Known for its contingent of artists who have solidified its standing as part of Florida’s Creative Coast, Matlacha’s mix of colorful throwback architecture, shops featuring the creations of local residents, and eateries headlined by the legendary Bert’s Bar and Grill offers an Old Florida ambiance that is captivating. While the surroundings have an appeal all their own, Matlacha is first and foremost about the water – not sitting and watching it, but being on it. Fishing, kayaking, power boating, sailing and all things water are woven into the fabric of the place and serve as a siren’s song for city dwellers in nearby Fort Myers intent on escaping to their own waterfront retreat.

Vogue Interiors’ Sheila Herrera, I.D.S. created such a retreat for a Fort Myers family whose love affair with Matlacha has lasted for years. Her interior design for a new 3,500 square feet, three bedroom residence overlooking Matlacha Pass offers a light, airy, coastal feeling that plays to the home’s water views. Even her color palette was determined with the endless views in mind.

“My clients lead an active life in Fort Myers during the week,” said Herrera. “They’ve been coming to Matlacha for long weekends for years. The open architectural design of their home flows beautifully and features floor-to-ceiling windows that capture the views. There is a calmness to this home. I didn’t want my design to overpower it. I rarely utilize a light, neutral color palette and chose to do so to preserve the integrity of the views and that sense of calm. Even the drapes are neutral. My goal was to create an ambiance that is all about relaxing, taking in the views and enjoying a Florida coastal lifestyle.”

Herrera’s intention is evident in the foyer where a soaring cupola is graced by a candle-lamp chandelier encased by a rectangular burlap shade. A shelf above the double-door entry is festooned with collected driftwood and shell pieces. The foyer introduces a great room finished with light sand-toned walls. A feature wall is faux finished to give the appearance of sand and includes fragments of quartz and mica. A media credenza stabilizes the feature wall. The great room’s tall ceiling includes exposed trusses complimented by light-toned wire-brushed oak hardwood flooring that works beautifully with the wall color. Tall windows provide a spectacular view of Matlacha Pass. Matching sofas are slip-covered with light tweed fabric and play against heavy cotton canvas slip-covered armchairs with a tint of green. Accent pillows bring in the blue of a cherished art piece. A distressed, multi-color wood table, a distressed driftwood table with a circular glass top, a three-tier sofa table with iron accents and a washed-wood cocktail table complete a grouping facing an oversized flat screen television mounted on the feature wall. A trestle table at one of the windows functions as a desk.

Bi-fold doors open the great room to a covered lanai that features a distressed, sandy-toned three-tiered glass door bookcase. A metal bar height table with a grey, weathered faux-wood finish is surrounded by faux-wicker barstools with blue-striped cushions. A seating area includes a faux-wicker sofa finished with cotton duck-canvas fabric, swivel rocker side chairs and a cocktail table. The lanai includes a tongue-in-groove ceiling and roll down screens.

On the opposite side of the home, a screened-in eating porch features a cathedral ceiling finished with tongue-in-groove planks and wood molding details. Plantation shutters enhance the coastal design theme. The dining table and chairs are metal with a dark espresso finish. The chairs are cushioned in a small plaid pattern that is accented by white, yellow and cream striped pillows on the host and hostess chairs.

Inside, the kitchen is designed for functionality and entertaining. An island features a raised bar and a bead-board base in a colonial blue stain. The island and the perimeter countertops are finished with grey and blue-toned quartz. The white perimeter cabinetry compliments the blue tones and includes long pewter pulls. Tall cabinets with seeded glass fronts, a bead board detail and colonial blue backing frame a cooktop featuring a backsplash executed with a mini-brick pattern of glass and slate with a sea glass finish that conveys a frosted look. A menu-planning desk off the kitchen is finished with the same quartz countertop and white cabinetry. An indoor dining area adjacent to the kitchen features a double-pedestal light-toned plank table with wicker host and hostess chairs, four side chairs finished with a coordinating fabric and a faux coral candelabra chandelier.

The powder bath is finished with a washed faux treatment. A three-headed distressed metal sconce has a burlap shade. An open-shelf vanity includes a bead board accent and a solid surface countertop that plays against a blue, grey and beige-toned glass and stone backsplash done in a brick pattern. The flooring is porcelain tile with a slate-like look.

The bonus room includes hardwood flooring and walls finished with a vinyl faux grasscloth. A blue, green and maize striped sofa, love seat and chair are grouped for television viewing and are complimented by a cocktail table with four ottomans stored below. The table itself is executed in a framed bead board design. A wall unit ideally sized for the space houses a flat screen television and provides storage in various cubbies and a lower shelf with glass door fronts.

The master bedroom overlooks the water and opens to the covered lanai. Wood blinds, wood flooring and light sandy-toned walls reinforce the getaway ambiance of the home. The bed’s headboard features a carved geometric pattern. Matching night stands and a chest of drawers have a weathered-washed look. Lamps on the nightstands are finished with unique river rock bases and rectangular linen shades. Herrera has incorporated bedding in a geometric wave pattern with accents of shells and coral. A swivel rocker in the reading area introduces light blue tones.

The wood flooring continues in the master bath where a framed make-up vanity includes a three-sided mirror, a grey and taupe-toned countertop and a crown molding detail. The bath also includes a vanity with white cabinetry, rectangular sinks, a central medicine cabinet, mirrors in weathered wood frames at each sink, a quartz countertop and pewter finished sconces. Faux granite porcelain tile flooring is matched on the rectangular tub’s surround. A backsplash is executed with chiseled brick-shaped tiles in multiple brown tones. The same chiseled tile is used in an inlay on a shower wall.

The home’s pool and spa are accessed by a staircase finished with hardwood treads and slate-faced risers or by an elevator. A pool foyer includes a nautically themed bath with a fish net and natural shell mural and storage for fishing gear, boat cushions and towels. Outside, a covered lanai features handmade metal sculptures. The beautifully landscaped space includes an outdoor shower, a pool with a sun shelf and a spa with a glass tile surround in varying shades of blue.

Founded in 1979, Vogue Interiors has earned numerous national, regional and local awards, including three consecutive Aurora Awards, the highest award presented by the 12-state Southeast Builders Conference. From corporate offices at 24520 Production Circle in Bonita Springs, Florida, Vogue Interiors provides design services and model merchandising to residential and commercial clients in the United States and abroad. Visit Vogue Interiors online at vogueinteriors.com.