Month: August 2013

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

The high-rise condominium residences at Bonita Bay offer what are widely considered to be Southwest Florida’s most compelling views of Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The Tavira tower is no exception. Tavira’s spacious, light-filled residences are designed to convey an ambiance that not only projects an aura of unmistakable luxury, but also a milieu that is ideally suited to enjoying the magical tableau that extends to the Gulf of Mexico’s horizon. Vogue Interiors’ Janice Maskell, a State of Florida Licensed Interior Designer, has brought an elegantly designed and executed look to a remodeled residence on Tavira’s 20th floor that allows the views to flourish in harmony with an interior that exudes a transitional, South Hampton style.

“My intention was to create a clean-lined, transitional design that included a bit of the warmth found in the South Hampton design style,” said Maskell. “I wanted to keep the furniture very much in a neutral palette and very clean-lined. Rather than creating visual interest with the furniture and accessory colors, all of the interest was created with wood features, crown moldings and wood detailing. There is a great deal of wood in this design and it is presented in dark espresso and vibrant white tones against a neutral color palette that includes taupes, white moldings, soft aqua accents and 36″ x 36″ polished stone flooring. The mix of colors is established immediately in the light, airy elevator lobby where a white chair rail and square and rectangular white applied molding treatments are set against the soft taupe wall color found throughout the home. It’s all very clean, very fresh, and plays very easily with espresso furniture pieces that introduce the design’s dark wood tones. The bling of a polished chrome and crystal chandelier is the first of many surprises offered by the home’s array of interesting lighting fixtures.”

To provide a stunning memory point immediately upon entry to the home, Maskell removed an existing foyer closet and redesigned the space to accommodate a beautifully executed wine niche with dark espresso cabinetry and a matching espresso floor to ceiling wall treatment with horizontal inlays of iridescent glass tiles that provide an unexpected note of glamour. The wine niche’s espresso wood is contrasted by the clean lines of the flooring and by the crisp white finish of columns wrapped with elegant raised wood molding details that provide an impressive entry to the great room. To soften the lines of the square columns, gentle arches and additional molding details, including a circular detail that is repeated over the living room fireplace, have been added to the soffits. A sprawling floor to ceiling built-in in the living room is also finished in crisp white and provides an elegant setting for the fireplace and its luxurious neutral white marble surround. Sconces framed by wood molding details and the cracked glass fronts of an upper row of cabinets add visual interest. Indirect lighting maintains the room’s understated look that is conveyed by furnishings that include a soft tan sofa, neutral textured cotton arm chairs with curved espresso legs and nail head trim and a a more traditional curved leather chair with interesting nail head trim and an ottoman. The seating is grouped around a cocktail table with an espresso border, glass inset and burnished platinum legs and set over a neutral area rug. The sofa table is presented in clean, dark wood and topped by a pair of polished chrome lamps. A coffered ceiling treatment includes cove lighting and offers an interesting architectural element.

“The owners of this residence do not like busyness,” said Maskell. “They prefer to be in a calm setting. The use of neutral backgrounds and furnishings against the dark wood finishes and the white wood details provides that sense of calm. Because the views from the 20th floor are so spectacular, I also did not want the furnishings or anything else to overpower what nature was providing. I continued the use of wood molding details and coffered ceiling designs in the formal dining room and included a sparkling chandelier to provide another unexpected bling element to plays against the elegant simplicity of the design.”

To create a sense of intimacy in the dining room’s elegant setting, Maskell used a square dining table with an espresso base and a glass top. The dining chairs are finished in a neutral textured fabric with nail head trim. The repeated use of indirect lighting in the coffered ceiling brings warmth and softness to the space. On the dining room’s back wall, white wood molding details create settings for colorful art pieces framed in silver wood frames.

The rich tones of the wine niche are repeated in the double island kitchen. Maskell completely removed the existing cabinetry and replaced it with espresso finished cabinets with polished nickel hardware that includes glass facets. An outer island offers a counter height bar with black-framed barstools that feature soft, greyish-green brushed chenille seats. The countertops throughout the kitchen are neutral quartz with embedded sparkles. Soft aqua horizontal brick-pattern glass tile is used to create a backsplash over the cook-top that matches a band detail on the front of the outer island bar.

Maskell deviates slightly from her neutral tone approach in the family room where she introduces shades of green in an area rug that includes a taupe leaf pattern and in the top of a cocktail ottoman that has an espresso wood frame. Matching leather recliners are presented in a dark taupe and play against a softer taupe textural sofa with rolled arms. The home’s study has all custom wood built-ins with a dark espresso finish that works with the neutral polished stone flooring to convey an exceptionally clean look.

Darker wood tones are also found in the master bedroom’s hand-scraped hardwood flooring, a wave-pattern headboard and footboard that provides dimensional interest, and cabinet-style nightstands that feature square polished nickel pulls. Matching swivel armchairs finished with textural fabric and soft blue-grey accent pillows are set in front of a window overlooking Tavira’s signature view. A series of framed square mirrors, a soft blue-green area rug, a coffered ceiling with recessed lighting and wood trim details complete the room’s inviting look.

The polished stone flooring found throughout the home is also used in the master bath, both on the floor and on the deck surrounding an oval shaped tub that is topped by a large picture window that floods the room with natural light. Maskell completely reinvented this master bath and introduced beautifully designed espresso vanities with tower cabinets and mirror-mounted polished nickel sconces with glass droplets that are also found on a perfectly proportioned chandelier.

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