When Jim and Penny Burmeister leafed through decorating magazines in quest of a design scheme for their newly purchased units in a prime but aging Longboat Key condo, they were invariably drawn to interiors with a warm and modern aesthetic. But their 1,500-square-foot personal residence and a separate, slightly smaller, guest condo seemed too dated to achieve the look within their budget.
“As with many older buildings, most of the walls were covered with mirror, and the ceilings were just a little over eight feet,” explains Suzanne Sultana of Sultana & Associates. “With all that mirror, there was no room for artwork, so we ripped everything down to the drywall and knocked out all the textured ceilings.”
Color-blocked walls and textured surfaces created a warm Japanese-inspired design. “We put the money into architectural details and focused on local furniture sources instead of out-of-town designer showrooms,” Sultana confides. “In this housing market, designers need to be smart personal shoppers.”
The once mirrored dining room feature wall now becomes a focal point with color blocking in vivid orange and painting by bronze sculptor Ned Smyth from Greene Contemporary gallery.
Leather sectional sofa from Contemporary Furniture doubles as seating and sculptural design element, its short chaise deliberately backless to keep clear sight lines to the dining table.
Simple window shades in textured sisal feature new Illustra technology from Hunter Douglas; their panels repeat the blocked effect in walls throughout the Japanese-inspired home.
New architectural mirror from Kaufman Glass & Mirror is framed in dark painted wood crafted by NDC Carpentry, and creates a customized, updated effect reminiscent of shoji screens.
An essential element of Japanese design and clever camouflage of a typical condo kitchen pass-through, the stone wall boasts texture that is actually tile supplied and installed by Alpha Stone & Tile.
Deceptively elegant yet affordable dining chairs by Sitcom frame a dining table still-life vignette, with chandelier from Living Walls spotlighting a dramatic reclining Buddha from Pier 1.
The quest for great design at a good price led Sultana to Pier 1, where she found high-style accessories including pillows, glass table, lamp, striped vase and palm fronds.