All The Best

On a scale of 1 to 10, this South Florida stunner would rate no less than a 15, leaving nothing left to be desired in terms of attention to design, detail and workmanship.

April 02, 2000

This dramatic foyer showcases an extremely high level of architectural finish, much of which was hand-crafted by Mexican artisans.


On a scale of 1 to 10, this South Florida stunner would rate no less than a 15, leaving nothing left to be desired in terms of attention to design, detail and workmanship. And that's just what the client wanted, according to architect Don Evans of The Evans Group.

From the authentic clay barrel-tile roof and cobblestone drive outside to the intricate hand-carved details inside, no expense was spared in procuring materials for this multimillion dollar custom home, says Evans. "For this client it was `the right way or no way' from the start."

And the results are spectacular. The 11,712-square-foot residence is well recognized as an architectural climax in Port Royal, Naples, an exclusive area notable for its lavish luxury homes.

Located in an exclusive community within Naples, Florida, this 12,000-square-foot home features a classical Mediterranean exterior including a clay tile roof and a stucco and stone finish. Formidable columns of acid-washed keystone support the impressive central portico leading to the rotunda-style foyer.


In addition to elegant entertaining areas, a state-of-the-art theater and a well-appointed office, the spacious home features completely private in-law quarters complete with kitchen, living and dining rooms, guest accommodations on the main floor and separate accommodations for the "house manager" upstairs.

On a completely separate wing of the second floor, the elaborate master retreat features a private library with a "secret" door that leads to a powder room, an exercise room and a spacious bedroom suite. Balconies extend living space to the outdoors and provide a view down the waterway adjacent to the property.

Avid boaters, the homeowners were influenced to select this site for their dream home because its location provided space for their ocean-going yacht. The rear lanai and pool area overlook the waterway, which connects to the Gulf of Mexico.


"The house literally functions as two homes in one," says Evans, noting that the in-law/guest quarters has its own private drive, garage and entry.

Its midpoint, the home's rotunda, has no living space behind it in order to provide a dramatic vista of the couple's "passion"--a spacious yacht that they often use for island touring. An extensive pool area and spa forms a buffer between the home itself and the canal that flows on to the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Mark Wilson, of London Bay Homes, his clients initially approached him with the request for a home that would incorporate all their wishes. This proved to be a challenging venture for this seasoned builder of some of Florida's most luxurious residences.

"This bath is really unique, even for this luxury market," says interior designer Wesley. Wood columns that accent the tub and bathroom walls feature a hand-carved grapevine motif. They also serve as room dividers in the main bedroom. The same vine detailing is replicated in plaster relief on the walls. Colors include a creamy yellow with rose and aquamarine accents. The floor and tub surround are tumbled marble with an inset pattern of green and rose details.


"It required tremendous organizational effort to manage the changes in design and specifications that occurred throughout a project of this scale," he says.

"This home was really built as a team effort," Wilson says. "We acted as the coordinator for all the team members--from architectural to lighting, landscaping and electronics."

The home's design, Wilson says, took approximately a year, with another two years spent on its actual construction. "It was a very time-consuming process," he says. During the construction, London Bay not only employed a full-time manager to coordinate the project on-site, but also had a full-time office-based project manager on the job, as well.

Literally "a suite within itself," according to builder Mark Wilson, the home's master bath is truly exceptional. The bathing area itself extends into a private sitting room complete with furnishings and its own fireplace.


And, according to Wilson, his clients remained very involved throughout the entire process. "You typically have two types of clients," he says. "Some just let you run with the project and don't have much input, others are very involved. These clients were in the latter group."

The home's exterior style is heavily influenced by Mediterranean architecture, according to Wilson. "It features a much more classical style than a typical Florida home. We literally went back to the books of classical architecture to find the right details for both the interior and exterior."

Completed in November 1998, the custom home had hard costs of $190 per square foot.


Hand-Wrought Elegance

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Lighting Lets the Details Shine

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