Get Home Inspiration From This South Florida House Made For Entertaining Guests
Not all retirees downsize. Sometimes when their lifestyles change, they want more space instead of less.
That was the case for a retired couple who commissioned interior designer Eloise Kubli, owner of Collective Construction and Design in Plantation, to decorate their newly constructed home in Rio Vista, Fort Lauderdale. They had been living in a townhouse, but now they wanted a larger home for grandchildren to visit, as well as a décor elegant enough for frequent entertaining.
They learned that the property next door to the home where the wife grew up was for sale, so they decided to buy it, tear down the existing structure and build a brand new, two-story home with four bedrooms and 4.5 baths. “The wife loves color, and she wanted a lot of it in their new home,” Kubli says. “She also loves stripes and circles, so I incorporated many of them into the design.”
An Open Floor Plan
The first floor is one large, open space, so defining different living areas was one of the designer’s challenges. “Open floor plans can be difficult,” Kubli says. “You don’t want a cluttered look, but you also don’t want it to be too spare. Everything has to relate with color, scale and texture.”
The designer chose a color scheme with neutral grays and charcoals to serve as a backdrop for the bright splashes of color the homeowner wanted. Gray 24-by-48-inch porcelain floor tiles with the look of concrete are stylish, yet durable and easy to maintain, while coffered ceilings add architectural detail. Simple, gray linen cornices top creamy window shades.
A chandelier of white glass and chrome creates a dramatic focal point in the two-story entry, and an archway wrapped in custom, rift-cut gray oak millwork defines it from the rest of the foyer.
A dark wood sideboard imported from Italy has doors covered in cerulean leather and drawers with oak and bronze details. A hand-blown sculpture of red and yellow glass spheres resting on top of the table adds color, and a bronze lamp with a curved base and a circular shade is an elegant touch.
Charcoal gray aluminum posts and handrails, along with satin nickel horizontal wires, lend an open look and contemporary flair to the L-shaped staircase. Treads and risers are the same porcelain tile as the rest of the flooring.
A suspended gray, rift-cut oak wall unit with an 85-inch TV screen and lighting beneath is the centerpiece of the family room. Oval chrome hardware lends style and definition to the unit’s clean, contemporary lines.
A nubby gray chenille sofa has circular charcoal bolsters, while an open back adds interest to a gray leather club chair. The cocktail table has black metal legs, a charcoal frame and a black lacquer top. Overhead is a low profile, brushed satin nickel ceiling fan with an LED globe in the center. Between the large windows are three-dimensional circular glass and bronze wall hangings that call to mind mechanical gears.
While the room features elegant, understated neutrals, it also has plenty of rich color. On the floor is a wool area rug with playful orange and yellow circles set against a gray background. Butterscotch leather covers a comfortable high-backed recliner, and three ottomans, which the clients brought from their former home, are upholstered in orange and yellow felted wool. A pillow on the sofa, as well as orange, yellow and blue accessories on the shelves of the wall unit, add further bursts of color.
In the living room, a patchwork cowhide area rug (very flat to eliminate a tripping hazard) adds texture and softness to the floor. Two loveseats upholstered in ultra-suede with a cream background and gray stripes comprised of small circular dots create a cozy seating area, and gray beaded pillows add shimmer.
The tiered coffee table has a pearl gray wood base and a suspended glass top, as well as a square wood cap projecting through the glass to add further dimension. A small drink table with an antique silver base and a gray vellum top offers another convenient place to set a coffee mug.
A dramatic, backlit wet bar made of the same rift-cut oak as the millwork in the foyer has a white Caesarstone top, refrigerator and cabinetry for bottle storage. Behind the bar, shelving softly illumined by LEDs offers a place to display glassware, including the homeowners’ collection of shot glasses from all over the world.
A mirror in the center of the back bar reflects the adjacent dining room and adds sparkle to the space. Stools imported from Italy have chrome bases and dark taupe vinyl seats accented with topstitching.
Matching sculptural wooden tree lamps from Paris help tie together the living and dining rooms. The dining table, which seats 10, has a beveled glass top suspended by metal pegs over a wood and stainless steel base.
Above the table hangs a whimsical chandelier reminiscent of a bouquet of bubbles. An eye-catching sculpture of blue, green and orange circles has tones similar to those in a painting on the other side of a window next to it, tying the spaces together.
In the kitchen, a backsplash of black and gray glass and stainless steel linear tiles is an eye-catcher, contrasting dramatically with white cabinetry and the white Caesarstone waterfall edge of the large island. Suspended above by satin nickel cords are globe-shaped smoked glass pendant lights. A shutter on the window over the sink provides privacy while letting in light.
The soft-square pedestal breakfast table has a maple wood butterfly base and a white honed Carrara marble top. Orange and yellow pillows brighten the slender, sculptural chairs covered in white vinyl.
In the master bedroom, window shades open from top or bottom for light or privacy, and on the floor is a large, multi-colored wool rug in lighter tones than the brighter colors on the first floor. “I wanted a softer, more relaxing palette upstairs,” Kubli says.
The nightstands, bed and dressing table are from the clients’ former home, but the textured, willow-green grass cloth bed covering is new. Black and white linen pillows provide contrast, while lamps on the nightstands have gracefully fluted satin nickel bases and shades. A small bronze and marble table sits beside a circular swivel chair upholstered in pomelo yellow velvet, and on the opposite side of the room, a Lalique perfume falcon that belonged to one of the clients’ mothers adorns the night table.
The master bath is a picture of serenity. Soft gray porcelain tile flooring that replicates the look of long wood planks is the backdrop for a pure white, freestanding tub. Above it, a pendant light made from pillow-shaped pieces of fused glass is suspended from a ceiling coffer on rods covered in silver leaf.
A white shutter covers the window, while ottomans upholstered in white sheepskin add texture and softness to the space. A linear light mounted to mirror panels illuminates double sinks and the white lacquer vanity, which has long chrome pulls made up of multiple small circles.
Guest Bedroom and Bath
In one of the guest bedrooms, soft white walls contrast with dark wood furnishings. Window shades are framed in a brighter white wood that matches the baseboards. Peacock feather prints fit under two narrow, horizontal windows that are high on one wall.
A gray shag rug adds texture and softness to the floor, while on the ceiling a fan with oval-shaped, clear acrylic blades framed in chrome is both functional and visually interesting.
The bed is dressed with a bold, black and white striped coverlet accented with pillows covered in grass green faux leather. Textured glass tops on the nightstands can be illuminated to serve as nightlights, and black linen shades top black bedside lamps.
A wire-brushed oak vanity in the guest bath has a white Caesarstone top, offset square black and chrome hardware and a stainless toe kick. A semi-frameless glass shower door gives the space an open look and shows off a textured white porcelain tile mosaic on the floor.
The new home, now complete, awaits visits from children, grandchildren and friends.