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.”

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