Piazza Personality

An extraordinary open-air courtyard inspired by the charm and character of an old world village square defines this Mediterranean-style luxury residence in Naples, Fla. With a magnificent two-tier swimming pool as its focal point, flanked by an intimate outdoor kitchen that resembles a quaint street-side café, the home's outdoor entertaining space is as functional as it is beautiful.

January 01, 2005

A cast stone fireplace which serves as the focal point for the seating area in the home's cabana can also be enjoyed from inside the house, says Harwick. "There is a great line of sight from the indoor leisure room out to this area." The sliding glass doors that define the transition from inside to out seem to "virtually disappear" he says.
The dramatic Mediterranean architecture of this custom home in Naples, Fla. is reflected in the spectacular pool that serves as the focus for its extensive outdoor entertaining space. Precast stone exterior columns support deep roof overhangs that create a number of sheltered open-air sitting areas. The pool features an exposed pebble finish and a travertine deck.
A decorative tile roof above the bar area in the outdoor kitchen and cast stone accents, including a lion-head fountain, are architectural details that gives the home's outdoor "café" its authentic style, says builder Rick Harwick. The natural stone wall finish contributes to the "alley-like" character of the space, which is highlighted by a dramatic, volume ceiling.

An extraordinary open-air courtyard inspired by the charm and character of an old world village square defines this Mediterranean-style luxury residence in Naples, Fla. With a magnificent two-tier swimming pool as its focal point, flanked by an intimate outdoor kitchen that resembles a quaint street-side café, the home's outdoor entertaining space is as functional as it is beautiful.

The 7,197-square-foot custom villa serves as the primary residence for a cosmopolitan couple who own several other homes. Their choice to concentrate their time in Southwest Florida, says builder Rick Harwick, reflects a growing trend among buyers in this ultra-high-end market. "There has been a significant reversal of what had been the more common practice of clients having their more extravagant house located up North," he says. "Now they are doing just the opposite and making this area their base. This means that they are really bumping up the amenities they want to include in their homes."

With the area's tropical climate providing the ideal environment for outdoor recreation and relaxation, extending entertaining space outside often tops his clients' list of must haves, he says. For this $4.7 million home, the outdoor space includes not only the pool and spa, but also a variety of under-roof sitting areas, a cabana bath, and even a separate stairway leading to an upper-level bridge and private second-floor study. "It literally functions as a whole house right out there," says Harwick.

One of the home's most popular outdoor spots, the combination kitchen and dining area, is also one of its most unique spaces. It features top-of-the-line appliances, granite counters, a two-story, cypress ceiling and trim details carefully chosen to capture the ambiance of a European café including natural stone walls. "This space is meant to be used a lot," says Harwick. "These homeowners really love to entertain outside so making this a functional space was very important."

"Although it is definitely functional, the pool serves as the key decorative element for the home's outdoor space," says Harwick. It features a distinctive geometric design with a negative-edge upper level that cascades into a lower level as well as an adjoining spa.


This home's open floor plan visually connects indoor and outdoor living spaces. Five sets of French doors, in addition to a pair of 90-degree, glass pocket doors in the leisure room, provide every major room on the main floor with direct access to the pool/spa area.

Custom Primary Residence

Style of Home: Mediterranean

Location: Naples, Fla.

Total Square Footage: 7,197 sq. ft.

Hard Costs (per sq. ft., excluding land): $471

Estimated Market Value: $ 4.7 million

Architect: Eric Brown Design Group, Bonita Springs, Fla.

Builder: Harwick Homes Construction Inc., Naples, Fla.

Interior Design: Collins & DuPont Inc., Bonita Springs, Fla.

Major Products Used: Appliances: Sub-Zero (refrigerator); TEC Sterling (gas grill) Cabinetry: custom cypress Countertops: granite Plumbing Fixtures: Kohler; Concinnity Pool Finish: Pebble Technology Inc. Doors: Plaza Door Co. Windows: Andersen Decking: Striated Noce travertine Lighting: Minka-Lavery; Maitland-Smith Lighting Control System: LiteTouch Home Controls & Automation: Crestron Electronics Inc. Roofing: Hanson Roof Tile Exterior Finish: stucco

Photography by Laurence Taylor

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