeff Hart, veteran of 23 Designer Showhouse projects. “The darker the better. We are seeing dark blue ceilings, walls, upholstered furniture and accessories throughout our two homes. All the blue is balanced by white trim for a fresh and crisp look.

“This coastal contemporary design is the opposite of a cozy beach cottage look. This look is more streamlined and more sophisticated but still relaxed. Look for less accessorizing, more architecture,” he said. “And a lot of blue.”

Designer Terrance Leaser’s dreamy bedroom installation spotlights blue, and for lighting he’s chosen what looks like a large gossamer blue handkerchief floating down from the sky. He said it was a devil to install, but looks angelic. The room color he chose is Fanfare, a paler-than pale-powder blue. It’s a Benjamin Moore color like all the rest of the paint in the two houses.

The fixtures Leaser chose for the en-suite bathroom are brushed nickel. “It’s by far the most popular metal for homeowners in Florida,” he said. “The rest of the county may be having a fling with brass and gold tones, but not here. Brushed nickel is supreme. It stands up against our water and is easy to keep looking nice.”

As the public tours these rooms, they will encounter designers who can talk to them about space planning, paint colors and where to source furniture and accessories. Everything in the Showhouse is for sale through the designers and additionally there is a gift boutique organized by Cheri Pachter and Rick Randall in the garage of the house on Stapleton Street.

Since women are the deciders 90 percent of the time when a couple purchases a house, there are no man caves in these two houses. Instead, Tom Stanley has done a woman’s writing/reading room, showing how to integrate antiques such as a pair of vintage slipper chairs into a contemporary space.

Marla Oppenheim and Marsha Ritter have kitted out a luxurious lady’s library with a wall color called passion fruit. Kimberly Doucette did a woman-friendly upstairs corner home studio for relaxing and “me-time.” And Janet Fiallos and Cheryl Buchanan dressed out a large femme artist’s retreat on the second floor of one of the homes. It’s big enough for yoga, setting up an easel and creating a masterpiece or watching Masterpiece Theater with a bowl of Skinny Pop.

In her modern kitchen and laundry room, designer Carmen Christensen chose dark blue for the laundry room ceiling and a slightly lighter shade for the walls. The kitchen cabinets are worth noting and represent an advance in a low-maintenance material made of thermally fused nanotechnology. The man-made surface comes in a dozen colors and is durable, antimicrobial and easy to maintain.

Kitchen counters are quartz. “Almost all of my clients are choosing quartz over granite,” said Christensen, who specializes in kitchens. “Quartz is more durable and is the right choice for a contemporary design. And the range of color choices make the material appealing to homeowners. LED lighting systems for the kitchen are the most popular, from the concealed strip lighting under cabinets to the statement hanging fixtures. Lighting options have never been better and that’s obvious in every room of these two houses.”

Throughout both houses, the design team was challenged to repurpose, think “green” and avoid the cliches that come to mind when one thinks coastal — a shelf full of sea shells, beadboard walls, white wicker furniture.

In their petite dining room, interior designer Mary Millburn and aging-in-place specialist Ted Millburn took the challenge seriously. “We bought an old beat-up maple dining set from Habitat ReSale and totally changed the look and function,” said Mary. “We sanded, enlarged the tabletop, painted it white with low VOC paint. Then we redid the seat cushions and ended up with something brand new and lovely.”

Additionally, they coffered the ceiling in their room and installed textured dark blue wallpaper in the squares overhead. Homeowners could probably replicate what they’ve done and done so well.

Notice the Jack-and-Jill bathroom that Amanda Patella and Robin Miller created with open storage, three colors of hexagonal tiles on the floor and on the wall in the tub area. From the Plumbing Place they sourced an ingenious shower door for a shower/tub combination. It’s a clear-glass, bi-fold door that swings out of the way when you want to give kids a bath. It’s just what you want in a family bathroom.

In a stairwell and hall that might have been ignored, designer Kimberly Donaldson didn’t miss an opportunity to bring the outside in and botanically open up the space visually. She took black and white photos of plants at Selby Garden, framed them in matte black and mounted a gallery of 25 identically sized photographs that give you something artistic and lovely to see as you climb the stairs and walk down the hallway. The designer trick with this kind of display is to frame all the photos in the same color and material so that the arrangement has an intentionally unified look.

The new flooring being used by several designers in this Showhouse project is what’s being called luxury vinyl. Done in a driftwood pattern to support the coastal theme of the decor, it is being championed by design professionals as soft under foot, good looking, durable and easy to maintain. So, when you’re touring the Designer Showhouse project, be sure to look down and ask the designers about the properties of this plank flooring option, its cost and if it might be a solution for where you dwell.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.