There was a wonderful exhibit of Carl Abbott architecture at Ringling College’s Selby Galleries (it just closed Aug. 3) and as you looked at the gorgeously geometric beach houses with their soaring roofs and acres of glass, the questions arose: Is this right for me? Is it “too modern?” What would I do with my grandmother’s antiques?
That question is answered by a Carl Abbott house currently on the market (3638 San Remo Terrace) where the owners have used a traditional approach to the interior décor, and the successful results prove that—as long as your modern house is designed by an award winning genius—you don’t have to fill it with the inevitable Barcelona chairs, Knoll sofas, and those glass-topped coffee tables you’re always cutting your shins on. Here they’ve got over stuffed furniture, wood paneling, and old paintings and the place looks great. Lesson? Really good architecture should be able to accommodate really good furniture, from any era.
The San Remo house was built about ten years ago and is a medium-sized mansion (4,124 square-feet) with four bedrooms, 4 and a half baths, an elevator, and a heated pool and dock. The exterior façade has one of those Carl Abbott arrangements of planes and blank walls, but once you get inside, everything faces the view of the water and the north bridge to Siesta Key, which is just far enough away to be interesting but not intrusive. My favorite view is a lot of yachts sailing by.
Among the traditional elements I noticed inside were a wood-paneled library (which could be a bedroom), various built in type entertainment centers, an oriental rug in the dining room, a certain amount of wall to wall carpet, and even pelmets. When was the last time you saw a pelmet in a Carl Abbott house?
The house is priced at $3,250,000 and has a premium waterfront location—on the mainland, five minutes from the beach, ten minutes from downtown. If modernism appeals to you but you don’t want to send your highboys and lowboys to auction, this may be the perfect solution.
For more information call Peg Davant (Premier Sotheby’s) at (941) 356-4552.