Life Changes Offer Opportunity To Create New Living Spaces

Significant life changes such as the passing of a partner or the dissolution of a relationship can alter all that is known and comfortable for a person from any walk of life. Those same changes, however, can also present opportunities for reinvention, including the creation of new interior designs that reflect the individual’s new lifestyle. In addition to resulting in a new, up-to-date living space, getting fully engaged in the design process can generate that new sense of creative energy that is often important when beginning anew.

A remodeling project undertaken by Vogue Interiors’ Leslie Gebert, Allied Member, ASID at a residence in Shadow Wood at The Brooks is an example of how creating a new interior can in many ways contribute to personal rejuvenation. The one-story home is 3,021 square feet under air with four bedrooms, three baths, a study, a formal dining room, a great room and a large outdoor living area.

“This is the third home I’ve worked on with this client and she has become a very good friend of mine,” said Gebert. “Her husband passed away while we were developing the interior for a new home they were building. She realized she did not need that much space and bought the home we’re working on now. I’ve watched her really come into her own as we’ve worked on this remodeling project. She is selling her home in Michigan and will be moving here permanently. She plans on doing a lot of traveling and this residence will provide the ambiance and space that will suit her needs perfectly. This is a very extensive renovation project that is more about condensing her life into one house and she has very high end taste. We’re transforming a very heavy Tuscan look that is twelve years old into a transitional space with a fireplace and a completely remodeled master bath. The color palette will include a lot of marine blue with some green, orange and rust.”

Gebert’s color palette will play against dark espresso cabinetry and an espresso floor to ceiling wall treatment on a very long inset wall in the great room. An applied molding treatment above the cabinetry will frame a flat screen television that can be hidden behind touch-latch doors. A flush-mounted 54-inch Eco Smart fireplace will be installed within the wall treatment and serve as a focal point in the room. Glass-fronted cabinetry will serve a dry bar and wine cooler finished with a granite countertop with a mix of blues, greys, rust and ivory that conveys a pleasing sense of movement. Furnishings in the great room will include a squared-off sectional sofa with a beige nubby herringbone fabric, an oversized cocktail ottoman featuring an ivory leather perimeter and a center tray, a contemporary putty-toned leather recliner and a delicate arm chair with blue fabric. An off-white textured shag rug will be placed in front of the sofa against the great room’s porcelain tile flooring.

“My intention is to create a great room space that has a big wow factor,” said Gebert. “The dynamic wall treatment and fireplace will achieve that. The addition of the espresso cabinetry, the applied molding details and especially the fireplace represents a very significant change for this home. It’s a very fresh, up-to-date look that will have great appeal well into the future. We’ve kept everything very clean-lined and eliminated the curves in the great room space. The room opens to the outdoor living area so it’s important everything flows in a way that will extend the comfort level outside.”

Gebert is also making substantial changes in the kitchen. All of the soffits are being eliminated. New espresso cabinetry is being installed along with lighted cabinets with seeded glass fronts across the top of the wall. The island base will also have an espresso finish. The same blues, greys, rust and ivory granite used at the dry bar will be featured on the perimeter and island countertops. To avoid competing with the tones of the granite, Gebert has designed a backsplash with stainless steel metal tiles.

The light tones of the formal dining room will convey a dramatic, formal look that will be especially appealing at night. A beautiful dining table will feature antiques mirror accents embedded around the edge. Upholstered host and hostess chairs and side chairs with light wood frames will play against a tailored drapery treatment with inverted pleats. The draperies will break on the floor to reinforce the more formal feeling of the room. The walls will be finished with brown-bronze metallic grass cloth with a silver thread accent.

In the den, Gebert is installing new dark-toned hand=scraped hardwood flooring set on the diagonal. The flooring and a floor-to-ceiling ivory grass cloth wall covering will the client’s desk, chocolate brown and ivory zebra print rug and book cases.

The master bedroom features a mix of ivory, robbin’s egg blue and soft grey. The metallic grey faux suede upholstered bed plays against soft grey walls, ivory-toned carpeting and the tray ceiling’s soft blue finish. The look is complimented by espresso night stands with mirrored fronts.

“For my client, a total renovation of the master bath was a must,” said Gebert. “It’s the space in the home that is the most important to her and she’s very excited about creating a special retreat that is all her own. With that in mind, we’re totally gutting the master bath and removing the spa tub to provide her with more vanity space. The new flooring will be dark espresso porcelain tile that looks like wood that will match the coloring of the vanity cabinetry. Everything else will be done in ivory and grey tones. We’re using chrome and mirrored sconces that will be applied to the vanity mirrors. The mirrors will be framed out with a glass tile that is silver metallic, ivory and grey. There will be a walk-in shower and she’s choosing not to include a tub as there is a tub in one of the guest bedrooms. The shower will have very light porcelain tile that looks like stone with two twelve-inch vertical stripes of glass accent tiles that will extend from floor to ceiling. It’s a look that will play beautifully against the espresso floor and cabinetry. She’s all about a grand, fine look that you normally would not find in a home of this stature and the master bath will certainly reflect that. We’ve managed the costs of the project with her desire to travel in mind and developed a strategy that provides significant memory points in specific areas of the home that are especially important to her.”

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