One Great Room

By Carol Tisch Photography by Gene Pollux July 1, 2010

The Great Outdoors

When Suzanne and Rod Erickson decided to build their dream home on Fillmore Drive right off St. Armands Circle, the couple called on longtime friend and interior designer Samir Hanna of Samir Hanna Interiors. “We asked Samir to modify the architectural plans to give us an outdoor great room. No one uses indoor living rooms today, and we wanted the home to reflect our lifestyle,” says Suzanne.

“By eliminating the indoor living room, we were able to create a large, impressive entry foyer with 14-foot French doors flowing to a one-of-a-kind great room,” explains Hanna, who artfully combined function and style into the contemporary living/cooking/entertaining space. “Rod likes to grill outside almost every day, and the Ericksons go home to Ohio in the summer, so we designed the space around the gas fireplace so they could enjoy it even on the coldest days.”

“This is the eighth home we’ve done with Samir, and we’re best friends as well as clients,” says Suzanne, who works closely with the designer on every step of every project. “He knows we want everything bulletproof for grandkids and guests, a combination of style and practicality so that we can truly enjoy outdoor living.”



For homeowners who love to cook and dine outside even on cool winter nights, Hanna created a focal wall around a gas fireplace 1, high-powered stainless steel grill 2 and Thermidor vent hood 3 from Mullet’s Appliances. Style and function are integrated in the easy-care work space clad in red porcelain tile 4 from Dal-Tile and fashion-forward faux wood tile 5 from Southwest Tile & Design for the fireplace surround. Back-to-back coffee tables 6 in weather-resistant metal that looks just like wood do double duty for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres during parties and as lunch tables when grandchildren are in town. Contemporary tropical cotton floral print 7 on accent pillows is repeated indoors on family room throw pillows and on high-back dining room chairs for indoor-outdoor design continuity. The outdoor room is aglow with romantic lighting, from the Lamplighter’s art glass chandelier 8 to Horchow’s candle centerpiece 9 to sconces 10 Hanna purchased for his clients as a housewarming gift. Dramatic pool landscaping 11 by Erez Beck of Sarasota Secret Gardens & Waterscapes picks up the reds, oranges and yellows of fabrics, tile and chandelier with flowers, bromeliads 12 and oversized clay pots 13.

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