Remodeled house in the Oaks celebrates classical style

Marina Tower masterpiece on market, by Marsha Fottler, Herald-Tribune

Sunday, August 23, 2015
Homeowners Alan and Susan Kasow know what their Realtor, Carole Samuels of RE/MAX, realizes about their grand penthouse condominium at Marina Tower that is on the market for $4,295,000.
http://realestate.heraldtribune.com/2015/08/23/marina-tower-masterpiece-on-market/

A Murano glass chandelier that the homeowners bought especially for their spectacular circular living room while vacationing in Itlay will remain in the house when the property is sold. The chandelier is on a motorized system so that it can be lowered from its 32-foot-high installation for easy cleaning. The round living room frames a magnificent view of Sarasota Bay, the city, and barrier islands. This Marina Tower penthouse is on the market for $4,295,000 through Carole Samuels of RE/MAX.  STAFF PHOTO / NICK ADAMS

A Murano glass chandelier that the homeowners bought especially for their spectacular circular living room while vacationing in Itlay will remain in the house when the property is sold. The chandelier is on a motorized system so that it can be lowered from its 32-foot-high installation for easy cleaning. The round living room frames a magnificent view of Sarasota Bay, the city, and barrier islands. This Marina Tower penthouse is on the market for $4,295,000 through Carole Samuels of RE/MAX. STAFF PHOTO / NICK ADAMS

Potential buyers walking into the circular, glassed-in living room (with ceilings that rise 32 feet) will do one of two things. They might fall in love with the 4,000-square foot apartment (an additional 1,000 square feet is terrace and roof garden) and want to buy it on the spot. Or they will be so intimidated by the sheer volume of the space that they won’t have a clue what to do with it.

In the latter case, they will walk away in spite of the unobstructed view of city, bay and barrier islands that seems to stretch forever.

When they bought their Marina Tower penthouse eight years ago, the Kasows themselves were apprehensive about decorating the condo, especially the double-volume living room and open loft master bedroom on the upper floor. But the vistas and the convenience of urban living had strong appeal after they spent several years on Siesta Key in a big house. They seized the opportunity and decided to sort out design and furniture issues later.

Once they sealed the deal, the couple phoned their friend, interior designer Bonnie Lancaster, and they embarked on a six-month renovation that brought the inside of their home up to the high standards of the outside views.

“The apartment was all white,” said Susan Kasow. “Just this vast, white, confusing space. The former owner had bought the unit for investment and didn’t ever really live here. The kitchen was unusually small, given the dimensions of the other rooms, and it was closed off and dysfunctional for cooking. The appliances had not been used, the dishwasher wasn’t even connected.

“The dining area had ugly concrete beams in the ceiling. The living room had two purple inflatable sofas in it. But we looked out at the bay, walked around the roof garden off the master bedroom and knew we had something special and believed that Bonnie would know what to do with it.”

Kasow challenged the designer to use most of their existing furniture, as well as art and artifacts from travels to Europe, Africa and Asia.

“This is a big, open apartment, and she had a big job,” Susan Kasow said.

 

The Kasows lived off-site while Lancaster began by taking down the walls in the kitchen and gutting the entire space to enlarge, reconfigure and upgrade it, while giving it a comfortable contemporary vibe.

“Susan and Alan do not fear color,” said Lancaster. “They make vivid, bold choices in both art and in wall and furniture colors, which were necessary for this bland apartment.

Homeowners (and art collectors) Alan and Susan Kasow are selling their 4,000-square-foot penthouse at Marina Tower. They plan to downsize and travel more, but they love the downtown urban vibe and water views so they will look for another condominium in the neighborhood. This penthouse (complete with rooftop garden) is on the market for $4,295,000. Listing agent is Carole Samuels of RE/MAX.  STAFF PHOTO / NICK ADAMS

Homeowners (and art collectors) Alan and Susan Kasow are selling their 4,000-square-foot penthouse at Marina Tower. They plan to downsize and travel more, but they love the downtown urban vibe and water views so they will look for another condominium in the neighborhood. This penthouse (complete with rooftop garden) is on the market for $4,295,000. Listing agent is Carole Samuels of RE/MAX. STAFF PHOTO / NICK ADAMS

“In the kitchen, I was able to replace a closet with a functional wine bar, and I installed glass-front cabinets to display Asian artifacts. We used a combination of dark wood for the cabinets along with exotic zebra wood, which visually unites the African and Indonesian artifacts,” Lancaster added.

“There’s a bold granite on the counters, and the island is large, with an attached granite curving breakfast table,” she said. “Modern conveniences, such as deep drawers for pots and pans, as well as two slim, rolling, pull-out pantries, mean extra storage. We upgraded all the appliances, and, for a pop of color, the kitchen walls are parrot green.”

Upstairs (there’s a curving staircase and an elevator), the master bedroom is wide open to the bay views; there is no door. To control the natural light and to insure privacy, Lancaster had a custom curving rod installed, and now soft, gauzy drapes can be drawn to create a curtain wall of privacy. The system is motorized and can be controlled by remote.

“In the master suite, we redid the bathroom, put in a custom walk-in closet/dressing room and sectioned off part of the sleeping space as an office for Alan,” said the designer. “He didn’t want to lose the views, so there’s a half wall behind the bed and a desk on the other side.

“The predominant color in the bedroom/bath is crisp Aegean blue. It’s very fresh and spa-like. And, of course, there’s that beautiful rooftop garden up there. It’s arranged like an outdoor room with a white pergola and selected container plants. It’s quite a special place to relax.”

The curvilinear living room, with it’s 32-foot-high ceiling, posed the greatest challenge to the designer and homeowners.

“The strategy that guided me was that I didn’t want to do anything to compromise or distract from the views,” said Lancaster. “So every wall color, furniture and accessory choice in the space was made to frame the view. To do that we used dramatic colors on the walls, such as eggplant purple, latte, red and yellow, as a backdrop for the art that the Kasows collect, but also to frame the views to outside.

“No matter where you stand in the room, your eye goes to the outside, and yet you are aware that you’re standing in a colorful exciting room where there is plenty to look at too. We basically banished the white walls and made a vibrant usable space out of emptiness.”

The white Murano-glass chandelier that is the centerpiece of the room was purchased especially for the space by the Kasows in Italy. It will remain in the condo when it is sold.

The Kasows entertain frequently; parties of 75 are a comfortable fit in the open-concept apartment. They also host visiting children and grandchildren routinely. One of the guest-bedroom walk-in closets is a giant toy chest for the four grandkids, who are under the age of eight.

The penthouse has 1,000 square feet of terraces that are ideal for entertaining or just relaxing and enjoying the views of bay and city.  STAFF PHOTO / NICK ADAMS

The penthouse has 1,000 square feet of terraces that are ideal for entertaining or just relaxing and enjoying the views of bay and city. STAFF PHOTO / NICK ADAMS

“We have loved every minute we’ve lived in this condominium,” said Alan Kasow, “and yet, it’s time for us to move into something smaller and all on one level. We are selling because we want to downsize and travel more.”

But they’ve become so used to the views and the convenience of walking to restaurants, theater and shopping that the Kasows are looking for another condo in the same downtown neighborhood.

 

8 Ways Colored Floors Can Boost Your Design

Bang! Bang! 4th of July Table Tops!

Keffie’s tabletops are always fun, bright and easy to recreate!  It’s not too early to start planning for the 4th of July!  Here’s a sneak peek of our recent photoshoot.  Photos by Leeann Warren Photography

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Stars, Stripes and traditional 4th of July Colors make this setting fun for all!

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All Mixed Up! Blue and White Bold Stripes next to Red & White Bold Stripes!

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Layers of placemats give this 4th of July setting a look like no other!

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Get your S’well On! Red White and Blue S’well bottles will keep your summer drinks cold for 24 hours with no refrigeration or ice! Can’t beat that!

 

A sneak peek into our Temple Emanu-el Rennovation

 

 

Here’s a look at a few of the before images:
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And Here are some progress pictures of the Temple Emanu-el Renovation completed by our commercial interior design team at Lancaster Interior Design: