When Robb & Stucky designer Jeff Hart first laid eyes on this Sarasota Bay home, urban elegance was just becoming fashionable and his clients were ready for a change. “They asked for something different, comfortable and inviting,” the ASID designer recalls.
But the couple didn’t want the interior design to detract from spectacular views that sweep from Siesta Key north to Big Pass in one broad stroke. Hart devised a scheme to maximize nature’s drama by contrasting the raw beauty outside with interiors that combine Zen simplicity and shades of Hollywood past.
Rich dark woods, painted finishes and organized patterns are classically Asian, yet contemporary. Lustrous fabrics, easy-care but nonetheless glamorous, are as seductive as 1930s silks. “The inspiration was the Deco furnishings I recall from a Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire movie that took place in Vienna,” Hart explains. “Everything was black and white.” In his design, everything is black and white with flashes of apple green.
Silver screen takes on new meaning with decorative screens designed by Barbara Barry for Henredon, their Japanese-influenced chrysanthemum motif painted in silver leaf.
The seductive glamour of white silklike fabric evokes images of Jean Harlow, but the luster on these armless loveseats from Directional belies their high-tech practicality.
New Asian style is reflected in this purposely aged egliomise mirror from John Richards, its Oriental cloud pattern carved and silver-leafed for architectural interest.
The organized repetitiveness of Asian design is evident in Hart’s choice of multiple love seats, duplicate screens and graphic light columns glamorized with glass beads.
Urban elegance is personified in the silk-covered slipper chairs by Ferguson-Copeland, their silky green fabric repeated as insets on loveseat pillows and on dining room chairs.
The room’s ethereal, white elements are anchored by the substantial Korean Tansu cocktail table, ages-old in style but newly chic in Henredon’s refined dark ash veneer.