The orange Barcelona chair inspired red and tangerine accent pieces throughout the home.Spirited Revival

Designer Pam Picozzi created warm retro-modern interiors for Nicki and Jack Conway’s Sarasota School of Architecture-inspired dream home. Here’s how:

You seem to have captured the essence of Sarasota Modern without being weighted down by the past.

Pam Picozzi: Sarasota School of Architecture homes were smaller in scale and didn’t have the luxuries that homeowners expect today, so we went for the spirit of the movement. Sarasota School is a design theory. It’s a feeling about the soul of the house; you don’t go off on a tangent.

What did you keep and what didn’t make the cut?

Nicki Conway: Sarasota Modern architects were so ahead of their time. I love the floor-to-ceiling walls of glass and the seamless indoor-outdoor lifestyle. We kept the structure streamlined and simple, but our ceilings are taller. As a realtor [with ReMax Alliance Group] I am sick of crown molding, and there’s not a single one in the house—and no door casings. We worked very hard to position the house on the property so that the flow of air ran through the home. That’s what Sarasota School architects did, and it’s the greenest form of air conditioning. Our outdoor room looks like it’s enclosed by glass, but it’s screened. 

The space-defying lap pool exceeds the homeowner’s dream of a backyard water feature for visual interest.What’s with all that orange? It looks like Tangerine Tango, Pantone’s color of the year for 2012.

NC: It all started with the orange leather Barcelona chair in the great room—Pam and I both fell in love with it. Basically, the house is white with red and orange accents.

PP: Mies van der Rohe, who designed the Barcelona chair in 1929, was a big influence on the Sarasota School. The chair was the impetus for weaving the color throughout the house in paintings, pillows, commissioned sculpture and even a custom table. We used explosions of bold color against the calming factor of icy tones.

Somehow this great room layout seems different from most open plan designs we see in Sarasota.

NC: I didn’t want people to see my kitchen as soon as they walk into my house. I see so many homes where the kitchen is right next to the entryway, and I didn’t want that. Our builder, Phil Torrence with Ridgeland Construction, modified the floor plan to give me a separate galley-style kitchen.

Walnut flooring applied to the master bedroom ceiling makes the platform bed appear to float on the retro shag carpet.What was the design mandate?

NC: We’re empty nesters except for our dogs. The house is start-to-finish about how we live now. We also wanted a water feature—which turned into a pool. And we like to entertain.

PP: When Nicki first told me she wanted a house for empty nesters, I said, “You mean for you and your 9,000 friends.” I knew that I had to make the house very party-friendly—she and Jack entertain all the time.

Glass sliders open to a screened outdoor room with contemporary conversation and dining spaces.What makes you happiest about the way it turned out?

NC: We see a lot of houses in our business. This one is uniquely ours. I just love to come home to it, and I love the way it flows. Everybody gathers in the kitchen, so I love the long island.

PP: This house is personalized just for Nicki and Jack. A model home is for nobody—every house has to have its own soul. It’s Sarasota School, but it’s theirs.


The Home Team

Interior Design
Pam Picozzi>Picozzi Interiors
(941) 445-3746

Phil Torrence>Ridgeland Homes
(941) 923-6565

Peter Hofmann>Peter Hofmann Architect
(941) 966-8011

Landscape Architect
Lee Alderman>Safe Lee Green
(941) 922-2827

Pool and Water Feature
Joey Dudash>Water Designs of Sarasota
(941) 341-9930 

Exterior construction
Otto Jordan Masonry
(941) 650-3220

Custom Cabinets
Jim Gilmore>Gilmore Cabinetry
(941) 924-7789

Les Burton>C.E.L.T. Enterprises, Inc
(941) 321-2723

Carl Collins>Light Line Electric
(941) 922-3676