Heaven by the water

housetrends Nov/Dec 2012
by Amy Diehl / photos by yourdigitalpro.com

Welcoming facade
DSC_5955Massive palms highlight the approach to this elegant property. The 6,000-square-foot home is sited on a pie shaped lot situated directly on the river. The facade of the house faces a quiet, private residential street and features a paver driveway leading up to a raised home entrance. The lot fans out from the road to a wider frontage on the river allowing space for the home to spread out as well with wings on either side of the central body of the home.

Built by Campagna Homes over an 18-month period, the home is exactly what these owners envisioned when they first purchased the waterfront lot several years earlier. “We bought the lot and held on to it for a while as we looked for a builder. We looked at so many homes but just could not find What we Wanted,» Tiffany Chrysakis explains. “Then, we walked into the Campagna model home up in Highlands at Innisbrook and said, ‘This is it.’ We built almost the exact model though we had to tweak it a bit to fit on the lot.”

The interior of the home features all of the public and entertaining spaces downstairs, with all the family bedrooms on the second floor. This is a modification from the original design. When the home was built six years ago, the master suite was located downstairs off to the right of the -5 main entrance. In a desire to keep the family closer together, the couple swapped out the upstairs game and family room space with the downstairs master suite. “lt was surprisingly easy how well they fit-” Tiffani says.

Now, the former master suite downstairs has been transformed into a family game room complete with pool table, game table and wet bar as well as a movie viewing room that can be separated from the action by drawing the lush chocolate silk drapes. A small private office finishes off the space. Upstairs, the former game room easily fits a large master suite complete with a fireplace and a balcony overlooking the infinity edge pool and the river beyond. A spacious master bath looks like it has always been there.

Also upstairs are three more en suite bedrooms for family and guests including a second full suite with a balcony and spectacular water views.

Mother Nature’s power
Taking advantage of the views was a primary goal in the design of this home. Upon entering, floor to ceiling windows reaching nearly 20 feet high are framed with cascades of ruby silk draperies. This is the focal point of the small formal living room, which also features an elegant fireplace.

Columns serve to break up the open space of the foyer and separate off the formal dining room, which the family uses primarily at the holidays. An adjacent butler’s pantry offers convenient, attractive storage options.

This home is designed with an elevator option, but these homeowners chose to put in a spacious wine cellar for Tiffany’s wine collection. The wood racks and brick floors are visible through the lovely iron window. The elevator shaft is still in place n case it should ever need to be converted back to its original function.

The large kitchen and family room share one open space and is where this family spends most of their time. Featuring rich granite countertops, wood cabinets and a spacious work island, the kitchen is perfect for preparing meals and is a favorite spot for gathering both family and friends. Bar stools offer comfortable counter seating and a table in the breakfast nook offers space for informal sit-down meals. The family room is totally geared for comfort with comfortable couches and chairs arranged for both TV watching or outdoor views. Glass doors open off this room to the pool and patio area.

Tiffany worked with Karen Campagna throughout the entire project on the designing and decoration of the home. “She really held our hand the whole way through,” Tiffany says. “From plumbing fixtures to light fixtures and beyond, she pulled it all together for us.”

Husband Mike Campagna, the general contractor, explains that for this waterfront home, they designed a special foundation with piling caps, grade beams and other engineering details to allow this luxurious home to easily weather the elements.

Al fresco activities
Pool46Outdoor living is very important to these homeowners and it shows. Tiffany, who grew up working in the family landscaping business, is an avid gardener and tends to the extensive splantings personally. She is also a pormer partner in a landscaping company with her brother, the well-known landscape designer Ryan Hughes. As she exclaims laughing, “the outside o the home is the most important part to me!”

Her husband, an avid fisherman, loves the fact that it is only steps aways form the association docks where he keeps his boat.

Fully-grown plantings and strategically placed pathways help create individual destinations within the backyard landscape, including a clubbing gym on one side of the property and a thatched roof picnic area adjacent to the waterfront beach area.

Large, covered porches accented with potted palms provide space for a full dining set, comfortable ensemble seating and a full outdoor kitchen complete with an eat-in counter and fireplace.

The piece-de-resistance of the home is the gorgeous, infinity edge swimming pool. Designed by Hughes for his sister’s home, the angular, infinity edge pool with Jacuzzi spa is gorgeous in its own right–yet, complements rather than competes with, the amazing river views beyond. Flaming fire pots are symmetrically placed on either side of the infinity edge of the pool to frame the panorama of boats, pelicans and manatees passing by.

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Posted in Articles, Housetrends

A Room with a view

housetrends April/May 2011
by Danielle Krouse | Photos by Johan Roetz

Couple builds home that focuses on picturesque property

Truly Tuscan


The homeowners knew they wanted a Mediterranean-style home, a many of the homes in Tampa are, but they really wanted to focus on a Tuscan-specific look, which started with the exterior of the home. The home builder, Campagna Homes, was able to showcase this specific look with brick detailing around the windows, which gives the home that special Tuscan flair, especially when paired with columns as you reach the front door.

Once inside, the home opens up to high, beamed ceilings and rustic wood flooring, with an overall warm color scheme. There is a hallway, complete with a barrel ceiling that runs the entire width of the house, which the homeowners call “the gallery.” The living room and dining room sit across from one another with the bar and wine cellar close at hand. The homeowners chose this layout to create a space where guests would naturally come together. “When people come to the house, instead of congregating in the kitchen like in so many houses, they automatically go to the bar, which is within this entertaining are we created,” says the homeowner.

Although the kitchen may not be a gathering place for their guests, it is a spot where the homeowners spend a lot of their time. One side of the kitchen features a breakfast bar with a coffeemaker and microwave—an ideal space to grab a quick piece of toast in the morning. This is also the only section of the kitchen that features overhead cabinetry. There are pullout drawers built into the island, which is what the homeowners use for all their kitchen storage needs. More brickwork can be found around the range for a dramatic Tuscan look in keeping with the Mediterranean theme.

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Lasting friendship lures a couple to Innisbrook

Housetrends – May/June 2010
By Christina Kleiner | Photos by Johan Roetz

When Howard and Linda Harris lived just outside London, England, they became fast friends with a couple living down the street. After three years, the Harrises moved back to the United States, living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Detroit, Michigan for a time, before settling in Tampa. Meanwhile, their neighbors from England had also moved stateside, now calling Innisbrook home. “Howard and I lived on the other side of the lake in Palm Harbor, but we were tired of moving around and thought it was time to build the house we wanted to live in for the rest of our lives, “Linda recalls.

The Harrises started looking at neighborhoods and builders as well as their friends’ house in Innisbrook. After seeing the house and community, Howard says they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. “We bought the lot next door to them, and used the same builder:. he says with a laugh. “It’s always nice to have neighbors you have a lot in common with.”

This is the first house Howard and Linda have built, but they’ve lived in enough homes to know what is important to them. The nearly 6,300-square-foot house boasts four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, two half baths, and a plethora of extras to suit both of their needs and desires. “Each of us wanted to incorporate spaces and details into the house that suit our tastes,” Linda explains. “Howard was very particular about the home theater and other rooms, while there were certain things that I wanted to include, such as the library.”

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Home is where you build it

By Amy Diehl | Photos by John Roetz
Hometrends | July/August 2009 | Vol. 7, No. 3

Mike and Karen Campagna incorporate their favorite elements to make a perfect home.

Waterfront Home 1So what does a builder of custom, luxury homes build when he is building his own house? If the builders are Mike and Karen Campagna of Campagna Hoes, they build a comfortable yet elegant waterfront villa with amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico. “The lots are small and compact but the view is large,” Karen says of their gulf-view home situated in an older island community in Palm Harbor. This home is quite different from most of Campagnas custom built projects. “We’ve never built this floor plan before,” she says. “It’s pretty and it’s comfortable. It’s not as grand or elaborate as some of the homes we build, but it suits us.”

Making a house a home
Eight years ago, the Campagnas purchased an existing one-story home which they tore down and replaced.  Due to new building codes, the large ground floor space is not air-conditioned and serves as a garage and game room but is not considered part of the living space.  The real living takes place upstairs on the second and third floors of the 3,800-square-foot home.

In order to lessen the impact of the steep staircase up to the second story, Mike and Karen designed a “sunken” foyer to create a lower entry landing.  This space, tiled with multi-hued slate, offers just a peek of the breathtaking views encountered at the top of the steps.  A few steps up and all attention is diverted to the floor-to-ceiling walls of glass showcasing sparkling views of the Gulf and coastline just beyond.

Waterfront Home 1In addition to the water views, you can see nearby homes along the water and further on, the green vegetation of Caladisi Island.  “My husband angled the house so that we get a water view but we’re also facing the coast,” Karen says.  “What I like about it is that at night you get the lights on the docks and houses.”  Mike, an avid fisherman and boater, was born and raised in Clearwater and had always wanted to live on the water.  Now, all he has to do is walk out on his dock, hop in the boat and he’s fishing in minutes.

The first story of the home is decorated in a soothing blend of elegant browns, greens and gold colors.  Wood floors tie together the open floor plan of the formal living room and the dining room.  Gold silk curtains puddle to the floor making an elegant yet understated complement to the breathtaking views.  Adjacent to this area is a hardworking family office, lined with wooden built-in cabinets, family photos and mounted fish–souvenirs of Mike’s passion.

Adding personal taste
Karen is a certified interior designer who does all the interior design work for Campagna Homes, which was started in 1952 by Mike’s father and grandfather.  She was not so keen on the mounted fish but says Mike won on this item because he gave in on her ideas in other areas of the house.  Compromise is key to family harmony.

As with most homes these days, the kitchen and family room are the heart of the house.  Designed in soft umber colors, it features tawny gold granite countertops over maple cabinetry with a dark oak stain.  Viking appliances including a massive stove make this a true cook’s kitchen.  “We are always entertaining; Mike loves to cook.  I love to cook.  We have lots of people over all the time,” Karen says.  Add to that four cats and a dog, and this is a busy house.  The floors in the kitchen, 18-inch, honed travertine marble tiles, handle the traffic with ease.  “These floors are wonderful.  They are so easy to live with,” Karen says.  “I just mop them when they get dirty and I have them deep cleaned and sealed once a year.  They get this soft patina with age.”

Adjacent to the kitchen are a powder room and spacious laundry room, a temperature controlled wine closet (perfect for people who love to entertain) and two bedrooms, each with its own full bathroom, formerly used by the Campagnas’ now-grown daughters.

One of the special design features of this home is the handpainted murals used judiciously throughout.  Subtle clouds, “inspired by happiness,” Karen says, drift across the kitchen ceiling while an elegant, lifelike palm tree graces a wall in the family room.  “By having murals, you don’t have to have as much on the walls; less clutter,” Karen says.  The murals, painted by artist Steve Spathelf of Spat Splats culminate in a large, trompe l’oeil painting in the dining room of an Italian landscape.

One of Karen’s other favorite features are the Marla Davidson tiles she uses throughout the house.  The focal point of the stove backsplash is a Marla Davidson piece as are the elegant bronze fish tiles that swim along the walls of the downstairs powder room.  Other “Marla” tiles are  used to add unique accents to the bathrooms off the girls’ downstairs bedrooms.

The upstairs of this home is the Master suite, or better stated, Master retreat.  The spacious bedroom features soft shag carpeting (“don’t lose your earring in this room,” Karen laughs) and a comfortable reading nook.  The bathroom was kept simple but elegant with dark wood cabinets and white, polished marble tile on both the floor and counters, and a large, walk-in closet room complete with a center island.  But Karen’s favorite place is the balcony–this secluded spot is her place to escape.  “You’re in your own little world up here; it’s peaceful and quiet up here by the sky,” she says.


Posted in Articles, Housetrends

Natural Elements

By Amy Diehl | Photos by Grey Street Studios
Housetrends | August 2008

Fire. Water. Wood. Stone
Villa Sorrento Exterior
These essential elements of nature all blend to create a feeling of peacefulness and serenity at The Villa Sorrento, Campagna Homes’ new model home situated on the Fox Hollow Golf Course in Trinity, Florida.

Elegant travertine marble floors create a flow through the dramatic circular rotunda of the foyer to the formal living room overlooking the pool and beyond. In the kitchen and family room, floors transition to richly stained wood planks. These floors, made of distressed hickory wood, have a custom stain color created for the builder that has become so popular that the manufacturer has named the color “Campagna.” Used in the family room, the office and other rooms throughout the house, this deep chocolate color creates a soothing palette from which to decorate.

“The home’s design is a Mediterranean style,” Andrea Campagna says, “but we wanted more of a Spanish influence.” This was accomplished using wrought iron elements and darker wood. In the round foyer of the home, the circular wood ceiling is punctuated by a massive wrought iron chandelier hanging on a long chain. Its partner graces the soaring ceilings of the formal living space nearby. Wrought iron railings, finished to match the chandeliers, grace the wrap-around staircase to the second floor and textured columns contribute to the old-wold feel. On the outside of the home, the dark woodwork stands out against the light walls and terra cotta roof tiles.

Warm and welcoming
VillaSorrento100107 019At 5,763 square feet of air-conditioned living space, this home is spacious but not overly massive. An airy kitchen and family room offers a perfect place for gourmet dining, lounging or simply hanging out. The kitchen, with dual Sub-Zero refrigerators provides plenty of room for food storage. Additional chiller drawers blend discreetly into the cabinetry. A large stainless steel Wolf gas stove offers gourmet cooking opportunities. At the huge center island, side by side cooks will find plenty of counter space to work comfortably. Tawny granite countertops and pecan finished wood cabinets tie together this comfortable cooking space.

Storage is important in this day and age and the walk-in butler’s pantry in this home provides storage for all manner of treats. Next to the butler’s pantry, an elevator was installed to take family or guests to the second floor suites.

There are plenty of spaces to eat at villa Sorrento. A breakfast nook in the kitchen area is still large enough for six to sit comfortably and overflow guests can eat at the counter. For more formal dinners, a formal dining room off the foyer offers a spacious place to gather for Thanksgiving dinner. The wine will be easily accessed from the built-in wine cellar off the rotunda. For dining al fresco, a full outdoor kitchen and dining area is ideal for cool evening diner or an afternoon pool party.

Whether it is guests in town or just a stay-at-home family night, this home is the perfect retreat. If a movie night is in the cards, this house has a movie and entertainment room just for that purpose. The media room includes a large, built-in flatscreen television facing comfortable leather seating and a full wet bar. To work off excess calories there is an exercise room with an adjoining pool bathroom facing out towards the golf course.

For further entertainment, the upstairs game room offers a card game table and pool table plus access to a second floor balcony for lovely vistas overlooking the golf course.

Also upstairs are three full bedroom and bathroom sets. At the top of the landing where the elevator opens one suite has double doors and a wide step-in shower, designed with a person with physical restrictions in mind.

Water elements entice
68D-001 J Villa Sorrento MST BedroomIn keeping with the wood and stone elements of the home, the master bedroom suite and office feature wood beam ceilings and rich wood furniture. Decorated in warm mocha colors and lush silks, the master suite is a quite, calm oasis overlooking the pool. A private, enclosed garden outside the master bath shower enclosure brings nature indoors.

All the gourd floor rooms of this home feature banks of glass windows which overlook the unique Hughes Group designed pool. The pool area blends form and function in an elegant, classy design sure to lure even reluctant bathers. Using a pattern of repeating squares, the architectural details of this area delight the eye.

VillaSorrento100107 061A square sunning platform overlooks the pool and large, raised, square ten-seater spa. the spa spills water down into the overlapping squares of the pool. To balance the space at the other end, a set of four square islands with tall palm trees surround a square sunken fire pit. Imagine crossing your pool on stepping stones to sit around the fire pit on a chilly night—righ in the middle of the pool! A lava pot centered on raised rear wall of the pool further enhances the fire and water contrast.

The Villa Sorrento is a beautiful example of excellent craftsmanship with the end user always in mind. “When my father designs houses, he always says, ‘Would I want to live here'” Campagna Says, and the answer is a resounding yes.


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Under the Sun at Home

By Amy Diehl | Photos by Johan Roetz
Housetrends | October/November 2007

A worldly couple from the Midwest discovers their own slice of Florida heaven.

Images of North Carolina initially come to mind upon seeing the lovely Palm Harbor home of Stacey Shy and Jamie Cheek. Stacked field-stone walls and warm taupe colors bring a woodsy feel to a Mediterranean design. However, stepping inside the home banishes those thoughts. “We’re from the Midwest,” Jamie says. “When we moved here we said, “We’re in Florida. We should live on the water.” We looked at a lot of places but when we walked in here, it just spoke to us.” The house is situated looking east over the rolling hills of the Innisbrook Golf Course. A small pond sits in a swale supplying the requisite water view. “It’s like having a guess back yard—fully manicured!” Stacey says with a laugh. So far there have been only two golf balls in the pool in the five years the house has been built, so they are not too worried about that hazard. This comfortable 5,400-saure-foot home is located in the Highlands of Innisbrook development. The home was designed and built by Michael Campagna Homes and wife and co-owner Karen did the initial interior design work. This was soon supplemented with Stacey’s own furniture and belongings.

Seeking out the details
“About eighty percent of everything from our past house worked here. It was really similar to our taste so it was easy to move in,” Stacey says.

Shyhome 051The home has a lot of formal elements yet remains comfortable and relaxed. Polished marble floors inset with mosaic design elements set the formal tone in the foyer. The lower ceilings over the front door open into soaring, 25-foot high ceilings in the formal living room area directly ahead.

The furniture here is plush and elegant with a more formal feel. A floor-to-celing bank of window overlooking the pool is accented by grand cascades of rich grey silk drapes which puddle on the floor.

“My granddaughter’s little friend says, ‘Maddy’s house has “ginormouse” curtains,'” Stays says with a smile. A perfect hiding spot for little girls playing hide and seek. Another favorite grandchildren activity is riding the elevator. “We have to limit them to three times per visit or they’d do it all day!” Stacey laughs.

Off the foyer, in the spot traditionally assigned to the dining room, Jamie and Stacey have put their baby grand piano. “Whoever used those formal dining rooms anyway?” Jamie jokes. They felt this space would be better used for something they love. Jamie is a skilled pianist. Stacey, despite eleven years of lessons, swears she just “doesn’t have it.” A butler’s pantry and half bath complete this area.

Jamie’s office is a masculine room with wood wainscoting, box beam ceilings and handsome cabinetry. This cozy retreat gives him a place to do business when he is not traveling. It is conveniently located between the foyer and the master suite.

Sleeping and entertaining
The master suite is one of Stacey’s favorite places in the home. “It just makes me happy.” she says. “It’s both comfortable and comforting.” The linens on the kind-sized bed inspire happy memories, Stacey points out. Pillows and bolsters were upholstered using fabrics from their previous home.

A coffered celing is lined with subtle recessed lighting for a gentle glow. Set into the separating hal-wall is a two-sided, gas fireplace designed to be enjoyed from the bedroom or the adjacent seating area. A glorious bank of curtains made of a rich brown slug silk highlight this bay window area.

Shyhome 055The master bathroom is open and invited with the dominated element being the ivory-colored marble that is used in both floor tiles and the spacious walk-in shower. His and her vanities on either side of the room offer plenty of grooming space and luxurious spa tub beckons. The suite includes a separate room for the toilet and bidet and a large walk-in closet.

At the opposite side of the house is the kitchen and family room. This large space is perfect of the casual entertaining that Stacey and Jame love to do. Warm wooden cabinetry and rich granite countertops blend well with the tubbed marble tile backsplash. A large Wolf gas stovetop is accented by a dramatic hood creating a handsome focal point. The breakfast nook in this area is where most meals are eaten.

In the family room, comfortable overstuffed chairs and couches invite lounging in front of the fieldstone fireplace (a theme echoed form the outdoor design of the home) and built in flat-screen TV. It is a favorite spot for entertaining that merges well with the patio seating area outside. A bank of windows overlooking the pool invites views of the rolling hills of the golf course beyond.

A unique feature of this home is the ornate custom-designed iron gate that separates the kitchen/family room from the rest of the house. Recognizing that cats enjoy sharpening their class on any handy piece of furniture or fabric, this gate limits the damage by keeping Stacey’s big Maine Coon cat from having free rein of the house.

“Jamie originally didn’t like the dis so I paid to have them [the iron artist] to create a full-sized mock-up out of cardboard and he loved it,” Stacey says. The gate is a handsome addition whether open or closed.

Where guests are like royalty
The upstairs of this home is designed for guests, which is a good thing for a couple who have had guests for 25 weekends out of the past 52 weeks. One bedroom is a “girly” room for granddaughter Maddy who stays over several nights a week. Complete with a closet full of dress-up clothes, it is a little girl’s dream.

Another guest room has a more masculine theme with deep tans and greens and a palm leaf motif; the third room, considered a “mini suite” brings more memories as Stacey points out the four poster bed and more pillows made from fabrics used in their old home.

Shyhome 024Also upstairs is the media room—a large room, about the same footprint as the kitchen family room downstairs. This area features a pool table on one side and a comfortable seating area on the other facing a large flat-screen TV. It si the perfect place for movies viewing with the grandkids. A small bar area saves trips to the kitchen.

Tying together the upstairs is a balcony that opens from both media room and the mini suite, “Our guests really spend a lot of time up there. They can totally relax and feel they’re not underfoot.” Stacey says. The comfortable chaises and sweeping views of the golf course probably help.

In keeping with the comfortable tone of this home, the outdoor patio curves around a graceful dark bottom pool with an infinity edge. The fieldstone element is used here in the tubing waterfall, the circular spa and the planter which also doubles as a fire pit in cooler weather. Stacked fieldstone also forms the back wall of the handsome outdoor kitchen. This area making outdoor entertaining a real breeze.

Speaking of breezes, Jamie and Stacey had originally want dot screen in their backyard patio to make a covered lanai. Michael Campagna convinced them to try living without it for a while. No they love it open. The Gulf is not far away and its breezes keep the bugs away and the clear view is beautiful.

This busy couple has traveled the world and has moved often but they think they may have found a place to call home. Stacey says, “If you keep coming back and you still like it, that says something.”

Posted in Articles, Housetrends

Truly Tuscan

By Amy Diehl | Photos by Johan Roetz/Vision Photograhpy
Housetrends | October/November 2006

When David and Victoria Giorgione moved to the Tampa Bay area from New York State, it was supposed to be a short-term gig. “We came down here, figured we’d stay for a year, maybe two years, and head back. Now here we are twelve years later,” David says with a sweeping gesture to the home in which he sits.

And what a home it is! The Giorgiones have been in their 7,600-square-foot home for two years and they are still tweaking it here and there to suit their needs. As the home for a busy family with three growing children racing from ages 7 to 18, this house is a busy place.

The Giorgiones want a Mediterranean-style home and they had very specific ideas of what they wanted. They had started working with another builder, but the plans just didn’t seem to fit what they were looking for. That is when they found architect Him Ludwig and Campagna Homes. “We met up with Jim, started working with him, and he took us as a client to Campagna,” David Says. “jim is a great architect. He had a vision. He was into a true Tuscan design on this project.”

For that ‘aged’ appearance…
Even the littlest detail was not overlooked. Details like rounded corners on the exterior patio walls. Details like the texture of the exterior plaster. “Jim wanted an even further distressed look. He made us take sticks off an oak tree and kit the walls with them to get the right affect,” laughs Campagna.

The grand entrance foyer features marble floors and an elegant staircase curving up to the second floor. Faux-finished walls and ornate, curling wrought iron balustrades add to the “old-world” feel of this home. Marble risers on the staircase are a unique touch. Another unique feature is the custom-made front door. “The front door is interesting,” Campagna says. “it is an oversized door in both height and width with there hinges and glass all the way around it. Very few companies could make something like this and it took quite a while.” This handsome wood door with its distressed wood, heavy metal studs and seed glass perimeter was worth the wait. It sets the tone as you walk in the door.

Other strategies used to create the feeling of age are the repeated use of columns with Corinthian capital to delineate the spaces and the use of arches. Arches are everywhere. They are used repeatedly throughout the home from defining spaces from room to room, to cabinetry crowns, to the arched glass window of the wine cellar.

This trull is a family home. Framed frailly photos cover the black grand piano in the living room. More are found on the bookshelves for David’s wood paneled office and throughout the home. The furniture is plush and comfortable and made to be sat in, not admired from afar.

“My favorite room is the dining room,” Victoria says. Off to the left of the foyer, this room features smooth Venetian plaster walls and a formal, textured plaster, patterned ceiling painted with an old-world, faux finish. A long, heavy wooden table surrounded by leather and wood chairs completes the effect. A small butler’s pantry leads to the door of the wine cellar.

A large arching window mae of a solid sheet of glass, looks into the adjacent wine cellar. The cellar, built by Apex Wine Cellars, has a holding capacity of 1800 bottles, and it’s own chilling unit. “It’s my first hobby,” David says with delight.

A more formal living room and bar are located directly beyond the foyer. As avid entertainers, this is a favorite gathering spot when guests are over. Although it features two distinct zones, they blend seamlessly, offering plenty of places to relax at the bar, play chess or lounge in front of the fireplace.

This was a hands-on project for Victoria who did most of the interior design of the furnishings throughout the home. She selected most of the furniture and rugs working with designers from Robb & Stucky and Rug Gallery. George Mazas of Mazas Design Gallery chose the lighting and most of the flooring. A color scheme of natural tones of taupe, caramel, greens and tans keep it soothing and comfortable.

Another of Victoria’s favorite rooms is the huge, 400-square-foot dressing area shared by Victoria and David. this light-filled, elegant room is a smaller sized duplication of Mariah Carey’s closet that Victoria had seen on a show and fallen in love with. With its white marble floors, gold and crystal chandeliers and plush gold silk hassocks, it is a closet fit for a queen or diva. Floor-to-ceiling shoe racks keep Victoria’s shoe collection in order and full-length mirrors make appraisal of one’s outfit a snap. And how does David fit in to this feminine space? “I love it,” David Says. “Victoria loves it and it makes here happy so I love it. I would do it all over again.”

In addition to the dressing area, the master suite included a master bedroom painted in soothing chocolate tones, with an adjacent seating area featuring a comfortable couch below the bay window that overlooks the outdoor spa. To the right, the bathroom features a large, freestanding soaking tub, a glassed in shower with multiple water jets, a private toilet closet and a double sink vanity with elegant built-in cabinetry. It is spacious and open.

Including all the extras
The right wing of the home features the large kitchen and family room area, a spacious laundry room, pool bath and Vitoria’s office. Victoria’s office is a light filled, elegant space personalized with family photos and gifts from her children. Her sense of fun shows in the leopard print carpet she had originally chosen for the playroom but she just couldn’t resist using in her office instead. “I can’t believe how much time I end up spending in here,” Victoria laughs.

The kitchen, in keeping with the old world design of the home, has dark wood cabinetry with richly colored, thick granite countertops. A large hood with a limestone finish forms an alcove for the six-burner, Wolf cooktop. The center island offers plenty of work and storage space and the adjacent counter offers more workspace with counter seating on the far side.

This is definitely the social heart of the home with a breakfast nook featuring a walnut wood paneled ceiling and stained glass lampshade. More overstuffed counches face a built-in wall unit including a large Sony Plasma TV and surround sound speakers. Double glass doors lead out to the elegant covered patio and outdoor entertaining area.

Black and orange marble tiles laid in a checkerboard pattern set and elegant tone for the outside patio. A dramatic wall of layered stone provides a backdrop for the gas grill and outdoor kitchen while another sone wall has a fireplace to keep outdoor diners warm on chilly winter evenings. “We entrain a lot and we love it out here,” Victoria says.

Stepping down from the patio, the curving pool is surrounded by a semicircle of Greek columns wit ha dark wood pergola top. Eventually, David hopes to have these covered with climbing, twisting vines. Low maintenance planting of split leaf philodendron, firecracker plat and others keep landscaping to a minimum. One special element here is the yard of Sea Isle grass. As a certified cultivar originally developed for golf courses, it is difficult and expensive to obtain but once established, offers the fine blades of soft feel of the grass of David and Victoria’s native New York state.

A place all their own
With three kids of very different ages, the upstairs offers the perfect retreat. The boys share one side of the hall with individual bedrooms separated by a shared bathroom. The daughter has her own bedroom and bathroom on the other side. In the middle, one large room features a glass wall and ballet bar for the daughter plus ample storage for children’s toys. Next to it is a large television and movie room with ample black leather seating and burgundy painted walls. It is decorated with movie posters and mementos. A truly perfect kids’ escape, while the parents are entertaining downstairs.

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Ageless Perfection

By Debra Williams | Photos by Johan Roetz/Vision Photography
Housetrends | December 2005/January 2006

Old World Charm is the inspiration for this masterpiece

Coming through the substantial iron gates and up the winding brick driveway of Tom and Jennifer Frederick’s magnificent estate, it is easy to see why the couple feels the best part of their home is indeed the glorious property that it rests upon.

“To us the most special part of living here is what surrounds us on all sides,” says Tom.  “I ended up finding this piece of property through my realtor and yet I lived just two streets away for years.”

After purchasing the 16-acre parcel of Lake Alice in 2000, the Fredericks spent nearly four years designing the grounds and the house based on the architectural ideas they had discovered in their many travels.  “I had pretty much a good mental picture of what I wanted the house to look like with the brick exterior and the Corinthian capitals and columns.  And fortunately Jennifer and I have the same taste,” says Tom.

The couple’s love and appreciation of high quality materials and dramatic design is evident from the moment the grand entryway is exposed.  A story unfolds of the couple’s life together as each room tells a story of their collecting and exploring over the years.  To listen to the Fredericks explain their treasures is to hear tales of extraordinary travels and passionate appreciation for art, antiques and architectural design.  The challenge for both the owners and their designers, Michael and Karen Campagna, was to bring to life the European vision they had for the home while infusing the spaces with the warmth and comfort that would be the most welcoming and never off-putting.

Reviving the past
Upon the first glance the Venetian plaster walls, the mailed-down Santos Mahogany floors, and the pre-casted inlaid ceilings soaring some 26 feet high are breathtakingly intimidating.  However, the true nature of Tom and Jennifer’s down-to-earth personalities and genuine graciousness instantly extinguishes and feeling of pretentiousness and replaces them with conviviality.

Given the size and proportions of the rooms, not to mention the substantial antique pieces that were meant for several of the spaces that make up the expansive residence, it was up to Karen to use strong textures, warm colors and woods to anchor each space into a livable area on a daily basis and to accommodate their entertaining needs.  The rooms are defined by the arches and columns and stand in place of solid walls, leaving the areas as open and lively as possible.  The open floor plan of the ground level allows the common areas to essentially spill out into the family room, or great room as they refer to it.  Large damask cover sofas flanked by leather club chairs are placed for ultimate viewing of the 65-inch television that slides out of the ceiling.  The two-story windows look out over the lush landscaping, pool and shimmering lake.

“We didn’t want to have this big house and not have a place that a large group of people could all comfortably sit down and watch a game together.  So we had to make this a big, massive room,” says Tom, again referring to their desire to live in an affable and relaxed home.

Surrounding the great room is the kitchen and breakfast room with full views of the lake and gardens.  The dark wood and creamy granite gives the smaller areas a feel of intimacy and coziness, and plays strikingly off against the rest of the living spaces that are encountered at the entrance of the home.  On either side of the two-story marble foyer, complete with a glorious brass chandelier, moldings, and inlaid and painted ceilings designed by Gino Caiazza, is the dining room to the right and the music room on the left.  A dramatic iron and marble staircase sweeps gracefully up from the foyer where a marvelous Faineza occasional table made in the 1876 and given as a gift from Italy to the United States for our centennial celebration, splendidly rests.  Tucked under the stairs where the ordinary coat closet was meant to be is yet another gem of the home–an exquisitely designed wine room encased with a molded iron and wood door, maximized for ultimate storage as well as charm.

The dining room was essentially created around two of the couple’s most beloved treasures.  An English harp, acquired from a dealer in Atlanta, is over 200 years old and one of only five in existence, and a splendid French walnut wall piece that was carved for a wealthy man of aristocratic lineage, depicts his family members in their element of daily life.  The piece is colossal in size and structure, and utterly engulfs the room with drama.  If this room evokes Lancelot, the music room quietly calls out to Marie Antoinette.  A striking grand piano, of which is beautifully played by the lady of the house, is surrounded by 18th century style paintings and furniture.

In a perfect twist to Tom and Jennifer’s lifestyle, the elegant music room sits just across the back hallway from the manly game room.  The design of the double wood doors came from a small village church in Western New York.  The walls are faux painted in a rich, deep red.  The brown tones of the furniture and fabrics set off the intricately carved black-felt pool table sitting below an early 1800s antique light fixture that was once gas-lit.  Handsome and masculine, this room is the ultimate sophisticate man’s fantasy.

The black walnut clock above the fireplace is from the early 1800s and came from a French banker’s office that most likely gave loans to farmers, and thus his trade is depicted in the intricate carvings surrounding the timepiece.  Jumping back into the 21st century Tom has outfitted his game room with flat screen televisions and full bar to entertain his friends and family.
“Most people would think that this is Tom’s preferred room, but after they moved in he told me his favorite room in the whole house was his master bathroom, partly because of its tremendous size, ” says Karen Campagna.  “He absolutely loves the shower with all of the jets and the steam and the whole design of the marble and tiles.”

The master bedroom, bath and closets are also on the first floor and span the width of the house so as to take advantage of the flourishing gardens and water views that encompass the home from every angle.  Strong, dark wood furniture and heavy silk draperies warm the couple’s room into a snug niche apart from the grandeur of the rest of the home.  The luxurious bath was installed with marble floors, countertops, maple cabinets and mouldings.  A large whirlpool tub and walk-in shower all have a view of the “invisible” television that is behind a mirror, only visible when turned on.

Planning ahead
As the only bedroom on the first floor is the master, Tom and Jennifer decided to put in an elevator to accommodate any guest or family member that might need the assistance.  A long, wide hallway overlooking the great room spans the length the second floor with four additional guest bedrooms and baths, Tom’s jaw-dropping, yet discriminatingly bravura mahogany inlaid office, and a full exercise room.  The bedrooms seem to be a place to store many of the collections they have acquired over the years and simply do not have room for anywhere else.  Their love of ornate and detailed furniture is evident throughout, and any guest would certainly feel like king for a day to inhabit one of these special rooms.

Not that they will be empty for very long, as Tom and Jennifer plan to fill their home and share their love with children very soon.

“It was our dream and our goal to build this house so that it would be here and be perfect for many, many years to come for ourselves, for our children and for our grandchildren,” Tom says with an unmistakable smile of someone who knows he has achieved his mission.

Posted in Articles, Housetrends

Zest for Discriminating Style

By Amy Diehl | Photos by Johan Roetz/Vision Photography
Housetrends | Summer 2004 | Vol 2, Issue 2

Palatial estate features a distinctly European landscape designed with fun in mind.

Fredrickexterior 036

When Tom Frederick bought his 16-acre site for his new home, the property he had to work with was a tangled mass of undergrowth. “You couldn’t see the lake,” Tom says. It was hidden under piles of grapevines, fallen cypress logs, Caesar weed and hundreds of Melaluca trees. Piles of garbage and loads of old tires were found throughout the site. Since then, there has been a wonderful change of scene.

The home that Tom and his wife Jennifer bult on their land is stately with a markedly European feeling. Elm trees line the long, winding driveway set in bobbled pavers that ends in a circular courtyard drive at the front of the home. in the center of that courtyard sits a formal, cast stone Neptune fountain from Florence, Italy. Rearing horses and spouting fish circle below with the Roman god Neptune holding court at its center. Formal plantings of boxwood, Blue Rug juniper and a variety of flowering annuals ring the base of the fountain. The plantings combined with the marble benches, rope edging and raked pea gravel beds all work to create an elegant style reminiscent of the formal gardens found in France and Italy.

Fredrickexterior 013Classical elements are found throughout this property. A white marble gazebo, imported form Rome, sits near the tennis court offering a lovely shade retreat.Another gazebo is located off the kitchen and outdoor grill area providing a handy outdoor eating area.

Bronze urns and classical statuary grace the gardens. Spires of Italian cypress flank the formal pool with its beige marble pavers and spouting jets of water. Low boxwood plantings add contrast. Bedding plants add punches of color, but overall this area is fairly simple, allowing the pool and water jets to be the focal point as ween from the home’s rear veranda. Beyond the pool, the expanse of green lawn leads to the lake edge where cypress trees and native water plants frame the lovely view.

“Our favorite part of the property is the backyard, because it is very serene and relaxing. The one thing we tried to do was keep the larger environment natural while keeping the house formal in style, ” Tom says.

Many mature cypress trees grow along the lakefront and Tom and his groundskeeper, Charlie Brusovich, have planted several hundred more small cypress and native ferns along the shore to blend with the lake’s natural beauty.

Fredrickexterior 022Once away from the house proper, there is a different sense of place. A tour of the property in Tom’s vintage German Haflinger, an old military communications vehicle, shows a fanciful realm designed for fun. Off to the left of the house is the tennis court, an asphalt court with five layers of rubber sushi on coating. To the right of the property is a regulation size beach volleyball court.

“It’s geared toward friends and family and having fun,” says Tom of his home. “Without leaving the property we can play tennis, basketball, volleyball, ping pong, horseshoes, jet skiing and ultimate golf.”

The 18-hole ultimate golf course, played with special clubs and whiffle balls, comes complete with hazards, the most fearsome of which is the family golden retriever. Tom and Jennifer often host large casual get-togethers of friends and family compete with kids and dogs.

Tom, who is the owner of Zeno Office Solutions in Tampa, credits Ryan Hughes and the landscape architects of The Hughes Group for the success of the property design. The Hughes Group handled everything from the landscaping design, sprinkler system and night lighting to the driveway ad pool deck pavers, along with assembly and installation of the imported fountain and gazebos.

Fredrickinteriorphotos 024“The Fredericks wanted to design an estate, not just put landscaping around the house,” Ryan notes. He explains that a large part of this project involved “the things you never see like grading and preparation.” Having one company handling so many aspects of a project this size meant less complications and smoother transition of work. Ryan worked closely with Tom and Jennifer to make sure they got what they wanted. “The property was designed for fun and entertaining,” notes Ryan.

Because tom has a great interest in plants, many appealing specimen plants have been added to the design. A water loving weeping willow tree was planted close to the lakeside. A purple flowering jacaranda and yellow flowering Golden Rain tree were planted in close proximity. The Nuttall Oak tree blazes a fiery red in the fall. A big vegetable garden is in the works on the far side of the tennis court.

Tom and Jennifer loe fresh fruit, especially blueberries. To that effect, a large planting of blueberry bushes was put into the landscape. According to Charlie, “in a few years, they will never hav ego buy another blueberry.” The Fredericks have also planted mango, citrus, avocado and papaya trees, and a grape arbor is being built as well.

This beautiful property entices visitors to explore and experience its many special places. It has the elegant, classical pool and fountain. It has tennis, volleyball and other game areas for the competitive types. It has groves of trees for wandering and gardens for beauty and food. And, it has the lake for quite contemplation after the guests have gone home.

Posted in Articles, Housetrends