Month: June 2013

As residences in some of Southwest Florida’s well established communities continue to age, outdated technologies and design styles can diminish the luster of spaces that at the time of construction represented all that was chic and beautiful. For some homeowners, the beautiful residences they purchased 20-something years ago have gone untouched. While a certain amount of resistance to change and a sense of comfort with the familiar is understandable, the “state-of-the-art” of home technologies, appliances and design styles has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Energy (and dollar) saving heating, air conditioning and plumbing systems, new audio-visual and lighting technologies, new cooking and food storage methods and fresh, clean-lined interior designs that eschew the sometimes heavy looks of the past are making homes less expensive to operate, more comfortable and more enjoyable.

“Our firm takes on extensive remodeling projects as well as renovations to smaller spaces,” said Donna Overly, ASID, founder of Vogue Interiors in Bonita Springs. “No matter how large or small the home might be, we obviously want to create a great design that compliments the homeowner’s lifestyle. There’s another aspect to remodeling, though. The process provides the owner an opportunity to take full advantage of the latest, most up-to-date technologies and materials to reinvent their living space in ways that will lower their month-to-month costs, enhance their personal comfort and enjoyment, and, in some cases, make their homes healthier through the use of green materials that are free of potentially harmful volatile organic compounds. Owners who have not updated their homes in the past seven years or more would be amazed by the advances in home technologies and materials and by the degree to which design styles have evolved.”

Overly and Vogue President/Owner Debbie DeMaria, ASID, I.D.S. have been retained by the owner of a condominium in Bonita Bay’s Wedgewood neighborhood to design and execute a total remodeling project. Ironically, DeMaria created the home’s original design when it was built more than 20 years ago. Since then, the residence has remained the same.

“The residence is 2,036 square feet with three bedrooms, two baths, a nicely sized great room and an open kitchen with a breakfast bar,” said Overly. “The existing finishes are very much what was in style 20-some years ago. Initially, the project involved just remodeling the kitchen. As the owner realized what could be done, it evolved into a total remodel. Our intention is to completely update the home with a clean transitional design style.”

The updating will start with removing the original eight-inch square tile in the entryway, kitchen, hallway and bathrooms and replacing it with 18-inch rectified porcelain flooring with a natural stone tone. The straight cuts of the new rectified tile will allow it to be laid closely together and keep the grout lines very narrow to enhance the stone-like look. New lagoon colored cut pile carpeting will be introduced in the great room and each of the three bedrooms. The majority of the walls will be painted in a soft white tone to brighten the space. New furnishings will provide a visually pleasing mix in keeping with the transitional design style.

In the kitchen, Vogue will remove the existing drop ceiling and fluorescent lighting fixture. A new coffered ceiling with a six-inch plenum and architectural LED cove lighting will increase the volume of the space while giving the kitchen an up-to-date look. A decorative lighting fixture will be placed in the center of the coffer. New, energy efficient, stainless steel appliances, including a new microwave, an induction cooktop, a convection oven and a refrigerator, will provide the owner with a state-of-the-art kitchen. Creamy, off-white cabinetry with a chocolate glaze will play against lagoon and dark green exotic granite countertops and the room’s fresh, off-white walls. Four new counter height barstools will be positioned at the breakfast bar. The iron barstools will have a weathered sandstone finish, sage-toned leather seats and open backs with a scroll design.

A new transitional, three-piece sectional sofa in a solid sea-green woven textured fabric will be the centerpiece in the great room. Contrasting throw pillows will feature lagoon and plum tones. The owner’s antique swivel rocker will be recovered in an off-white chenille fabric. The seating will face the television wall and be grouped around a glass-topped cocktail table with a sculptured base splayed in a tree branch fashion. Behind the sectional sofa, Vogue is introducing a four-drawer console table with shaped iron legs, a specialty blonde driftwood finish and two open bottom shelves. Contemporary suspended track lighting in a serpentine pattern and pendant fixtures will be used to illuminate artwork and the seating and bar areas.

Furnishings in the master bedroom will include a light driftwood finished king bed with a slight sleigh on the headboard. A dresser with scalloped shaped drawer fronts, decorative pulls and a travertine stone contrasting top will be finished in a medium fruitwood tone to match the nightstands and mirror frame. A counter-height swivel counter stool with a sage and cream pattern fabric with wood legs and a bisque finish will bring a fresh note to the master bath.

“A well-designed room should please the eye and stimulate the mind, as well as welcome and excite you,” said Overly. “Remodeling can bring fresh visual appeal and excitement to a home no matter how old, large or small it might be. In this particular residence, we’ll establish the new look with a three-drawer chest in the foyer that will have a washed and distressed grey finish and a beige scroll design on the front. The appeal of the piece and the fresh new wall color and flooring will leave the eye wanting to see more. When the project is finished, the owner will have a much more efficient home, a home that is updated and consistent with current design styles, and a home that has re-established its value within one of the area’s most prestigious and desirable communities.”

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

For residents and visitors alike, the Isles of Capri in south Collier County holds an allure all its own. From the romance inherent to its name, to the sheer natural beauty of the four mangrove islands nestled between Johnson Bay, Tarpon Bay, the Marco River and the Gulf of Mexico, the Isles of Capri is an idyllic place that offers the possibility of living a lifestyle that is all about relaxation and connecting with the expansive waters that extend to the horizon.

For the purchasers of a beautiful existing home at the confluence of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico, the appeal of the Isles of Capri lifestyle was readily apparent. After moving into the residence that was originally designed by WHL Architects & Associates on Marco Island, the owners decided the heaviness of the home’s Tuscan interior design style was inconsistent with the natural surroundings. While certain elements of the design were appealing, the home needed to be updated and refreshed in a way that better suited their penchant for enjoying a decidedly outdoor lifestyle and the location’s endless water views.

“When I first met with the owners, it was clear they wanted a fresh new look for their home that would soften the existing Tuscan influences,” said Leslie Gebert, Allied Member, ASID of Vogue Interiors in Bonita Springs. “The challenge was to respect many of the elements already in place, including the beautiful custom Amish cabinetry and lightly glazed faux finished walls found throughout the home, while introducing a more clean-lined, transitional look that is better suited to their tastes. This type of re-design has become very prevalent as the market continues to shift away from the Tuscan and Mediterranean styles of the recent past in favor of something that is lighter and more up to date.”

The three-story Isles of Capri residence offers 5,000 square feet under air with four bedrooms and four baths and more than 3,500 square feet of outdoor living areas and balconies. The ground floor includes his and her garages, as well as a fully-furnished kitchen that opens to a large lanai with an impressive bar, grill and dining and seating areas. The heavily used space provides an ideal venue for entertaining, particularly after a day on the water sailing or fishing.

A spiral staircase and elevator provide access to a second floor great room with a soaring two-story ceiling that includes an elaborate detail that reflects the home’s strong Tuscan flavor. That flavor is also reflected in the adjacent kitchen’s long rectangular island that includes a heavily carved raised granite bar with a double ogee edge. The kitchen cabinetry, wet bar cabinetry and wine storage cabinets are finished in a glazed medium tone while the entertainment center that serves as the focal point in the great room is done in a darker tone.

“The lady of the house asked that we transform the very large great room into a cozy, engaging space,” said Gebert. “The room’s existing design included a lot of dark browns. At the same time, everything about this home is focused on the aquamarine water. The majority of the rooms have a water view and there are sliders opening to lanai spaces on every level. We’re creating a new color palette to introduce soft greenish-blues that celebrate the water while bringing a fresh feeling to the overall look. The cabinetry in the home is quite special. The original owners had them done by Amish carpenters who they imported to come down here and build everything in the home. We’re saving all of the cabinets. To offset the heavily carved look of the cabinetry and to create that cozy ambiance, we’re installing new furniture pieces that have a softer, cleaner look.”

Gebert has included a sofa in the great room that features a greenish-blue background and a very soft rust medallion pattern that will be accented by rust colored mohair pillows. Four swivel chairs with a solid greenish-blue woven textured fabric and nail head trim complete a seating group that surrounds a 54-inch square leather ottoman cocktail table and faces the entertainment center. Benches placed under a new sofa table will provide additional seating when needed. Rather than using an end table, Gebert has chosen to satisfy the owners’ love of bridge by positioning a small game table and a pair of small caramel colored leather game chairs adjacent to the seating area. Pocketing sliders open the great room to a lanai overlooking the water that offers seating for eight. The new furniture on the lanai repeats Gebert’s soft greenish-blue theme established in the great room.

The home’s formal dining room features a beamed ceiling with a faux treatment in the openings. Here, Gebert has freshened the look while maintaining the room’s formal ambiance. In addition to a new area rug and new draperies, she has re-covered the dining chairs in a paisley brocade fabric with coppers and greenish-blues that are consistent with the new tones found throughout the home.

Three of the home’s four bedrooms are also located on the second floor. Gebert is re-doing one of the bedrooms to serve as a guest bedroom and study. The room will be outfitted with a new desk and sofa bed and also feature a cherished old fashioned rocker that will be enlivened by a large velvet leopard print. The existing master bedroom furniture is being moved into another guest bedroom on the second floor that will be redone in a copper and aquamarine palette.

The third floor of the residence offers an expansive private hideaway for the owners. The home’s beautiful spiral staircase terminates at a spacious loft that overlooks the great room and provides a sitting area for television viewing. The loft is flanked by his and her office spaces. His office is outfitted with Amish cabinetry and includes an exterior balcony on the front of the home. Gebert is re-doing her office by adding built-in cabinetry and shelving that will coordinate with the room’s existing furnishings.

A hallway from the loft also overlooks the great room and leads to both a third floor covered lanai seating area and to the master suite. The master bedroom is being redone to include a fully upholstered bed that will be finished in a fanciful fabric with very light aquamarine tones. Gebert is bringing a soft, light, fresh feeling to the bedroom space by introducing sheer fabric draperies with embedded crystals that provide a pleasing measure of elegance without impeding the room’s beautiful water views.

“The owners of this home are very active people who continue to be engaged with their business interests,” said Gebert. “They entertain out-of-town guests on a regular basis and also enjoy many shared moments with their friends on the Isles of Capri. The redesign of this home provides a beautifully updated, fresh, clean-lined look that offers a soothing ambiance for both everyday living and entertaining.”

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

For long established luxury auto dealers, bridging the generational gap between their more traditionally minded established clientele and the contemporary leanings of up and coming car buyers is an on-going challenge. To meet the challenge, dealers must create a showroom experience that not only resonates with older buyers, but also appeals to the more youthful audience that is critical to building immediate and long-term market share.

The Dimmitt Cadillac dealership in Clearwater has been serving the area since 1924, not only as a purveyor of luxury automobiles, but also as a responsible corporate citizen with a commitment to community service that includes hosting charity events and educational seminars. One of the reasons for Dimmitt’s nearly 90 years of success has been its ability to satisfy the expectations of repeat buyers while attracting new, younger buyers who ultimately become customers for life. When Richard Dimmitt retained Bonita Springs-based Vogue Interiors to create a new showroom environment, he was certain he did not want “a typical car showroom.” He wanted to create a showroom experience that would appeal to old and young alike.

“Our challenge was to create a design appealing to both markets while instilling a sense of feeling at home when entering the showroom,” said Vogue’s Janice Maskell, a State of Florida Licensed Interior Designer. “Richard Dimmitt is very community oriented and wants people to feel comfortable when they come into his dealership. We combined transitional and traditional elements to enhance the showroom experience across age lines. Soft taupes accented with aqua and soft greens work with youthful, clean-lined furniture pieces to provide an upscale hotel look rather than a showroom look. Traditional and contemporary art pieces add color. The clean lines bring a sense of youthful aliveness that is complimented by the use of more traditional sophisticated woods, the soft color palette, textured wall coverings and fabric patterns that give each area of the dealership its own identity. Overall, the design creates a very warm, inviting ambiance with just enough pizzazz to reassure younger customers.”

Maskell’s mix of sophisticated woods and colorful artwork is established in the reception area. A medium-toned wood wrapped soffit contrasts the dark stain of a beautiful desk made of exotic Sapele wood that features interesting vertical and horizontal grains and a granite countertop. A matching floor to ceiling wall behind the receptionist provides separation from a client lounge area while maintaining the openness of the design. A piece of contemporary artwork done in blues, greens and a bit of gold is mounted on the wall and makes a bold visual statement.

A stunning beamed ceiling treatment with horizontal tongue and groove inserts in the client lounge is stained to match the dark tones established in the reception area. The seating area is designed to provide clients with a space to relax and enjoy the experience. The space includes clean lined armchairs finished with plush fabric and an interesting aqua-taupe contemporary leaf design on the outside sides and back. The seating is grouped around a warm brown-toned coffee table and circular end tables and faces a built-in cabinet that has vertical cabinets with glass fronts on either side of a very large television. The combination of the warm, coordinated wood tones against the lighter taupe wall finish and the luxurious appeal of the armchairs conveys the feeling of being in a living room. Beautiful art pieces by American artists such as William Pachner, Malado Baldwin and Casey Gray are mounted on soft taupe and green fabric wall coverings that are framed by applied molding to create a niche effect. The fabric adds warmth and an additional textural element to the space. To maintain the design’s clean lines, Maskell chose to not add draperies or side panels to the room’s tall, mullioned windows.

In keeping with Richard Dimmitt’s commitment to client comfort, a cafe adjacent to the lounge provides another place for customers to relax. The cafe features a curved bar presented in espresso finished Sapele wood with contrasting linen Lumicor inserts and a taupe-toned quartz countertop. Three contemporary barstools with medium-brown toned frames and taupe-toned upholstered seats and backs offer seating while enjoying a beverage and conversation. A curved aqua glass tile bar backsplash adds pizzazz.

The transitional and traditional blend continues in the conference room where leopard-print chairs were added to an existing antique mahogany table. Textured grass-cloth wallpaper adds warmth against the television console’s high-gloss finish and cracked-glass inserts while complimenting the room’s existing light-toned wainscoting and wheel-shaped ceiling detail and chandelier. Maskell’s penchant for blending elements is also found in a seating area adjacent to the restrooms where two chairs with solid taupe-toned fabric inside and a more contemporary plush geometric design on the outside are placed in front of a wall featuring a colorful contemporary art piece.

Maskell has created the same inviting ambiance on the showroom floor where Dimmitt’s luxurious vehicles are displayed on an expansive marble inlay surrounded by taupe-toned carpeting. An existing domed ceiling detail is finished in a soft sky blue and hosts a chandelier used in Dimmitt’s original showroom that was reclaimed from a storage area to provide a connection to the dealership’s storied history. Comfortable, beautifully finished office spaces that are open to the display area line the perimeter.

“Dimmitt Cadillac’s nearly century-old commitment to community service is very important to Richard Dimmitt,” said Maskell. “He has continued the dealership’s tradition of hosting a variety of charity events and holding educational seminars that are of value to local residents. The new interior design not only provides a setting that appeals to both established and new clientele, but also offers a flowing, open space that is comfortable, visually appealing and perfectly suited to hosting a wide variety of events.”

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