One Great Room

By Carol Tisch Photography by Gene Pollux February 1, 2009

When Trudé and Phil Smith moved from their Grand Bay condo into a courtyard home on Longboat Key, they gained the privacy of a lushly landscaped pool, expansive patio and a pool house that offered great potential despite its lackluster interior architecture.

"The 11-foot-by-15-foot guest room was a dark room of clutter, an unusable small space with no rhyme or reason," recalls designer Robert Bacon of Bacon & Wing, who transformed the room and adjoining bath into a multipurpose modern iteration of a tropical Dorothy Draper solarium with the help of home remodeler Brian Slater.

"The room was planned around the custom flower paintings," explains Trudé. "Bob asked me if it were okay if he did pink and green, and I said, ‘Sure, do whatever you want.’" Her only mandates were to make the room bright and functional. "We don’t have people sleeping over all the time, so the Murphy bed gives us the flexibility. Bob’s design lets us use the space as a game room—we bring in a folding table for cards—and as a day cabana and a guest bedroom," she says.


Based on patterns in the Robert Thomas Textiles collections, the room-illuminating acrylic paintings by local artist Louis Benitez adorn the Murphy bed, at right, and feature wall to establish the vibrant color scheme.

Vintage console table and chairs by McGuire Furniture were updated to Bacon’s specifications with high-gloss Benjamin Moore black lacquer by Larry Boyle of Boyle’s Furniture Refinishing of Sarasota.

Easy-care 16-inch ceramic floor tiles are laid on the diagonal to mirror the pattern of the green and white "tented" ceiling, which was designed to visually add height and architectural character.

White plantation shutters contrast walls painted in Huntington Green from Benjamin Moore to mirror the jewel tones of one-of-a-kind handmade ceramic lamps by designer and potter Christopher Spitzmiller.

A hidden treasure, the old and dark Currey & Company chandelier was restyled by artist Louis Benitez with green and white paint to blend seamlessly into the gazebo-inspired interior design.


Durable Sunbrella indoor/outdoor fabric was chosen for curtains trimmed in a custom-colored "Seaweed" pattern designed by Robert Bacon and for lightweight upholstered pieces that are easily moved outside.

Trudé Smith’s budding collection of seashells, now displayed on the side table, will be developed and arranged on bracketed Lucite shelves of varying sizes and shapes in the guest room and adjoining bath.

Filed under
Show Comments