Modern design and Mediterranean revival are often cast as opposing forces in home design: like a concrete bench versus a La-Z-Boy, cold and uninviting versus warm and comfortable.
But architect Guy Peterson doesn’t see it that way. His latest residential project on Siesta Key, designed with C. Alan Anderson, combines a modern silhouette with earthy elements that give it warmth, like upholstering that concrete bench with crushed velvet.
Organic white blocks wrap around choice corners of the home, inside and out, and they’re loaded with fossilized marine life, showcasing captured shells and cowries. Lots of wood, both interior ceilings and floors, adds an amber glow. Inside the entryway, a glass ceiling captures the sunlight and creates an “element of surprise,” says Peterson, who likes to add experiences to his projects.
Homeowners Julie and Chuck Floyd bought the property as an empty lot in 2013 for $1.9 million and waited until 2019 to build. After the two years it took to finish the home, the Floyds didn’t hire an interior designer; Julie handled almost all of the touches that turned this three-story house into a home.
Julie’s touch is most illustrated by the pictures that hang on the walls, all taken by her. Following a six-year career in corporate tax law that bored her, she started a child photography business, Classic Kids, and turned it into an empire. After having her first son (out of four, eventually), she was compelled to capture tiny toes and first steps, leading to her second career.
Today, she has multiple locations nationwide, but also has more time to focus on other subjects since moving here from Chicago. For instance, a collection of 10 black and white photos show off the infinite uniqueness of sand formations on Siesta Key, and each frames a billion grains of sand molded by the beach winds and waves.
In the kitchen, a striking blue island countertop of terracotta and limestone, the same materials used to make ancient Roman aqueducts, was custom made and shipped from Italy, and is covered in appetizers during dinner parties. Natural quartzite spans the back wall of the stove and stainless steel counters. Open shelves show off Julie’s love of specialty olive oils, sake bottles, dishware and a retro-style Smeg blender. A basket holds delicate sea urchins, sand dollars and a tiny seahorse she hand-picked from the beach.
First intended as a bedroom, Chuck’s favorite room is the “gentlemen’s bar.” Painted in black, with deep-seated leather chairs, entering it feels like receiving a warm hug. The back bar is made of Balinese print stamps once used on textiles, soldered together to create intricate patterns and spark instant conversation. The bar top is made of blue agate, underlit to show off shades of aqua.
The bedrooms on the second and third floors feel suspended in nature. Each has a glass wall that frames views of palm tree tops teased by the wind. Outside on Big Pass, a thoughtful dock beyond the pool respects the mangroves, veering around them toward a boat and two Jet Skis. An outdoor spiral staircase crafted by local builder Michael Walker leads to a rooftop where concrete seating can resist any winds. The furniture got there thanks to a crane, and the view overlooking South Lido across the water is worth the climb.
The Floyds still have a brick Georgian house in Chicago, but this is their forever home. Chuck grew up in Sarasota, “so it was always a destination,” says Julie. “He spent 20 years trying to get out and 40 trying to get back in. Once he left, he understood how great it was.”
The evidence? She points to the elevator near the front door. “That’s for our old age,” she says. The couple also bought the empty lot across the street and are considering building a guest house. A home this warm attracts friends and family like moths to a flame.