Modern Aerie


At Kalea Bay in North Naples, luxe amenities like private elevators and a rooftop terrace are outdone only by endless views of calm waters and searing sunsets. For interior designer Mercedes Courland, the location was as big an inspiration as her client’s 4,000-square-foot condominium.
When Courland first saw the new, four-bedroom residence, it was a blank canvas. “Except for the [recycled, wide-plank oak] wood flooring that runs throughout, everything was painted white and looked sterile,” she says.

“When I first walk into a space, I identify focal walls and put color and texture on those.”

Courland’s unusual, high-impact textures begin at the entry, where a dimensional pressed-wood panel gives the illusion of coral. “I wanted to create a harmonious and seamless feel, as if the sea were following me into the condo,” she says. The wall sculpture, which tends on the modern side of transitional, is rendered in sky blue, introducing the color palette as prominent throughout the space.

The textured approach extends to the living room, where Courland designed a coffered ceiling with high-gloss white recesses to reflect the sea inside. The room is styled in cream tones with blue accents on a pair of recliners, accessories, and art. For another focal point, Courland placed two large walnut cabinets under the 85-inch, flat-screen television. Both are polyesterized for durability and have mother-of-pearl doors for a touch of shimmer.

The kitchen is sleek and minimalist, giving the impression of a furnished room rather than a functional space. White semigloss cabinets and man-made white quartz counters lend a feeling of openness, while a backsplash of woven gray and brown stone, King Louis barstools, and antique lighting add warmth.

In the dining room, a trompe l’oeil wallpaper from Europe replicates old-fashioned wall panels from an English estate. For added dimension, Courland installed a display shelf, and for continuity, she brought in dining chairs and a chandelier that echo the style of pieces used in the kitchen. Beneath the chandelier is a rough-hewn, reclaimed Russian wood dining table that provides a rustic counterpoint to the contemporary lines of the adjacent kitchen.

From the dining area, a glass door leads out to a balcony that wraps around the curved building—and is large enough to accommodate a crowd. Courland imbued the exterior area with accents that recall the interior. “The porcelain ‘wood look’ tile floor on the balcony matches the real wood floor inside for a seamless flow,” she notes.

The master bedroom is one of the most striking rooms in the house. With the push of a button, striped draperies open to a panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico and a private balcony that connects to the main terrace. Behind the white chenille headboard, French wallpaper composed of metallicized wood slivers glimmers in the morning light. The color palette is echoed in a striated gray rug, accent pillows, and trim. Even the modular wall speakers, part of the client’s sophisticated sound system, coordinate with the room’s vibe.

In the master bath, white compressed-board panels are juxtaposed with textural charcoal walls and gray-finished cabinetry. A chain-link mirror shines like a piece of jewelry amid the neutral hues.

Two of the guest rooms overlook miles of mangroves. The serene view is complemented by restful spaces, appointed with wallpaper in shades of blue, sumptuous bed linens, and striped draperies. A combination of hard and soft finishes lends tension to the design. “I like to use fuzzy textures with smooth wood and metal,” Courland says. “It’s a yin and yang sort of thing.”

The visual interest of the beautifully designed space rivals the views beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows, truly giving these homeowners the best of both worlds.

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