Affordable Luxury

By Robert Plunket May 28, 2008

A Sarasota designer’s latest project shows how to achieve high style on a budget.


By Robert Plunket 

(Click here to see our Real Estate Junkie discussing these homes on WWSB!)

If you’re thinking of remodeling and want a high-end look rather than a Home Depot hodgepodge, I suggest you take a close look at the work of designer Mark Dalton. He specialized in million-dollar-plus properties (including Burns Court Villas), but now he’s branching out into affordable older homes, which he turns from frumpy to fabulous while working on a very tight budget.

A case in point: the house he just did over on Pelican Drive, just east of Jefferson. It was a Paver Park model from the 1950s, solid, well-laid out, but virtually untouched from the day it was built.


Pelican house exterior before renovation.

Here it is now, with its new sophisticated color scheme (based on the new carpet), new landscaping, circular drive and pergola.

Pelican house exterior after renovation. 

With a few minor exceptions, Mark left the layout pretty much the same. What makes the difference is the attention given to the details. There are some splurges, true – in particular the gorgeous premium granite in the kitchen counters – but for the most part he goes for the simple solution with the high impact. The kitchen cabinets are original, for instance, but he replaced the front panels with frosted glass and the result is a contemporary, custom retro look.

Kitchen before.


Kitchen/dining area after.

One of the biggest changes is the master bath, before an impossible little space that you could barely turn around in. Mark bumped a wall out several feet and put in a new shower, plus a very stylish, space-saving sink from Ikea.


Bathroom before.

Bathroom after. 

One luxury look that Mark highly recommends is marble tile (used here in the kitchen and dining area.) It’s more expensive than ceramic, but it won’t date. When you sell the house 10 years from now it will still be in style. And who doesn’t want marble floors?


The Pelican Drive house is currently on the market, listed at $275,000 with Gigi Silverberg (993-3695). You also might want to visit Mark’s website,
Filed under
Show Comments