Step Inside the 2016 Jewels on the Bay Designer Showhouse

Great ideas from the 2016 Jewels on the Bay Designer Showhouse.

By Marsha Fottler January 1, 2016

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Jewels on the Bay Showhouse circa 1923.

You can step back in time while touring rooms that are up-to-the-minute at this year’s Jewels on the Bay Designer Showhouse, a lavish 1923 residence and guest house on Sarasota Bay in the historic Indian Beach neighborhood. It’s been transformed by two dozen design professionals who volunteered their time to this project, which annually raises money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County and runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28.

The house, which is owned by Robin Thomas, has undergone a major renovation by architect Thorning Little and contractor Keith Todoroff that’s been the talk of the neighborhood. Tour goers will walk through dreamy spaces that express today’s best design trends as well as classic installations.

Cameron Cox has done the breakfast room with mostly antiques, using painted furniture (including a 1970s Henredon table) and a huge heritage breakfront that was formerly in the home’s dining room. It’s been antiqued with Annie Sloan chalk paint to a soft finish with the gentle patina of age. Chalk paint is popular right now for finishes that look heritage authentic. Homeowners are taking classes at local studios or asking their interior designers to get the job done. The Cox breakfast room is painted in the historical color of Prescott Green by Benjamin Moore.

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“Most of my clients are middle-age to older people from out of state who purchase homes and condos here as a permanent or second residence,” Cox says. “Bathrooms, kitchens and new floorings are where they want to start. The design scene in Sarasota is taking a more contemporary turn, especially with all the modern high-rise buildings springing up downtown, but a smart mix of interesting antiques within a modern scheme will always be in style.”

Barbara Gardner of Collins Interiors has incorporated gold and brass tones in the showhouse master bedroom.

“They were everywhere at the Design Center in Miami and at the International Furniture Market at High Point, N.C., when I attended a few months ago,” she says. “Gold, traditional but also rose gold, and brass are rapidly displacing silver and chrome as the hot new look in home design.”

Her approach was to blend cherished antiques collected by the homeowner with fun contemporary pieces for a lively installation. “I used a carved mahogany queen bed and paired it with modern side tables; local artisan Linda Daniel made custom shades for the lighting fixtures with personalized fabrics in bright aqua and lime,” she says. “Other colors in the room are warm creams and rich browns. The room is sophisticated but welcoming, just where you want to be at the end of the day.”

The relaxed but polished look of coastal contemporary has become a major design style, especially in Florida and California. In the showhouse guest bedroom, Matter Brothers Furniture designer Dennis Herzek used light, bright colors for a room that lets visitors know right away they’re in Southwest Florida. “Yellow walls, white furniture and coastal accents are what this room is all about,” says Herzek. “The feel is relaxed and sunny.”

International design trends that Kimberly Doucette has used in the den include metallics in brass, copper and rose gold along with a transitional approach for furnishings, which means mixing new and old objects for a comfortable but current look. “This small (8 feet by 12 feet) gem of a space directly off the master bedroom was designed as a private space to study, write and unwind,” says Doucette. “The color palette reflects the soothing emotional response to sand and sea, with a mix of soft textures against calming colors. I’ve paired a 1930s vintage desk with a modern Starck chair in a surprising finish. I’ve stayed true to the age of the home, but infused the room with new life by using some modern elements strategically placed.”

2016 Boys & Girls Clubs Designer Showhouse, Jewels on The Bay

2716 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

Jan. 31-Feb. 28, 2016

$25 (at the door)

Sunday noon-4 p.m.

Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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